Agricultural Leadership & Science Education

Major Description

The Agricultural Education Program at the University of Illinois has a long tradition of preparing students to help develop people, organizations, and communities to solve real-world problems. We create classroom educators, trainers, supervisors, program administrators, sales representatives, extension professionals, and community leaders.


Agricultural Education at the University of Illinois is much more than just teaching people how to teach! Agricultural Education is the people side of the agriculture industry. Students in this program develop the skills necessary to lead people in a variety of settings. Those settings could be a high school classroom, a corporate boardroom, a second grade classroom, a community outreach organization, on a sales call, or a typical business office. The common denominator is working with people. 

There are two areas of concentration offered within the AGED major:


Prepares students for educational leadership, training and outreach positions in agricultural, extension, community and governmental agencies. Coursework focuses on designing educational/training programs, making professional presentations, leadership development, teaching/training methods and interpersonal communications. A total of 400 hours of internship within a business/agency is required. The curriculum provides the flexibility for students to specialize in a chosen area of agriculture.

Prepares students to teach agricultural science, agribusiness, agricultural mechanics and horticulture in Illinois high schools. State of Illinois certification requirements include a minimum of 2,000 hours of employment experience in agriculture. Teacher certification students must maintain a 2.5 GPA or above to remain in good standing. Review procedures are provided by the Council on Teacher Education.

Courses That Introduce the Major:
  • AGED 100—Introduction to Ag & Leadership Education
  • AGED 220—Program Devlopment in Ag & Leadership Education
  • AGED 260—Introduction to Leadership Studies

Students should consult with an academic advisor regarding course selection prior to the advanced registration period.

Possible Career Opportunities:

The purpose of this curriculum is to prepare students for a wide variety of positions in agricultural and environmental sciences that require expertise in communications and education.

  • Sales
  • Human Resources
  • Cooperative extension work
  • Government agencies
  • Public relations
  • Teaching agriculture in public schools
  • Training and program development 
  • Communication ability
  • Dealing with general public
  • Improvising
  • Investigating
  • Promotions
  • Public speaking
  • Surveying information
  • Human Resources
  • Corporate Trainor
  • Environmental Communicator
  • Extension Educator
  • High School Teacher
  • Public Relations Representative
  • Trade Association Representative

Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree.

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:
  • Participating in undergraduate research
  • Applying for a study abroad experience
  • Utilizing resources of The Career Center
  • Joining a Registered Student Organization (RSO) related to this major: 
    • Agricultural Education Club: The purpose of this club is to promote and further Agricultural Education at the University of Illinois and provide social and educational activities for students of agricultural education.   
    • Collegiate Farm Bureau: Collegiate Farm Bureau engages students in educational and leadership activities and networking opportunities. This grassroots organization brings together students from all majors interested in being voices for agriculture.
Further Information:

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Agricultural Leadership & Science Education.  Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of public relations, publishing, and leadership education.  These organizations include Public Relations Society of AmericaAmerican Society of Newspaper Editors, and National FFA Organization.