Be a thinker for progress

empty apple crates in fall, post harvest
farm students sitting in pick up truck with bins of produce
group of sunflowers and zinnias in a field
students smiling
old fashioned tractor

As climate change, a growing global population and agricultural sprawl threaten the world’s ecosystems, food production and landscape design for the 21st century will need to pivot to more sustainable practices.

Agroecology integrates environmental science, ecology and communities to grow food in a way that sustains people and the planet. It is a science of collaboration that involves working with people wherever agriculture, conservation, and policymaking converge. Grounded in agricultural and horticultural sciences, our curriculum teaches students how to help transform current agri-food and land management systems with the use of ecologically sound and socially just methods.

B.S Degree offered through the Department of Plant and Soil Science

Our flexible major offers two concentrations as pathways to your career goals. In both concentrations, students gain an understanding of ecological systems through hands-on coursework, research, internships and engaging with local and global communities.

Agroecology Concentration

Choose Agroecology if your goals are to understand the connections between food production and the environment, work within the farming community, address food insecurity, improve production methods or provide education to communities.

Landscape Design Concentration

Choose Landscape Design if your goals are to understand multifunctional landscapes, learn conservation methods for land and water resources or provide education to communities.

 

Major requirements

Beyond the classroom

Our faculty work closely with the agricultural community not only in Vermont, but nationally and internationally. Faculty are both professors and professional researchers, providing rich opportunities for students to engage in research and internships beyond the classroom. UVM students have the opportunity to work in faculty labs, in the field on our research farms and in the community while earning credits, skills and making meaningful connections. Read more about our undergraduate student research experiences.

 

Bringing science based ecological practices to traditional agriculture and land management systems

Growing a Sustainable Future

Plant and Soil Science was one of the first programs in the nation to integrate ecological practices into traditional agriculture. 

Graduate employment rate

91%

of CALS graduates were employed full-time or continuing their education within 6 months of graduating from UVM

Careers

  • Conservationist, Land and Water
  • Environmental Technician, Soil and Water
  • Urban Landscape Designer
  • Educator, Extension Outreach Professional
  • Greenhouse Operations Coordinator
  • Brewery Owner, Hops Specialist
  • Winemaker, Wine Cellar Management

Where alumni work

  • Land Trust Alliance Commission, Saratoga Springs NY
  • Mother Earth Organics, Portland OR
  • The Trust for Public Land, San Francisco CA
  • EcoGardens Landscaping, LLC Philadelphia PA
  • Ernest & Julio Gallo Wines, CA
  • Parks and Recreation Department, Burlington VT
  • Longwood Gardens, Phildelphia PA
  • Self-employed business owners, breweries, wineries, and mead

Graduate Schools

  • Harvard University, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
  • SUNY- College of Environmental Science and Forestry, NY
  • University of New Hampshire, Department of Plant Biology
  • Iowa State University, Department of Horticulture