Getting to Know the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture (RHSA)

The Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture (RHSA) is home to three hands-on academic majors within the College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources (UConn CAHNR). These programs are two-year Associate of Applied Sciences degrees that offer focus areas in the world of Agriculture and beyond. Alongside RHSA’s academic programs are numerous opportunities to travel the world, get involved in a club, and gather resources on personal and career development. Read below to learn about the specialized majors, and visit the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture website ( to learn more about these opportunities for involvement!

Animal Science Major

The Animal Science major offers students a specialized look into the methods of animal life, care, and upkeep through two academic pathways of Equine Studies and Dairy/Livestock Management. These study paths work closely with the UConn Animal Science Department in CAHNR and share academic resources, professional development events, and research opportunities. There are numerous related student clubs within this field to get involved in such as the Aqua-Life Club, Dairy Club, Paws and Claws, Wildlife Society, and more. Alongside these clubs are study abroad programs such as “UConn Global One Health: Irish and US Perspective” in Ireland and “Study Away – US Agriculture Production Annual Field Trip” in Wyoming, both opportunities to learn about the impact of animal life and food production while traveling the world. If you are interested in reading further about the Animal Science major, the website link below provides information on program objectives and deadlines, career resources, and student organizations.

Animal Science | Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture

Plant Science Major

The Plant Science major provides students with a complete scientific view of the interaction between humans and the environment. There are three concentrations within this program including Ornamental Horticulture, Turfgrass Management, and Sustainable Crop Production. The Plant Science major is offered through the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture. If you are interested in getting involved there are many related student organizations such as the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), EcoGarden Club, Nutrition Club, and the Bass Fishing Team. Along with these organizations are many interesting study abroad programs such as “UConn Environmental and Natural Resources of China” in Chengdu ad Beijing and “Food and Revolution: The Cuban Experience” in Havana, Cuban. There are never too many opportunities to further your academic and career development through career-focused job fairs, study abroad programs, and numerous clubs. For more information on the Plant Science concentration objectives, academic opportunities, and career resources, visit their page below.

Plant Science | Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture

Urban Forestry and Arboricultural Major

As a recent addition to the program, the Urban Forestry and Arboricultural major provides students with the plans and knowledge of community forestry careers and opportunities. This program is offered by the Natural Resources and the Environment Department and actively prepares students for the Connecticut Arborist License Exam in this field. There are many opportunities to get involved in clubs within this field, ranging from topics such as the Forestry and Wildlife Club, Soil and Water Conservation Society, and Outing Club! If you are interested in learning more about forestry and farming there are many opportunities to study abroad; including programs such as “South African Field Ecology” in Djuma Game Reserve, South Africa and “UConn Water Systems of Rome: Ancient to Modern” in Rome, Italy. Learn more about the Urban Forestry and Arboricultural major and their academic courses, program objectives, and career development resources through the link below.

Urban Forestry and Arboriculture | Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

By Kathryn Ferencsik
Kathryn Ferencsik