Undergraduate Programs

The field of agriculture includes a very broad range of career objectives. Subject matter fields include plant science, animal science, soil science, horticulture, agricultural engineering, agricultural education, agribusiness and agricultural economics. Job opportunities are numerous, and students trained in general agriculture are in high demand. A brief list of agricultural positions might include plant breeder, soil scientist, soil conservationist, extension agent, sales representative, banker, agriculture teacher, nursery specialist, landscape designer, greenhouse manager, farmer, nutritionist, animal breeder, economist, forester, processor, food scientist and farm manager. Students with a general interest in agriculture come to Murray State University from varied rural and urban experiences. They have a wide range of interests and career objectives for employment in agriculture.

For more information please email msu.ag@murraystate.edu.

For advising questions please contact one of the following:

Accelerated Tracks

Some undergraduate programs have an accelerated track program. If you are interested in earning a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Agriculture, the accelerated track option will allow you to work toward your Master's before you earn your Bachelor's degree.

Accelerated Track options

Undergraduate programs

Career Outlook

Most jobs in agribusiness involve working in some type of agricultural related business. Some examples of agribusiness related firms include farm supply and equipment stores, credit and lending institutions, grain companies, livestock processing firms, agricultural chemical sales, governmental support agencies and food manufacturing corporations. Agribusiness Economics is designed to help producers apply sound economic and management principles to the use of land, labor and capital in order to improve production and distribution of agricultural commodities and products. Students interested in agribusiness come to Murray State University from a variety of rural and urban backgrounds. They have a wide range of interests and career objectives, but they usually like to solve problems dealing with people and resources. Agribusiness Economics is a popular area of emphasis because it prepares students for a broad range of careers or graduate school.

Courses of Study

Students in agribusiness receive training in production agriculture courses such as animal science, crop science and mechanized agriculture, along with their specialty agribusiness courses. Some examples of Agribusiness Economics courses taught in the Hutson School of Agriculture are Agribusiness Management, Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Business Records, Agricultural Finance, Farm Management, Agricultural Marketing and Agricultural Policy. Students also take courses in computer applications, general accounting, economics and management. There are four emphasis areas available to allow students an opportunity for further specialization.

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Career Outlook

If you like to work with young people, farmers, farm-related agribusiness and other influential people; have a pleasing personality and a cooperative attitude; want a teaching job in the vast field of agriculture/agribusiness; have had experience in farming and/or a farm-related industry; and seek employment in an occupational field with advancement opportunities competitive with graduates of many other academic disciplines, then consider pursuing a program in Agricultural Education at Murray State University. Completion of the 120 credit-hour program will prepare you to join some 12,000 other agricultural education teachers in Kentucky and throughout the nation as a teacher of agriculture in the middle, secondary, and post-secondary schools. Instructional programs include agricultural production, food production, horticulture, agricultural mechanics, agricultural sales and services, and agricultural resource conservation. Career opportunities also include occupations in agricultural production, private industry, and federal and state agencies, including agricultural extension and agricultural credit agencies.

Courses of Study and Education Required

Pre-higher education preparation for a career in agricultural education should include a high school program in general education and work experience in farming and/or in a farm-related occupation. Although not required, completion of a high school curriculum in agricultural education and involvement with the FFA is highly recommended. Upon completion of the necessary requirements, students will be certified to teach agriculture in the state of Kentucky. Out-of-state certification is also possible. A Master of Science degree program in Agriculture - Agricultural Education is also offered.

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Career Outlook

The opportunities in agricultural systems technology are diverse and challenging. Skilled graduates are needed in areas of work related to agricultural structures, electronics/electrical power, precision agriculture/GPS, agricultural power, metal process, agricultural safety and food engineering/processing. A person with a degree in agricultural systems technology may be involved in one of a great number of agricultural careers, such as working for an agricultural equipment corporation, managing a machinery dealership, serving as a sales representative for an irrigation equipment company or as a farm manager. Each year the agriculture industry is becoming more technologically advanced. This creates a need for trained specialists to manage agricultural systems. This field of study is geared toward a student with an inquisitive mind that enjoys solving problems and testing new ideas.

