Undergraduate Study

Food Systems Major FAQ

A food system is the interconnected web of activities that includes multiple components of food supply chains, the food environment, consumer behaviors, and health outcomes, all operating within a larger socioeconomic and geopolitical context.

Review the major requirements outlined on our website.

The following first- and second-year courses are suggested:

  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • English composition
  • Environmental studies
  • Geography
  • Nutrition
  • Political science
  • Sciences like biology and chemistry
  • Statistics

Transfer students should have no difficulty completing a Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health major within two years at the University. The Washington community colleges Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) associate degree provides great preparation for the major and key courses, such as introduction to nutrition, economics, statistics, and physiology, are readily available.

Probably. Basic human nutrition courses completed at other schools often transfer to satisfy the NUTR 200 requirement. Additional academic and college-level courses are evaluated for transfer by UW Admissions and are applied to general education and areas of knowledge requirements. See the UW Equivalency Guide for information about how community college courses will transfer to UW and read the Office of Admissions’ transfer credit policies page for additional information.

Graduates of the Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health Major will have developed competency in food systems, nutrition, public health, social and economic equity, and sustainability, as well as strong liberal arts preparation in intellectual and practical skills like inquiry, analysis, communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

Applications to declare the major are due the third Friday of each quarter. Applications are reviewed to confirm minimum requirements are met and ensure the degree can be completed within the University’s satisfactory progress policies. Learn more about the steps to declare the major.


The Food Systems major is not a clinical nutrition or dietetics degree and will not, alone, prepare students for that career path.

Beginning in 2024, students who want to sit for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) exam must earn a graduate degree. The Nutritional Sciences Option in the Public Health-Global Health Major leads to a Bachelor of Science degree by providing an organized pathway of courses for students that will help in their preparation for graduate studies in nutrition or dietetics, whether at the UW or with another Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredited graduate program.