California's Top Agricultural Commodities

1. Almonds
2. Grapes
3. Berries and Strawberries
4. Walnuts
5. Lettuce
6. Hay Forages
7. Tomatoes
8. Nursery Crops
9. Flowers and Foliage
10. Pistachios
11. Broccoli
12. Rice
13. Oranges
14. Cotton
15. Carrots
16. Celery
17. Peppers
AEPS Students

The AEPS Major

Students in Agricultural and Environmental Plant Sciences begin with core courses that provide a thorough introduction to three concentrations: Environmental Horticultural Science, Fruit and Crop Science, and Plant Protection Science.

Each concentration, in turn, has required courses, which may be shared by other concentrations. In the first year, students explore curriculum and professional opportunities to enable them to choose a concentration. In consultation with their advisor, students have the flexibility to select electives within the concentrations according to their career goals and interests.

  • Internships are readily available to students and are highly recommended. Interns are typically placed with private industry and public facilities all across the United States and in several foreign countries.
  • Over $100,000 of scholarships are also available to students as are several undergraduate student assistantships which are sponsored by industry.
  • Graduates of the department are in great demand. Program alumni are employed nationally and internationally and are often leaders in their industries. Typically there are more internship and job opportunities than there are students to fill them.

The Agricultural and Environmental Plant Sciences major has specific learning objectives. At graduation, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate technical competence in their concentration by identifying the majority of globally important food, and/or ornamental plants and demonstrating applications of theoretical sciences to their production, maintenance and post-harvest handling.
  • Effectively evaluate and adapt basic cultural practices, economic uses, and environmental interactions in the production of food, fiber, or ornamental plants.
  • Assess and implement appropriate sustainable growing and/or horticultural design practices based on region and microclimate, especially as they relate to water, soil and other natural resources.
  • Make informed and ethical decisions regarding environmental, social, and economic impacts of horticultural and agricultural activities and will contribute to their professions' continued relevancy by identifying, evaluating and responding to changing public perceptions, governmental regulations and industry challenges.
  • Practice a range of complex problem-solving exercises and excel in diagnosing and resolving plant health issues in outdoor and enclosed plant production systems.
  • Organize, synthesize, evaluate, and reconfigure information about complex, multivariate, living systems to gain new insights and communicate their findings to multiple stakeholder groups clearly, scientifically, and ethically.

The Agricultural and Environmental Plant Sciences major at Cal Poly offers students an opportunity not just to learn, but learn-by-doing. Students are groomed to become leaders in the Horticulture and Crop Science industry and take it forward in the 21st century. After all, the Department's motto is
Learn. Do. Lead.