Academic Highlights

The curriculum in Agricultural Systems Technology teaches the mechanical and physical principles that relate to the design, operation, maintenance and management of systems used in agriculture. A balanced selection of courses such as agricultural processing systems, agricultural buildings and construction, agricultural power systems, agriculture safety, agricultural electrification systems, precision agriculture/GPS and soil and water engineering incorporate theory and hands-on training that will permit graduates to enter into satisfying and rewarding careers.

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Associate of Science in Agricultural Science and Technology

Agricultural Science and Technology is a two-year degree program that prepares individuals for careers that do not require a baccalaureate degree. This program is closely related to the Kentucky Tech Prep education initiative. However, it is easy for a student to continue their education past the two-year curriculum since the classes that students must take in this program also count toward one of the many Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degrees.

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Bachelor of Science in Agriculture

The field of agriculture includes a very broad range of career fields. Some of the areas include agronomy, animal science, equine science, horticulture, engineering/mechanization, communication, precision agriculture, veterinary medicine, education and business. Job opportunities are numerous, and agriculture graduates are in high demand. A brief list of agricultural positions might include plant breeder, soil scientist, soil conservationist, extension agent, sales representative, banker, teacher, nursery specialist, landscape designer, greenhouse manager, farmer, animal nutritionist, animal breeder, economist, forester, processor, veterinary technician and veterinarian. Starting salaries for a B.S. graduate are very competitive with other academic disciplines.

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Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Agricultural Science Major

Career Outlook

The field of agriculture includes a very broad range of career objectives. Subject matter fields include plant science, animal science, soil science, horticulture, agricultural engineering, agricultural education, agribusiness and agricultural economics. Job opportunities are numerous, and students trained in general agriculture are in high demand. A brief list of agricultural positions might include plant breeder, soil scientist, soil conservationist, extension agent, sales representative, banker, agriculture teacher, nursery specialist, landscape designer, greenhouse manager, farmer, nutritionist, animal breeder, economist, forester, processor, food scientist and farm manager. Students with a general interest in agriculture come to Murray State University from varied rural and urban experiences. They have a wide range of interests and career objectives for employment in agriculture

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Career Outlook

The field of agriculture includes a very broad range of career objectives. Subject matter fields include plant science, animal science, soil science, horticulture, agricultural engineering, agricultural education, agribusiness and agricultural economics. Job opportunities are numerous, and students trained in general agriculture are in high demand. A brief list of agricultural positions might include plant breeder, soil scientist, soil conservationist, extension agent, sales representative, banker, agriculture teacher, nursery specialist, landscape designer, greenhouse manager, farmer, nutritionist, animal breeder, economist, forester, processor, food scientist and farm manager. Students with a general interest in agriculture come to Murray State University from varied rural and urban experiences. They have a wide range of interests and career objectives for employment in agriculture

Online BSA in AgriScience Technology

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Communications/Public Relations track

Within the agricultural science program, the elective hours allow students to select journalism courses to emphasize publications, broadcasting or public relations. This will prepare the student for communications careers in the more specialized disciplines. The program of study is listed for students desiring a B.S. degree in agriculture with a focus on communication skills. It is recommended for these areas of employment to have an in-depth knowledge of agriculture.

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Emerging Technology track

Modern day agriculture is becoming an ever increasingly technological field. Production agriculture practices now include many technology based fields such as precision agriculture, drones, guidance systems, graphic information systems and many other advanced computer applications. This curriculum emphasis will allow students to get a broad curricular background in agriculture and supplement it with technology based course work to prepare them for agricultural and technology related careers. 

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Environmental Health track

Modern day agriculture has been greatly improved by environmental and/or health related issues. This curriculum emphasis will allow students to obtain a broad curricular background in agriculture and supplement it with scientific, fact-based environmental course work to prepare for a wide range of agricultural and environmental careers.

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Public Service Leadership track

Modern day agriculture has numerous public service and leadership positions. This curriculum emphasis will allow students to acquire a broad curricular background in agriculture and supplement it with public service/leadership course work to prepare them for agricultural and public service careers.

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Agriculture Technology track

This curriculum is designed for students transferring to Murray State University from the Kentucky Community and Technical College System Agricultural Technology Programs. It leads to a four-year Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree that is offered through a combination of courses taught at Murray State University’s extended campus sites and main campus.

