Sustainable Food Systems - B.S.

Please note that this program will not be offered on the Charlotte Campus for the 2023-2024 academic year.

The bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Food Systems is designed for ecologically-minded students who want to join the wave of change to transform industrial food systems into more resilient, self-renewing, dynamic networks for local to global communities, economies and environments. The program explores the local food web through farm and dock visits and cooking in the professional kitchen while investigating food literacy, culture, public health and food policy. Emphasis is placed on examining the local food web, social structures, and supply chains in relation to the economic realities of food production. A host of free elective credits give students the ability to focus on and further explore areas of environmental sustainability, policy and advocacy, culinary sustainability, public health, supply chain management or writing for development. This experientially-based program takes place at the intersection of social food justice, environmental protection, economic sovereignty and policy, and provides an interdisciplinary framework for students to explore their local food web from diverse perspectives. 

Upon the completion of the program, graduates are expected to:

  • Analyze the effects of change and policy on food systems.
  • Apply agricultural food production, sustainable food practices and cuisine concepts to food system issues.
  • Advocate for sustainable food systems to various audiences.
  • Propose solutions to issues related to the sustainability of food systems.

Sustainable Food Systems

A four-year program leading to the bachelor of science degree

Foundation Courses
Choose Culinary or Baking & Pastry Foundation12
Introduction to Culinary Skills and Techniques (Foundation Courses)
Breakfast & Lunch Cafe
Elements of a la Minute Cooking
Contemporary Cooking & Leadership Functions
Baking and Pastry (21 credits)*
Foundations of Baking and Pastry
Principles of Cake Production and Design
Plated Desserts
Artisan Bread & Viennoiserie I
Artisan Bread & Viennoiserie II
Chocolate, Confections & Mignardise
Artisan Cafe
Major Courses
SFS1001Introduction to Food Systems3
SFS2110Culinary Science, Nutrition & Sensory Analysis3
SFS2210Cooking from the Farmstand3
SFS2410Growing for the Menu3
SFS2411Cooking for Regenerative Foodways3
SFS3001Sustainability in the Culinary Kitchen3
SFS4110Health & the Harvest3
SFS4280Capstone Seminar in Sustainable Food Systems3
Applied/Experiential Learning
Choose 12 credits from the following:12
College of Food Innovation & Technology Advanced Internship **
Directed Experiential Education D
Study Abroad Sa
Related Professional Studies
CAR0010Career Management1
FSM1165The Food Safety Manager ***1
FSM2045Introduction to Menu Planning and Cost Controls3
FYS1020First-Year Seminar1
HSC1230Introduction to Public Health3
A&S Core Experience
Communications Foundation Courses9
Rhetoric & Composition I
Rhetoric & Composition II
Communication Skills
Integrative Learning6
Two ILS courses, one at the 2000 level, one at the 4000 level
Arts & Humanities6
Ethics: A Global Perspective
One course from ART, HIST, HUM, LIT, or REL
A Survey of College Mathematics (or higher, based on student's placement)
Statistics I
Social Sciences6
Culture and Food
One course from ANTH, ECON, GEND, LEAD, PSCI, RES or PSYC
A&S Electives6
Introduction to Political Science
Environmental Science
Free Electives #*
24 credits selected from 1000-4999 numbered offerings within the university ****24
Total Credits123.0

Students choosing Baking and Pastry Arts Foundation courses will use 9 credits of free electives towards the baking lab requirements and have 15 credits of free electives required.


Students in the Sustainable Food Systems program must complete an Applied Experiential Education experience relevant to their area of study in sustainable food systems, including: food production, supply chain management, public health, policy and advocacy, or other related field.


Students must pass a national exam that is recognized by the Conference for Food Protection as a graduation requirement.


Students may choose to enhance their major by selecting from minors such as Culinary SustainabilityEnvironmental Sustainability, or Public Health; or work with an adviser to design their own experience. Students are responsible for meeting prerequisites.

D Directed Experiential Education (DEE) opportunities are based on project availability with community partners and student eligibility. For more information, visit Experiential Education & Career Services (EE&CS). 

SaTo be eligible to count toward Applied/ Experiential Learning, a Study Abroad offering must meet certain requirements. Contact JWU Global to discuss eligible Study Abroad options for this degree program.

#  In addition to classes, free elective credits may be applied to a number of options such as internship, study abroad, Directed Experiential Education courses and courses in a specialization or minor as relevant. For Accelerated Master's program students, up to three graduate-level courses may apply. Students are strongly encouraged to contact a faculty advisor before scheduling free elective credits.

NOTE: Students must pass MATH0010 Pre-Algebra or have equivalent placement scores to enroll in required math course(s).

Note: Students must pass ENG0001 Writing Workshop or have equivalent placement scores to enroll in ILS 2000-level courses

In collaboration with academic colleges across all JWU campuses, JWU Global Study Abroad programs offer a variety of international options for major, minor, arts and sciences, and elective credit at many affordable price points for students during the academic year, break periods, and summer. Faculty-led, exchange, affiliate, and direct-enroll programs range in duration from one week to a full semester or full year. Financial aid may be applied and scholarships are available. Visit the study abroad website for information, program descriptions and online applications. Where will you go?