Program of Study

The Ag Comm curriculum: Technical expertise + communication competence

Agricultural Communications is for students wishing to pursue careers as professionals in writing, editing, publishing and producing across media; public relations; broadcasting; photography; and related activities with an emphasis on food, agriculture, energy, consumer and environmental sciences. The curriculum combined technical subject matter expertise and communication competence to prepare students for meaningful careers.

Ag Comm core courses

Ag Comm core courses focus on the application of communication theories, principles and practices to the food, agriculture, energy, and environment domains. In these courses, students sharpen communication skills and strategy so that they are able to respond to the information and communication demands of various stakeholders and audience groups.

Students are required to take 12 credit hours of courses under the AGCM rubric to satisfy core course requirements. The University of Illinois Academic Catalog is regularly updated with class information. Visiting the catalog is recommened to gain a more intimate understanding of required courses for each concentration of the Ag Comm major.

Food and Environmental Systems (FES) Minor

Ag comm major must complete the FES minor as a graduation requirement. This minor gives communicators the scientific background on which to base the information they present.

Students in the minor learn about the complex relationships that exist between people, plants, animals, and the environment and how they interact and depend on one another. Students engage in leadership opportunities in and out of the classroom while obtaining a foundation in biological, chemical, and economic issues that are critical for healthy lifestyles. Students start with a foundation of three courses that span the breadth of the College of ACES: sustainable food systems, environmental science, and food science and nutrition. They build on that foundation with an introductory course selected from any area of study in the college.

Students complete the minor with two upper-level courses in an area of focus they want to explore further. A minimum of 18 hours are required. The University of Illinois Academic Catalog lists the requirements for this minor. Students should acquaint themselves with this information so they can plan accordingly.

Areas of concentration

There are two concentrations tailored to students' professional interests.


Students learn the elements of advertising agency creative and account responsibilities, and gain understanding of the relationship between consumers, consumption and consumer-orientated messages. This concentration is for students who wish to pursue careers in advertising, marketing and public relations related to the agricultural, consumer and environmental fields.


Meet the demands of a multimedia environment by putting into action the science and art of good writing, reporting and editing. Prepare for careers in varied media outlets including traditional and online newspapers, magazines, radio and television. Investigate and report on food, agriculture, energy, natural resources, the environment and community development issues. Learn from a journalism faculty that has earned numerous professional and academic awards, including three Pulitzer Prizes, a credential unmatched by any other Big Ten university. Be guided by professors who know how to translate their professional experience to the classroom and the intimate laboratory setting of skills classes.