Food Systems & Food Studies Co-major

The Food Systems & Food Studies Co-major provides an interdisciplinary examination of food, exploring the complex path food follows from farm to fork and beyond. Combining courses on the fundamentals of agricultural ecology; food, nutrition, and health; and food, society, and culture; with real-world experiences, students develop a broad understanding of food from a biological, economic, political, social, cultural, and environmental perspective. Students are prepared to pursue a wide variety career paths and post-graduate degrees in agriculture and food related professions.

The Food Systems & Food Studies Co-major complements the primary major, which provides significant depth and breadth in an academic discipline.

Program Requirements

The Food Systems & Food Studies Co-major requires 34 semester hours, distributed as listed below.

  1. Major
  2. Foundations of Food Systems & Food Studies (16-17 hours)
  3. Experiential Learning (3 hours)
  4. Interdisciplinary Electives (15 hours)
    • Fundamentals of Sustainable Agriculture
    • Food, Nutrition, & Health
    • Food, Culture, & Society


Students must complete a major in one of the divisions of the university.

Foundations of Food Systems & Food Studies

Take these 6 courses:

Course Title Hours

BIO 131
BIO 191

Plants, Humanity, and Environment
Plant Biology

BIO 306 Basic Horticulture 3
IES 274 Introduction to Environment and Sustainability 3
IES 278 Food Studies & Food Systems 3
IES 278L Understanding Food Systems Farm Lab 1
KNH 102 Fundamentals of Nutrition 3

Experiential Learning

Take this course:

IES 340 - Internship Hours (3)

Students must complete 3 hours of internship working with an Institute for Food faculty advisor. Internship hours can be completed at the Miami University Institute for Food Farm or at other farm or food-centered organizations approved in advance by the advisor for the Food Systems & Food Studies Co-Major.
Prerequisite: IES 278L or permission of Food Systems and Food Studies co-major advisor.
Contact Peggy Shaffer (

Interdisciplinary Electives

Student designed, interdisciplinary elective in food systems and food studies integrating courses from the following areas. Courses from at least 2 of the following areas must be included.

Fundamentals of Sustainable Agriculture

Note: Other courses may qualify based on appropriate content. See the CDA for more information.

Course Title Hours
BIO 209 Fundamentals of Ecology 3, MPT
BIO 244 Viticulture and Enology 3
BIO 438/538 Soil Ecology and Sustainable Use 3
GEO 428/528 Soil Geography 4, MPT
GLG 307 Water and Society 3, MPT
GLG 435/535 Soils and Paleosols 3
IES 474 Sustainability in Practice 3
MBI 121 The Microbial World 3, MPF

Food, Nutrition, & Health

Note: Other courses may qualify based on appropriate content. See the CDA for more information.

Course Title Hours
KNH 104 Introduction to Food Science and Meal Management 3
KNH 203 Nutrition in Disease Prevention Management 3
KNH 213 Global and Community Nutrition 3, MPF
KNH 304 Advanced Nutrition 3
KNH 404 Advanced Food Science 4
KNH 432/532 Nutrition Across the Life Span 3

Food, Culture, & Society

Note: Other courses may qualify based on appropriate content. See the CDA for more information.

Course Title Hours
ATH 405/505 Food, Taste, and Desire 3, MPF
ESP 331 Social Entrepreneurship 3
HST 238 Food in History 3
IES 429/529 Environmental Communication 3
IES 494/594 Sustainability Perspectives in Resources and Business 3, MPC
MKT 412 Sustainable Marketing Management 3
SOC 362 Family Poverty 3
WST 201 Self and Place 3
WST 341 Synthesis and Action: Food & Community 3

Chief Departmental Advisor

Dr. Peggy Shaffer
Coordinator, Institute for Food
(513) 529-7527

Combined MEn Program

The combined Master of Environmental Science program allows students to complete an M.En. degree with 1 year of additional study beyond the bachelor's degree, and is available to qualified, tuition-paying students with an undergraduate Co-major in Energy, Environmental Science, or Sustainability at Miami University.