Be innovative

student using hand blender in vat
student selling meat
students wearing lab coats
adding grain to machine

Study Food Systems in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

At UVM, it's in our nature to think differently and to challenge the usual. We are the first and only university in the country to offer undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees in Food Systems.

As a leader in food systems nationally, Vermont offers students access to a living classroom, a working laboratory, and professors who think as broadly as the disciplines they straddle. But once you're here, you'll just call it home.

The B.S. program deeply educates students on all aspects of the food system:

  • Agricultural systems
  • Environmental, social, and economic sustainability of food production with a changing climate
  • Food and health
  • Food security
  • Policy development at federal, state, and local levels
  • Understanding the complex dynamics of a global food systems

Major requirements


Students will also acquire a depth of knowledge in a specific discipline related to food systems by choosing one of the following concentrations:

Natural Sciences: Animal Science, Ecological Agriculture, Environmental Science, Microbiology, Molecular Genetics, Nutrition and Food Sciences, Plant Biology, Soil Science, or Sustainable Landscape Horticulture

Social Sciences: Community Entrepreneurship, Community and International Development, Environmental Studies, Nutrition and Food Sciences, Public Communication, or Sustainable Landscape Horticulture

Beyond the classroom

Food Systems majors will complete 6 credits of internship or research as part of the curriculum.  

internships that take you beyond the classroomInternships 

Vermont is nationally recognized for its work in the food systems, which provides countless opportunities for students in Food Systems to gain valuable hands-on experience with a mentor, as well as learning through community partnerships in the classroom.  You may decide to work on a farm, learn about food safety, study sustainability with a food producer, work with a non-profit to do nutrition education, or engage in food policy and community development.  As broad as our food system is, so are the opportunities to find your niche and area of interest.

Click here for more information on food systems internships


lab research that takes you beyond the classroomResearch

CALS students are eligible to participate in the Distinguished Undergraduate Research program, regardless of major.  This is an opportunity to work with a faculty member to conduct research in a specific area of food systems. Often students who participate in research are preparing for graduate college, including medical or veterinary school.  Food systems students are encouraged to consider research as part of their undergraduate studies.  Examples of recent food systems related research include:

Vermont: Our Living Classroom

Fact: Since 2009, the Vermont food system has grown by 5,300 new jobs and an increase in $10 billion in annual sales.

Graduate employment rate


of CALS graduates were employed full-time or continuing their education within 6 months of graduating from UVM


  • Landscape manager
  • Agri-Food Production Management
  • Plant and animal nutritionist
  • Food processing and distribution
  • Greenhouse manager
  • Research technologist
  • Food technology specialist
  • Agricultural reporter
  • Magazine editor
  • Food marketing and sales
  • Marketing research
  • Peace Corps work
  • Organic certification specialist
  • Non-profit organization work
  • State and Federal Government work
  • International food production
  • Plant breeder
  • Plant nutrition specialist
  • Nursery operator
  • Seed producer
  • Soil microbiologist

Where alumni work

  • Ben and Jerry's
  • Annie's Inc.
  • Cabot Creamery Cooperative
  • Ausable Brewing Company
  • Chobani Yogurt
  • Lake Champlain Chocolates
  • Nestle
  • Vermont Farm to Plate Program
  • FoodCorps
  • Keurig Green Mountain, Inc.
  • Healthy Living Market
  • Hunger Free Vermont
  • Keeley's Cheese Company, owner

Graduate Schools

  • UVM Accelerated Food Systems Program

Related Information