Bachelor of Arts, Agricultural Studies

Program of Studies Description: Bachelor of Arts, Agricultural Studies (40 - course, direct entry program)

This degree introduces students to a broad range of topics that affect agriculture, while dealing with the industry's role in provincial, Canadian, and international society. It combines perspectives from the Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences with the teaching of applied agriculture; and it offers opportunities throughout the agricultural industry- on farms, in agribusinesses and government agencies, and in research labs.

Students pursuing this degree program are required to complete 40 courses at the University: these must meet our general liberal education requirement, the 20 course major and one semester at Olds College (or under special circumstances another partner college). Students can choose one of two focus areas: Agricultural Economics or Rural Sociology and Development. They also may choose to do a 5 course concentration in agricultural business as part of their 40-course program. Modeling is a central and required part of the program. Students may take courses offered by scientists at the Lethbridge Research Centre as part of our unique Partner Professor agreement. At least one of the required computer modeling courses is taught by scientists at the Lethbridge Research Centre.

Objectives of the Program

Students are exposed to farm-level and firm-level decision analysis tools which aid at the primary agricultural production level and the secondary production level as well as a number of additional modeling tools used in research analysis. Along with these modeling and decision analysis skills, students with the Agricultural Economics focus also are instructed in agricultural economics, agriculture and the environment, government policy, statistics, and micro- and macroeconomics. Students with the Rural Sociology and Development focus are introduced to rural development concerns, rural politics, aboriginal agriculture, and Canadian public policy.

Methods of Training

The students learn in small social cohorts, and are trained to use an array of advanced computer and laboratory equipment. Instruction consists of formal lecture courses and seminar-style courses in which students are required to actively participate in presentations and discussions. Written and oral communication skills, linked with computer-based graphics, are particular goals of the senior-level courses. Seminar courses also involve guest presentations by regional experts in the agribusiness and research fields.

The University of Lethbridge has an agreement with Olds College to provide the technical semester for our 4-year degree students. In addition, the University has a unique partner professor agreement with the Lethbridge Research Centre that adds breadth to our course offerings, student research opportunities and co-op placements. Last year scientists from the LRC taught 6 courses and provided a number of Co-op work terms for Agricultural Studies students.