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25 Best Colleges for an Agriculture Degree 2020

By the GradReports team | Updated 4/1/2020

This list presents the 25 best colleges offering a degree in agriculture. The ranking is based on alumni earnings for agriculture program graduates. Cornell University tops the list with students earning a median of $73,300 in their first year after graduating. Students graduating from Cornell University's agriculture degree programs also had the lowest median debt of all the top schools at $13,400.

Tuition, median salaries, and median debt were reported by the U.S. Department of Education in November 2019. View our methodology for more details about these rankings or read more about the top-ranked schools.

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Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Location Annual Tuition Median Debt Median Salary
#1 #1 Ithaca (NY) Ithaca (NY) $63,200 $13,400 $73,300
#2 #2 San Luis Obispo (CA) San Luis Obispo (CA) $28,229 $17,666 $54,700
#3 #3 Manhattan (KS) Manhattan (KS) $26,519 $20,835 $51,700
#4 #4 Champaign (IL) Champaign (IL) $33,686 $19,000 $50,100
#5 #5 Minneapolis (MN) Minneapolis (MN) $35,099 $18,250 $50,000
#6 #6 Amherst (MA) Amherst (MA) $38,171 $26,000 $47,500
#7 #7 Fargo (ND) Fargo (ND) $15,646 $21,250 $47,000
#8 #8 West Lafayette (IN) West Lafayette (IN) $28,794 $16,884 $46,500
#9 #9 Ames (IA) Ames (IA) $26,617 $17,207 $46,400
#10 #10 Clemson (SC) Clemson (SC) $39,502 $21,500 $45,600
#11 #11 Brookings (SD) Brookings (SD) $12,809 $22,250 $45,200
#12 #12 Chico (CA) Chico (CA) $19,852 $15,000 $44,600
#13 #13 East Lansing (MI) East Lansing (MI) $41,958 $19,007 $44,300
#14 #14 Tucson (AZ) (and 1 other) Tucson (AZ) (and 1 other) $11,800 $18,800 $44,000
#15 #15 Madison (WI) Madison (WI) $39,427 $20,000 $43,800
#16 #16 Columbus (OH) Columbus (OH) $36,722 $20,495 $43,700
#17 #17 Columbia (MO) Columbia (MO) $31,970 $18,500 $43,500
#18 #18 Raleigh (NC) Raleigh (NC) $30,869 $20,500 $43,100
#19 #19 Lubbock (TX) Lubbock (TX) $24,122 $21,500 $43,100
#20 #20 Corvallis (OR) Corvallis (OR) $33,439 $20,080 $42,800
#21 #21 Gainesville (FL) Gainesville (FL) $28,659 $18,179 $42,700
#22 #22 Lincoln (NE) Lincoln (NE) $26,984 $17,321 $42,600
#23 #23 Logan (UT) Logan (UT) $24,802 Not Reported $42,600
#24 #24 Canyon (TX) Canyon (TX) $10,996 $15,000 $42,500
#25 #25 Blacksburg (VA) Blacksburg (VA) $34,838 $20,436 $42,200

2020 Best Colleges Highlights

Learn more about the top colleges for a Bachelor's in Agriculture degree. You can also read student reviews of each school by clicking on the stars. Although student reviews were not used as a ranking factor in this list, we provide ratings and reviews so students can consider the experience of alumni in their decision-making process.

Ithaca (NY)
Median Salary $73,300
Median Debt $13,400
Annual Tuition $63,200
Graduation Rate 95%

Cornell University is a private Ivy League school in Ithaca, New York, that partners with the publicly funded State University of New York (SUNY) system. Agricultural program offerings of Cornell University include a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Sciences. The major encompasses everything from running a small organic farm to managing global corporations.

