Significantly different than conventional agriculture, organic food production is one of the fastest growing segments of agriculture, with retail sales increasing by 5 to 25 percent annually since 1991. In many ways, Washington State has been a leader in this burgeoning new industry. This revolutionary new major is the first of its kind to be offered in the United States. Students in this major take a diverse array of courses in the natural, environmental, economic and social sciences, as well as a number of courses focused on organic production practices.
This major is offered on both the Pullman and Everett WSU campuses. To learn more about the Everett campus check out the WSU Everett Organic and Sustainable Agriculture page.
Students wanting a hands-on degree experience thrive in the organic and sustainability major. WSU has a 10-acre certified Eggert Family Farm, which is currently in the process of expanding to become a 30- acre interdisciplinary organic farming operation and community center. This farm is an invaluable tool where students learn to produce certified organic vegetables, fruit, herbs, and flowers that they distribute through on-campus food service, a local food coop, a regional food hub, and a weekly on-campus farm stand.
Students have the opportunity to tailor their program of study to specific areas of emphasis, such as:
- Organic animal and dairy production
- Economics and marketing
- Crop production, food science
- Pest management
- Soil management
Employment and Career Possibilities Within This Major
- Organic Farm Manager/Owner
- Organic Certification Specialist
- Organic Food Product Developer
- Organic Crop & Seed Salesperson
- Organic Dairy Producer
- Organic Food Production Consultant
Examples of Required/Preferred Classes for First-Year Students
- AS 101: Introductory Animal Science
- CropS/Hort 102: Cultivated Plants
- CropS/Hort 202: Crop Growth & Development
- Chem 101: Introduction to Chemistry
- Chem 102: Chemistry Related to Life Sciences
- EconS 101: Fundamentals of Microeconomics
- SoilS 101: Organic Gardening and Farming
- Stat 212: Introduction to Statistical Methods
Many of our best students attend local community colleges prior to transferring to WSU. Below is a list of suggested WSU courses to take locally and transfer into WSU. You can find your institution’s equivalent courses with our Transfer Course Search Tool or submit a course for evaluation with our Course Evaluation Request Form.
- BIOLOGY 106: Intro to Organismal Biology or 120: Introductory Botany (of these)
- CHEM 101: Introduction to Chemistry or 105: Principles of Chem I
- CHEM 102: Chemistry Related to Life Sciences or 106: Principles of Chem II
- ANIM_SCI 101: Introduction to Animal Science or FS 110: Introduction to Food Science
- ENGLISH 101: Introductory Writing
- COM 102: Public Speaking in the Digital Age
- ECONS 101: Fundamentals of Microeconomics
- SOIL_SCI 201: Soil a Living System
- WSU UCORE [HUM] course
- WSU UCORE [DIVR] course
- STAT 212: Introduction to Statistical Methods, MATH 140: Calculus for Life Scientists, MATH 171: Calculus I or MATH 202: Calculus for Business and Economics
Check out our Transfer Student page for more information about the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) Transfer Student Experience!
Student Organizations/Clubs Associated with this Major
Information for New Students
This is a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural and Food Systems with a major in Organic and Sustainable Agriculture. It is offered on both the Pullman and Everett campus. It is managed by the Department of Crop & Soil Sciences.