ACE and ACES: What's the difference?

The University of Illinois is divided into different colleges (think: academic community). Examples include the College of Engineering, the College of Business, and the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES). These colleges are further divided into departments, often named after the degree which students are pursuing, such as the department of Animal Sciences within the College of ACES or the Department of Computer Sciences in the College of Engineering. Students wishing to major in Agricultural and Consumer Economics (ACE) are admitted into the department of ACE, within the College of ACES. 

The ACE major is further comprised of nine concentrations or “areas of specialization.” ACE students are admitted by concentration. For example, if you would like to learn how governmental policies impact agriculture, the environment, or consumers, you could can apply to the concentration in Public Policy and Law in the ACE Department.

Considering a Major in ACE

Although many of the courses in the Department of ACE might be found in a traditional business or economics program at other universities, ACE provides students with the opportunity to get involved and focus on the industries and issues that truly matter to them.

The core classes in ACE introduce you to economics, finance, marketing, quantitative methods, and laws and policies with a focus on agricultural and environmental sector examples. Our award-winning faculty will help guide you through these topics through lectures, small class discussion, and one-on-one interactions. ACE also offers students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through experiential learning programs, study abroad excursions, credit-generating internships, job shadowing opportunities, research studies, national student competitions, and various student organizations. 

These hands-on experiences make our graduates highly competitive in the job market. ACE graduates can be found working with Fortune 500 companies, international firms, non-governmental organizations, and local businesses.

Non-Ag Careers

ACE is also a great department for students interested in careers outside of agriculture. With applied economics courses focused on areas ranging from international affairs to the environment, students are prepared for careers in the industries that matter to them. Our traditional business and economics courses, mixed with hands-on experiences makes ACE graduates excellent candidates for careers as Certified Financial Planners, bankers, attorneys, policy analysts and so much more.