Food Studies Program


Are you curious about where and how the food you eat is grown and processed? Do you want to ensure all people have access to ample nutritious food? Are you interested in working for a growing food-based business? Then an undergraduate minor in Food Studies may be for you!

student in field

The Food Studies Program is designed to provide a comprehensive learning experience about food systems that is tailored to each student’s own unique interests. The Program combines in-depth classroom learning with real world experiences, including paid internships, service learning projects, and applied research.

Within all Food Studies courses, the Program recognizes:

  • that we are working within a finite natural system, one with limited natural resources which face competing demands at an increasing rate;
  • that a sustainable food system is one that is steadfastly committed to social justice;
  • that climate change is a critical concern that will increasingly impact all aspects of the food system;
  • that public policy influences nearly all aspects of the food system; and
  • that fisheries are a central component of Maine’s food system.

These premises drive our Program goals:

  • USM students graduating with an Undergraduate Minor, Graduate Certificate or Master’s level coursework in Food Studies will have a solid interdisciplinary academic understanding of global, national, regional and local food systems, and with general professional skills essential to successful food-related work in the private, nonprofit and public sectors.
  • USM will develop and maintain strong collaborations with the local food-based business, nonprofit and public sectors to support positive social, economic and environmental impact.
  • USM students, faculty and staff will actively engage with the public and with policymakers to promote understanding of food-related issues, with an emphasis on environmental and community sustainability, and the interconnectedness of Maine’s land and ocean-based food systems.
  • USM students, faculty and staff will actively engage with the public and with policymakers on issues related to social and environmental justice in all aspects of food systems work, including food security.


USM's Food Studies Undergraduate Minor - Launching January, 2017
Learn more about our Food Studies Minor here.

Food Studies Internship Program - Launching Fall, 2017
Diverse food-related internships will be available to Food Studies students beginning Fall, 2017. Internships are designed to provide real-world experience of and insight into food system-related professional roles through work in a community food-based business, organization or agency.  

USM's Food Studies Graduate Certificate - Launching January, 2018