Organic Agriculture

WSU’s online certificate in organic agriculture provides training in the agricultural sciences, including an understanding of complex agriculture and food systems. It equips students for professions ranging from starting a farm to food industry management.

The certificate is an 18-credit undergraduate program ideal for agriculture professionals wishing to learn about organic methods, anyone interested in beginning a community supported agriculture (CSA) farm, home gardeners, WSU agriculture students, and others with an interest in organic agriculture.

WSU was the first in the nation to offer a degree in organic agriculture, reflecting the university’s commitment to the field.

Program of Study—18 semester credits

All courses are available online

  • The 18-credit certificate consists of five required core courses (13 credits), two credits of experiential learning, and a minimum of three elective credits
  • All courses must be completed with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0
  • All courses are 3 credits, unless noted.
  • For complete details about the certificate, visit the Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences website

Required Courses

13 semester credits

  • SOIL_SCI 101 – Organic Gardening and Farming
  • SOIL_SCI 201 [BSCI] – Soil: A Living System
  • SOIL_SCI/AFS 302 [M] – Introduction of Agroecology
  • SOIL_SCI 478 – Advanced Organic Farming and Gardening (2 credits)
  • SOIL_SCI 479 – Organic Farm & Garden Field Management (2 credits)

Experiential Learning

2 semester credits minimum

  • SOIL_SCI 498 – Professional Internship The internship can be one of the most valuable parts of the certificate, because it is a real-life experience. Students should enroll in SOIL_SCI 498, and arrange an internship (paid or unpaid) with an organic farmer, an organic business, or an organic certifying agency. Usually an internship is at least 20 hours per week for 12 weeks. Students will need to keep a daily diary and write a 10-page paper on some aspect of your organic working internship.

Food, Farming, and Ecosystems Electives

3 semester credits required

  • AFS 445 – Field Analysis of Sustainable Food Systems (one-week field trip required in WA state)
  • BIOLOGY 140 [BSCI] – Introduction to Nutritional Science
  • CROP_SCI/SOIL_SCI 360 – World Agricultural Systems (Course Prerequisite: 3 credits of [BSCI] UCORE)
  • CROP_SCI 443 – Plant Breeding for Organic Agriculture (Course Prerequisite: HORT 202; BIOLOGY 106 or 120)
  • ECONS 101 [SSCI] – Fundamentals of Microeconomics (Course Prerequisite: MATH 101, 103, 105, 107, 108, 171, 201, 202, STAT 205 or 212)
    ECONS 102 [SSCI] – Fundamentals of Macroeconomics (Course Prerequisite: MATH 101, 103, 105, 107, 108, 171, 201, 202, STAT 205 or 212)
  • SOIL_SCI 441 – Soil Fertility (Course Prerequisite: SOIL_SCI 201)
  • MKTG 360 – Marketing (Course Prerequisite: Admitted to a major [any college] with 60 semester hours)

Transfer Credits

The maximum number of credit hours earned at other institutions that may apply towards a WSU certificate shall not exceed 1/4 of the total number of credit hours required for the certificate.

Awarding of the Certificate

At the beginning of the student’s final semester of coursework, the student should apply for the certificate through myWSU. This will notify the Registrar’s Office to confer the certificate. Here’s how: From the myWSU Student Homepage, select Academic Advising, then Apply to Graduate. The certificate should display as an option to select to Apply for Graduation. Certificates require a separate graduation application and are mailed separately from diplomas.