Montana State University

Health & Human Development

Montana State University
P.O. Box 173540
Bozeman, MT 59717-3540

Tel: (406) 994-3242
Fax: (406) 994-2013
Location: 218 Herrick Hall

HHD Undergraduate Advising Office

Tel: (406) 994-4001
Fax: (406) 994-6314
Location: 121 Hosaeus PE Complex

Department of Health & Human Development


Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems Major - Sustainable Food Systems Option

This program is a unique interdisciplinary curriculum between the Department of Health and Human Development, the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, and the Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology designed for students interested in the interconnected processes of crop production, processing, distribution, and utilization for food and bioenergy uses.

The degree focuses on ecologically sound, socially just, and economically viable farming methods, food and health, and other food and bioenergy system-related issues. Students work closely with faculty to gain hands-on experience in practical applications, and in specific, self-selected focus areas through internships with Montana industries. The degree plan is intended to encompass a wide range of food- and bioenergy-related areas in order to prepare students for career opportunities in agricultural business, public health and community food security, natural resource conservation, bioenergy production industries, marketing, distribution, and local food systems. Graduates will be capable of addressing interdisciplinary food and farming system problems such as food safety, agricultural biosecurity, rural economic decline and poverty, obesity, loss of indigenous foods, and bioenergy-related issues.

Sustainable Food Systems Option

The sustainable food systems option draws from both the physical and social sciences in the areas of food and nutrition, family and consumer sciences, plant sciences, environmental sciences, ecology, sociology, and political science.  Emphasis in this option is on health and consumer issues related to food production and food systems.  Students gain hands-on experience in culinary fundamentals and management, organic gardening, and independent research projects.  Internships are designed to provide experience with food processing, food cooperative management, alternative food distribution systems, and small business operations.  Having a better understanding of the interconnections among food production, food policy, food security and health, helps prepare graduates capable of addressing interdisciplinary food system problems such as obesity, food insecurity and poverty, food safety, and loss of indigenous foods, among others.

Career Opportunities

Graduates from this option are prepared for careers in community nutrition,  community food security, public health, Extension education, food and nutrition policy and education, food enterprise, culinary arts and management, community supported agriculture, food processing, food marketing, retailing and distribution.   


Please note: The Montana University System is presently undergoing common course numbering to ensure course transferability among Montana's campuses. Please refer to the course number equivalency tool to check equivalencies between old and new courses.

Freshman Year Credits
SFBS 146--Intro to Sustain Food & Bioenergy Systems 3
BIOB 170IN--Principles of Biological Diversity 4
ECNS 101IS--Econ Way Thinking 3
BIOB 110CS--Introduction to Plant Biology 3
Take one of the following:
     CHMY 121IN--Intro to General Chemistry 4
     CHMY 141--College Chemistry I 4
Take one of the following:
     M 121--College Algebra 3
     M 145Q--Mathematics for Liberal Arts 3
SOCI 101IS--Intro to Sociology 3
Take one of the following:
     SFBS 296--Towne's Harvest Practicum 3
     SFBS 298--Internship 3
University Core and Electives 4
Sophomore Year Credits
FCS 239--Contemp Cons Issues 3
NUTR 221CS--Basic Human Nutrition 3
NUTR 226--Food Fundamentals 3
NUTR 227--Food Fundamentals Lab 2
ENSC 110--Land Resource & Environmental Sciences 3
BIOM 103IN--Unseen Universe: Microbes 4
AGSC 341--Field Crop Production 3
Take one of the following:
     BIOB 318--Biometry 3
     STAT 216Q--Introduction to Statistics 3
Take one of the following:
     HORT 245--Plant Propagation 3
     NASX 232D--Montana Indians:Cult,Hist,Current Issues 3
     PSCI 230D--Intro Intl Relations 3
University Core and Electives 4
Junior Year Credits
ECHM 205--Energy & Sustainability 3
FCS 371--Res Methods 3
NUTR 322--Food Service Systems Mgmt 3
NUTR 395--Practicum: Quantity Foods Prod & Mgmt 3
NUTR 351--Nutrition & Society 3
ENSC 245IN--Soils 3
AGSC 428--Sustainable Cropping Systems 3
Take two of the following:
     AGBE 315--Ag in Global Context 3
     AGED 353--Coop Business Princ & Prac 3
     ANSC 222--Livestock in Sustainable Systems 3
     HORT 343--Commercial Plant Production 3
     HORT 345--Organic Market Gardening 3
University Core and Electives 3
Senior Year Credits
Take one of the following:
     SFBS 429--Small Bus Entre Food Hlth 3
     BMGT 469--Com Soc Entrepreneurship 3
NUTR 321--Nutrition in the Lifecycle 3
Take one of the following:
     SFBS 445R--Culinary Marketing: Farm to Table 3
     SFBS 451R--Sustainable Food Systems 3
SFBS 498--Internship 3
SFBS 499--Senior Thesis/Capstone 3
Take one of the following:
     NASX 415--Native Food Systems 3
     PSCI 436--Politics of Food & Hunger 3
Take two of the following:
     AGBE 337--Agricultural Law 3
     AGED 482--Nonformal Teaching Methods in Ag 3
     AGSC 465--Health, Ag and Poverty 3
     HORT 337--Veg Production 3
     NRSM 421--Holistic Thought 4
     PSCI 406--The Political Economy of Energy 3
University Core and Electives 5-6