Online Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture

Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communications (ALEC)

Herbert College of Agriculture

Program Overview

Interested in obtaining your agriculture degree online? Use your associate degree as the foundation to earn a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture online with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

If you've completed your Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Science in Teaching (AST) from a regionally accredited community college, take the next step with our Agricultural Leadership, Education, & Communications (ALEC) program, offered by the Herbert College of Agriculture.

Credit Hours

(includes transfer credits)

Cost Per Credit Hour*

In-State $439

Out-of-State $514

Field Experience


Admission Terms

Fall, Spring, Summer

*Cost per credit hour is an estimate based on maintenance and university fees. Some programs may have additional course fees. Please contact your department for additional information on any related fees, and visit Tuition and Fees in Detail at One Stop.

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Gain Knowledge and Hands-on Skills for a Better Tomorrow

A Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Community Engagement and Leadership Development from the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications (ALEC) provides the opportunity to complete courses in interpersonal and community leadership, issues and crisis communication, agriculture, youth and curriculum development, and community engagement all from the convenience of your home.

Asynchronous Courses

Courses offered are taught by nationally and internationally recognized faculty who are committed to equipping current and future generations to meet grand challenges and contribute Real. Life. Solutions.

What makes our program different? We are the only Bachelor of Science in Community Engagement and Leadership Development designed to be delivered 100% online and to serve as a bachelor’s completion program. This design allows us to tailor your coursework to your interests and professional goals.

This online bachelor’s completion program allows you to enroll during the Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters. Typically, students who enroll in 15-credit hours per semester complete the program in four semesters. However, the program offers flexibility for students to enroll part-time to tend to work or life obligations. Our faculty and staff are here to help you find a balance between work, continuing your education, and your personal life.

Field Experience

All students complete an internship to apply knowledge and skills in a real-life environment. Students work with their academic advisor and faculty mentor to identify an internship placement based on their professional goals. If you are currently employed, you may be able to use your employment to meet the internship requirement. Examples of where our students have completed internships include the National and Tennessee 4-H, UT Extension, Research and Education Centers, Tractor Supply, Altria, Farm Credit Mid-America, Tennessee Farm Bureau, Tyson Foods, UT College of Veterinary Medicine, and UT Institute of Agriculture Marketing and Communications.

After graduation, job opportunities may include UT Extension, community and youth organizations, government, nonprofits, agriculture industry, or international environments. You may also use this degree as a stepping stone to graduate and professional degree programs.

Featured Courses

Here are a few examples of the kinds of courses you can take during the Agriculture Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Community Engagement and Leadership Development program:

ALEC 202: Leadership & Diversity in Organizations & Communities

Analysis of the dynamic interactions of personal characteristics, technical skills, interpersonal influence, commitment, goals, and power necessary for both leader and follower effectiveness in complex agricultural and natural resource organizations. Examination of leadership theories and their applications in diverse organizations and communities. 

ALEC 441: Issues & Crisis Communication in Agriculture and Natural Resources

Critically examine current and emerging issues within the agricultural industry through a contextual and theoretical lens. Focus on anticipatory and strategic communication to build, maintain, and repair relationships with stakeholders and stakeseekers.

ALEC 340: Marketing & Public Strategies for Global Sectors

Examines how agricultural organizations communicate their mission, vision, and goals for their company both in the United States and internationally. Students will examine agricultural companies in all sectors and analyze how they respond to global change.

ALEC 421: Youth Development

This course introduces youth development (ages 6-18) principles and focuses on the major developmental domains of physical cognitive, emotional and social development. Major theories relevant to the domains of development are introduced and discussed and application these principles in context of family, school and community. 

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Ready to Take the Next Step in Leadership?


Online Learning With Field Experience

The online Bachelor of Science Agriculture program at UT is providing students with the flexibility needed to complete their undergraduate degrees to advance their careers plus preparing them with real-life work experience.

white male online agriculture student outside wearing button up and cap with orange power t on chest

A New Father’s Story of Online Learning

female undergraduate agriculture student smiling

TN Mom Finds Passion in Agriculture