The Importance of a College of Agriculture for Higher Learning

Agriculture, by definition, is a science that encompasses several pieces of knowledge about livestock, plants, soil, effects of weather conditions, plant and animal products, and more. Although some people are raised on farms, learning about the agriculture industry, others rely on agriculture schools to learn about it.

Some high schools across the country have agriculture schools and programs within their academic programs. The best agriculture schools teach students through hands-on experiences, such as caring for animals on farms or taking care of crops in greenhouses.

After high school, those who want to pursue a career in agriculture can benefit from attending an agriculture university or agriculture college.

The top agriculture colleges are specifically designed for those who want to teach agricultural subjects at an agriculture college or high school, run their own farms as a business, become a food scientist, and more.

There are hundreds of top agriculture colleges in the United States that offer several types of degrees within the field at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. However, it’s important to find the best agriculture schools that meet your needs by understanding tuition costs, financial aid eligibility, and types of programs offered.

Red Award Emblem for Best Agriculture Universities

Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Agriculture Universities

Agriculture, as an industry, isn’t likely to disappear anytime soon. In 2014, agricultural exports, like plant and animal products, comprised 9% of the total exported goods from the United States.

The number continues to rise each year, and therefore, so does the need for experts in the agricultural field. Top agriculture colleges continue to give students a bright future in the industry. Those who attend a school of agriculture will enter into an industry with a wide range of career opportunities in science, marketing, business, and more.

This agriculture universities ranking details six of the most popular agricultural colleges in the United States. These top agricultural colleges are ranked as the best agricultural schools because of their commitment to the industry through strong academic programs, selection of degrees to fit all interests, and more.

See Also: Top Prepaid Credit Cards | Ranking | Prepaid Credit Cards That Build Credit

AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Agriculture Universities Ranking

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the university names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that university):

Top 6 Best Agricultural Universities | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Best Agricultural Universities

Tuition for Academic Year


Number of Agricultural Programs Offered

Cornell University

  In-State: $33,968

Out-of-State: $50,712

Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral20 Majors,
25 Minors
Iowa State University

   In-State: $7,774

Out-of-State: $21,610

Bachelor’s, Master’s, and DoctoralUndergraduate: 27 

Graduate: 37

Purdue University

In-State: $10,002

Out-of-State: $28,804


Bachelor’s, and Master’s

Over 30 Majors
Texas A&M University

In-State: $27,272

Out-of-State: $47,988

Bachelor’s, Master’s, and DoctoralUndergraduate: 27 

Graduate: 36

University of California – Davis

In-State: $14,046

Out-of-State: $40,729

Bachelor’s, Master’s, and DoctoralUndergraduate: Over 100 Majors

Graduate: Over 90 Programs

University of Florida – IFAS Extension

In-State: $12,740

Out-of-State: $30,134

Bachelor’s, Master’s, and DoctoralUndergraduate: 24

Graduate: 22

Distance: 10

Table: Top 6 Best Agricultural Universities | Above list is sorted alphabetically

What Studies Does a University of Agriculture Provide?

A college of agriculture is specifically designed to offer students interested in an agricultural profession a wide variety of choices. Since agriculture is a vast field, an agriculture university or agriculture college often has numerous degree programs for undergraduates and graduates.

The beauty of attending agriculture universities is that they often provide hands-on experiences that are necessary in this particular field. The best agriculture schools will foster a student’s desire to learn several aspects of the field through real, educational experiences on farms or in manufacturing plants, for example.

top agriculture colleges

Image Source: Best Agriculture Universities

Job Outlook for School of Agriculture Students

Those who attend a university of agriculture open the doors for plenty of future career opportunities.

In addition to obvious agricultural career paths, like business farming or breeding livestock, an agriculture university can provide students with an opportunity to become involved in agricultural research, agricultural business analysis and consulting, and agricultural policy.

Since a degree from a university of agriculture opens several doors, many graduates will find themselves entering employment soon after they graduate with a bachelor’s degree. In fact, the USDA notes that almost 60,000 agriculture jobs are available to new graduates in the United Stated each year.

However, only about 35,000 students attend a college of agriculture, leaving almost half the open positions empty. Additionally, the number of job openings is projected to escalate significantly in the coming decades, as we search for new ways to feed a growing population.

If you graduate from top agriculture colleges, the following are some of the career paths you may be able to take:

  • Agricultural and food scientist
  • Farm business owner
  • Agriculture researcher
  • Agricultural business marketer
  • Plant breeder
  • Animal nutritionist
  • Soil scientist
  • Rural land surveyor

If you are interested in beginning your agricultural future with agricultural colleges, take some time to research the best agriculture schools in our agriculture universities ranking.

Don’t Miss: Finding the Best Business Schools Ranking | Guide to the Top Business Schools in the U.S.

All-in-One Change Management Tools

Top Rated Toolkit for Change Managers.

Get Your Change Management Tool Today...

AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology

What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the credit cards, financial products, firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top-rated lists?

Please click here “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top-rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.

Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Agricultural Schools

Below, please find a detailed review of each top agriculture colleges on our list of agricultural colleges. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these agriculture universities to score so highly in our selection ranking.

Cornell University Review

The Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is one of the highest ranked of its kind for its emphasis on agricultural business. This school of agriculture also offers degree programs for those with interest in environmental science, biological science, landscape architecture, and more.

CALS is one of the top agriculture colleges for agricultural research, with its facilities providing plenty of opportunities for agricultural students to make an impact in the field. Students in CALS’s agriculture schools are also encouraged to get hands-on educational experiences outside of the classroom.

