Academic Programs

Food Sustainability & Security Concentration

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  Concentration Description:

The M.A. in Global Sustainability concentration in Food Sustainability and Security provides students with a solid understanding of key issues in food systems and safety/security.


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Concentration Director: 

Dr. Joseph W. Dorsey

Adjunct Faculty
Research Capstone Director
Director of Food Sustainability and Security

Dr Dorsey


Concentration Courses (9 credit hours)

Choose three: 

Food is an essential resource for human life, but in modern times, food is a commodity connected to a massive agricultural industry designed to feed billions of people. From a sustainability aspect, global food production, processing, packaging, distribution, consumption and waste have vast implications for individuals, societies, economies and ecosystems. This interdisciplinary course will introduce students to food as an operational component of the environment, human health, and public policy throughout the world. The course will discuss historical perspectives, current issues, and future outlooks of food sustainability as well as address the global challenges to food security. The course will take into consideration the role of food in sustainable development and discuss the potential impacts of climate change as an environmental stress food supply and social and political conditions as well. Lastly, the course will look at possible trajectories of food design, availability, access, and sustainability into the future.

*This course is available on-campus and online.
*Course number may differ from the USF Class Schedule Search.

Overview of global food production systems including both traditional and sustainable agriculture, animal husbandry, and aquatic farming practices, their impact on ecosystems and the environment, and solutions for feeding a rapidly growing population.

*This course is available on-campus and online.
*Course number may differ from the USF Class Schedule Search.

The FEW nexus helps students navigate the complexities of sustainability, using systems thinking and case studies in food, energy, and water to create industrial ecology systems, closing the loop from the solar energy that sustains food production through food waste to new food. 

*This course is available on-campus and online.

In this course, agricultural and biological resources (bioresources) will be explored as an essential means of supporting
a sustainable future for the planet. Efficient and sustainable methods for producing food, fiber, bio-based products, anrenewable energy will be presented along with their environmental impact and supply chain considerations. Emphasis will be placed on the prospects of plant biomass and algae to serve as renewable raw materials for a sustainable economy. The course will cover topics of global challenges in energy, water, and food security, and the interconnections among the three resources with a nexus thinking approach.

*This course is available on-campus and online.

This course provides an overview of food safety principles and practices emphasizing the role of food safety in public health. Emphasis is placed on the leading causes of food borne illness and their associated food groups. Biological, chemical, and physical threats are discussed. Additional topics cover consumer concerns regarding the food supply such as genetically modified organisms, pesticides and other issues. The role of regulatory agencies and food safety education are also discussed.

*This course is only available on-campus.

Provides a general introduction to the food system, how it relates to planning and public policy, and an overview of the tools, strategies, and approaches public policymakers can utilize to address food system problems and challenges.

*This course is only available on-campus.


Upon successful completion of this program, participants should be able to: 

For more information about this concentration, please contact the PCGS Academic Programs Director,

Randall Pape