There are 14 majors housed in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES), with a diverse array of concentrations that ensure our graduates are prepared for the careers they are striving for.
ACES students also have plenty of opportunities to study abroad and discover the global community surrounding their career interests.
Students looking to gain insights on a topic not within their major can earn a minor from the College of ACES in various fields of study. Those with a particularly strong interest in more than one program of study may consider pursuing a dual degree or double major.
The variety of graduate programs offered by the College of ACES include online and Professional Science Master’s programs in addition to our more traditional master’s and Ph.D. programs. We also offer certificate programs.
View our program offerings below. If you're interested in learning more about getting a degree in ACES, fill out our request form.
The College of ACES offers 14 majors with dozens of concentrations to fit what you're looking for.
Students work with advisors to explore various majors in the College of ACES to help determine their career path and major.
Learn more about ACES Undeclared
ABE students combine fundamental engineering skills with training in the design and analysis of complex systems for food, agriculture, energy, and the environment.
Learn more about the ABE major
ACE students go beyond the basics of business, economics, and policy to solve challenges in food, agriculture, consumer protection, energy, and the environment.
Learn more about the ACE major
ALEC students study how people work together and lead their peers, learn from and educate others, and communicate issues related to food, agriculture, and the environment.
Learn more about the ALEC major
Our Agronomy major allows you to address urgent food security and environmental sustainability challenges by integrating the latest scientific innovations with the practice of crop production.
ANSC students create and practice innovative ways to improve the efficiency of food animal production, enhance the well-being of animals we keep, and further global animal conservation efforts.
Learn more about the ANSC major
New! CS+ANSC students combine a strong grounding in computer science with technical knowledge of animal sciences to work with sensor technology, large data sets, and predictive analytics to improve the health and well-being of production animals and pets.
Learn more about the CS+ANSC major
CPSC students learn to feed and fuel the world through innovations in agronomy, biotechnology, data science, environmental science, and horticultural food systems.
Learn more about the CPSC major
CS+CPSC students combine disciplines to revolutionize plant production systems using digital technology.
Learn more about the CS+CPSC major
ETMAS students apply engineering principles, study the technology used in these systems, and integrate business-management concepts in the food, feed, agricultural, environmental, energy and construction industries.
Learn more about the ETMAS major
FSHN students optimize health and wellness through the development and delivery of safe, nutritious, accessible, and affordable foods.
Learn more about the FSHN major
HDFS students help people by improving family dynamics, addressing childhood adversity, and promoting healthy relationships.
Learn more about the HDFS major
NRES students shape a more sustainable future locally and around the globe by studying the intersections among natural resources, human-managed ecosystems, and the social sciences.
Learn more about the NRES major
Plant Biotechnology students can help sustainably feed billions, improve our planet’s health, and make a direct impact on agriculture and the world. Advance plant breeding and plant improvement by learning critical skills in molecular biology, genetics, and genomics.
Learn more about the new Plant Biotechnology major
Expand your knowledge by adding a minor while you increase your marketability to future employers.
Explore issues adults face as individuals, partners, family members, learners, caregivers, citizens, and social services clients.
The adult development minor combines theoretical and practical approaches to understanding issues adults face. Coursework examines adults from age 25 to 90-plus in the contexts of evolving family roles, health issues, and social service needs. Students planning careers in social or health-related services will find an understanding of adult development and its attendant issues an asset when applying for entry-level positions or graduate/professional school.
The adult development minor is beneficial to many careers such as:
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The minor in agricultural safety and health provides students with an in-depth understanding of the occupational safety and health issues associated with production agriculture. The program familiarizes students with the injury and illness control methodologies of behavioral persuasion and motivation, engineering design, and regulation or enforcement, as well as their related strengths and weaknesses for affecting injury and occupational illness rates. Additionally, students will gain an understanding of how to develop a safety risk management plan for a farm or other agriculture-related business.
Enrollment in this minor requires a minimum of 18 hours and a 2.5 GPA.
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This minor gives students an introduction into the world of animal sciences and helps them gain a basic understanding of animal industries.
A minor in animal sciences allows students to choose which discipline in animal sciences they are interested in and focus their classes in that area of study. Whether it is nutrition, genetics, animal production, or companion animals, a minor will help students to develop a broad understanding of the subject they are interested in.
In this minor, students will enhance their major while building a better career network. Subject matter areas include animal production and management, nutrition, genetics, animal behavior, immunology, meat science/muscle biology, microbiology, reproductive physiology, and molecular biology. Students take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to a career with an animal component.
Students obtaining this minor must take six courses for a total of 20 hours in animal sciences classes.
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Understanding child development and well-being are integral to keeping a child healthy and are all a part of good medical and allied health practices. The child health and well-being minor combines theoretical and practical approaches to understanding child development and well-being.
The minor requires a minimum of 19 hours.
Learn more about Child Health and Well-being
The crop and soil management minor suits students who desire a significant background in crop and soil systems to support study and practice of their major field. Selection of additional courses beyond the core will depend on the student’s major and interests.
Enrollment in the crop and soil management minor is not available to students enrolled in the crop sciences major. Student must be in good academic standing for enrollment in this minor.
Learn more about Crop and Soil Management
The minor in environmental economics and law provides students with basic skills in economic and legal analysis, and teaches them how to apply those tools to environmental problems. Students emerge from this minor with in-depth knowledge about issues related to environmental protection and natural resource management, and possibly sustainable development or land-use planning. There are not prerequisites for the minor.
Enrollment in the environmental economics and law minor is not available to students enrolled in the environmental economics and policy concentration of the Department of ACE or in the human dimensions of the environment concentration of the Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences major prior to January 2013.
