Online Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Food Systems

Gain a strong foundation in sustainability and sustainable food systems with Arizona State University’s Bachelor of Science in sustainable food systems program online. Using a holistic systems approach, this degree covers the complex connections between food, policy, economic opportunity, natural resources and social equity.

Learn more

Quick facts

Next start date:

Next start date: 05/16/2024


Total classes:

Total classes: 31

Weeks per class:

Weeks per class: 7.5

Total credit hours:

Total credit hours: 120

Degree questions, answered.

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Why study sustainable food systems

The current food systems landscape is changing. By 2047, the world population will reach its carrying capacity of 9.6 billion people. With farmers representing less than 1% of the American population, the creation and implementation of sustainable ways of growing food is more important than ever.

This online sustainable food systems degree prepares you to understand the current landscape and participate in shaping it from an interdisciplinary perspective. Upon graduation, you’ll be equipped to take on meaningful career opportunities and address the global sustainability crisis with innovative solutions.

As part of the educational mission of the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems, this program is offered as a collaboration with the School of Sustainability, College of Health Solutions and Morrison School of Agribusiness.

Additionally, this bachelor’s degree can be completed as part of an Accelerated Master’s program. When accepted, you can earn a master’s degree in as little as one year after completing your undergraduate degree. This opportunity saves you time and money while giving you advanced knowledge in your field. Applicable master's degrees include:

For more information about pursuing the accelerated master’s option, please email foodsystemsgrad@asu.edu.

The skills you'll gain as a sustainable food systems major

 

Throughout this program, you’ll learn how to assess, analyze and create policies and processes related to food security, sustainable agriculture, climate change, food equity and economic development.

You’ll also have the opportunity to specialize this degree by choosing a focus area. Your focus area can help you build on a solid foundation in sustainability and sustainable food systems. It can also help you hone career options by gaining specialized knowledge and skills in the following areas:

  • Business and innovation.
  • Ecosystem services.
  • Educational leadership.
  • Global engagement.
  • Policy and governance.
  • Procurement.
  • Public health and nutrition.

What is sustainable agriculture?

 

Sustainable agriculture is the process of farming with the most efficient use of nonrenewable and on-farm resources. Sustainable agriculture enhances environmental quality by protecting the diversity of plants and animals. It also contributes to local economies and improves societal quality of life by protecting natural resources and providing safe, healthy food products.

Throughout this degree’s core courses, you’ll broadly explore the policies and processes of sustainable agriculture. If you choose to complete this degree with a global engagement focus, you’ll learn about sustainable agricultural development in more detail with four specialized electives.

Will my diploma say ‘online’?

No, Arizona State University’s diplomas don’t specify whether you earn your degree online or in person. All diplomas and transcripts simply say “Arizona State University.”

Sustainability and food system courses

The courses in this program were developed by former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan. Celebrated by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2010 for her impact in the food and agriculture industry, Merrigan designed these courses to provide you with a holistic understanding of sustainable food systems. Throughout your studies, you’ll cover a wide range of subjects, including agriculture, nutrition, policy, planting, production, economics, environmental and societal issues. Courses may include:


SOS 182: Water Planet (SCIT OR SQ)


SOS 326: Sustainable Ecosystems


SOS 220: Systems Thinking


SOS 231: Careers in Sustainability


SOS 310: Equity, Justice and Sustainability


SOS 311: Future Thinking and Strategies


SOS 111: Sustainable Cities (SUST OR (HU or SB) & G)


SOS 110: Sustainable World (SUST OR SB)


Sustainable food systems jobs

Upon graduating from this program, you’ll be prepared to take on a variety of potential career opportunities. Depending on your area of focus and interests, career examples may include, but aren’t limited to: 

Agricultural Manager


Growth: -4.6 %
Salary: $75,760

Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES)


Growth: 7.2 %
Salary: $59,990

Community Health Worker


Growth: 14.1 %
Salary: $46,190

Environmental Protection Specialist


Growth: 6.1 %
Salary: $76,480

Food Scientist


Growth: 7.5 %
Salary: $79,860

General Manager (GM)


Growth: 4.2 %
Salary: $98,100

Procurement Specialist


Growth: -7.6 %
Salary: $45,240

Regulatory Affairs Manager


Growth: 3.3 %
Salary: $128,620

Sustainability Specialist


Growth: 4.1 %
Salary: $75,990

Learn from national leaders in agriculture and sustainability

ASU’s School of Sustainability recruits faculty from the finest minds and practitioners in sustainability science, business, governance and mission-driven organizations. They cover a vast array of disciplines, such as business and policy, renewable energy and environmental science. Through use-inspired research, our faculty strives to make our world more sustainable.

Learn from national leaders in agriculture and sustainability

ASU’s School of Sustainability recruits faculty from the finest minds and practitioners in sustainability science, business, governance and mission-driven organizations. They cover a vast array of disciplines, such as business and policy, renewable energy and environmental science. Through use-inspired research, our faculty strives to make our world more sustainable.

How to apply

I am a future

You’re considered a first-year student for application purposes if you’ve never attended college or have fewer than 12 transferable credit hours.

Learn how to apply.

Competency requirements

Additional admission requirements

High school equivalency

Homeschool

Don't meet admission requirements?

You can still gain general admission to most online programs at ASU through Earned Admission. Through this pathway, you can demonstrate your ability to succeed at ASU by completing online courses with a 2.75 GPA or higher.

To begin, submit an application to ASU. An enrollment coach will reach out with more information if Earned Admission is right for you.

*Some programs may have higher admission requirements. You must meet all program requirements to be admitted.

Don't meet admission requirements?

You can still gain general admission to most online programs at ASU through Earned Admission. Through this pathway, you can demonstrate your ability to succeed at ASU by completing online courses with a 2.75 GPA or higher.

To begin, submit an application to ASU. An enrollment coach will reach out with more information if Earned Admission is right for you.

*Some programs may have higher admission requirements. You must meet all program requirements to be admitted.

Study food systems at the nation's first School of Sustainability

ASU is a global university recognized for its commitment to innovation, research and high-quality academic programs. Our university has been recognized with peer-reviewed honors from U.S. News & World Report. We’ve also received accolades from other prestigious organizations, showcasing our commitment to excellence across all disciplines.

#1


university in the U.S. in pursuit of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

#1


“Cool Schools” for sustainability by Sierra Club for campus sustainability.

Top 10


Coolest Schools by Sierra Club for campus sustainability. 

#1


in innovation for 9 consecutive years, ahead of Stanford and MIT.

Tuition calculator

Use our calculator to estimate your full-time or part-time tuition fees for this program prior to any financial aid. Keep in mind that most of our students receive financial aid, which can reduce out-of-pocket costs. Learn more.

Tuition calculator

Use our calculator to estimate your full-time or part-time tuition fees for this program prior to any financial aid. Keep in mind that most of our students receive financial aid, which can reduce out-of-pocket costs. Learn more.

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