Jul 24, 2024  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Majors, Concentrations, and Departments
Selection of a Major
Satisfactory / No Credit Courses
Graduate Studies
Minimum Requirements for Baccalaureate Degree Programs
Selection of a Minor
Minors and Departments
Independent Study

CASNR Honors Program
Course Load
Transfer Students
Readmitted Students
VolsTeach Program
uTrack Requirements
Academic Programs

Caula A. Beyl, Dean
John C. Stier, Assistant Dean for Academic Programs
Emily Gray, Director of CASNR Student Services
Kyle Hensley, Coordinator for Recruitment
Brent Lamons, Director of Advising

Craig Pickett, Coordinator for Student Life and Diversity


The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) dates to 1869 when the university was designated as Tennessee’s federal land-grant institution. Under terms of the Federal Land-Grant Act, the university was enabled for the first time to offer instruction in agriculture. Later, federal legislation provided resources for agricultural research and extension programming for dissemination of research findings to the people of Tennessee. Over time, the college expanded its academic majors from traditional agricultural fields to include natural resources and agribusiness. Today, academic majors represent the breadth of modern natural resources and agricultural sciences. The college, the UT AgResearch (formerly the Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station), UT Extension, and the College of Veterinary Medicine constitute the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (http://www.agriculture.utk.edu).

The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources faculty conduct research using the resources available to them at UT AgResearch Research and Education Centers located across the state. They are engaged in significant basic and applied research ranging from biotechnology to wildlife management to agricultural economics to public horticulture. On-campus and field research laboratories are used in the instructional programs of the college, while extension and research activities provide many students excellent opportunities for individualized study with faculty mentors, as well as part-time job opportunities.

The college offers a broad range of majors that prepare students for natural and social sciences based careers in a wide array of opportunities in agricultural sciences and natural resources.

Majors, Concentrations, and Departments

  • Agricultural leadership, education and communications with concentrations in agricultural communications, agricultural education, agricultural extension education, agricultural leadership, and agricultural science (Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications).
  • Animal science with concentrations in animal industries, bioscience, pre-veterinary medicine, and pre-veterinary medicine 3+1 (Department of Animal Science).
  • Biosystems Engineering with a pre-professional concentration (Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science).
  • Environmental and soil sciences with concentrations in agricultural systems technology, conservation agriculture and environmental sustainability, construction science, environmental science, off-road vehicle technology, and soil science (Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science).
  • Food and agricultural business with a concentration in agricultural equipment systems management (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics).
  • Food science and technology with concentrations in pre-pharmacy, pre-professional, science, and technology (Department of Food Science and Technology).
  • Forestry with concentrations in forest resources management, wildland recreation, urban forestry, and restoration and conservation science (Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries).
  • Natural resource and environmental economics (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics).
  • Plant sciences with concentrations in bioenergy, biotechnology, horticulture science and production, landscape design, organic production, public horticulture, and turfgrass science and management (Department of Plant Sciences).
  • Wildlife and fisheries science with concentrations in wildlife and fisheries management, and wildlife health (Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries).

The Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology offers undergraduate courses in support of the above majors and an undergraduate minor. It does not offer an undergraduate major.

The professional degree program in biosystems engineering receives strong support from the Tickle College of Engineering and is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org. The forest resources management and wildland recreation concentrations are fully accredited by the Society of American Foresters. The food science and technology program maintains the professional standards as established by the Institute of Food Technologists. The agricultural education concentration meets state of Tennessee teacher education standards and is NCATE accredited.

A pre-veterinary medicine curriculum is offered in the college. This program is designed to prepare students for admission to the College of Veterinary Medicine located on the Knoxville campus. The pre-professional program in food science and technology allows students to be awarded a Bachelor of Science in Food Science after three years of undergraduate work and upon successful completion of the first year at UT Health Science Center in Memphis dental, medical, or pharmacy programs, or at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Veterinary Medicine.

Specific degree requirements are given under each of the departmental headings in this section of the catalog. A student must meet all degree requirements as outlined by the department in which he/she is majoring in order to receive a degree. In all majors, particular emphasis is placed upon the sciences that are fundamental to agricultural sciences and natural resources; other courses are included to provide a university general education. In all curricula, there is the opportunity to select elective courses appropriate to the educational objectives of the individual students. The choice of electives in each major should be made with the guidance of the faculty academic advisor. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the student to understand what is required to earn a degree.

All academic and general requirements of the university as stated in the front section of this catalog must be met by students enrolled in CASNR majors and they must complete the requirements in one of the majors. Students transferring into the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources from other than the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, must have a grade point average of 2.0.

