What is Agronomy Technically speaking, agronomy is the study of soil management and crop production. But on a deeper level, it’s so much more. When you study agronomy at Iowa State, you’ll learn about matters increasingly vital to our ever-changing world. Like protecting our environment. Optimizing food production. Improving water, soil and air quality. And that’s just the beginning.

Why Iowa State? With unique hands-on learning opportunities in the field, 135 groundbreaking research labs, and professors who write textbooks on the subject, an agronomy degree from Iowa State is more than just a certificate. It’s how you will impact future generations.

Areas of Interest

An Iowa State Agronomy degree is customizable to your specific interests, but here are a few of our most popular options.

AGRONOMY MAJOR
4-year Plan Example

Get started in college life and agronomy. Intro courses will give you an over view of climate, soils, agricultural production and how it all works together.

Fall

AGRON 110
Orientation to college life, the profession of agronomy and the agronomy curriculum. 

AGRON 180
Discussing the global distribution of climate, soils and agricultural production and consumption. Physical processes that connect natural resources to agriculture and the environment.

AGRON 183
Developing skills agronomists will employ in their work with crops, soil and the environment.

CHEM 163 or 177
CHEM 163L or 177L
ENGL 150
LIB 160
MATH OR SOCIAL SCIENCES

Spring

AGRON 181
Basic structure and function of plants, origin and classification, growth and development.

AGRON 182
Introduction to physical, chemical and biological properties of soil; soil formation, classification and global distribution; soil health, soils and humanity and sustainable land management.

BIOL 212
BIOL 212L
ENGL 250
MATH OR SOCIAL SCIENCES

Start digging into the details of agronomy and your career. Get out in the field before classes start as part of AGRON 279. Learn about weather and climate, plant growth, genetics and soil maps and databases.

Fall

AGRON 206
Basic concepts in weather and climate, including atmospheric measurements, radiation, stability, precipitation, winds, fronts, forecasting, and severe weather. Applied topics include global warming, ozone depletion, world climates and weather safety.

AGRON 210
Career planning, résumé and cover letter preparation. See advisor for departmental requirements.

AGRON 279
Field-based investigation of Iowa’s agronomic systems. Application of principles learned in introductory soils, crops and agronomy courses. For students majoring in agronomy.

STAT 104
HUMANITIES

Spring

AGRON 281
Science governing plant growth and development in the context of cropping and genetic improvements.

AGRON 282
Principles of soil conservation and land use with emphasis on best management practices and use of soil maps and databases such as Web Soil Survey.

AGEDS 311 or SP CM 212
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY: AGRON 259, BBMB 221, OR CHEM 231 & L
ELECTIVE

Learn about crop communities, genetics and global agriculture systems. Take a deep look at soil properties and their affect on plants in the lab. Round out the year with an English classes and additional sciences.

Fall

AGRON 316
Basic principles concerning the growth, development, and production of crop communities in relation to their environment.

AGRON 354
Effects of chemical, physical, and biological properties of soils on plant growth, with emphasis on nutritive elements, pH, organic matter maintenance, and rooting development.

AGRON 354L
Laboratory exercises in soil testing that assess a soil’s ability to support nutritive requirements for plant growth.

ELECTIVE
SUPPORTING SCIENCES

Spring

AGRON 320 OR BIOL 313
Transmission and molecular genetics with an emphasis on applications in agriculture, the structure and expression of the gene, how genes behave in populations and how recombinant DNA technology can be used to improve agriculture. Credit for graduation will not be allowed for more than one of the following: Gen 260, 313, 320 and Biol 313 and 313L.

BIOL 313:
Introduction to the principles of transmission and molecular genetics of plants, animals, and bacteria. Recombination, structure and replication of DNA, gene expression, cloning, quantitative genetics, and population genetics. Students may receive graduation credit for no more than one of the following: Gen 260, Gen 313 and 313L, Gen 320, Biol 313 and 313L, and Agron 320.

AGRON 342 OR AGRON 450
Issues associated with global agricultural and food systems including ethical, social, economic, environmental, and policy contexts. Investigation of various causes and consequences of overnutrition/ undernutrition, global health, poverty, hunger, access, and distribution. Meets International Perspectives Requirement.

AGRON 450:
Agricultural science as a human activity; contemporary agricultural issues from agroecological perspective. Comparative analysis of intended and actual consequences of development of industrial agricultural practices.

ENGL 302, 309, OR 314
INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES
SUPPORTING SCIENCES

Spread your roots! Take agronomy electives that really pinpoint your interests in agriculture. Choose between applying soil science to applying contemporary environmental problems or on-farm management strategies.

Fall

AGRON ELECTIVES
ELECTIVE
ETHICS
U.S. DIVERSITY

Spring

AGRON 360 OR AGRON 392
AGRON 360:
Application of soil science to contemporary environmental problems; comparison of the impacts that different management strategies have on short- and long-term environmental quality and land development. Emphasis on participatory learning activities.

AGRON 392:
Management strategies at the level of the farm field. Emphasis will be on participatory learning activities.

AGRON 410
Development of an appropriate content for professionalism. Topics include professional certification, ethics, and maintaining an active network of information sources and professional contacts in support of lifelong learning. Student interpretation, writings, presentations, and discussions.

ELECTIVE
SUPPORTING SCIENCES

If you’re ready to change the world, contact:

Stephanie Zumbach

Student Services Specialist

Office:
1126F Agronomy