UC Berkeley launches a graduate certificate in food systems

December 10, 2018

graduate student conducts a crop diversity study at a farmsite

The health of our population and planet depends largely on the food we eat and how its produced. The Berkeley Food Institute (BFI) drives that conversation across UC Berkeley’s campus and beyond, focusing on the science behind food systems as well as systemic social and ecological changes required to make our food systems healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable.

That’s why, starting in January 2019, master’s and doctoral students across disciplines can enroll to earn a Graduate Certificate in Food Systems (GSFS). Hosted by the School of Public Health and Goldman School of Public Policy, the GSFS invites graduate students across campus to think critically about the systems in place behind our food, on both a local and global scale.

The certificate requires three courses: one core course, plus two electives. The core course, called “Transforming Food Systems: From Agroecology to Population Health,” is taught by Dr. Kris Madsen, faculty director of BFI and associate professor in the Joint Medical Program at the School of Public Health. A pediatrician and research scientist, Madsen studies pediatric obesity and health disparities. She recently examined the impact of soda tax legislation on soda consumption. Her course will bring in various players in the food systems field as guest lecturers to address problems through strategies from disciplines like agroecology, law, and public health.

For the other two courses, students can choose electives from a list of courses taught across campus on various aspects of food systems—from the sociology of agriculture, to food law and policy and the health implications of climate change.

For more information on the Graduate Certificate in Food Systems, visit the Berkeley Food Institute website.

By Austin Price