Sustainable Food Systems

Toddler PointingHand weight with apple and measuring tapeWoman focused laying on lawnBasket of TomatoesSnowboarder in air grabbing the tail of the snowboardTeens smiling at a table

The sustainable food systems program focuses on sustainable food production, food preparation and processing, distribution, nutrition, and community food security in order for students to better understand how food systems influence health. 

This program offers many opportunities to engage in experiential learning through management of projects at MSU’s Towne’s Harvest Garden and in the surrounding communities.  Students can tailor their program to their own specific interests by choosing supporting coursework in health promotion and education, political science, economics, business, Native American Studies, and agriculture. 

Masters’ projects and theses can potentially cover topics related to food system curriculum development and assessment of field experiences in sustainable food systems, food system education and public awareness, local food system development or localizing diets, institutional purchasing of local foods, food policies, community supported agriculture and distribution, community food security or community-based food and nutrition assistance, or local or statewide food system assessment.    

Potential career paths might include:

  • Public health
  • Food and nutrition policy and education
  • Community nutrition
  • Community food security
  • Culinary arts and management
  • Community supported agriculture
  • Food enterprise

Prerequisites

Entering graduate students will have completed a bachelor’ s degree in food and nutrition, agricultural science, environmental or food studies or a related discipline.  Appropriate background coursework would include:  human nutrition, ecology, economics, culinary fundamentals or food science, microbiology, community nutrition, and political science. 

Admissions

Admissions decisions are based on:

  1. Undergraduate preparation (GPA and strength of prerequisite course work)
  2. GRE equal to or greater than 300 preferred
  3. Goodness of fit and how consistent interests and goals of student align with research and outreach goals of faculty (to be addressed in personal essay)
  4. Relevant professional experience
  5. Strength of letters of recommendation

Faculty

Curriculum