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The College of Agriculture’s Dean’s Scholars Learning Community allows all first-year students in the Dean’s Scholars program to interact with one another and engage in transformational experiences to enhance their interdisciplinary classroom learning experiences. All first-year students who are accepted into the Dean’s Scholars program are automatically added to the Dean’s Scholars Learning Community as a requirement for the program as well as enrollment into our seminar course – AGR 20500-H01 – Dean’s Scholars Seminar. The Dean’s Scholars Seminar (AGR 20500-H01) is designed to introduce students to the breadth and missions of the College of Agriculture through discussions regarding the diversity of career opportunities within agriculture, the relationships between different areas of agriculture, ethics, the impact of undergraduate coursework, and the challenges facing the food, agricultural, and natural resource system. Students are exposed to a series of guest lecturers for networking opportunities during and outside of class and gain an overview of various fields within the college centered on a Grand Challenge of Agriculture that varies each year.

The Dean’s Scholars Seminar (AGR 20500-H01) is intended to stimulate students to think about issues facing their generation; to think about what agriculture really encompasses; to think about their role and why they are here in the College of Agriculture at Purdue; and learn from their fellow disciplined, motivated and creative peers during weekly class sessions and additional learning community events and experiences. Students in the Dean’s Scholars Learning Community are exposed to what agriculture is and means to the world in a variety of fields in the hopes of forming interdisciplinary teams to begin the process of clarifying and articulating a passion that fundamentally drives them to learn and hopefully encourage students to address societal issues through agriculture to make the world better. Previous issues discussed include hunger, water, sustainable agriculture, drought, and overpopulation. Classroom learning is enhanced through a common reading experience tied to the Grand Challenge (issue) for the year, learning from distinguished faculty across the College, interacting with and learning from our esteemed College of Agriculture Administration, and creating a supportive network of peers during and outside of the classroom.

Students who apply and are selected to join the Dean’s Scholars Program are automatically enrolled in the Dean’s Scholars Learning Community. Activities specific to the Learning Community include networking dinners with fellow students in the program (including upperclassmen), dinners and seminars with faculty, staff and College administration, engaging in activities related to the common reading book and Global Challenge of the year, and trips to Fair Oaks Dairy Farm, Exploration Acres, the movies, horseback riding, and holidays at the Associate Dean’s house.

Please visit Dean's Scholars application to apply.

“As I reflect on my Dean's Scholars experience I'm grateful for the plethora of opportunities, events, seminars, and classes I've been able to be a part of. Particularly, in the first semester of my freshman year, I was honored to have the opportunity to join Dr. Fernandez and other students in our book discussion of Quiet as a Dean's Scholar, and have continued to love these small book discussions and the insight available to those who have the opportunity to spend personal time with Dean Ackridge and Dr. Fernandez. Being a Dean's Scholar has made the College of Agriculture remarkable here at Purdue and feel personal, small, and available. I've been absolutely astounded at the time the administration is willing to spend going on adventures and facilitating conversations with students, not to mention inviting students to their house to relax, as Dr. Fernandez has. The opportunity to know the faculty and staff, know the issues, and attend important events make this place feel like my home, where I can make a difference.” 

-Student in the Learning Community

"Joining a Learning Community is an experience of a lifetime. It takes a gigantic campus and brings it down to a familiar level, making the transition to college easy and smooth, all the while providing opportunities throughout campus to enhance your college career and make it a lively and fun experience. Not only will you walk away with an immense amount of knowledge that is hard to grasp outside of a Learning Community, but the friends you make while involved can be amazing."

-Student in the Learning Community


Residential Component

  • Optional. The location of learning community housing will be determined based on the incoming size and needs of the learning community. 
  • A signed housing contract is required to apply to this learning community. Once a housing contract is completed, you will indicate your learning community housing preference within the learning community application. Applications received by the priority deadline will be considered first. 
  • If you want to be placed with a preferred roommate and be admitted to a learning community with an optional residential component, both you and your roommate must apply (and be admitted) to a learning community with an optional residential component. Students admitted to learning communities with a required residential component cannot be paired with students admitted to learning communities with an optional residential component.
  • For specific question regarding learning communities, email  
  • Completing a housing contract is a separate process from applying to a learning community. If you have questions about housing, contact University Residences ( at


Full Academic Year

Associated Courses and Information


  • AGR 20500-H01 – Dean’s Scholars Seminar


  • (Optional) AGR 29400-H01 – Dean’s Scholars Directed Reading Seminar


Every fee eligible student involved with a learning community (LC) at Purdue will be assessed the $200 LC fee to their university account.  These funds support activities and travel, signature LC events, housing assignments and/or course registration and instructor stipends.


Events and Activities Included:

  • Networking dinners with administration, faculty, staff and upper-class students in the Dean’s Scholars program
  • Movie theater trip to see a new movie related to the Grand Challenge of the AGR 29000-H01 course
  • Exploration Acres, Fair Oaks Dairy Farm, Benton County Wind Farms, and other agribusiness-related tours
  • Study breaks & community service opportunities
  • Exclusive dinners and events with College administration, distinguished faculty and alumni 

Information above is subject to change. If you are placed in the LC, the associated courses will be on your schedule prior to you registering for the rest of your courses.

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