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The minor in food and agribusiness management requires 18 to 21 hours of coursework spanning introductory economics and management to advanced courses in food and agribusiness management. The major concentration of agribusiness markets and management includes additional coursework in economic theory, econometrics, accountancy, and computer applications that is not part of the minor.
Learn more about Food and Agribusiness Management
The food and environmental systems minor offers an understanding of the wide range of factors critical for producing healthy foods and environments.
Students in the minor learn about the complex relationships that exist among people, plants, animals, and the environment and how they interact and depend on one another. Engage in leadership opportunities both in and out of the classroom while obtaining a foundation in biological, chemical, and economic issues 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.
Students enrolled in the agricultural communications major, which is jointly administered by the College of ACES and the College of Media, must complete the minor as a graduation requirement. This minor gives communicators the scientific background on which to base the information they present.
Adding a minor to your program can increase your marketability to employers, or prepare you for personal activities outside your profession. The coursework in this minor provides a significant background in consumer sciences, agricultural management and production, and environmental and natural resources.
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The minor in food science is designed to broaden the student’s knowledge of science and in particular food chemistry, food microbiology, and food engineering. The food science minor is suitable for students who intend to pursue careers in engineering, microbiology, chemistry, scientific journalism, hospitality management, or science secondary education.
This minor requires a minimum 2.5 GPA.
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This minor is designed for students who desire a significant background in horticulture to support study and practice of their major field. Selection of additional courses beyond the core will depend on the student’s major and interests. Courses in the minor cannot be taken Credit/No Credit. At least six hours of the minor must be advanced (300- or 400-level) courses that are distinct from classes meeting requirements in the student’s major.
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Through courses addressing agriculture, consumers, poverty, trade, and public policy in developing economies, this minor enables students to earn a credential in development economics as a complement to studies in a related area.
A student must have a minimum 2.0 GPA for enrollment in this minor.
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This minor will help students prepare for life and work in a global society and will provide the international skills employers expect of our graduates. While it is the intent of this minor to encourage students to spend time abroad and to develop proficiency in a foreign language, neither is required.
Students enrolled in this minor will be able to draw on resources outside the college as well as select from courses offered by the departments in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. At least 12 hours of the total of 21 credit hours required for this minor must be College of ACES courses. At least six credit hours (ACES or non-ACES) must come from 400-level courses.
This minor is administratively based in the ACES Academic Programs. Student advising will take place in this unit. The ACES director of education abroad will work with each student to plan a program of study that consists of a coherent pattern of coursework and other experiences, usually having a geographic or disciplinary focus, and drawing on offerings from each of the following three broad areas:
Learn more about International Minor in ACES
The minor in leadership studies is available to all undergraduate students in good standing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The minor provides an undergraduate student in any field of study with formal instruction in the study of the theory of leadership and its practice.
The minor in leadership studies focuses on the theory of leadership and its application. Drawing from social psychology, philosophy, organizational development and administration, communication, and educational theory, it enhances understanding of the social and organizational processes that influence effective leadership across diverse contexts. This is a 17- to 18-credit-hour minor (six courses total). Four required courses provide instruction in leadership theory, interpersonal dimensions of leadership (including communication, leading in groups, teams, and organizations), and scientific research that tests theories of leadership.
The required capstone course focuses on the synthesis of foundational course material along with the diverse elective course experiences of the students in the capstone. A model of building effective collaborations serves as the conceptual framework by which students will apply their knowledge of personal, organizational, and community leadership to help solve real world problems.
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The natural resource conservation minor offers an integrated approach to managing natural resources from a sustainability perspective. This minor addresses the diverse biological, physical, social, economic, and political aspects of natural resources and stewardship. Ultimately, this curriculum offers students interested in the conservation of natural resources challenging and rewarding experiences while simultaneously preparing them for careers requiring a fundamental and strong background in the management and conservation of natural resources.
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The minor in nutrition is designed to broaden the student’s knowledge of the biological sciences, with a particular emphasis on the science of nutrition. The field of nutrition is interdisciplinary. A minor in nutrition would benefit students who intend to pursue careers in the food industry, kinesiology, or those planning to enter the medical, dental, or veterinary professions.
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The spatial and quantitative methods in natural resources and environmental sciences minor is ideal for students seeking preparation for careers requiring skills in geographic information systems, statistics, research design, and/or mathematical modeling. This minor is open to students in all majors and especially relevant for those pursing a major related to natural resource and environmental issues who want to distinguish themselves with more advanced analytical skills.
Learn more about Spatial and Quantitative Methods in NRES
The minor in technical systems management broadens students' ability to solve problems involving the application, management and/or marketing of agricultural engineering technologies. The minor in technical systems management will benefit students who want to supplement their major field with the study of related technologies. The TSM minor requires a minimum of 18 hours.
Prerequisites for technical systems management minor (not included in required 18 hours):
Learn more about Technical Systems Management
The College of ACES offers only the Bachelor of Science degree. Students may earn a degree in ACES and a degree offered by another University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign college according to campus rules. Students in other colleges should use the Concurrent Dual Degree form found on the ACES Forms and Petitions page. ACES students should contact the college office that oversees the department offering their second degree.
ACES students may officially declare more than one major within the College. Interested students need to obtain the Double Major form, meet with and obtain signatures of the departmental advising coordinators for both majors, and submit the completed form to the ACES Office of Academic Programs. Students must submit their application of intent to pursue a second major no later than 5 p.m. on the 10th day of classes in the term in which they expect to graduate.
Courses can count toward up to two majors maximum. Students wishing to complete a double major must earn at least 12 hours of distinct, advanced (300- and 400-level) course work in each major discipline. These hours do not include supporting course work or technical electives.
Tuition is assessed based on the major with the differential or the highest differential as the primary major; thus, students should be aware of this impact on their tuition billing. All completed majors appear on the transcript.