Penn State University College of Agricultural Sciences

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College of Agricultural Sciences
Established 1861
Type Public
Dean Dr. Barbara J. Christ
Location University Park, Pennsylvania, United States

The College of Agricultural Sciences is a faculty of Pennsylvania State University. The first of the colleges established at Penn State, the College of Agricultural Sciences awarded the nation’s first baccalaureate degrees in agriculture in 1861.

With 12 academic units and 67 cooperative extension offices, one in each of Pennsylvania’s counties, the college is widely recognized as one of the nation's premier institutions for agricultural research and education programs.


Farmer High School and also known as the Old Main

In 1855, before the College of Agriculture Sciences, it was a high school known as The Farmer's High School run by Evan Pugh. Pugh help transform the Farmer's High School into the College of Agriculture Sciences by supporting Congress to pass the Morrill Land-Grant Act in 1863. As a result, government receives money from the sales of land to help fund a college that would teach people better farming methods. At the time, College of Agriculture Sciences was the only land-grant institution in the state of Pennsylvania. In addition to learning farming methods, Pugh had contributed other subjects to the college including chemistry, geology, mathematics, and mineralogy. Not only did he contributed knowledge to the college but he also donated money towards the laboratory buildings and research. Pugh died on April 29, 1864. Today, he is known as the first President of The Pennsylvania State University and the highest award a professor can receive at the university is named after him which is called the "Evan Pugh Professors."

Our Land-Grant Mission[edit]

  • The College of Agricultural Sciences invests more than $89 million in research and graduate study yearly.
  • Undergraduates can choose from 19 majors, 24 minors, two-year programs, and 3 certificate programs.
  • About 85 percent of the college's undergraduates come from non-agricultural backgrounds, and 43 percent are women.


  • Approximate total college undergraduate enrollment: 2,500
  • Approximate college undergraduate enrollment at University Park campus: 1,900
  • Total college graduate student enrollment: 466


  • Pennsylvania State University College of Agriculture Sciences had made many contributions in recent history. The first is Penn State's research in unraveling the mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder also known as CCD. CCD is when bees suddenly disappear and not returning to their bee hive. Bees are important in producing honey and also pollinating plants. E.B. O'Keeffe Foundation donated $100,000 dollar to Penn State for research in CCD.
  • Another contribution Penn State is making is towards protecting the water quality. Since fresh water is a limited resource, Penn State is doing research on improving and sustaining our fresh water resources. Water could possibly become scarce someday that it might become the next generation new oil.
  • There are countless amount of research and contributions Penn State is making to the world the above is only two examples of the many more contributions.


  • The college has one of Penn State's largest scholarship programs, awarding more than $1.8 million to nearly 700 students annually.

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