Applications for this program are now available (deadline is April 15, 2018) and courses begin September 2018.

The Bachelor Degree Program

The online B.S. in Sustainable Food and Farming is designed for those who are intrigued by sustainable agriculture and possible careers in this field.  The major offers flexibility in designing a personal program of study, allowing students to focus on vegetable, fruit and animal systems, permaculture, whole farm production and marketing, agricultural education, public policy, advocacy and community development.  The self-designed, hands-on internship is an enjoyable experiential component of this program that is optional, but highly recommended.

120 credits are required to complete the degree.  There are 45 credits of University general education requirements, 26-31 credits of core required classes, 24 agricultural science credits and 20 professional elective credits, including internship credits if the student chooses.

Background

The University of Massachusetts Amherst has offered Bachelor of Science degrees to students at the UMass Amherst campus since 1871 when 27 students graduated with an agricultural degree.  U.S. News & World Report has recently named the Stockbridge School of Agriculture #8 Best Global Universities for Agricultural Science.

The Stockbridge School began offering online courses in 2008 and now offers 35 online classes. Due to the interest in online education, the B.S. in Sustainable Food and Farming will be offered in an entirely online format beginning in September 2018, in addition to the residential B.S. program on campus.

Second Bachelor’s

If you have a previous BS degree from UMass Amherst, then you only need to complete a minimum of 30 additional credits to attain a second BS degree. If your BS is from a University other than UMass, you’ll need to complete a minimum of 45 credits. 

All previous credit can be used to complete degree requirements, but it's important to keep in mind that the UMass BS degree requirements still have to be met. Therefore, there is a chance that few or no electives, for example, will transfer over.

Annual Online Course List

Admission Requirements

Students are admitted based on their complete applicant profile, including academic record, related experiences, and personal/professional goals. 

Application Materials

  • Official college transcripts from all colleges previously attended, regardless of whether or not transfer credit is desired. Transcripts are considered official if mailed directly or sent electronically by institution’s Registrar to admissions@cpe.umass.edu (Hard copies of transcript may be needed if electronic transcript is illegible or not from a reputable organization). Official transcripts should be mailed to CPE Admissions to: CPE Admissions 615 Goodell UMass Amherst 140 Hicks Way Amherst, MA 01003.  Paper or electronic transcripts sent from students are not considered official.  Photocopies are not acceptable.  Students applying with fewer than 27 completed college credits must additionally submit a high school transcript with graduation notation (or GED scores). Other applicants may also be asked to submit these items as part of the admissions review.If you have additional questions, please call CPE Admissions at: (413) 545-3440.
  • Official high school transcript – If students have completed fewer than 27 semester credits of college coursework at the time of application, an official high school transcript is also required.
  • Official SAT or ACT scores sent directly to UMass Amherst from the testing agency. If students have completed fewer than 27 semester credits of college coursework at the time of application, official SAT or SAT scores are also required, unless the student has a waiver.  Waivers are granted upon request to: students from Massachusetts with documented learning disabilities (state law); veterans; students who graduated from high school five or more years ago.
  • ESL students – Students whose native language is not English are required to provide proof of English language proficiency, from one of the following: TOEFL score of 80 (internet-based); SAT written score of 450 or higher; 7/8 essay score.  Prueba de Aptitud Academica (PAA) English score of 600 or higher; IELTS score of 6.5 or higher. TOEFL/IETL scores only accepted for 2 years after test date.  Applicants may also request an ESL exam exemption if they have completed two non-ESL English composition courses with grades of B or better, and additional coursework in the Humanities and Social Sciences with a grade of B or better.  Please note that exemption from the ESL exam requirement is not automatic, but is based upon a complete review of the applicant’s academic history.
  • Essay (250 words or less)–What led you to apply to the UMass Amherst B.S. in Sustainable Food and Farming?  What qualifications and traits do you possess that would help you be successful?  How would completing this degree program help you meet your personal and/or professional goals?
  • If a student has a disciplinary or criminal history, s/he must also provide an explanation, as well as a Transfer Disciplinary Report from the college where the disciplinary incident occurred or CORI report.  See application form for more information.
  • For more information, see: https://www.umass.edu/cpe/enroll/admissions

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester – April 15 priority application deadline
Spring Semester – October 1 priority application deadline

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit is awarded upon acceptance; PTCE upon admission, final transfer credits are awarded before the semester begins.  However, transfer credit for coursework related to program requirements is done in consultation with the faculty advisor after admission.

International Students Welcome!

Since this program is fully online there are no visas required, and therefore no barriers for any international student to apply and take classes. Keep in mind that if a student would like to come to campus to participate in a commencement, or other type of formal meeting, they would need to do so on a visitor's visa, not a student visa.

Academic Adviser

Ms. Renee Ciulla is the academic adviser for all students in the online A.S. degree program.  You can contact her at: rciulla@umass.edu.