Indoor Agriculture

About the Program

Northern Michigan University’s Indoor Agriculture Associate Degree is a collaborative approach among multiple departments and academic programs to create the first known higher education interdisciplinary indoor agriculture program. The program will provide students with hands-on, exploration-based learning of indoor agriculture, associated growing, and environmental infrastructure systems. Growing climate and population concerns underscore the need for efficient and sustainable farming practices to help reduce depletion of resources. Adaptation of indoor, urban farming models to northern climates in multiple structure and building types in order to provide fresh, local food sourcing year-round highlights this program’s push for sustainability.

You will learn about:

Students in this indoor agriculture program will have the opportunity to contribute diverse perspectives and become a part of the solution.

  • Different growing systems: hydroponics, aquaponics and aeroponics
  • Cutting edge indoor growing space design and construction, climate-control systems and facility functions
  • Plant biology and their chemical and nutritional makeup
  • Basic business and accounting practices to manage or own an operation
  • How to reduce food insecurity, develop sustainable, pesticide-free food systems and integrate diverse perspectives to solve a growing, global food crisis

Upon completion of the Indoor Agriculture Associate degree, students will be able to:

  • Apply indoor agriculture growing techniques to various forms of horticulture
  • Understand background principles of plant chemistry and plant physiology
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of basic mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems to support indoor agriculture requirements
  • Understand food system networks, distribution, and associated societal impacts

Enjoy a great career with this degree in a variety of job options including facility technician and maintenance, plant researcher, business manager or owner.

  • $59,000 Median Salary
  • 9% Job Growth Nationwide

Or use your credits to ladder into a bachelor's degree in Controlled Environment Agriculture, Medicinal Plant Chemistry, Botany, or Business.

Total Credits Required for Degree - 60

General Education Courses - 17 credits
  • BI 111 Principles of Biology - 4 cr
  • EC 140 Consumer Economics - 4 cr
  • EN 111 College Composition I - 4 cr
  • CH 111 General Chemistry I - 5 cr

Technical Concentration - 29 credits
  • IA 101 Indoor Farming Foundations* - 3 cr
  • IA 130 Indoor Living Environments* - 3 cr
  • IA 220 Innovative Growing Systems* - 3 cr
  • IA 250 Future Farmers* - 3 cr
  • CN 278 Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Systems - 3 cr
  • HV 171 Basic Heating - 4 cr or
    • HV 172 Basic Refrigeration - 4 cr 
  • GC 101 Introduction to Environmental Science - 4 cr
  • GC 317 Geography of Food Systems - 4 cr or
    • HM 205 Food and Film - 4 cr or​​​​​​​
    • HN 210 Nutrition for Humans - 4 cr
  • IM 115 Basic Electricity for Industrial Technicians - 2 cr

*Must achieve a "C" and a 2.25 GPA or better in technical concentration courses. 

Elective Courses - 14 credits
  • BI 431 Plant Physiology is a recommended elective course.
  • CH 189 Medicinal Plant Chemistry Seminar 1 is a recommended elective course

Learn More

Indoor Agriculture in Crain's Detroit Magazine

Indoor Agriculture in Crain's Detroit Magazine.