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College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Boasting students with green thumbs, potential greatness and helicopter rides, the eight departments in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences prepares students to graduate in one of 18 programs.

Students interested in learning more about these departments or degree options can visit the Academic Advising Office in Chapman 101, schedule online or call (208) 496-1411.

This article pulls information from the BYU-I academic catalog and the individual department webpages.

Health Services

If the sniffles don’t slow you down and the word “epidemiology” doesn’t scare you off, the Department of Health Services can point you towards both the hand sanitizer and the right majors for you.

With four bachelor’s programs, students in this department learn to “positively impact the health of around (them).”

“We have alumni going straight into great jobs doing public health and occupational safety,” said Jim Hopla, the department chair. “There are so many opportunities that you will be able to take advantage of through this major both as a student and as a graduate.”

The Health Services Department’s degrees are in occupational safety and health, public health, healthcare administration and applied health.


Applied Plant Science

Any students inspired to grow their green thumbs will find the Applied Plant Science Department ripe for the choosing.

This department prepares “graduates with a foundation of artistry, technology, and science for careers in horticulture, agronomy, crop and soil science, and agricultural technology.”

Choosing from one of four bachelor’s programs, students will study materials and apply them to time spent in the Thomas E. Ricks Gardens and Greenhouses, Hill View Farm, Plant Shop, Ag Mechanics Shop and Flower Center.

The four degrees are agricultural science and technology; agricultural engineering technology; agronomy, crop, and soil science; and horticulture.

Majors include horticulture and agricultural science and technology.

The department chair, Nels Hansen, shared his passion for the discipline and why he thinks students should too: “If you have a passion for being outside… working with plants, working with your hands,” said Hansen, “If you’re interested in helping feed the world… in making the world a more beautiful place… this is where you belong.”

Animal and Food Science

From raising cows to canning strawberry jam, and eating that strawberry jam, the Animal and Food Science Department “prepares students to understand and contribute to key requirements of human existence: domesticated animal production, food processing and preservation, and human nutrition.”

In one of two bachelor’s programs, students can work hands-on with live animals or study the logistics behind the food industry.

“We are the only program of our kind in the Church Educational System,” said Amy Baeza, an animal and food science faculty member. “As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have a unique understanding of the purpose of animals here on the earth. Our students will be able to pass that information on in any job they may have.”

The two bachelor’s degrees are animal science and food sciences.

Human Performance and Recreation

“(Students) should have a heightened consciousness of the potential greatness in the people with whom they will interact,” said Steve Kimpel, department chair. “This is important because if they recognize people as their greatest asset and they learn to build other people, then there will be no limit to their potential positive influence.”

In the Human Performance and Recreation Department, students can take classes from Aquatics Management, Sports Law to Adult Development and Health Appraisal and Prescription.

The three bachelor’s programs this department offers are exercise physiology, recreation management and therapeutic recreation.


If you can handle the high-stress situations dealing with theatre major ‘patients’ covered in bandages and fake blood — and real patients in practicums — check out the requirements for the limited-enrollment nursing program.

Students in the Nursing Department learn to respect and advocate for patients, think critically, develop a professional identity, demonstrate communication skills and demonstrate Christ-centered care.

The department trains students through two routes: “1) a pre-licensure option and 2) an RN to BSN option for Registered Nurses wishing to complete a bachelor of science degree in nursing.”


“Our department shapes independent thinkers who will go on to challenge the status quo and change the world,” said Caleb Bailey, a biology faculty member. “Students who are successful in our department develop the critical thinking and analytical tools necessary to evaluate the world in an unbiased and pragmatic way.”

The Biology Department offers four bachelor’s programs: fisheries, range and wildlife management; biology; biology education; and biomedical science.

In these majors, students can take classes on topics ranging from Principles of Fish Management to Range and Wildland Restoration, Bioinformatics and Mammology.

Military Science

From helicopter rides to midnight training drills and plastic guns, the Military Science Department runs through the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps to train students to be “highly qualified commissioned officers in the U.S. Army, the U.S. Army Reserve, and the U.S. Army National Guard.”

Designed to teach principles and techniques of leadership and management over a four-year period, this department supplements other majors with a minor in Military Science or elective credits.

“ROTC is designed to be a leadership course,” said Captain Cody Chatigny, the officer in charge of ROTC. “We know not everyone is going to join the service and we are more than okay with that.”


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