Environmental Science – Sustainable Urban Agriculture, AS

Room: M-Building, M-204

Phone: (718) 482-5940


The A.S. degree in Environmental Science at LaGuardia Community College provides students with a broad, interdisciplinary, hands-on curriculum through which to study environmental topics. Grounded in the sciences, students develop a deep understanding of the complexity of current environmental challenges through the integration of coursework and research with real-world experiences including internships and volunteer events.

This major has three tracks or options: (1) General Environmental Science, (2) Sustainable Urban Agriculture and (3) Animal Science

The Sustainable Urban Agriculture Option aims to cultivate leaders in urban agriculture. The SUA track provides students and community members with knowledge and skills in agroecological sciences and food solutions, with an emphasis on organic agriculture and farming in urban landscapes including both soil based and controlled environmental systems/hydroponics. Students will learn horticultural skills while performing tasks at the LAGCC Urban Farm and Hydroponics Research Center. This option includes courses such as plant science, soil science, sustainable vegetable production, sustainable urban agriculture, food and culture, and ecology. Students will work collaboratively and network with community gardens and kitchens across NYC. Students will be eligible to participate in the USDA funded 3-week summer, paid, internship program “Project SEMBRAR”.

Are You Interested In...

  • Running your own kitchen/ chef’s garden/ farm?
  • Learning to grow your own farm-to-table produce?
  • Learning how to grow sustainable food in NYC and beyond?
  • Working in a hydroponic research lab to learn about state-of-the-art growing techniques?
  • Crop rotations, crop planning, and the principles agricultural science?
  • Food justice and food sovereignty?

Skills You Will Learn

  • Analytical skills. You will learn to use the scientific method and data analysis in your research.
  • Critical-thinking skills. You will learn to draw logical conclusions from observations, laboratory experiments, and other methods of research.
  • Interpersonal skills. You will learn to work in a team with peers and faculty.
  • Problem-solving skills. You will learn to find the best possible solution to problems such as climate change that affect the environment, ecosystems, animals, and plants. You will learn how to make sustainable solutions to these problems.
  • Speaking skills. You will learn to explain your findings in research and theory to clients, professionals, or community members who do not have expertise in their area. You will learn how to give presentations to peers, faculty, policymakers, and the general public.
  • Writing skills. You will learn to write scientific technical papers, reports and articles that explain methods, findings, and recommendations for research and course topics in Environmental Science.

What makes this major unique?

Urban agriculture includes the cultivation, processing, and distribution of agricultural products in urban and suburban areas. Community gardens, rooftop farms, hydroponic, aeroponic and aquaponic facilities, and vertical production, are all examples of urban agriculture. LAGCC offers the only A.S. degree in Sustainable Urban Agriculture in the NYC area. Our program teaches urban farmers climate resilience and the importance of green infrastructure in reducing the urban heat island effect. We offer in-depth training in the various types of composting, USDA certified soil testing methods, plant science, integrated pest management techniques, soil and soil-less farming techniques. Most of the labs are outdoors and conducted on the farm or research lab premises. Lecture classes may be offered in hybrid modalities to accommodate working students.

Play Video

Career Possibilities

Due to the effects of climate change, air, water, and soil pollution, the need for sustainable energy and restoration solutions jobs in the green sector are expected to grow, and expertise in understanding sustainable systems are expected to remain in high demand. The Occupational Outlook Handbook from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states, “Employment of environmental scientists and specialists is projected to grow 8 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 9,400 openings for environmental scientists and specialists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.” In addition, a Purdue university report states, “In the United States between 2020 and 2025 we expect employment opportunities to remain strong for new college graduates with interest and expertise in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and the environment (FARNRE). Approximately 59,400 openings annually reflect a 2.6% growth in employment opportunities from the previous five years. Approximately 61% of the positions will be filled by new college graduates with FARNRE degrees, and the other 39% by new graduates with degrees from allied fields (biology, mechanical engineering, accounting, journalism, etc.)”

Transfer Possibilities

  • Brooklyn College – BA/BS in Urban Sustainability
  • SUNY Cobleskill – BS/BT Agriculture Business Management, Plant Science and Minor in Agricultural Education
  • BA/BS in Environmental Science
  • BA/BS in Sustainability or Natural Resource Management
  • BS in Biology
  • SUNY – BS in Wildlife Science, Forest Resource Management, or Aquatic & Fisheries Sciences
  • Lehman College – BS in Biology
  • Queens College – BS in Biology
  • York College – BS in Environmental Health Science

Degree Requirements

This program has a waiver to require STEM courses in the Common Core.

A. REQUIRED CORE: 13 credits

English: 6 credits

  • ENG101 English Composition I – 3
    (or ENA101 depending on placement scores)
  • ENG102 Writing through Literature – 3

Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning: 3 credits

Select one of the following courses – 3

  • MAT115 College Algebra and Trigonometry
  • (or MAT117 Algebra and Trigonometry depending on placement scores)

Life & Physical Sciences: 4 credits

  • SCB201 General Biology I (STEM) – 4


B. FLEXIBLE CORE: 18 Credits

Select one course from each of the five flexible core categories AND one additional course from any flexible core category:

  • World Cultures and Global Issues
  • US Experience in its Diversity
  • Creative Expression
  • Individual and Society
  • Scientific World – Students are advised to take SCB202 (General Biology II, 4cr.)


Students are required to select one Urban Study course to complete college requirement. To complete the degree requirements from the Flexible Core, students are advised to select courses from the recommended course selections listed on the program website. Note: Students can select only two courses from any one discipline.

Courses Credits
Natural Sciences: 10 Credits
NSF101 First Year Seminar for Natural Sciences 2
SCB265 Fundamentals of Ecology 4
SCG250 Environmental Science 4
SCB200 Principles of Botany 4
SCG220 Soil Science 3
SCG225 Sustainable Urban Agriculture 3
SCG230 Sustainable Vegetable Production 3
Unrestricted Elective 1
Select one of the following:
SCC110 Foundations of Chemistry 4
SCC201 General Chemistry 1 4

Graduate in Two Years!

Review your Degree Map to stay on track.