Agricultural students apply knowledge of sustainable farming methods to enhance domestic and international agricultural productivity. Required core courses cover sustainable farming practices, horticulture, soil science, crop science, pest control, and business management. Internships offer students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience and develop leadership skills. With the help of an adviser, students tailor their degree to personal interests and career plans. Certain popular courses, such as field crop systems, incorporate lectures, labs, and field trips to familiarize students with evidence-based management of field crops. Majors are trained to communicate effectively about diverse agricultural topics, sustainability, and responsible use of natural resources. Cornell alums hold important jobs such as crop consultants, produce buyers, agribusiness sales managers, and marketing specialists.

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Median Salary $54,700
Median Debt $17,666
Annual Tuition $28,229
Graduation Rate 85%

California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California, offers a comprehensive and dynamic Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business. Students majoring in agricultural business take core courses in the areas of agricultural economics, accounting, marketing, and data analysis. Additional requirements include science and technology courses such as horticulture, animal science, food safety, and soil science. Seniors must complete a four-credit capstone project to demonstrate acquired skills in research, marketing, agribusiness problem solving, or agribusiness consulting.

After completing a 180-unit bachelor’s degree in agricultural business, students can enter careers in farming, industry, government, and education, depending on their preference. In their studies, they receive hands-on experience through internships, club activities, and international trips. Allied businesses in the area are also encouraged to create research projects that use students and alumni to teach necessary skills. Agricultural business majors are needed in food crop production, beverage production, supply chains, transportation logistics, marketing, and finance.

Visit California Polytechnic State University — San Luis Obispo's website.

Manhattan (KS)
Median Salary $51,700
Median Debt $20,835
Annual Tuition $26,519
Graduation Rate 69%

Located in America’s Heartland, Kansas State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness. Students can expect to receive innovative instruction, individual attention from faculty, and practical hands-on training. The agribusiness major integrates business principles with agricultural practices. Students study current-day challenges in agriculture, such as the risks and unknowns of crop yield, global trade agreements, and changing governmental regulations. They are encouraged to think critically about the natural resources needed for agriculture.

Majors in agribusiness follow a four-year plan of study, leading to a BS in agribusiness upon completion of 127 credit hours. The major includes general education requirements, as well as core courses in agricultural economics, food science technology, economics, business, and finance. Examples of required classes include decision tools for agricultural economics and agribusiness, production economics, and agricultural marketing structures. The Kansas State agribusiness program aims to prepare students for leadership roles in all sectors of the agricultural industry.

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Median Salary $50,100
Median Debt $19,000
Annual Tuition $33,686
Graduation Rate 85%

Founded in 1867, the University of Illinois Urbana — Champaign is a public research institution. Students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in agricultural and consumer economics to learn theories and applications of agribusiness principles. During their undergraduate studies, students choose one of nine concentrations: agri-accounting, agribusiness markets and management, consumer economics and finance, environmental economics and policy, farm management, finance in agribusiness, financial planning, policy, international trade, and development, and public policy and law.

The rigorous curriculum includes courses in applied microeconomics and accounting, as well as study abroad and experiential living opportunities that also include internships. Students learn about the production of food from farm to table, commodity prices, and supply chain management. Students are encouraged to participate in school-sponsored international trips, tours, and on-site projects. Upon completion of the 127-credit program, students can pursue several types of jobs in food and beverage supply chain management, marketing, and agricultural technology.

Visit the University of Illinois Urbana — Champaign's website.

Minneapolis (MN)
Median Salary $50,000
Median Debt $18,250
Annual Tuition $35,099
Graduation Rate 84%

The University of Minnesota — Twin Cities, is a large public research institution founded in 1851. The school offers a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural and Food Business Management. The comprehensive major is jointly offered through the Carlson School of Management and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences.

The 120-credit program emphasizes mastery of economic and business management principles that can be used to identify, study, and resolve management problems in agriculture and food systems. Admission to the major requires successful completion of prerequisites in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and calculus. The core curriculum covers applied economics as well as management principles. Experiential and interdisciplinary learning classes are also part of the program. Students choose a sub-plan, such as food sales and industry management, that supports their career goals. Jobs can be found in many diverse sectors, such as agribusiness firms, finance, management, commodities, managerial accounting, supply chain management, and industrial relations.

Visit the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities' website.