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Spring 2022

CALS Offers Ag Science Undergraduate Degree Fully Online

​​For the first time, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) will offer a fully online agricultural sciences degree. The distance-education program meets the needs of growing demand from students who want broad training in food and agriculture leadership, while giving them the flexibility to maintain other responsibilities.

“Many of our students are taking care of families, running businesses, or doing both and don’t have the opportunity to come to Raleigh to attend NC State,” says John Dole, director of academic programs for CALS. “This option allows them to complete the degree entirely online, shift from on-campus to off-campus while maintaining their courses, or attend their local community college and then finish up a four-year degree at NC State.” 

Travis Park, a professor and director of undergraduate programs in the Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences, says the online degree option for students has been in the works for several years. Many of the courses were already being delivered in a distance format, even for on-campus students. Like many universities across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic forced learning online, which demonstrated that the online degree option was viable.

“We proved during the pandemic that we could deliver online courses robustly,” Park says. “There was already good experience among our faculty and our students for those distance education (DE) courses. These courses offer schedule flexibility for students.” 

CALS has a long history of innovation in instruction. The online agricultural sciences degree continues that tradition as the first fully online undergraduate program, start to finish, to be offered at NC State University. 

“We are very excited to provide our students with more options to get an NC State degree and continue their professional development. The agricultural science major is flexible with many course options,” says Dole. 

Park agrees. “Our program is tailored to the student who wants to earn a degree in agriculture from NC State. Our degree removes the distance obstacle and provides a world-class education from CALS.” 

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