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Offering career preparation in the development and practical application of plant and soil science to produce abundant, high-quality food, feed and fiber crops. Agronomy is related to genetics, breeding, physiology, and crop and soil management. It involves aspects of soil use, including reclamation, waste disposal, waterways and construction.

Career Outlook

Based on a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture survey, there will be a shortfall of agriculture graduates necessary for future growth in agricultural productivity. Recent advances in precision agriculture and the advent of genetically engineered crops are providing new career options for agronomists. There are new opportunities for those becoming Certified Crop Advisors (CCA). The variety of jobs for agronomics is extremely diverse. Typical career occupations include extension agent, grain buyer, soil scientist-USDA, soil conservationist-USDA, tobacco market specialist, grain grader and seed analyst. Some agronomists serve as farm credit specialists with banks and farm lending agencies.

Organizations

The Agronomy Club is organized to support students in agronomy through field trips and other club activities. Some of the club activities include off campus trips, guest speakers, and the sale and distribution of crop, weed, and seed identification sets. The Agronomy club also sponsors the MSU Soil Judging Team and Collegiate Crops Contest Test.

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Animal/Equine Science Specialty

Murray State University offers a unique opportunity for those who are interested in the field of agriculture. This university offers a diversified program in the area of Animal/Equine Science, with the option to focus intensely on a student’s particular avenue of interest.

Career Outlook

This option prepares students for entry into chiropractic programs that will eventually lead to a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree with certification as an animal/equine chiropractor. Specifically the program is designed to meet the prerequisite course work requirements for Parker University’s Chiropractic Degree Program located in Dallas, Texas. However it may be tailored to the student’s chiropractic school of choice. To be eligible for certification as an animal/equine chiropractor, a student must be a graduate or have senior standing from an accredited veterinary college or an accredited chiropractic college. Upon completion of Parker University’s doctoral and postgraduate programs a graduate would be able to work with both human and animal patients.

Organizations

  • Block & Bridle
  • Horseman’s Association
  • Swine Club
  • Rodeo Club
  • Intercollegiate Equestrian Team
  • Dressage Club
  • Intercollegiate Rodeo Team
  • Pre-Veterinary Medicine/Veterinary Technology Club

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Food Animal Emphasis

Career Outlook

Training in various areas of Animal/Equine Science can prepare the student for employment in many fields and a variety of positions. In fact there are over 500 distinct occupations in animal agriculture. Some of the opportunities include science, teaching, agricultural services, allied industries, manufacturing and production.

Academic Program Highlights

Animal agriculture is specific, specialized, mechanized, computerized and industrialized. Students enrolled in animal sciences have an opportunity to study the many areas of subject matter associated with animal agriculture. Students receive scientific training in animal breeding and genetics, nutrition, physiology, management, animal evaluation and selection, disease control and sanitation. In animal agriculture industry today, students must be well grounded in both the biological and physical sciences. It is recognized that many animal science students today do not have the practical experience necessary for many positions requiring a combination of technical and practical training. At MSU, practical experience in animal science is attained through laboratories and summer internships.

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Equine Science/Equine Management Emphasis

Career Outlook

Training in various areas of Animal/Equine Science can prepare the student for employment in many fields and a variety of positions. In fact there are over 500 distinct occupations in animal agriculture. Some of the opportunities include science, teaching, agricultural services, allied industries, manufacturing and production.

Academic Program Highlights

Animal agriculture is specific, specialized, mechanized, computerized and industrialized. Students enrolled in animal sciences have an opportunity to study the many areas of subject matter associated with animal agriculture. Students receive scientific training in animal breeding and genetics, nutrition, physiology, management, animal evaluation and selection, disease control and sanitation. In animal agriculture industry today, students must be well grounded in both the biological and physical sciences. It is recognized that many animal science students today do not have the practical experience necessary for many positions requiring a combination of technical and practical training.

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Horticulture is a diverse field offering job opportunities in many areas within ornamental horticulture, food production, landscape horticulture, public gardens, floral design, healthcare and the golf industry. Murray State University offers training in all aspects of horticulture.

Career Outlook

The overall outlook for jobs in horticulture is very good. The broad training provided at Murray State University helps prepare the graduate for a variety of job opportunities. These include but are not limited to arboriculture, botanical gardens, floriculture, floral design, golf course management, interiorscaping, horticultural therapy, landscape design, landscape installation, landscape maintenance, olericulture, ornamental horticulture, pomology, nursery production, turf grass and zoos/theme parks.

