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Discover the departments that set students up for successful careers

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s (UIUC) students, scholars, and alumni have the power to change the world. Researchers here create new knowledge that tackles global problems and expands the human experience. And through transformative learning opportunities, in and out of the classroom, professors and staff prepare students to make a significant societal impact.

It starts with programmes that enable you to become part of something great in the innovation heartland — like the ones offered by the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). These programmes are informed by impactful research — in Agriculture and Environment, Data and Technology, Family and Communities, and Health and Wellness — and stand out for how hands-on they are. 

Four out of five ACES students participate in experiential learning. From internships to study abroad, you can engage in authentic learning experiences that will give you the real-world knowledge to pursue your career. Little wonder why ACES boasts a 91% freshman retention rating and a 75% four-year graduation rate, which is double the national average for public universities, according to the US Department of Education. 

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of students participate in experiential learning


million merit and need-based scholarships awarded yearly


of graduates have their first destination secured within six months

7 ACES departments,
2 programs, 1 unified goal of improving lives globally

7 ACES departments, 2 programs,
1 unified goal of improving lives globally

If you are eager to learn how to design and manage technological solutions to problems in agricultural, food, and other biological systems, the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering is the ideal place. 

Here, you can conduct research and outreach in sustainable bioprocessing and industrial biotechnology, robotics and automation for agricultural systems, soil and water resources engineering, bioenvironmental engineering, and agricultural and industrial safety and health. 

The best part? With programmes housed in The Grainger College of Engineering and ACES, you'll have access to resources and faculty in both colleges.

Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Work done in this department enhances the well-being of humans and animals while creating safe, nutritious, sustainable, and affordable food supplies. Here, you can expand your education and career networks beyond the classroom through a wide range of practical learning opportunities

Gain lab experience and steer your career by working closely with top-rated faculty members on a research project. Get involved with everything from horseback riding to caring for wildlife when you participate in a student organisation. Study hundreds of topics in dozens of countries, from veterinary medicine in Costa Rica to wildlife at Kruger Park in South Africa.

Department of Animal Sciences

The Department of Crop Sciences has a history like no other. It started as the first Department of Agronomy in the U.S. Today, the department houses internationally recognised faculty who lead cutting-edge research programmes and educate the next generation of agricultural professionals.

As a crop sciences student, you'll have opportunities to explore what you're passionate about — whether it is crop production, agronomy, genetics, soil chemistry, or microbiology. Discover how you want to help feed the world.

Department of Crop Sciences

Safe, nutritious, accessible, and affordable food supply — these themes are spread across research, education, and outreach programmes in this department. Pair this with hands-on experience, and you can explore your interests in dietetics, food science, hospitality management, and human nutrition. 

Learn how to safely prepare foods and run food service operations through student-run restaurants. Conduct cutting-edge research with exceptional faculty to get valuable lab and research experience. Join service-learning projects with families in South Africa. All of this — and more — are available.

Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

This department brings biological, physical, and social scientists together to identify, teach, and promote solutions for the sustainability of urban, managed, and natural ecosystems nationally and globally.

Expect to get a practical, scientific education that prepares you to address environmental issues. From the lab to the field, renowned scientists support you in and out of the classroom. What's more, student organisations — such as the American Fisheries Society, Beekeeper Club, and Grow2Give — are perfect ways to build your network, gain insights into future careers, make friends, and plan field trips.

Department of Natural Resources and Environment Sciences

Seeking a career with Fortune 500 companies, international firms, non-governmental organisations, and local businesses? An Agricultural and Consumer Economics (ACE) degree can set you up for one. As an ACE major, you’ll master economics, finance, marketing, quantitative methods, and laws and policies with a focus on agricultural and environmental sector examples. 

As an ACE graduate, you’re set to stand out in a highly competitive job market. Or you can join the ACE graduate programme to advance your knowledge and skills in economic theory, state-of-the-art research methods, and creative problem solving. 

Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics

At the Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS), award-winning faculty and staff focus on fostering resilient children, families, and communities. They interpret complex human development, inform policymakers, educate parents and caregivers and empower communities.

An undergraduate degree here has been described as an "opportunity that leads to more opportunities." From internships to study abroad opportunities, student clubs, and more, this is a major that gives you out-of-classroom experiences while building a solid foundation in both human development and family dynamics within societal contexts. As an HDFS graduate, you’re ready to work in applied health, medicine, law, public policy, education and early care, social services, as well as HDFS. 

Department of Human Development and Family Studies

A BS in Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication (ALEC) is ideal for anyone seeking the know-how to make a positive impact on others. The programme helps you develop deep knowledge and essential skills to thrive in groups of all kinds, address everyday and grand challenges in whatever path you pursue, and acquire career-ready skills in leadership, education, and communications. You can also immerse yourself in the agricultural, environmental, and societal studies that meet your needs -- and fuel your passions.

An MS in ALEC prepares you to develop impactful programmes and initiatives around food, agriculture, natural resources, and the environment. More opportunities to step up to roles where education, leadership, and communication skills are valued are in store.

Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications Program

Here, leadership development is combined with cutting-edge research to prepare you for careers in academia, industry, or government. Research here covers the level of the genome and proteome to clinical and population-based intervention studies.

The division also has a robust professional development programme for graduate students through programmes like Nutrition Symposium, Grant Writing, Teaching Experience and many more. 

Division of Nutritional Sciences

"At UIUC, learning does not stop in the classroom. ACES provides many resources to help students translate what they learn in class, allowing them to be more ready for the real world. Through my involvement in several student organisations, I have become more adept at managing and working with people. Research experience helped me better understand what I learned in class and allowed me to pick up various soft and technical skills useful in the research world."

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Stuart Seputro,

Crop Sciences graduate

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Edwin David Valenzuela De Leon,

Food Science and Human Nutrition graduate student

“I feel the research work I am doing here has been great in preparing me for the job market in the fields of human and pet nutrition. My research work includes evaluation of protein quality for human foods using pig as a model, and am also evaluating health parameters, nutrient digestibility, and microbiota in dogs.”

“Currently, I evaluate protein quality for human foods, using pigs as a model. In addition, I work on the evaluation of health parameters, nutrient digestibility, and microbiota in dogs. I feel like this is an excellent preparation for the job market in the fields of human and pet nutrition.”

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Natalia Dos Santos Fanelli,

Nutritional Sciences graduate student

“I am involved in receptions for new students and events by UIUC to integrate students. I think it's very interesting and important for us to expand our daily cycle, meet new people, participate in activities, and more.”

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Luana Benicio,

Animal Sciences graduate student

Hear from ACES student and recent graduates

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