Courses of Study 2015-2016 
    Oct 22, 2018  
Courses of Study 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

International Agriculture and Rural Development

In the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences .


 Course Offerings 

The International Agriculture and Rural Development (IARD) major provides students an understanding of the special problems that exist when applying basic knowledge to the processes of agriculture and rural development in developing countries. All students take a set of diverse courses as part of core requirements. This exposes all students to the diversity of topics in this major. Students then choose an area of concentration within the major to obtain a stronger focus in the topics of their interest (some students choose to combine concentrations and obtain a broader rather than a specific focus). Every student works with an advisor to plan his or her individualized program of study. Areas of concentration include 1) economics and development, 2) agricultural food systems, and 3) environment and ecosystems. The core required courses are designed to acquaint students with a taste of the different facets of this major including sustainable agriculture, international development, and economic, social and environmental factors in developing countries.


In addition to the college distribution requirements (39 credits), students in international agriculture and rural development take a minimum of 30 credits for core-required courses (including an international experience, an area study, capstone and ethic course). Another 5 required and 5 in-depth courses are taken for their chosen concentration (30-35 credits). An introductory statistics course is also required as part of the college qualitative literacy. The foreign language requirement  for the IARD major is no longer required, but is encouraged (see below). The major is a multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary degree with course work drawn from a wide range of disciplines, consistent with the student’s chosen concentration. Students are expected to complete an overseas field study experience (minimum of eight weeks) preferably for a semester or whole summer or even a whole year. Approved CALS exchange programs, Cornell “Study Abroad”, and other pre-approved international activities are developed in consultation and planning with the student’s advisor as possible choices. It is preferred that this experience is mainly hands-on and includes a home-stay or other cultural immersion rather than an experience that results in transfer of credits obtained from overseas classroom activities. This is the most important part of the major with the objective to familiarize students with hands on experiences they will encounter in developing countries and be useful in their future careers. The following link takes you to a web site with examples of places where past students have done their experiences. There is also a link to study abroad programs and resources and funding:

More information on requirements, checklists and information can be found at this website:

International Development Minor:

Undergraduates majoring in any CALS field other than IARD can pursue the minor in International Development offered by the International Program in CALS. This minor is designed to enrich student preparation for leadership and future employment in an increasingly interconnected and dynamic world through design of a suitable complementary set of international development courses to match their own major. The minor combines relevant coursework and overseas experience to enhance employment opportunities overseas.

Requirements for the minor:

In addition to fulfilling all of the requirements of any chosen major in CALS, students must complete the following requirements for the minor.

  • Students are required to take 15-18 credits (5 courses minimum) with significant international content, as recommended by the students’ major advisor or the IP Associate Director (four should be CALS courses). For more information on approved courses and suggested seminars go to the following web site:
  • Students are also required to take one semester of a suitable International Development seminar. The Cornell International Institute of Food, Agriculture and Development (CIIFAD) seminar, IARD 6960 /AEM 6960 /PLSCS 6960 /NTRES 6960 , is also recommended and should be taken in addition. See the web site above for a link to suggested seminars.
  • An approved overseas experience, preferably in a developing country. This can be a student exchange, study abroad program, internship, or faculty-led short course.
  • Highly recommended but not required is a foreign language in addition to their native language.

Contact information

For more information, contact the academic programs coordinator (Diane Munn at dmm40) in the CALS International Programs Office, 255-3811 or make an appointment to meet the IP-CALS Associate Director (Peter Hobbs, ph14, 255-1904).