Organizations Horticulture Club

  • Promotes growth and science of horticulture by supporting teaching, research, and service activities in horticulture.
  • Develops fellowship among its members through sponsorship of horticultural activities.
  • Broadens the knowledge of the student members through programs, trips to horticultural Enterprises and other places of interest to the horticulturist.

Facilities

The Pullen Farm Complex is of particular interest to students studying agronomy and horticulture. The farm was bequeathed to the university by the late Mrs. Mabel Garrett Pullen. It is used as an agronomy and horticulture research and teaching center. This center allows students to get practical experience and provides a unique opportunity to expand the study of horticulture at Murray State.

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Murray State University offers a unique opportunity for those who are interested in the field of agriculture. This university offers a diversified program in the area of Animal Technology, with the option to focus intensely on a student’s particular avenue of interest. Students enrolled in the Animal Technology program may choose to focus on Veterinary Technology or Pre-Veterinary Medicine.

Career Outlook

Pre-Veterinary Medicine

This prepares students for entry into veterinary school at Auburn, Tuskeegee or other veterinary schools.

Veterinary Technology

This option prepares students for employment in veterinary practices, pharmaceutical manufacturing, universities, veterinary diagnostic laboratories, animal food production facilities, biological laboratories, industries that produce and market animal health products, food inspection, and animal health technological institutions.

Academic Highlights

The Pre-Veterinary Medicine Program at Murray State University can meet the prerequisite requirements for any of the thirty veterinary schools in the nation. The state of Kentucky has contractual agreements with Auburn University for thirty-four students and for two students at Tuskeegee Institute. These spaces are available to legal Kentucky residents on a competitive basis.

The Veterinary Technology program at Murray State University is a four-year baccalaureate program. Students in Veterinary Technology will be instructed in the health care of dogs, cats, laboratory animals, horses, beef, sheep, swine and exotics. Students will also receive a semester of intense instruction at a veterinary diagnostic laboratory. This semester focuses on diagnostic and research techniques in large and small animals. The optional plan is designed for those students whose main goal is gaining acceptance into a veterinary school.

Facilities

The Veterinary Technology/Pre-Veterinary Medicine Program is located on the main farm complex in the A. Carman Animal Health Technology Center. The center houses classrooms, faculty offices, laboratories, a pharmacy, surgery suite, kennels and a radiology laboratory. The program is equipped with state-of-the-art supplies and equipment.

Veterinary Technology/Pre-Vet Club

  • Provides students with an opportunity to experience extracurricular events in their chosen field.
  • Club members attend the Mid-America Veterinary Conference held in Kentucky.
  • Allows students to hear speakers from across the country discussing issues in large animal, equine and small animal care programs.
  • Students participate in campus activities, such as Doggie Day Spas, and Animal Health Day, as well as sponsor continuing education programs for veterinarians.

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Veterinary Technology

This option prepares students for employment in veterinary practices, pharmaceutical manufacturing, universities, veterinary diagnostic laboratories, animal food production facilities, biological laboratories, industries that produce and market animal health products, food inspection, and animal health technological institutions. Pre-Veterinary Medicine This prepares students for entry into veterinary school at Auburn, Tuskeegee or other veterinary schools.

Academic Highlights

The Veterinary Technology program at Murray State University is a four-year baccalaureate program. Students in Veterinary Technology will be instructed in the health care of dogs, cats, laboratory animals, horses, beef, sheep, swine and exotics. Students will also receive a semester of intense instruction at a veterinary diagnostic laboratory. This semester focuses on diagnostic and research techniques in large and small animals. The optional plan is designed for those students whose main goal is gaining acceptance into a veterinary school. The Pre-Veterinary Medicine Program at Murray State University can meet the prerequisite requirements for any of the twenty-seven veterinary schools in the nation. The state of Kentucky has contractual agreements with Auburn University for thirty-four students and for two students at Tuskeegee Institute. These spaces are available to legal Kentucky residents on a competitive basis.

Three-year pass rate

Murray State University Data representing the three-year pass percentage July 1, 2018—June 30, 2021

July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 — 59.52%

July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 — 82.22%

July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 — 52.12%

Three-year VTNE Pass Percentage — 64.62%

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