May 5, 2016
UGA partners with Italian university for sustainable ag program

The University of Georgia (UGA) College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is partnering with the University of Padova in Italy for a dual master’s degree program in sustainable agriculture.

On May 3, administrators and faculty from the University of Padova and UGA met in Padova, a city in northern Italy about 24 miles west of Venice, to sign a memorandum of understanding finalizing the dual-degree program. The first students will be enrolled this fall.

The dual-degree program, housed in the department of crop and soil sciences at UGA, is the first of its kind in the college.

The challenges facing agriculture in the 21st century are global and won’t be solved by scientists from a single country or continent, said George Vellidis, a UGA professor of crop and soil sciences who spearheaded the effort to develop the program.

Students who choose the dual-degree program at UGA will complete most of their coursework in Athens during year one and then travel to Italy for one or two more courses and to conduct their master’s thesis research during year two. Students beginning at the University of Padova will complete most of their coursework in Padova and then travel to the U.S. to complete their master’s thesis research and take one or two courses at UGA.

Don Shilling, left, head of the University of Georgia department of crop and soil sciences, and Rosario Rizzuto, rector of the University of Padova, sign an agreement for the dual master's degree program. Photo: Vicki McMaken/UGA
Don Shilling, left, head of the University of Georgia department of crop and soil sciences, and Rosario Rizzuto, rector of the University of Padova, sign an agreement for the dual master’s degree program. Photo: Vicki McMaken/UGA

To participate in the dual-degree program and receive degrees from both universities, students must be admitted to both institutions and fulfill all graduation requirements at both universities.

The dual degree is being offered as part of a new sustainable agriculture emphasis area within the existing master’s degree in crop and soil sciences. Students wishing to pursue the sustainable agriculture emphasis area can choose to either participate in the dual-degree program or take all of their courses at UGA.

The dual degree is the maturation of a 12-year partnership between UGA, the University of Padova and four other European and U.S. universities. Together, these schools formed the TransAtlantic Precision Agriculture Consortium (TAPAC) in 2004.

For information on the program’s development, visit the UGA Master’s in Crop and Soil Sciences website.




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