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Agriculture, the art and science of cultivating soil, growing crops, and raising livestock, is an essential component of modern civilization that impacts how society gets its food. Earning a two-year agriculture degree online can be a convenient, affordable way to jump-start an agriculture career.

Two-year postsecondary agriculture programs typically lead to an associate degree, which students can use to obtain entry-level employment in the field or as a stepping stone to a bachelor’s degree. Post-secondary study in agriculture can lead to jobs as ranchers and farmers, food science technicians, agricultural engineers, and more.

To help students find the program that’s right for them, Intelligent.com compiled this list of the best two-year agriculture degree online programs. Students can also learn more about career opportunities and what to expect from these programs.

What to Expect from a Two-Year Online Agriculture Degree Program

Most two-year online agriculture degree programs lead to an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, although some may award an Associate of Science (AS) or an Associate of Arts (AA). There are also multiple areas of focus available, including agribusiness, animal science, sustainability, natural resource management, and more.

In order to receive an associate degree in agriculture, students must complete a minimum of 60 credits, although some programs might require more credits. Coursework involves a combination of general education requirements, such as physical or biological sciences, English, math, and humanities, and major courses related to agriculture principles and practices. Agriculture is a multifaceted field that requires knowledge of animal, food, and soil science as well as business and economics, management, animal husbandry and breeding, and more.

Depending on the program, students may also be required to complete an internship or practicum, which will give them hands-on experience in an agriculture setting. Online students should verify internship requirements before enrolling in a program, as it may require in-person attendance.

Online programs offer coursework either in asynchronous or synchronous formats. Students who enroll in asynchronous programs have no regular class meetings; instead, they can access lessons and assignments at any time through an online learning portal. Synchronous programs have regular class meetings held remotely, allowing for more interaction with faculty and classmates.

Potential courses you’ll take in a two-year online agriculture degree program

  • Introduction to Animal Science: Covers the scope of the livestock industry with particular emphasis on breeds and types and management of beef cattle, sheep and wool, swine, dairy cattle, poultry, and horses.
  • Agroecology: Introduces ecological interactions that affect food-producing (agricultural) systems and studies the various biological components and the science of sustainable agricultural production.
  • Computer Technology in Agriculture: Familiarizes students with computer applications and programs that can practically be used in agriculture.
  • Farm Business Management: Reviews basic business management practices, including the development of a business plan, establishment of short- and long-range goals, identification and implementation of alternatives for reaching goals, and development of strategies to monitor progress.
  • Nutrition Principles: Introduces learners to the principles of nutrition as presented on a comparative species basis, including characteristics, physiological functions, interrelationships, and deficiency symptoms as they pertain to carbohydrates, fats, proteins, mineral elements, and vitamins.

Best 50 Two-Year Online Agriculture Degree Programs

Best Two-Year Online Agriculture Degree Programs_2024 badge
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Northwest Iowa Community College
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Casper College
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University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Lakeshore Technical College
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Western Iowa Tech Community College
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Utah State University
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Florida Gateway College
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Northeast Community College
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Northcentral Technical College
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Northeast Iowa Community College
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Cowley County Community College
01

Central Lakes College
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Allen County Community College
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Madisonville Community College

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How we rank schools

This list features some of the best online two-year agriculture degree programs at top colleges nationwide. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for postsecondary education.

We evaluated each school’s program on admission, retention, and graduation rates as well as tuition costs, faculty, reputation, and the resources provided for online students. Then, we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of online two-year agriculture degree programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like U.S. News & World Report, among others, to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

What Can You Do with a Two-Year Agriculture Degree?

Students who graduate with a two-year agriculture degree have the option of entering the workforce or continuing on with their studies to earn a bachelor’s degree in agriculture or a related field.

Before entering a two-year agriculture degree program, it’s helpful to consider your post-graduation plans, as some programs are specifically designed for students to transfer to a four-year program after earning their associate degree. At the bachelor’s level, students can study agribusiness, animal science, natural resource management, food science, veterinary science, and more.