The use of transfer credit in subject areas appropriate to each organized curriculum will be considered by the student’s academic advisor. If deemed appropriate, the petition to apply transfer courses will be processed through departments and submitted to the college dean’s office for final approval. To ensure graduation in a timely manner, petitions for application of transfer coursework should be submitted by the end of the first semester of enrollment at UTK. All university guidelines and policies must be followed. When desirable, validating or proficiency examinations may be requested to determine competence in an area and to avoid unnecessary repetition. Such examinations should be taken during the first semester in residence and must be conducted under the supervision of the head of the department in which the course is offered.

A minimum of 18 semester hours of upper-division agriculture and natural resources coursework appropriate to a specified major requirement, and approved by the major advisor, must be completed in residence to fulfill the requirements of baccalaureate degrees offered in the college.

Students must maintain a grade point average of at least 2.0 in all courses in majors and/or minors offered by the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Only one grade of D+ or D is allowed in the major and/or minor. No grades of D- or F are acceptable for courses in the major and/or minor. In instances where a student earns a second grade of D+ or D or in any instance where a student earns a grade of D- or F in major and/or minor courses required to meet graduation requirements, students must repeat courses and earn a grade of C- or better prior to the awarding of the degree. 

Selection of a Major

When registering as freshmen, students who have decided upon their area of study select the major that meets their interests or career goals. A faculty member from the department that manages the major will serve as the academic advisor. It is not necessary, however, that freshman students select their major until the end of the first year. Exploratory students will be assigned to the Director of Advising or an academic advisor who will assist them in exploring College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources programs and to guide them in the planning of appropriate courses of study for the freshman year. Exploratory students are encouraged to enroll in AGNR 100 - Student Success in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources , during the fall semester of their first year of enrollment at UT. When students choose a major, an academic advisor will be assigned from the appropriate department.

Students interested in a career with a state’s extension service should select the agricultural leadership, education, and communications major and follow the agricultural extension education concentration.

A foundation for advanced study beyond the baccalaureate degree may be established in any major if appropriate electives are included. Most departments offer a science concentration intended for those students who have a strong interest in pursuing graduate studies. A very careful choice of electives enables a student with an excellent academic record to complete a double or triple major by satisfying all the requirements in each major. For this purpose, the academic advisors of each major should be consulted. The academic advisors will work with the student to ensure that degree requirements are met. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the student to understand what is required to complete multiple majors. Completing multiple majors will normally require more than 120 credit hours for graduation. It is the student’s responsibility to keep academic advisors informed about each major and/or minor he/she is pursuing.

Satisfactory/No Credit Courses

Students may include a maximum of 21 hours in non-directed electives taken on a satisfactory/no credit basis in the total hours required for graduation.

Graduate Studies

The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources faculty participates in both Master of Science and doctoral graduate student education and training. Master of Science study is available from all academic departments. Graduate programs leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree in animal sciences; biosystems engineering; food science and technology; natural resources; and plants, soils, and insects are available.

Minimum Requirements for Baccalaureate Degree Programs

All Bachelor of Science degree programs offered in the college have the following minimum requirements.

  • Communicating through Writing  – three courses to include first year composition (ENGL 101 *-ENGL 102 *) and one writing-intensive (WC) course from the university-approved list.
  • Communicating Orally  – one course from CMST 210 * or CMST 240 * (or honors equivalents CMST 217 * or CMST 247 *) or a course with an (OC) designation from the university-approved list.
  • Quantitative Reasoning  – two courses from a two-course mathematics sequence or one mathematics course and one course with a (QR) designation from the university-approved list.
  • Arts and Humanities  – two courses from the university-approved AH list.
  • Social Sciences  – two courses from the university-approved SS list.
  • Four courses (minimum of 12 hours) from the biological sciences and/or the physical sciences, which include chemistry, physics (including EF 151 * and EF 152 *), geology, physical geography (GEOG 131 * and GEOG 132 *), and ESS 210 .
    • At most two of those courses may be a College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources course.
    • At least one of the courses must be a lab course.
    • The courses must be from at least two different departments.
  • Cultures and Civilizations  – two courses from the university-approved CC list or a two-course sequence in a foreign language at the intermediate level (200-level).
  • Major courses – minimum of 22 hours in the major to include an orientation course (AGNR 100  or an equivalent orientation course in the department or university).

For a total of 120 hours minimum.

Selection of a Minor

Students may have a single or multiple minors in any of the UT colleges recorded on their transcripts without regard to course overlap among majors and minors. Minors offered by CASNR departments require a minimum of 15 credit hours in courses offered in the program. The majority of credit hours must be at the 300- and 400-level. No departmental or college orientation 100-level course may be used to satisfy the requirements of the minor. At least 9 of the credit hours required for the minor must be completed at the Knoxville campus. Each department offering a minor lists specific requirements. Minors offered in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources are open to students of any other college who have the approval of their academic advisor and department. Students working on a minor in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources should contact the specific department to have an academic advisor assigned.

