College of Agriculture & Natural Resources

Special Academic Programs

Every student who attends the University of Maryland can engage in special experiences that complement the academic curriculum and offer the opportunity for extraordinary growth. Within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, you’ll have plenty of chances to push yourself. Read on to discover a few of the partnerships and programs that make so many special experiences possible.

AGNR Honors

(Open to juniors and above) Students who have demonstrated excellence in their coursework with the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources are eligible for the college's honors program. AGNR Honors students pursue their own scholarly investigation under the guidance of a faculty adviser and receive recognition of their prefessional development through the college honors citation. More information

University Honors

(Open to incoming Freshmen) The University of Maryland’s Honors College provides a highly acclaimed living and learning program for students with exceptional academic talents. The Honors College provides selected students challenging seminars, lectures, research opportunities and a close community of faculty and peers to enhance your academic experience. Past seminars have included “Hot Stuff! — Demystifying Environmental Radioactivity,” “Evaluating Global Development Assistance,” and “Sustaining the Wooded Hillock: A Living Classroom.”

Students within the Honors College are members of one of seven thematic living-learning communities including Gemstone, a program that brings together students from agriculture, natural resources, engineering, the social sciences, business, the humanities and the physical sciences. Students within Gemstone work on a research project culminating in a thesis and presentation their senior year. Teams of 10–12 students address societal problems or issues that might be solved through the use of technology. Each group works closely with a faculty mentor; our college has some of the best. Professor Frank Coale, the former chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Technology, has recently taken over as the Program Director of Gemstone.

Many honors students chose to live together in university housing, and social activities include film festivals, theater nights and field trips. As a junior and senior, students can expand their honors experience with the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ departmental honors program. For more information, visit

College Park Scholars

(Open to incoming freshmen) This two-year living and learning program emphasizes small community within the larger research university. Invited students can choose courses organized around common themes such as environmental studies; Earth, life and time; or science, discovery and the universe. The Scholars program encourages active learning through community service and field trips. Destinations might include the National Zoo, the USDA, Shenandoah National Park and the Chesapeake Bay. For students in AGNR, the Environment, Technology & Economy program would be of interest.  For more information, visit

Ag Discovery

Ag Discovery is a 3-week program sponsored by USDA/APHIS in conjunction with the University of Maryland to promote agriculture and natural resources and allow high-school students the opportunity to experience campus. 

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