For students who intend to join the workforce, entry-level jobs typically consist of technician or assistant positions supporting other agriculture professionals. Farmers, ranchers, and other agriculture managers may benefit from an associate degree, as it can help them develop the necessary business, leadership, and resource management skills needed to run successful agricultural enterprises.

Individuals considering a career in agricultural management should be aware of changes in the industry related to consolidation, government regulations, and climate change, some of which may lead to job losses over the next decade.

Career outlook

  • Agriculture and food science technicians — Assist agricultural and food scientists with duties such as measuring and analyzing the quality of food and agricultural products, recordkeeping, laboratory testing, and performing agricultural labor.
    • Median annual salary: $43,180
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 5%
    • New jobs projected: 5,500 per year
  • Environmental science and protection technicians — Monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution and contamination, including those affecting public health.
    • Median annual salary: $50,660
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 6%
    • New jobs projected: 3,800 per year
  • Farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers — Run establishments that produce crops, livestock, and dairy products.
    • Median annual salary: $83,770
    • Project employment growth (through 2032): -5%
    • New jobs projected: 88,800 per year

How to Choose the Two-Year Online Agriculture Degree Program That’s Right For You

Consider your needs and goals

The first step in choosing the right two-year online agriculture degree program is determining what your specific educational and career goals are. This will help inform your decision about which type of program to pursue in terms of specialization and future educational options.

If you’re considering pursuing a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, you may want to seek out programs that have articulation agreements with four-year colleges and universities, as this can facilitate a smooth transfer process. Also, consider whether going directly into a four-year agriculture degree program is right for you or if a certificate program in agriculture meets your needs.

Common concentrations in agriculture include animal science, sustainable food and farming, agribusiness, farm and ranch management, natural resource management, and horticulture.

This is also the ideal time to think about the logistics of enrolling in an associate degree in agriculture program. Consider whether an asynchronous or synchronous program will better meet your scheduling needs and learning preferences. Decide if you want a part-time or full-time program. Determine how you’ll fit any on-site requirements, such as an internship, into your schedule.

Research schools and programs

Once you’ve established some parameters for the type of program you’re seeking, you can begin the research phase.

Visit the websites for programs and schools you’re considering to learn more about their curriculum requirements, faculty, admissions criteria, tuition cost, and financial aid availability. Attending virtual open houses and information sessions can help you learn more about programs, and you can contact admissions counselors at the school if you have additional questions.

Asking the following questions can help you determine if the school meets your criteria:

  • Who are the faculty members, and what are their areas of expertise?
  • What is the curriculum, and does it align with your interests and goals?
  • Are classes synchronous or asynchronous?
  • Are there internship or practicum requirements?
  • What support services are available for online students?
  • How much does the program cost, and what financial aid resources are available?

It’s also important to verify the school’s accreditation status, particularly for students who plan to transfer to a four-year college. Enrolling in an institution with regional accreditation ensures that students will have the broadest range of options available for further study. Accreditation can also impact a student’s financial aid eligibility and future employment opportunities. Students can verify an institution’s accreditation status through the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) database.

Prepare application materials

During the research process, review the admissions policies and eligibility criteria for the two-year agriculture degree programs you’re considering. Requirements and procedures vary from school to school, so contact admissions representatives if you have any questions about what you must submit to apply. Also, be mindful of application deadlines and enrollment dates. Some programs accept applications on a rolling basis, while others have hard deadlines.

In general, applicants for two-year agriculture degree programs will be expected to submit the following:

  • Completed application and required fees
  • Official high school transcripts or GED
  • Letter(s) of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • SAT or ACT scores

Determine how you’ll pay for your agriculture degree program

Before committing to a two-year online agriculture degree, confirm the program’s total cost (and any additional fees) with a financial aid counselor and discuss your financial aid options.

Students who plan on using need-based aid like federal student loans, grants, work-study, and scholarships must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Schools use the financial information this form collects to determine how much need-based aid students can receive. Many schools and external organizations, such as professional development associations, community and religious groups, and private foundations, offer merit-based scholarships.

If you plan on working while earning your associate degree, find out if your employer offers tuition assistance benefits, which can help offset educational costs. Military service members and veterans should inquire with their school about GI Bill benefits and military discounts.


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