Areas of Study

Bioenergy & Bioproducts
Energy and products derived from living systems have the potential to reduce global dependence on fossil fuels while enhancing ecological resilience and economic vitality. Realizing this potential requires fundamental scientific breakthroughs, technical and social innovation, and thoughtful application and monitoring so that the new fuels and bioproducts are effective and affordable.

Changing Climate
Impacts of increasingly erratic weather patterns and the general warming of the climate are expected to affect families, businesses, communities and ecosystems in complex ways and with unclear outcomes. Flooding, drought and unseasonable temperatures affect agricultural production, wildlife migration patterns and species distribution. In wild places and managed ecosystems alike, climate change introduces stressors and allows pests and pathogens to invade new territories, affecting plans, animals, and humans.

Economic & Community Development
In Wisconsin and around the world, local economies are increasingly influenced by global markets. This brings both challenges and opportunities that affect people, businesses, communities, and the environment. Building healthy local economies and prosperous, stable communities requires understanding their internal dynamics and the nature of their interactions with national and global systems. That understanding is the foundation for good policy advice at community, state, national, and international levels.

Food Systems
A “food system” includes activities from production to consumption, from farm to table, at local to global scales. The challenge is to develop effective food systems that ensure a safe, secure, sustainable, affordable, accessible and nutritious food supply for all, while fostering and building strong communities and social justice in the process.

Health & Wellness
Through basic and applied research, CALS contributes to the promotion of health and the reduction of disease in humans, animals and plants. The obesity epidemic, which exacerbates many common diseases, has created an urgent need to better understand its causes and prevention. CALS brings diverse strengths to this endeavor, including expertise in metabolomics, functional foods and nutriceuticals. Moreover, CALS’ efforts include improving animal health and well-being, which contribute not only to a safe and healthy food supply but also can directly impact human health via animal-vectored diseases.

Healthy Ecosystems
Our landscapes provide many services, from food, fiber and fuel to clean water and air, from flood management and wildlife habitat to recreation and aesthetics. Competing demands on natural resources, made more intense by growing populations, make it a challenge to manage landscapes in ways that balance these services. Combining understanding of how these ecosystems respond to land management with inventive technologies and approaches helps foster innovative policies and economic opportunities.

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The Guide is published online only. It is not available in printed format.

The information in the Guide applies to all undergraduate students at the university regardless of their classification (school/college affiliation). Information in the individual school/college sections applies specifically to students who intend to graduate from one of those schools or colleges.

* Majors shared with College of Letters & Sciences
** Certificate program
*** Majors moving to College of Letters & Sciences
**** Students who are undecided, but wish to explore a major or career that intersects with themes related to agriculture and life sciences can apply and be enrolled upon admission into the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) under the classification (ALS 000). Students will be assigned an academic advisor from the Transitional Advising and Outreach Services (TAOS) unit, who will aid in major exploration, course planning, and identifying resources for success. Students can be enrolled in ALS 000 for up to four semesters.