Careers in Food Studies
Thinking about majoring in food studies? Students with a bachelor of science degree in food studies might seek employment with government agencies dealing with food and agriculture issues, food-oriented non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that work on sustainability and food security issues, and food processing, preparation and distribution firms.
Understanding the program requirements to prepare for the types of jobs available once you finish your degree program will help your planning. At Falk College, food studies students train in the fast-changing landscape of both international and national food policy and local food governance systems and food enterprise management. Our program focuses on the structural conditions of inequalities, injustice, and imbalances in the food system combined with deep exploration of the levers of social change, including social movements, public policy, and equitably organized food and nutrition economies.
Sample undergraduate courses in food policy our majors and minors take include:
- FST 102 – Food Fights: Contemporary Food Issues
- FST 202 – Agroecology
- FST 303 – Food Movements
- FST 307 – Feeding the World: Global Agri-Food Governance
- FST 310 – Will Work for Food: Labor Across the Food Chain
- FST 403 – The Human Right to Adequate Food and Nutrition
Sample undergraduate courses in food enterprise management include:
- FST 304 – Farm to Fork
- FST 306 – Food Cooperatives
- FST 309 – Philosophy & Practice of Locavorism
- FST 312 – Emergency Food Systems
- FST 402 – Feeding the City: Urban Food Systems
- NSD 114 – Food Safety and Quality Assurance
- NSD 216 – Restaurant and Food Service Operations
- NSD 275 – Food Service Systems
The bachelor of science in food studies at Syracuse is purposefully designed so students can add another major or a minor to their program of study to enhance career opportunities after graduation. Falk food studies majors have simultaneously obtained degrees in nutrition and dietetics, policy studies, public health, and writing and rhetoric. Food studies majors might consider minors in areas including information studies, public health, nutrition and dietetics and management studies, among others. For example, students pairing food studies and writing majors might pursue career opportunities in food magazine writing. Students with a food studies major and information management and technology minor develop a skillset in food policy and information systems and information policy that prepares them for leadership positions in federal, state, and local government. Our faculty and staff advisors work closely with students on approaching majors and minors complementary to food studies.
The master of science degree in food studies enhances students’ employment profiles in food-related fields, including opportunities in numerous established and emerging areas. These areas include local and national government regulation of the food industry and NGO engagements in advocacy and policy associated with the human right to food and nutrition, food sovereignty, and food and nutrition security. A graduate degree in food studies prepares students to work on issues related to trade and economic and social development on community, national, and international scales.
At the graduate level, preparation includes a required Food Studies Research Methods (FST 604) and at least one additional methods or program evaluation course of a student’s choosing.
Other sample graduate courses in food studies:
- FST 603 – The Human Right to Adequate Food and Nutrition
- FST 702 – Political Economy of Food
- FST 703 – Transnational Food, Health and the Environment
- FST 706 – Gender, Food, Rights
- NSD 756 – Food and Public Policy
Students interested in careers in food studies find it helpful to supplement their courses with hands-on experiences. Opportunities can span many areas.
Goodfoodjobs.com, comfoodjobs.com, foodnavigator.com, idealist.org, and foodsystemsnetwork.org are examples of websites that promote the steadily growing professional opportunities in food-related fields with public, for-profit, and not-for-profit organizations. The rapid growth in food studies and food systems degree programs in the U.S. attest to the growing demand for persons with the related training. Graduates of our undergraduate and graduate food studies programs are well prepared for these jobs, as well as for advanced graduate work at the Ph.D. level. Many doctoral programs available today are increasingly focusing on food studies and food systems research.