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Students from relevant backgrounds and interests are encouraged to consider the Agroecology concentration because it will provide students an understanding of current global issues related to agriculture and production systems and valuable skills for a future profession in agricultural science.

About the Concentration

The goal of the Agroecology concentration at UF is to train students in agriculture through the application of ecological concepts and principles to design, develop and manage sustainable agricultural systems. The Agroecology concentration will provide an opportunity to gain knowledge across different disciplines including: agronomy, soils, pest management, crop production, extension, natural resources, sustainable cropping systems and environmental science.

The focus of the program emphasizes three principles of sustainable agriculture:

  • Economic profitability
  • Environmental health
  • Social and economic equity

This program is designed to provide individuals an integrated perspective and skill set that will apply to a wide range of careers including: crop consultants, state and federal agriculture and environmental agency staff members, non-governmental agencies, positions with agricultural firms, county agents, soil & water conservationists and others. There is a documented high demand in the job market for those with broad knowledge and skills in production agriculture and its relationship to environmental and societal issues.

The program is offered via distance education and on-campus.

The distance education track of the Agroecology concentration will be helpful to a number of potential students including

  • Place-bound students
  • County extension agents
  • International students
  • State and federal employees
  • Crop consultants

The program will give students the flexibility to study from anywhere in the world to earn a graduate degree from the University of Florida.

One of the features of the program is to emphasize on reading assignments on special topics related to current environmental issues. The common reading program is conducted with Agroecology students from University of Florida, Florida International University and Florida A & M University. The main objective of this program is to:

  • Bring us all together as a cohort interested in Agroecology – sharing experiences and knowledge.
  • Stir us to think about, and analyze, some of the big-picture contemporary issues in agriculture and our ability to feed the world with attention to the “triple bottom line” (consideration of economics, societal desires, and environment).

Concentration Requirements

  • Students will be required to form an advisory committee composed of a minimum of two (maximum of three) faculty members, one from each Agronomy and Soil and Water Science Departments.
  • The student can apply for a thesis graduate concentration in Agroecology but it must be approved by the student’s committee and the Graduate Coordinator of the respective department. If approved, the concentration will follow the normal requirements for a thesis M.S. degree, including expansion of the committee to the number of members required by the respective department and the completion of a research project and thesis.

Courses include:

  • Global Agroecosystems
  • Crop Ecology
  • Soils Envirnomental Professionals
  • Ecophysiology of Crops
  • Env. Crop Nutrition
  • Principles of Pesticides
  • Adv Weed Science
  • Integrated Weed Management
  • Insect Ecology
  • General Plant Pathology
  • Instructional techniques for ag and life sciences
  • Ecological and general systems
  • Natural resources and environmental policy
  • Ecology of ecosystem restoration
  • Topics in forest resources and conservation
  • Management and hydrologic restoration of watershed
  • Fertilizers, manufacture and use
  • Relationships of land use, soil and water
  • Soil organisms, nutrient cycles, bioremediation
  • Microbiological quality & safety of drinking & recreational waters

USA requirements for international students

Each university in the Unites States of America sets its own admission standards so there isn't the same criteria for all the students and the university can decide which applicants meet those standards. The fee for each application is between $35 to $100. 

After the selections of the universities you want to attend, the best of all would be to contact each university for an application form and more admission information for the international students. Moreover, for a graduate or postgraduate program it's necessary to verify the admission requirements. Some programs require that you send your application directly to their department. 

Admissions decisions are based on students's academic record and different test scores, such as TOEFL, the SAT or ACT (for undergraduate programs) and GRE or GMAT (for graduate programs). Admission decision is based on your academic results and motivation.

University requirements

Program requirements

Application Procedure for the Agroecology Specialization:One Page Essay stating your research interests and background. Specify your interest in one of the four specialty areas: Genetics, Management & Nutritio, Physiology & Ecology, Weed ScienceGRE test score. (The GRE score expire 5 years and the TOEFL score expire 2 years, from the test date.)Transcript Copies from previously attended colleges or universities. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6 TOEFL paper-based test score : 550 TOEFL iBT® test: 80 Technological Requirements Personal computer or laptop with sufficient hard drive space to store course materials (including videos of lectures, Power Point presentations, reading materials, etc.) Operating system: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 Software: MS office Suite (incl. Word, Excel, and Power Point), Adobe Acrobat Reader or Acrobat Professional (for pdf files), and a web browser Flash Player (free plug-in to view digital recordings); Windows media player High-speed internet access (e.g., broadband, DSL, satellite modem, cable modem) Web camera External microphone (e.g., headset with build-in microphone)


  • The agroecology concentration of courses for a Master of Science degree in either soil and water science or agronomy at the University of Florida recently received a USDA National Needs Fellowship (NNF) grant.

    The aim of the NNF program is to recruit and train six thesis-seeking master’s students in agroecology through a joint collaboration between UF and Florida A&M University.

    The linkage of UF and FAMU will provide unique research experiences in agroecology as well as connections with a diverse student pool.

    Students in the program are trained in agriculture through the application of ecological concepts and principles in order to learn the design, development and management of sustainable agricultural systems.

  • Six master’s National Needs Fellows will join the concentration with three placed at each university.

  • Two of these Fellows will conduct their research at the International Potato Center in Ecuador.

  • This opportunity will ensure the international exposure of fellows and the networking of all fellows in the program with an international partner institution.

  • UF and FAMU have recruited four National Needs Fellows in 2013. Two positions are further available and the recruitment will be done for Fall 2014.


The University of Florida (UF) is a major, public, comprehensive, land-grant, research university. The state’s oldest and most comprehensive university, UF is among the nation’s most academically diverse public universities. UF has a long history of established programs in international education, research and service. It is one of only 17 public, land-grant universities that belong to the Association of American Universities. The Association of American Universities is a nonprofit association of 61 U.S. and two Canadian preeminent public and private research universities. Founded in 1900, the AAU focuses on national and institutional issues that are important to research-intensive universities, including funding for research, research and education policy, and graduate and undergraduate education.

The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelor, master, specialist, engineer, doctoral and professional degrees.

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