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CALS offers summer classes about food, ag and science for all interested learners

Summer Term isn’t just for UW–Madison students. While taking summer classes is a great way for current UW students to get ahead in their studies, UW Summer Term courses are open to all interested learners, including the general public and students enrolled at other universities.

Below is a list of some of the general interest courses about food, agriculture and introductory-level science that will be offered by CALS during the 2019 Summer Term. The listed courses do not have prerequisites, so anyone can sign up. Enrollments are limited and taken on a first-come-first-served basis.

Registration for UW Summer Term started on Apr. 1. For more information about Summer Term and a full list of available courses, visit Application instructions for visiting students, including professionals, can be found at

Online offerings

Agricultural and Applied Economics/Nutritional Sciences 350: World Hunger and Malnutrition

This online course covers hunger and poverty in developing countries and the United States. Topics include nutrition and health, population, food production and availability, and income distribution and employment.

Biological Systems Engineering 270: Introduction to Computer Aided Design

This online course provides an introduction to computer aided design (CAD) concepts and techniques, including two- and three-dimensional drawing presentation, methods of graphic communication and design synthesis.

Entomology 201: Insects and Human Culture: A Survey Course in Entomology

This online course covers the importance of insects in the environment, emphasizing beneficial insects, disease carriers, and agricultural pests that interfere with the food supply. It also touches on environmental problems due to insect control agents.

Food Science 120: Science of Food

This online course covers the relationship between food, additives, processing and health. Topics include how foods are processed and current food controversies.

Genetics 133: Genetics in the News

The science of genetics is at the heart of many issues facing our society, and as such, genetics is often in the news. This online course explores the underlying genetics and methodologies to gain a deeper understanding of the science behind the headlines so that we can make more informed decisions as citizens.

Life Sciences Communication 251: Science, Media and Society

This online course takes a closer look at the social and cultural factors shaping the science-public interface, the communication processes among different stakeholders (policy makers, industry members, scientists, journalists, and lay publics), and the impacts that these dynamics have on societal debates surrounding science and technology. (Note: This course requires sophomore standing (24 or more college credits). Visiting or post-baccalaureate students will need to get departmental approval to enroll.)

Microbiology 100: The Microbial World

This online course covers the roles that microorganisms and viruses play in nature, health, agriculture, pollution control and ecology. It touches on the principles of disease production, epidemiology and body defense mechanisms, as well as biotechnology and the genetic engineering revolution.

Nutritional Sciences 132: Nutrition Today

This online course covers nutrition and its relationship to humans and their biological, social, and physical environment, as well as current issues and concerns that affect the nutritional status of various population groups.

Plant Pathology 123: Plants, Parasites and People

This online course explores the interactions between society and plant-associated microbes. Topics include the Irish potato famine, pesticides in current agriculture, the role of economics and consumer preferences in crop disease management, and the use of genetically engineered organisms.

On-campus offerings

Animal Sciences 200: Biology and Appreciation of Companion Animals

This course provides systematic coverage of many of the animals (including birds) that humans keep as their social companions. Topics covered include classification, nutritional requirements, environmental considerations, reproductive habits, health, legal aspects and economics of companion animals and their supportive organizations.

Community and Environmental Sociology 248: Environment, Natural Resources and Society

This course introduces the concerns and principles of sociology through an examination of human interactions with the natural environment. It places environmental issues such as resource depletion, population growth, food production, environmental regulation, and sustainability in national and global perspectives.

Horticulture 375: DNA Unraveled: The Science and Technology of DNA

This course explores the science underlying DNA technology as well as its current and future applications in a variety of fields, including medicine, biotechnology, agriculture and ecology.

Horticulture 375: Gardens Will Save the World

This course examines shared landscapes and the role that horticulture can play in building equitable, just and inclusive communities.