Sustainable Agriculture Program Information: Legacy Program (Entry before fall 2024)

Change from the ground up

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Through a unique combination of classroom and farm-based learning, the program offers a comprehensive perspective on:

  • The science of agro-ecosystem design and stewardship;
  • Innovative and ecologically sound crop production methods;
  • Sustainable farm business management; and,
  • Economic, social, and environmental challenges facing our food system.

Communities want local and sustainable production of healthy food. This program explores practical opportunities for land and food to strengthen community and ecosystem health.

Program graduates find employment in fields as diverse as planning, resource management, government, non-governmental organizations, agricultural support enterprises, and production agriculture. Some students use their Bachelor's degree as a foundation for graduate studies.

Learning Outcomes

The curriculum offers both practical experience and academic training in sustainable agriculture. Course work fosters experiential learning and exploration of personal interests. The four-year Bachelor's degree program is designed to help students achieve three major learning outcomes:

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  • The ability to grow fruit and vegetable crops within a sustainable ecological context. Experiential field-based agricultural courses are offered in the third and fourth year, allowing students to follow a complete cropping cycle from early spring through summer and into late fall. These applied courses function as a mechanism to bring the theoretical concepts and principles of sustainable agro-ecosystem design, function, and management to practical realization.
  • Develop the business, sales and marketing skills necessary to manage a sustainable agricultural farming business. The development of these skills is facilitated by the inclusion of a broad base of foundational courses in early years, capped off with a multidisciplinary business management course in year four.
  • Develop practical problem solving and research skills. All students learn the fundamentals of experimental design and analysis, in order to plan and conduct an experimental research project relevant to sustainable agriculture. Students present their findings at an annual student research symposium. A required internship also gives students an opportunity to diversify their practical experience in a particular area of interest.


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Program Overview

Students who entered the program before fall 2024 complete the following course progression. Newer students complete the current progression

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The first two years of the degree program emphasize foundational understanding of our natural and social environment as well as concepts inherent to sustainable agriculture and food systems. The latter part of the program immerses students in living agricultural laboratories — our teaching and research farms. Through participation in crop and animal production and year-round agro-ecosystem management classes, as well as community/land-based research and internships, our undergraduates become confidently knowledgeable of the scientific, practical and business elements of sustainable land-based, management-intensive, alternate market farming and food systems.

Year 1 CourseTitleCredits
Students receive a wide-ranging introduction to the scientific foundations of biology, chemistry, mathematics, and ethics, as well as a primer on the state of agriculture and food today. The Food Systems Field Analysis course takes students to farms across the Fraser Valley to assess the sustainability of current agricultural production methods and innovative projects.
All of:  
 AGRI 1150Sustainable Agriculture for the 21st Century3
 AGRI 1299Food System Field Analysis1
 BIOL 1110Introductory Biology I4
 BIOL 1210Introductory Biology II4
 ENGL 1100Introduction to University Writing3
 ENVI 1106Environmental Chemistry I4
One of:  
 PHIL 1110Confronting Moral Issues: Introduction to Ethics3
 PHIL 1112Environmental Ethics3
 POST 1100Sustainability: Analysis and Ethics3

9 credits of electives.

Note: Students who need to upgrade in order to meet the prerequisites for ENVI 1106 or MATH 1115, which is required in Year Two, may use MATH 1112 or MATH 1117 as an elective.
 Year 1 Total 31
Year 2 CourseTitleCredits
Students develop their understanding of the social and physical world around them. They explore agricultural systems in-depth and learn about important scientific elements of agroecosystems.
All of:  
 AGRI 2190Plant Science3
 AGRI 2220Soil Stewardship and Management4
 AGRI 2230Sustainable Human Economy3
 AGRI 2240Ecologically-Based Pest Management3
 AGRI 2250Agriculture and Food Systems3
 BIOL 2322Ecology4
 MATH 1115Statistics I3
One of:  
 POLI 1120Canadian Government and Politics3
 POLI 1125Introduction to Political Science3
 6 credits of electives. Recommended:6
 AGRI 2320Advanced Soil Management3
 GEOG 2250The City3
 Year 2 Total 32
Year 3 CourseTitleCredits
Production and farm management become the central focus of the third year. Students are required to complete a summer semester to get hands-on experience through the peak growing season.
All of:  
 AGRI 3225Experimental Design and Analysis3
 AGRI 3260Animal Agriculture3
 AGRI 3270Vegetable Crop Production3
 AGRI 3280Fruit and Nut Crop Production3
 AGRI 3290Agroecosystem Management I3
 AGRI 3390Agroecosystem Management II (Summer)6
 AGRI 3398Crop Physiology and Ecology (Summer)3
 AGRI 3399Research Project I (Summer)3
 3 credits of electives. Recommended:3
 AGRI 2110Beekeeping (Summer)3
 Year 3 Total 30
Year 4 CourseTitleCredits
Students conclude their in-depth study of agroecosystem management and begin to pair their knowledge of production and farming systems with business management. Through workplace internship and research, students take their skills into the broader agricultural community.
All of:  
 AGRI 3135Business of Agriculture6
 AGRI 4190Agroecosystem Management III3
 AGRI 4298World Trends in Agriculture3
 AGRI 4299Research Project II3
 AGRI 4295Internship3
 9 credits of electives, with at least 3 credits at the 3000-level or above. Recommended:9
 AGRI 3150Agriculture and Energy3
 Year 4 Total 27
 Program Total 120

Credential Awarded: Bachelor of Applied Science in Sustainable Agriculture