Minors and Departments

Independent Study

Independent study, special topics courses, and seminars offered in each department provide exceptional students the opportunity to explore in greater depth subject matter of unusual significance to agriculture and natural resources. Students gain experience and are encouraged to assume responsibilities not available in formally organized courses. Working with students and faculty from all phases of agriculture and natural resources in the study of a common problem provides an exciting experience.

Students may also earn academic credit for faculty-guided international study. Students should consult with their academic advisors, department heads, or the Associate Dean for Academic Programs about international experiences in agriculture and natural resources.

CASNR Honors Program

The CASNR Honors Program provides students the opportunity to challenge themselves in the classroom and to work one-on-one with a faculty member on a thesis. Students further develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills by applying them to the thesis topic. Therefore, the overall purposes of the CASNR Honors Program are

  • to academically challenge students and enrich their college experience.
  • to stimulate interest in advanced education, research, scholarly work, or creative achievement.

CASNR Honors is achieved by

  • maintaining a minimum grade point average of 3.5 in the major and a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.25 (with no grades of D+, D, D- or F in any course completed at UT). Academic Second Opportunity (ASO) students may be considered for College Honors once their ASO-application is approved by the ASO Committee.

  • completing 12 credit hours of  courses numbered 300 or higher in the major by enrolling in the honors section or via honors-by-contract and earning a minimum grade of a 3.0 in each course or courses numbered at the 500-level, taken for undergraduate credit, and earning a minimum grade of 3.0 in each course or a combination of 300- or 400-level honors courses, honors-by-contract courses or 500-level courses taken for undergraduate credit and earning a minimum grade of 3.0 in each course. Internship and independent study courses are excluded from these 12 credit hours of coursework.

In addition to the above 12 credit hours, students are required to earn a minimum of three hours in AGNR 497 - Honors Research  and one credit hour of AGNR 498 - Honors Thesis .

To enroll in the Honors Program, students must complete the College Honors application before the end of their fifth semester.

CASNR Honors Thesis is a substantial written report that represents some aspect of  research (i.e., laboratory or field experimentation, survey research, or qualitative research), scholarship (i.e., a comprehensive literature review of the original research reports related to a specific aspect of agriculture and natural resources that leads to educational materials for teaching or extension programs) or creative achievement (i.e., a comprehensive analysis of an ecosystem or landscape plan for preservation, conservation, restoration, or utilization).

The thesis is completed under the supervision of a faculty mentor with an appointment in the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.

Students must

  • enroll in AGNR 497 - Honors Research  when they are working on the project.
  • enroll in AGNR 498 - Honors Thesis  the semester they are writing the thesis and making the thesis presentation.
  • enter the thesis work in the Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement held during the spring semester.

Participation in and completion of the CASNR Honors Program will be noted on the student’s university transcript. More detailed information is available from the college dean’s office and on the college’s website.

Course Load

Students desiring to take more than 19 hours per semester must have the approval of their academic advisor and the dean of the college.

Transfer Students

Students who transfer to the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources from another institution or from another college at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, should contact the specific department of the major they wish to follow for assignment to an appropriate advisor. If the student is unsure of the specific major, he/she should contact the dean’s office. Requests for substitutions (application of transfer credit to meet degree requirements if not already assigned through the Degree Audit Report System) or special examinations should be submitted for consideration during the first semester of study in the selected major.

Readmitted Students

Any student who has not continued enrollment for at least one semester (excluding summer) or has withdrawn from the university and wishes to re-enroll must complete and submit the application for readmission. Readmitted students who wish to resume their prior majors or declare a major must meet first with an academic advisor in the college.

VolsTeach Program

Students pursuing a major in Biosystems Engineering are eligible to participate in the university’s VolsTeach program (http://volsteach.utk.edu/), which permits students to simultaneously complete a major in engineering and receive secondary education teaching licensure through completion of a VolsTeach minor. For more information about VolsTeach, including advising associated with teaching licensure requirements, contact the Center for Enhancing Education in Mathematics and Science (101 Greve Hall).

uTrack Requirements (for students entering Fall 2013 or later)

Universal Tracking (uTrack) is an academic monitoring system designed to help students stay on track for timely graduation. In order to remain on track, students must complete the minimum requirements for each tracking semester known as milestones. Milestones may include successful completion of specified courses and/or attainment of a minimum GPA. uTrack requirements only affect full-time, degree-seeking students who first entered Fall 2013 or later. uTrack does not apply to transfer students who enter prior to Fall 2015.

Academic Programs

Agricultural and Resource Economics

Go to information for Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications

Go to information for Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications.

Agriculture and Natural Resources (Interdepartmental)

Go to information for Agriculture and Natural Resources (Interdepartmental).

Animal Science

Go to information for Animal Science.

Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science

Go to information for Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science.

Entomology and Plant Pathology

Go to information for Entomology and Plant Pathology.

Food Science and Technology

Go to information for Food Science and Technology.

Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries

Go to information for Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries.

Plant Sciences

Go to information for Plant Sciences.