Food Systems Planning Undergraduate Certificate

Food Systems Planning Undergraduate Certificate

Food Systems Planning Undergraduate Certificate

The Certificate of Undergraduate Study (CUGS) on Food Systems Planning is being offered by the Department of Geography, Planning, and Sustainability at Rowan University. The CUGS requires 12 credit hours. The CUGS is open to matriculated and non-matriculated students. Please reach out to Dr. Meenar (the coordinator of this new CUGS) with any questions.

What is Food Systems Planning CUGS?

The Food Systems Planning CUGS is a way to obtain certification and thorough knowledge in the field of food systems. How we eat determines a large part of how we use the world. With this CUGS you come to understand the social, economic, and environmental benefits of a strong local/regional food system. You will learn where food comes from, how it is cultivated, processed and shipped, and how it interferes with many of the global challenges we are facing on Earth today. While gaining this knowledge you’ll understand the dynamic relationship between food and how it affects ecosystems, health equity, power structure, and society as a whole in cities or rural areas. The American Planning Association is now incorporating food systems planning as an important dimension of its advocacy and professional training. This CUGS will provide students with a foundation in community and regional planning concepts along with a specific focus on how food can foster community and individual-level health, local and regional economic development, and food justice. 

Why enroll?

Food systems planning has relevance in your daily life whether you know it or not. The steps of food production, aggregation, distribution, purchasing, marketing, consumption and the way food waste is covered are all a part of food systems. A strong regional food system promotes a plethora of economic, environmental, and social benefits which can pertain to many fields of studies. The food system has global challenges. The certificate could be attractive to those majoring in Community and Environmental Planning, Environmental and Sustainability Studies, Disaster and Emergency Preparedness, Marketing, Anthropology, Sociology, Public Health, or Law. Issues food systems pertain to can include but are not limited to sustainability, food insecurity, food justice, agricultural practices, farmers and workers rights, and food waste. The concept of food systems can truly be approached from many different perspectives and would be a resourceful addition to anyone's academic or professional accomplishments.

What are the benefits?

The benefit of obtaining this CUGS is that it can be linked to many career opportunities at the local, state, or federal level. With a certification in Food Systems Planning you can be found as a desirable candidate in the field of agriculture, public health, nutrition, planning, education, sustainability, public policy, ecology, marketing or any other field that is inclined to improve or change the food systems. In addition, you will have the capability to make sustainable and rewarding choices with your food consumption, as you will be able to apply what you have learned in your everyday life.

Curriculum: 12 credit hours needed

3 required courses:
  • PLAN 31280: Foundation of Planning and Environmental Design
  • PLAN 31387: Food Systems Planning
  • PLAN 31386: Land Use and Conversation

1 elective course from the following:

  • PLAN 31389: Environmental / Sustainability Planning
  • PLAN 31495: Planning Studio (if the studio is focusing on food systems topic)
  • ANTH 02240: Food and Culture
  • NUT 00410: Nutrition and Public Health
  • GEOG 16307: Geography of Transportation

You can download the course requirements here.