What Makes It One of the Best Agricultural Universities?

CALS is one of the best agriculture schools for incorporating research, real-world experiences, and internationally recognized faculty into its agriculture program.

Students at this agriculture college can choose from 20 majors and 25 minors, most of which can be strategically combined to be cross-departmental. Therefore, CALS is one of the top agriculture schools allowing students to experience several facets of the agricultural field.

Iowa State University Review

The Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) makes our list for top agriculture colleges because of its dedication to creating the future of the agriculture field.

Most agriculture universities offer the basic degree programs you would expect from the best agriculture schools. However, Iowa’s CALS programs cover even the smallest details of the field, like dietetics, forestry, and seed science.

best agriculture schools

Image Source: Best Agriculture Schools

What Makes It One of the Best Agricultural Universities?

Iowa State University’s CALS makes several agriculture universities ranking lists for many reasons. The top reasons this consistently ranks high in best agriculture schools are because of its wide variety of programs and its low tuition in comparison to other schools on agriculture universities ranking lists.

The price for tuition is just under $8,000 per year for an in-state resident to attend this choice of top agricultural colleges. Graduates have an excellent opportunity to expand their knowledge and experiences and obtain an agricultural career, without racking up significant debt from tuition.

Related: Finding the Best Online Law School and Law Courses | Guide

Purdue University Review

Purdue University’s agricultural colleges consistently dominate several agriculture universities ranking lists all over the world.

Purdue has been named one of the best agricultural universities for its #1 Agricultural and Biological Engineering program in the United States. In the world, the school’s Agriculture program ranks #8.

Students at Purdue can benefit from facilities, laboratories, research centers, greenhouses, and more, for a truly unique, educational, hands-on experience at this school of agriculture.

What Makes It One of the Best Agricultural Universities?

Many of the faculty at Purdue’s agriculture university have achieved recognition for their research and breakthroughs in the agriculture field. The university has a Millionaire’s Club to recognize the many faculty members who have received grants of at least $1 million to further their extensive research.

Furthermore, Purdue is one of the top agriculture colleges to offer an extensive number of majors within the agricultural field. Students can become involved in everything from agribusiness to environmental studies to help further their careers.

Texas A&M University Review

The Agriculture & Life Sciences department of Texas A&M University gains recognition on this agriculture universities ranking because of the incredible opportunities it gives to students seeking a future career in agriculture.

The university of agriculture at Texas A&M is regarded as one of the largest and best agriculture schools in the United States. Its faculty are leaders in several agricultural disciplines, such as economics, climate control, soil conservation, and more.

What Makes It One of the Best Agricultural Universities?

This agriculture university has study abroad programs for a truly enriching experience for students. Texas A&M states that, regardless of a student’s major, he or she will have the opportunity to enter a study abroad program, if desired.

Students in the best agriculture schools of Texas A&M can benefit from international travel to teach them more about sustainable nutrition, agriculture in other environments, tropical biology, and more.

Popular Article: Finding the Top MBA Programs Rankings | Best MBA Programs in the USA

University of California – Davis Review

The University of California – Davis campus is home to the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. UCDavis continues to be one of the top agriculture colleges in the world, thanks to its breakthrough research programs and opportunities for outreach.

At UCDavis, students can rely on the agriculture schools for literally hundreds of agriculture programs. Out of our agriculture universities ranking, UCDavis provides the most options for students and career paths, with over 100 undergraduate majors and over 90 graduate programs.

What Makes It One of the Best Agricultural Universities?

UCDavis is one of the best agricultural universities for its outreach programs. The university actively promotes the importance of its students becoming involved in real-life issues affecting the agricultural field.

At this top agriculture college, students will have the opportunity to work with the agriculture in their communities, travel abroad for research and international experiences, participate in agricultural field days, and complete summer internships at farm businesses.

Free Wealth & Finance Software - Get Yours Now ►

University of Florida – IFAS Extension Review

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is home to some of the best agriculture schools and experiences for students interested in an agriculture career.

Perhaps the most notable success of this agriculture college is its incredible focus on agricultural research. In total, the agricultural colleges boast 12 Research and Education centers, 6 Research and Demonstration sites, an 850-acre dairy farm, and even its own forest for research.

The school of agriculture at the University of Florida is also partnered with the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education center for hands-on educational experiences in a wide range of agricultural paths.

What Makes It One of the Best Agricultural Universities?

This school ranks as one of the best agricultural universities on our ranking because of its involvement in the state of Florida’s agricultural missions. Enrolling in these agriculture schools give students a first-hand look at the agriculture field at work in their state.

Students at IFAS conduct research for Florida’s own agriculture and natural resource needs. Those gaining an education at these top agriculture colleges will benefit from having extensive experience in the field throughout their degree completion.

Read More: How to Find the Best Law Schools in the U.S. | Top U.S. Law School Rankings

Conclusion – Top 6 Agriculture Universities Ranking

In this agriculture universities ranking, we outlined the best agriculture schools in the United States that can give students a jump start into the agricultural field.

Not only do these best agricultural universities provide top-notch classroom education, but they also provide important hands-on experiences for agriculture students. Agriculture is a field where real-life experience is just as important as textbook knowledge, and the best university of agriculture will provide that.

Tuition is a major consideration for most families, and the schools in this agriculture universities ranking are very different, financially. When considering the best agriculture schools, take plenty of time to research financial aid and grant options, which can make a significant impact on your choice.

Additionally, these agricultural colleges all provide a wide range of educational programs within the agriculture field. However, be careful to ensure that the specific degree you choose will give you the best opportunity to enter into your career path of choice.

AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.