Certificate of Graduate Study in Agroecology

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‘Scaling up agroecological practices can simultaneously increase farm productivity and food security, improve incomes and rural livelihoods, and reverse the trend towards special loss and genetic erosion.’
Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter.

The ALC is excited to announce the launch of a new UVM-accredited Certificate of Graduate Study in Agroecology (CGSA). These types of programs are being increasingly recognized as an effective and accessible learning option for working professionals and graduate students to gain deeper knowledge and credentials in a particular field or discipline. Our low-residency program is composed of 1 hybrid course, which includes both face-to-face and online delivery, and 4 online courses. The goal of the CGSA is to provide participants with graduate-level, conceptual and applied knowledge in agroecology. More specifically, it is a response to an increasing demand for a deeper curriculum that focuses on all dimensions of agroecology, including its expressions as science, social movement and practice. The curriculum of the CGSA fully encompasses the ALC vision of agroecology as a transdisciplinary, participatory and action-oriented approach.

The Certificate of Graduate Study in Agroecology is a 15-credit program that can be completed within one year.  The curriculum encourages students to integrate ecological, social, and economic perspectives in developing practical solutions to contemporary problems in our agrifood system. The fully prescribed coursework consists of one residential hybrid course, three foundational online classes, and a final synthesis seminar course. Students will be placed in yearly cohorts so that we are building community and expanding the network among program participants. The certificate’s hybrid design means you can live in your own food shed while learning lessons that you can apply anywhere.

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PSS 311. Introduction to Agroecology. 3 Credits.

In-depth overview of research and applications in the field of agroecology, with a focus on providing the student with conceptual and analytical content. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or Instructor permission.

PSS 312. Ecological Foundations of Agroecology. 3 Credits.

Examines the ecological foundations of Agroecology, largely from a biophysical perspective. Over the course of three sequential modules, students will explore the fundamental principles of ecology and their application to agricultural systems and landscapes. Prerequisite: One semester biological science at the 100-level or Instructor permission.

PSS 313. PAR & Transdisciplinary Agroecology. 3 Credits.

Introduces students to Participatory Action Research (PAR) in the context of agroecology, and examines how the integration of PAR and transdisciplinary approaches can serve to deepen our collective understanding of complex problems/issues. Prerequisite: PSS 311.

PSS 314. Agroecology, Food Sovereignty & Social Movements. 3 Credits.

Investigates social, political, and economic elements of the global food system from multiple perspectives, considering the ability to scale-up agroecology, and the potential intersection between agroecology, food sovereignty and government policies. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

PSS 315. Agroecology Graduate Capstone. 3 Credits.

The capstone designed for the application of newly developed knowledge and skills in a culminating experience/project that addresses an agroecological topic relevant to the individual student. Prerequisites: PSS 311PSS 312PSS 313PSS 314.

Application Process:

 I intend to register for the full Certificate of Graduate Study in Agroecology:

And I am currently enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Vermont: Click Here!

If you are currently enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Vermont, you will need to apply for the CGASA through the Graduate College. As currently an enrolled student, you will not need to submit an application fee or letters of recommendation.

When prompted to submit these materials, please reach out to the Graduate College at graduate.admissions@uvm.edu for waivers. Then complete the application as prompted.

And I am NOT currently enrolled in a program at the University of Vermont: Click Here!

If you are applying for the CGSA as a non-UVM student, you will need to submit an application fee of $65, as well as letters of recommendation. Instructions for submitting these materials can be found on the Graduate College website.

I intend to take these courses à la carte:

Whether you have taken courses and/or completed a degree at University of Vermont or if you’re just interested in taking a few classes, please Click Here! to pre-register with the department of Continuing and Distance Education. 

I intend to take the summer course, PSS 311: Introduction to Agroecology, for non-credit: 

Click here!

Having completed any of the CGSA courses, you can decide to pursue a full Certificate. You will need to get in touch with the College of Graduate Studies to apply for the full certificate – up to 3 credits can be transferred from à la carte study to a certificate program. As such, you will need to follow the above “Full Certificate” instructions before you enroll in your second CGSA course.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the ALC at agroecol@uvm.edu.