New Major in Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health

The Nutritional Sciences Program will offer a new major this year to undergraduate students interested in the connections between food systems, nutrition, and health. A food system is an interconnected web of activities that includes food supply chains, the food environment, and consumer behaviors, all operating within a larger socioeconomic and geopolitical context. Many of the world’s daunting nutrition and health challenges – including malnutrition, stunting and wasting, the rise of obesity, rampant food waste, food-borne diseases, and antibiotic resistance – can be viewed as consequences of malfunctioning or broken food systems.

A Bachelor of Arts in Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health (FSNH) was approved in July. Student applications will be accepted in autumn quarter 2018 for enrollment in winter quarter 2019.

The major will feature an interdisciplinary core curriculum of six courses that provide perspectives and tools to enable students to dissect the ways in which changes in any number of aspects of food systems will affect nutrition and health outcomes. Four of the core courses already exist and together engage students in food systems thinking ranging from personal nourishment and health to the ways in which food is grown and raised and from how food access and availability affects consumer behaviors to food systems policy development and effectiveness.

Two new courses were developed to complete the core sequence: one on food systems modeling was developed with the College of Engineering and the second is a capstone course that will be a culminating experience for students to develop solutions to real-world food systems issues.

Electives will be offered through the School of Public Health, College of Arts & Sciences, College of Built Environments, College of the Environment, Foster School of Business, College of Education, School of Law, School of Nursing, and the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance.

Learn more about the new major.