2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Oct 27, 2020  
2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Agricultural Systems Technology (AST) Major

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Van Kelley, Head
Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Agricultural Engineering 107
e-mail: van.kelley@sdstate.edu


Associate Professor Kelley, Head; Professors Anderson, Hellickson, Humburg, Julson, Muthukumarappan, Pohl, Trooien; Professors Emeriti Chu, DeBoer, Werner; Associate Professor Nicolai; Assistant Professors Schipull, Todey; Assistant Professors Emeriti Bender and Pahl.


Agricultural Systems Technology graduates serve an increasingly complex agricultural industry in a wide variety of ways. These individuals have a sound fundamental knowledge of agricultural and biological sciences related to the technical, mechanical and energy aspects. This background combined with a solid understanding of the interactions between agriculture and society provides AST graduates many career opportunities.

Agricultural Systems Technology graduates from South Dakota State University are using their technological knowledge, coupled with managerial and leadership skills, to increase America’s food and energy supply. Recent past graduates are pursuing careers in renewable energy such as ethanol and bio-diesel, farm machinery and equipment, natural resources, livestock facilities and systems, and production agriculture.



Requirements for Agricultural Systems Technology Major - Bachelor of Science in Agriculture

Freshman Year:


  • SGR Goal 4: Humanities and Arts/Diversity Credits: 3 *
  • Group I Elective Credits: 3 (See note three below)


  • SGR Goal 3: Social Sciences and Diversity Credits: 3 *
  • IGR Goal 2: Personal Wellness Credits: 2-3 **

Sophomore Year:


  • Science Elective, selected from CHEM, PHYS, BIOL, MICR, or BOT Credits: 4
  • SGR Goal 4: Humanities and Arts Credits: 3 *


  • Science Elective, selected from CHEM, PHYS, BIOL, MICR, or BOT Credits: 3

Junior Year:


  • Specialization Courses Credits: 3
  • Technical Elective Credits: 3 (See note four below)
  • Biological Science Electives Credits: 3 (See note two below)


  • Group I Elective Credits: 3 (See note three below)
  • Elective Credits: 2 (See note one below)
  • Specialization Courses Credits: 6

Senior Year:


  • IGR Goal 3: Social Responsibility/Cultural and Aesthetic Awareness Credits: 3 **
  • Technical Elective  Credits: 6 (See note four below)
  • Specialization Courses Credits: 3
Choose one from the following:


The AST major requires a minimum of 14 semester credits from one of the following specializations: Business, Processing, Production, or Environmental Systems. The specialization and technical elective program must be planned with the adviser and approved by the department head.

Production Specialization:

  • Ag Production Electives Credits: 3
  • Animal Science Electives Credits: 9
  • Horticulture Electives Credits: 6
  • Plant Science Electives Credits: 9

Environmental Science and Engineering Specialization:

The Environmental Science and Engineering Specialization is an interdisciplinary specialization with faculty and courses from the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Agricultural Systems Technology, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Environmental Management programs. The specialization is open to students with majors in any of the aforementioned programs and its goal is to incorporate the biological and ecological features of the involved programs to provide students with an interdisciplinary experience. Students from this specialization will be well prepared to apply the engineering, science, and environmental management aspects of each of these existing programs to engineer environmentally sustainable systems. Students graduating from the specialization will have that distinction noted on their transcript. Every student in this specialization is required to take four classes (AST 225, 460, 461, 462) that are unique to the specialization. In addition to the required classes, restrictive prerequisites on selected technical electives in the various participating programs will be relaxed allowing students in this specialization access that was formerly not available.

Choose one from the following:


Note One: “C” grade required in ENGL 201.

Note Two: Courses must be selected from the following areas: Botany, Biology, Entomology, Zoology, Microbiology.

Note Three: AST majors are required to take 11 credits of Group I classes from page 64. Students may use a maximum of 6 credits of AST classes to satisfy the Group I requirement.

Note Four: Technical electives must be selected from the approved list provided.

Note Five: MATH 115 (5cr) may be taken instead of MATH 102 and MATH 120

Curriculum Notes:

* The 30 credit Board of Regents System General Education Requirements (SGRs) must be completed as part of a student’s first 64 credits.

** South Dakota State University has an 8-9 credit Institutional Graduation Requirement (IGRs).

(G) Globalization Requirement.

(AW) Advanced Writing Requirement.

Students must take the proficiency examination after completing 48 credits. English 101, and a course in each of the General Education areas of social science, mathematics, natural science, and humanities and arts must be taken prior to taking this exam.

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