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2020-2021 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Sustainable Food Systems Undergraduate Certificate

Strong local food systems are essential for healthy local communities. Students preparing for careers in local food enterprises, health care, sustainability, education, business, social work, nonprofit administration, and many other fields will benefit from the skills and experience necessary to address the role of food in community life.

Why Study Sustainable Food Systems at Grand Valley?

  • Gain a deep understanding of sustainable food systems and their impacts on society and the environment.
  • Learn practical gardening, recycling, and composting skills.
  • Participate in hands-on experiences at the GVSU Sustainable Agriculture Project campus farm site.
  • Gain a broad interdisciplinary understanding and integration of multiple perspectives on food systems, food justice, environmental stewardship, nutrition, and community.
  • Learn and understand food needs of different communities.
  • Act to support local food production and environmental stewardship for the next generation.


Anyone admitted to Grand Valley as a degree-seeking student may earn the certificate in sustainable food systems. The certificate will be awarded at the same time as the degree. All undergraduate certificates at GVSU have received Higher Learning Commission approval, and students are eligible for financial aid because they are seeking a degree. To complete the certificate, students must select a total of 16 to 20 credits. Students may pursue the certificate in sustainable food systems concurrently with any major or minor. Any course that satisfies both requirements will be counted toward the certificate and the student's major or minor.

Certificate Requirements

To complete the certificate, degree-seeking students must select a total of 16 to 20 credits. In addition to three required courses, students must select one course from each of the two groups of electives, and one additional elective from either group for a total of three elective courses. No more than two elective courses with the same prefix are allowed.

Required Courses

Students must take seven to 10 credits, including:

Elective Courses

Students must take nine to 10 credits as follows.

Group One: Agriculture

Select at least one course from the following (three to four credits):

Group Two: Food and Nutrition

Select at least one course (three credits) from the following:

If you are in need of assistance please submit any questions or comments.