Food Studies Program

Minor in Food Studies

The Food Studies Undergraduate Minor (18 credits) provides students with a broad interdisciplinary understanding of the social, economic, and environmental factors associated with global, national, regional, and local food systems. The minor also provides an opportunity for students to develop a range of professional skills central to work within food-related professions in the private, nonprofit and public sectors. The Food Studies Minor consists of three required courses, and three additional courses organized into tracks, to enable students to pursue a particular food system interest area more deeply. A fourth option allows students to meet the requirements for the minor with two USM courses and a semester abroad at Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy. Diverse internship opportunities are available to Food Studies students, and students are strongly encouraged to participate in an internship as one of their three track courses. 

The minor is designed to achieve a range of student learning outcomes. Upon successful completion of the minor, students will be able to:

  • Describe, critically analyze, and evaluate food systems at multiple levels, including trends and future potential.
  • Identify, question, and take personal responsibility for their individual roles and spheres of influence as participants within the local, regional, national and global food systems, including exercising a level of intercultural competence to be able to effectively engage the broader community on food-related concerns.
  • Apply conceptual, theoretical and technical food systems concepts and knowledge to real world circumstances and challenges, including designing, and/or evaluating solutions.
  • Identify, analyze, and evaluate contemporary and historical factors that affect food supply and food security, including environmental issues and issues of power and social justice (e.g., labor, economic, environmental, racial and gender equity).
  • Analyze, assess and critically evaluate the relationships between place, culture, and food systems.
  • Develop and practice workforce skills and knowledge in a food-related context through an engaged learning experience; these include skills essential to leadership, entrepreneurship and business, policy analysis, advocacy and organizing, and oral and written communication.

In addition, students will be able to:

  • Exercise critical thinking skills, including analysis and evaluation;
  • Communicate clearly and effectively in both oral and written form;
  • Demonstrate fundamental scientific or technical literacy (this could be acquired outside the Program, or within the Program through courses linking science and policy); and
  • Apply disciplinary knowledge from their major to their minor, and interdisciplinary knowledge from their minor to their major

The minimum number of credits (exclusive of the University's Core Curriculum) required for the minor: 18.

To complete the Food Studies minor, students must take a total of 18 credits. The minor consists of three required courses (9 credits), and three courses (9 credits) in one of four tracks: Social Justice, Policy and Advocacy; Entrepreneurship; Hospitality and Management; Study Abroad. The Social Justice, Policy and Advocacy, and Hospitality and Management tracks have one required class focused on developing a particular set of professional skills based on their field of interest (3 credits) and two additional electives (6 credits). The Entrepreneurship track has two required classes focused on developing professional skills (6 credits), and one elective (3 credits). Students are strongly encouraged to apply for a paid internship (also 3 credits) as one of their elective courses. Note that an internship is the required course for the Self-Designed Track.

Students must earn a C- or better in each course in order for the course to count towards the minor.

Required Courses
 (9 credits)
   FSP 100/EYE 199 Introduction to Food Systems
   FSP 200 Food, Power and Social Justice
   FSP 210 Food and Environment

Tracks
In their selected track, students take one or two courses emphasizing professional skills (indicated by an asterisk) and an additional 3-6 credits in the track.

A. Social Justice, Policy and Advocacy Track
   Required Course
  *ECO 323 US Labor and Employment Relations

   Elective Courses
   ECO 335 Political Economy of Food
   FSN 270 World Food and Nutrition (online Orono)
   FSP 225 Topics in Food Studies
   FSP 311 Food Policy and Planning
   FSP 320 Poverty and Hunger
   FSP 390 Independent Study
   FSP 395 Internship in Food Studies
   SOC 363 Food, Culture and Society

B. Entrepreneurship Track
   Required Courses

  *BUS 260 Marketing
  *FSP 215 Entrepreneurship and the Business of Food

   Elective Courses
   BUS 341 Product Development
   BUS 347 Triple Bottom Line
   BUS 362 Market Opportunity Analysis
   FSP 225 Topics in Food Studies
   FSP 390 Independent Study
   FSP 395 Internship in Food Studies

C. Hospitality and Management Track
   Required Course

  *TAH 222 Food and Beverage Management

   Elective Courses
  
FSP 225 Topics in Food Studies
   FSP 390 Independent Study
   FSP 395 Internship in Food Studies
   TAH 224 Off-site Catering
   TAH 228 Introduction to the Craft Beer Sector
   TAH 264 Culinary Tourism
   TAH 361 Local Food & Agritourism
   TAH 426 Beverage Operations

D. Study Abroad Option
Students can complete the minor by studying at Umbra Institute's Food & Sustainability Studies Program in Perugia, Italy. Students must take FSP 100 and FSP 200 at USM, and four courses (three required, one elective) through Umbra Institute's Food & Sustainability Studies Program. FSP 100 must be taken prior to studying abroad.

   Required Umbra Institute courses:
   FSST 330: Sustainability and Food Production in Italy
   HIST 350: History and Culture of Food in Italy   
   ITAL 101: Introductory Italian

   Elective Umbra Institute courses (choose one):
  
ANFS 375: The Anthropology of Food
   BUS 355: Wine and Olive Oil: Marketing and Communication Strategies
   FSST 250: Food Chemistry: The Science of Italian Cuisine
   FSST 320: Water Resources: Environment, Society and Power
   FSST 325: From Literature to Social Media: Reading and Writing Italian Food

For further information, please contact the Food Studies Administrative Specialist.

E. Self-Designed Option
   Required Course
  
*FSP 395 Internship in Food Studies

   Elective Courses
   BUS 260 Marketing
   BUS 341 Product Development
   BUS 347 Triple Bottom Line
   BUS 362 Market Opportunity Analysis
   ECO 323 US Labor and Employment Relations
   ECO 335 Political Economy of Food
   FSN 270 World Food and Nutrition (online Orono)
   FSP 215 Entrepreneurship and the Business of Food
   FSP 225 Topics in Food Studies
   FSP 300 Food: History, Culture, Politics
   FSP 311 Food Policy and Planning
   FSP 320 Poverty and Hunger
   FSP 395 Internship in Food Studies
   FSP 396 Food Studies Independent Study and Research
   SBS 304 Food, Culture and Eating
   SOC 363 Food, Culture and Society
   TAH 222 Food and Beverage Management
   TAH 224 Off-site Catering
   TAH 264 Culinary Tourism
   TAH 361 Local Food & Agritourism
   TAH 426 Beverage Operations

*Required track course