Minor in Food Systems and Nutrition

The Food Systems and Nutrition minor provides a solid foundation for understanding food systems from a holistic perspective while providing flexibility to specialize in an area relevant to students’ own interests and career goals. The range of disciplines and schools at Tufts offers the opportunity to explore a wide array of topics such as sustainable food production, nutrition or plant science, policy and planning, food access and food justice. Students find the minor a useful complement to their aims of working for non-profit organizations or government agencies, launching a business start-up, or pursuing careers in health or community development, providing critical interdisciplinary training for effective participation in the challenging and urgent set of issues surrounding food.

The faculty advisor for the minor is Dr. Cathy Stanton.

Learning Objectives

After completion of this minor students will be able to:

  • Generate a holistic view of the food system and understand the links among different stakeholders, sectors, and issues
  • Integrate interdisciplinary knowledge and approaches to understanding, addressing, and communicating food system issues
  • Critically analyze existing data to generate evidentiary claims
  • Establish proficiency in team-work that meets deadlines and explores solutions, and provide examples of how multidisciplinary teams can be assembled to participate effectively in food systems research and practice
  • Critically address ethical and public policy questions that arise in the production, distribution, and consumption of food

Learn about the Tufts Food Rescue Collaborative

Program Requirements and Policies

The minor in Food Systems and Nutrition requires a total of six courses and is cohesively structured to maximize student learning and reflection. Therefore, while the following sequence of classes is not mandatory it is strongly recommended. 

Students are advised to start with the required interdisciplinary gateway course (ENV 9 Food Systems.) This course examines the intersecting systems and ideas that shape food production, processing, distribution, and consumption. Additionally, students must take an introductory course and three electives drawn from thematic areas of the student's choice. The minor ends with a required practicum, designed to integrate academic learning with application in a range of food systems settings.

Course Requirements

Gateway Courses

  • ENV 009 Food Systems (Fall)

All students are required to take ENV 009. Enrollment preference will be given to students that have declared the Food and Nutrition minor or Environmental Studies majors completing the Food, Nutrition and the Environment track. Students considering the minor are strongly advised to take this course first.

Introductory Course(s)

One or two of the following courses (a second introductory course may also be counted as an elective):

  • ANTH 126 Food, Nutrition, and Culture (Variable)
  • BIO 010 Plants and Humanity (Fall, Summer)
  • NU 101 Human Nutrition (Spring)
  • PHIL 0025 Food Ethics (Spring)


Three courses with a central focus on food (may include one additional introductory-level course):

  • ANTH 157 Cities and Food (Spring)
  • ANTH 174 Thinking with Plants (Variable)
  • BIO 008 Microbiology of Food (Fall)
  • BIO 116 General Physiology II (Spring)
  • BIO 118 Plant Physiology (Spring)
  • BIO 185 (Food for All: Ecology, Biotechnology, Sustainability (Fall, Summer)
  • ED 014 Food and Schools (Fall)
  • ENV 100 Sustainability in Action (Spring)
  • ENV 128/VISC128 Food as Sculpture (Spring)
  • HIST 005 History of Consumption (Fall)
  • HIST 154 Health and Healing in Early Modern Europe (Spring)
  • NUTR 215 Fundamentals of US Agriculture (limited enrollment for undergraduates) (Fall)
  • PSY 128 Nutrition and Behavior (Variable)
  • UEP 285 Food Justice (limited enrollment for undergraduates) (Fall)

Additional semester-by-semester pre-approved food-focused electives

Students may also petition to count courses that include a substantial amount of independent work/assignments focused on food. Most courses at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy can also be petitioned to count toward the minor. Not all are open to undergraduate students; contact individual instructors to inquire about enrolling in a specific course.

Submit your course petition forms to environmentalstudies@tufts.edu.


The practicum is a chance to integrate and apply your academic learning while reflecting critically on issues arising from active participation in food systems. There are several alternative options to fulfill this requirement

  • ENV 190 Practicing in Food Systems (Project-based mixed-methods course, Spring semester)
  • An equivalent project-based class approved by the minor advisor
  • An independent research project supervised by a Tufts faculty member with relevant expertise (ENV 198 or equivalent in another department) and approved by the minor advisor
  • An approved internship or other hands-on experience with food systems practice (enroll as ENV 192 Food Minor Practicum, with supervision by the minor advisor and an on-site supervisor if appropriate.)