Located in the northern end of the Sacramento Valley—an area renowned for its bountiful and diverse agricultural production—California State University, Chico’s College of Agriculture educates well-prepared and work-ready graduates. The program is being recognized as one of the nation’s best.

Grad Reports recently honored CSU, Chico on its list of “25 Best Colleges for an Agriculture Degree” for 2020, listing the institution at No. 12 among colleges and universities nationwide.

The faculty and staff of the College of Agriculture are committed to the success of their students. Bachelor’s degrees are offered in animal science, agricultural business, and agriculture with options in agricultural science and education, as well as in crops, horticulture and land resource management. The program also offers an online master’s degree in agriculture education.

Additionally, the 800-acre University Farm offers critical and unique hands-on experiences and opportunities for its agriculture students, with diverse cropping systems and four livestock units, a USDA-inspected Meat Laboratory and the Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems.

“With a dedicated team of student peer advisors and professional staff, the Student Success Office also arranges farm and campus tours for prospective students; coordinates academic advising; keeps students updated on scholarships, internships, career services, and campus opportunities; and guides students to the right resources to help with whatever they may be facing,” said external relations director for the College of Agriculture Sarah DeForest.

Among other methodology, Grad Reports looked at annual tuition and median debt in its rankings, as well as median annual salary in the first year after graduation. According to the rankings, CSU, Chico has the third-lowest annual tuition and the second-lowest median debt on the list—validating that the University offers tremendous value for the investment, DeForest said.

“We are known for our high-quality, hands-on education,” she said. “We give students real-world agricultural experiences at the University Farm and through a robust internship program that make them highly employable upon graduation.”

The College of Agriculture’s interdisciplinary academic program prepares students with a well-rounded agricultural education, while the close student and faculty connections facilitate strong career networks.

“Our focus on undergraduate education means our students have the opportunity to learn and work alongside faculty in applied agricultural research, giving them experience they might not otherwise have unless they decided to pursue graduate school,” DeForest said.

The college enrolls more than 900 students every year and continues to see growing enrollment of historically underrepresented minorities, with more than 60 percent of its students identifying as female and 40 percent of students identifying as Hispanic or Latino.