The Food Studies Undergraduate Minor (18 credits) provides students with a broad interdisciplinary understanding of the social, economic, and environmental factors associated with global, national, regional, and local food systems. The minor also provides an opportunity for students to develop a range of professional skills central to work within food-related professions in the private, nonprofit and public sectors. The Food Studies Minor consists of three required courses, one course emphasizing the development of professional skills, and two elective courses. Students may also meet the requirements for the minor with two USM courses and a semester abroad at Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy. Diverse internship opportunities are available to Food Studies students, and students are strongly encouraged to participate in an internship as one of their elective courses.
The minor is designed to achieve a range of student learning outcomes. Upon successful completion of the minor, students will be able to:
- Describe, critically analyze, and evaluate food systems at multiple levels, including trends and future potential.
- Identify, question, and take personal responsibility for their individual roles and spheres of influence as participants within the local, regional, national and global food systems, including exercising a level of intercultural competence to be able to effectively engage the broader community on food-related concerns.
- Apply conceptual, theoretical and technical food systems concepts and knowledge to real world circumstances and challenges, including designing, and/or evaluating solutions.
- Identify, analyze, and evaluate contemporary and historical factors that affect food supply and food security, including environmental issues and issues of power and social justice (e.g., labor, economic, environmental, racial and gender equity).
- Analyze, assess and critically evaluate the relationships between place, culture, and food systems.
- Develop and practice workforce skills and knowledge in a food-related context through an engaged learning experience; these include skills essential to leadership, entrepreneurship and business, policy analysis, advocacy and organizing, and oral and written communication.
In addition, students will be able to:
- Exercise critical thinking skills, including analysis and evaluation;
- Communicate clearly and effectively in both oral and written form;
- Demonstrate fundamental scientific or technical literacy (this could be acquired outside the Program, or within the Program through courses linking science and policy); and
- Apply disciplinary knowledge from their major to their minor, and interdisciplinary knowledge from their minor to their major