The certificate in food systems is a 16-credit option open to all undergraduate students. It assembles an interdisciplinary curriculum, integrating different paradigms across all aspects of food production, distribution, and consumption, along with the context and values inherent to the systems.
For students in food or agriculture-related majors, the certificate in food systems will provide a broader context to their disciplinary studies. For students in fields that include food as a possible orientation of their studies, it will provide exposure to the full range of food systems, potentially inspiring an orientation to food as a focus of their studies. For students of any discipline, the certificate will help students be more informed consumers and citizens, hopefully leading to better choices about what they eat through knowledge of food and the social, economic, and environmental outcomes of different patterns of production, processing, distribution, and consumption.
Undergraduate students of any major are welcome to pursue the certificate in food systems.
Students are eligible to declare the certificate once they complete one of the two core courses (AGROECOL/AGRONOMY/C&E SOC/ENTOM/ENVIR ST 103 Agroecology: An Introduction to the Ecology of Food and Agriculture and C&E SOC/A A E/SOC 340 Issues in Food Systems) with a grade of B or better. While there are different pathways to complete the certificate, students who declare and plan their coursework earlier in their careers will be in a better position to complete the required coursework.
The certificate in food systems requires that students take two highly interdisciplinary core courses (6 total credits), and at least one course in each of three thematic elective categories (for 9 total credits across electives), plus a one credit culminating activity such as an internship, independent study, or appropriate capstone. The course list below provides a complete list of courses that satisfy each requirement.
- 2.0 GPA in certificate courses
- At least 50% of certificate courses taken in-residence (i.e. at UW-Madison or through a UW-Madison sponsored study abroad program)
- Minimum of 16 credits total
|AGROECOL/AGRONOMY/C&E SOC/ENTOM/ENVIR ST 103||Agroecology: An Introduction to the Ecology of Food and Agriculture||3|
|C&E SOC/A A E/SOC 340||Issues in Food Systems||3|
|Select at least one course from each list: Provisioning, Context, and Values for a total of 9 credits||9|
|Provisioning (production, processing, distribution)|
|Principles and Practices in Crop Production|
|Introduction to Animal Sciences|
|Livestock Production and Health in Agricultural Development|
|Introduction to the Science and Technology of Food|
|Survey of Horticulture|
|Tropical Horticultural Systems|
|World Vegetable Crops|
|Tropical Horticultural Systems International Field Study|
|Plants, Parasites, and People|
|Soil: Ecosystem and Resource|
|Context (policy, economics, law, society)|
|Introduction to Agricultural and Applied Economics|
|Genetically Modified Crops: Science, Regulation & Controversy|
|Food Laws and Regulations|
|Animal Agriculture and Global Sustainable Development|
|International Field Study in Animal Agriculture and Sustainable Development|
|Environment, Natural Resources, and Society|
|Food Production Systems and Sustainability|
|Natural Resources Policy|
|Environmental Governance: Markets, States and Nature|
|Values (nutrition, equity, environment)|
|World Hunger and Malnutrition|
|Labor in Global Food Systems|
|Food, Culture, and Society|
|People, Land and Food: Comparative Study of Agriculture Systems|
|American Indian Women|
|Plants and Human Wellbeing|
|Food Systems Culmination Activity|
|Select one of the following:||1|
Food Systems Internship
|Coordinative Internship/Cooperative Education|
Certificate COMPLETION REQUIREMENT
This undergraduate certificate must be completed concurrently with the student’s undergraduate degree. Students cannot delay degree completion to complete the certificate.
Upon completion of the Food Systems Certificate, students will be able to evaluate critically:
- The key elements of a food system
- How political, social, economic, and environmental forces interact to shape food systems
- The biophysical processes inherent in various agricultural production systems
- How individuals from different backgrounds interact with local and global food systems as humans, consumers, producers, and citizens
- The social, economic, and environmental outcomes of different food systems
For students in food or agriculture related majors, the certificate in food systems will provide a broader context to their disciplinary studies. As they seek careers, they will be able to provide evidence of enhancing their disciplinary learning and skills with a broader framework of food system concepts, including ideas for enhancing food system sustainability. For students in fields that include food as a possible orientation of their studies, it will provide exposure to the full range of food systems, potentially inspiring an orientation to food as a focus of their studies. For students in any discipline, the certificate in food systems will help them be more informed consumers and better informed citizens, hopefully leading to better choices about what they eat through knowledge of food and the social, economic, and environmental consequences of production, processing, distribution, and consumption.
Faculty across campus teach courses in the certificate. Please use the Guide to seek out information on individual courses.
For general certificate inquiries or questions about the culminating experience, please contact the certificate coordinator, Alan Turnquist (email@example.com, 608-890-3917).
For direct advising on curricular requirements, or to declare the certificate, contact Megan Banaszak (firstname.lastname@example.org).