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Grad Certificate

The Certificate in Sustainable Food Systems is available to students interested in taking an interdisciplinary approach to understanding, communicating and participating in finding solutions to the grand challenges we face for sustainable food production, access and utilization. Advances in agricultural and environmental sustainability, public health and nutrition, and economic and social well-being call for systemic and interdisciplinary research, which in turn require mechanisms for developing partnerships and collaboration. In response to these needs, the interdisciplinary graduate certificate program in Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) will expand opportunities for graduate training and faculty collaboration across several related units across campus.


Students are required to take a minimum of 13 credit hours to earn the Certificate in Sustainable Food Systems. Of these credit hours, at least 7 hours will be acquired from core courses in three different areas of emphasis: Foundational/ Systems Learning, Food Systems Service-Learning, and Professional Development.  At least 6 credit hours will be acquired from elective courses outside of the student’s home department. The certificate consists of the following components:


1. Foundational/Systems Learning Course: Students will be introduced to the concept of the food system as a complex adaptive system and explore additional concepts of scale, resiliency, connectivity, and interaction of the various parts of the system. The course will explore how different lenses and perspectives from different disciplines come together in solving problems and the importance of transdisciplinary approaches needed to solve these complex problems. Finally, the course will explore how mental and mathematical modeling approaches are used to facilitate holistic approaches to problem solving.

AESC 8310 – Food Systems Sustainability, Security and Resilience (3 credit hours)

2. Food Systems Service-Learning Courses: Choose one of the two courses; the alternate course can be used as an elective. Both courses aim to help students develop awareness of key food system issues in the local community and engage students in efforts to increase the sustainability of the local food system.

*Either* GEOG 6890 – Athens Urban Food Collective *or* CRSS 6020S – Social Sustainability in Ag & Food Systems (student chooses one for core course requirement) (3 credit hours)

3. Professional Development Course:  Choose one of the two courses.  AGCM 8700 will use a seminar format where students will use a critical thinking approach to analyze and discuss the pros and cons of emerging conversations about scientific innovations using the theoretical and strategic frameworks discussed in class and in the readings for the course.   In GRSC 8200, graduate students will have the opportunity to practice communicating across disciplinary boundaries, to decision-makers and the media, and to the general public.

*Either* AGCM 8700 – Communicating Agricultural and Environmental Scientific Innovation (3 credit hours) *or* GRSC 8200 – Communicating Research and Scholarship (1 credit hour) (student chooses one for core course requirement)

SFS Certificate Core Course Availability

Semester Course
Fall 2020 AGCM 8700 (3 hour)
Spring 2021 AESC 8310 (3 hour)
GEOG 6890 (3 hour)
GRSC 8200 (1 hour)
Fall 2021 AGCM 8700 (3 hour)
Spring 2022 AESC 8310 (3 hour)
CRSS 6020S (3 hour)
GRSC 8200 (1 hour)

ELECTIVE COURSES (6 CREDIT HOURS): Student must complete two courses outside of home department from the list of electives below:


Course Prefix & Number Title Upcoming Availability
AAEC 6640 Food and Fiber Marketing and Merchandising Fall 2020
AGCM 8100 Culture Centered Communication and Engagement
ALDR 6600 Global Issues in Agriculture and the Environment
ALDR 6710 International Agricultural Development Fall 2020
ANTH 8515 Institutional Dimensions of Sustainability
CRSS 6010 Sustainable Agricultural Management Fall 2020
CRSS 6020S Social Issues in Sustainable Agriculture
CRSS 6030 Sensors in Precision Agriculture Summer 2020
CRSS 6050 GIS for Nutrient and Energy Efficiency Fall 2020
CRSS 6060 Advanced Topics in Precision Agriculture
CRSS 6220 Sustainable Agriculture Systems Fall 2020
CRSS/HORT 6400 Agro-ecology
CRSS 6740 Integrated Pest Management Fall 2020
CRSS/HORT/ANTH/GEOG 6931 Agroecology of Tropical America Field Trip
CRSS 8410 Adv. Topics in Sustainable Agriculture Management
ENTO 6500E Biological Control of Insects Fall 2020
ENVM 6650 Environmental Economics Fall 2020
ENVM 6800 Water Resource Economics and Management Fall 2020
FANR 6020 Sustainable Development
FANR 7860 Natural Resource and Environmental Economics
FCID 6200 Sustainability Seminar Fall 2020
FDNS 6640(E) Food Sanitation and Safety FDNS 6640E - Fall 2020
FDST 6100 Government Regulation of Food Safety & Qualty
FDST 7180E Marketing of Value-Added Foods Fall 2020
FISH 6550 Sustainable Aquaculture
GEOG 6810 Conservation Ecology and Resource Management
GEOG 6860 Industrial Agro-Food Systems and Its Alternative
GEOG 6890 Athens Urban Food Collective
HORT 6030S Sustainable Community Food Production
HORT 6050 Greenhouse Management I
HORT 6125 Organic Agricultural Systems Fall 2020
HORT 6440 Environmental Physiology
HORT 6590 Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition Fall 2020
HORT 6990 Environmental Issues in Horticulture Fall 2020
HPAM 7050(E) Health Policy and Obesity HPAM 7050E - Fall 2020

If you would like to apply for the graduate certificate in Sustainable Food Systems, fill out the SFS Certificate Program of Study Form and the Curriculum Change Request Form (found on the Registrar’s Office webpage) and return both documents to the Certificate Coordinator at