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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
The minimum number of credits (exclusive of the University’s Core Curriculum) required for the minor: 18.
To complete the Food Studies minor, students must take a total of 18 credits. The minor consists of three required courses (9 credits), one course emphasizing the development of professional skills (3 credits), and two elective courses (6 credits).
Students must earn a C- or better in each course in order for the course to count towards the minor.
Required Courses (9 credits)
One Professional Skills course from among the following (3 credits)
At least 6 credits from among the following:
Note that the first course used for professional skills will not also be counted as an elective; an additional/second professional skills course will count as an elective.
Study Abroad Option
Students can complete the minor by studying at Umbra Institute’s Food & Sustainability Studies Program in Perugia, Italy. Students must take FSP 100 and FSP 200 at USM, and four courses (three required, one elective) through Umbra Institute’s Food & Sustainability Studies Program. FSP 100 must be taken prior to studying abroad./For further information, please contact the Food Studies Administrative Specialist.
Required Umbra Institute courses:
- FSST 330: Sustainability and Food Production in Italy
- HIST 350: History and Culture of Food in Italy
- ITAL 101: Introductory Italian
Elective Umbra Institute courses (choose one):
- ANFS 375: The Anthropology of Food
- BUS 355: Wine and Olive Oil: Marketing and Communication Strategies
- FSST 250: Food Chemistry: The Science of Italian Cuisine
- FSST 320: Water Resources: Environment, Society and Power
- FSST 325: From Literature to Social Media: Reading and Writing Italian Food
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