Food Sustainability & Security

PCGS student Ericka M on her capstone research internship teaching the value of composting to school children in Peru



PCGS student Ericka M. on her capstone research internship teaching the value of food waste as a resource to school children in Peru.

All students in the M.A. program in Global Sustainability must complete the core requirements (18 credits), at least one concentration (6 credits), and two elective courses (6 credits).

Core course for this concentration are offered fully online, fully on-campus, or in a combination. Food Sustainability and Security concentration courses are currently only offered on-campus.

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.

Required Courses (6 credit hours):

URP 6444 – Food Systems Planning (3)

This course provides an analysis of the food system and how it relates to planning and public policy. There is increasing recognition of the importance of local, community, and urban policy and approaches to food issues including public health, hunger, food security, food access, and community/economic development. There is also increasing recognition of the waste, injustice, environmental impact, and disease associated with our current conventional food system, prompting interest in alternative approaches including urban and local agriculture, organics, and greater everyday interaction with how food is produced. The course includes three broad sections: 1) an overview of the food system (production, distribution, marketing, and disposal) and how the food system relates to planning and policy; 2) a discussion of problems in the food system; and 3) a survey of new approaches and strategies for improving community food systems.

PHC 6515 – Food Safety (3)

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.

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

  • Identify the key stakeholders of the food system (production, processing, distribution, waste)
  • Articulate challenges and issues in the food system and ways to improve its sustainability
  • Understand the impact of the food industry on public health and the role of safety and sanitation in food security
  • Discuss the role of planners, government, and community organizations in food system development
  • Understand regulatory and policy issues in the food sector
  • Study efforts in the public health sector to prevent foodborne disease outbreaks
  • Discuss consumer concerns regarding GMOs, pesticides, bioterrorism, and agroterrorism

For more information about this concentration, please contact PCGS Admissions Specialist,

Anthony Macedo
(813) 974-5397