College Schools, Departments & Programs

Food Institute

Certificate in Food Studies

The aim of the Certificate in Food Studies is to lead students toward a more profound understanding of the important environmental, political, economic, and public health issues attached to food production, transportation, transformation, and consumption.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Develop a deeper understanding of the culture, politics, and science of food, recognizing how food not only is key to physical survival and health, but also essential to our spiritual and social institutions;
  • Recognize the many intersecting forces and interests that influence the production and consumption of food and investigate alternative models that may address underlying economic and health issues associated with the current model;
  • Learn as interns how an industrial kitchen works and how farming methods (whether organic, single-family, industrial, or urban) are incorporated into commercial ventures; and
  • Analyze the ecological impact of current food systems and investigate innovative strategies to modify our food systems while providing the nourishment our society needs.

Students must complete 24 credit hours of coursework, including all other College requirements for certificates and the following:

  1. Food Studies Core. Complete the following course:
    • GEOG-G 218 Edible Education
  2. Internships.1 Complete two (2) internships, one (1) in each of the following areas:
    1. Indoor: focuses on food preparation, or other aspects of the food system. Likely venues include campus dining halls, local restaurants, and community kitchens.
    2. Outdoor: focuses on food cultivation, production, and distribution: the campus garden, local farms, community gardens and other options. These might take place at the campus garden(s) or local farms.
  3. Elective Courses.2 Complete at least 15 credits of courses from the Food Studies Electives list. Students must complete at least 3 credit hours in each of the following categories:
    1. The history, art and culture of food
      • AMST-A 351 American Studies in Transnational Contexts: American Appetites
      • ANTH-E 337 Food, Sex and Gender
      • ANTH-P 375 Food in the Ancient World
      • COLL-C 103 Critical Approaches to the Arts and Humanities (Approved topics: Global Appetites/Local Tastes; Food and Society; Foodstuff: Food and the Arts)
      • COLL-C 104 Critical Approaches to the Social and Historical Studies (Approved topic: Chocolate: Food of the Gods)
      • FRIT-F 227 French Style: Food, Fashion and Flair
      • FRIT-M 222 Topics in Italian Culture (Approved topic: Food and Family in Italian American Culture)
      • GEOG-G 369 The Geography of Food
      • GEOG-G 384 Food, Place and War
      • HIST-W 200 Issues in World History (Approved topic: Food in History)
    2. The political economy of food
      • ANTH-A 205 Anthropology Today: Selected Topics in Current Research (Approved topic: Exploring Sustainable Agriculture and Trade)
      • ANTH-A 221 Anthropology of Food
      • ANTH-E 400 Undergraduate Seminar (Approved topic: People and Plants: Ethnobotany)
      • ANTH-E 421 Food and Culture
      • ANTH-E 426 Coffee Culture, Production, and Markets
      • COLL-C 104 Critical Approaches to the Social and Historical Studies (Approved topic: Foodstuff: Food and Culture)
      • ECON-E 364 Environment and Resource Economics
      • FOLK-F 215 Health and Morbidity in Traditional Cultures
      • GEOG-G 208 Environment and Society
      • GEOG-G 307 Biogeography: The Distribution of Life
      • GEOG-G 469 Food and Global Poverty
      • GEOG-G 478 Global Change, Food, and Farming Systems
      • LTAM-L 426 Special Topics in LTAM Studies (Approved topic: Roots, Fruits, and Jamaican Ecologies)
      • INTL-X 370 Topics with Service Learning in International Studies (Approved topic: Food Security)
      • POLS-Y 200 Contemporary Political Topics (Approved topic: The Politics of What's for Dinner)
      • SPEA-E 400 Farming the City: Global Perspectives on Urban Agriculture & Food Security
    3. The science of food
      • ANTH-P 380 Prehistoric Diet and Nutrition
      • BIOL-L 222 The City as Ecosystem
      • BIOL-L 350 Environmental Biology
      • BIOT-T 270 Alcohol and the Science of Fermentation
      • CLLC-L 100 Collins Seminar (Approved topic: Edible Wild Plants)
      • COLL-C 105 Critical Approaches to the Natural and Mathematical Sciences (Approved topics: Biology of Food; Foodstuff: Food and Science)
      • GEOG-G 307 Biogeography: Distribution of Life
      • HON-H 241 Scientific Uncertainty and Discovery (Approved topic: Food for Thought–The Cognitive Science of Eating)
      • SPEA-H 428 Food Science and Sanitation
      • SPH-N 220 Nutrition for Health
      • SPH-H 235 Obesity and Health
      • SPH-N 231 Human Nutrition
      • SPH-N 320 Food Chemistry
      • SPH-N 325 Food Chemistry Laboratory
      • SPH-N 331 Life Cycle Nutrition
      • SPH-N 336 Community Nutrition
      • SPH-O 199 Ecological Landscaping
      • SPH-O 343 Fundamentals of Sustainable Agriculture
      • SPH-R 214 Wildflowers and Wild Edibles
  4. Capstone. Complete the following course:
    • GEOG-G 498 Capstone in Geography

The Food Institute in collaboration with The College of Arts and Sciences Walter Center for Career Achievement will help students to arrange internships with IU facilities and other local sponsors. Although focused on Bloomington and the surrounding countryside, students might also choose to fulfill internship requirements at farms or kitchens closer to their own homes during summer breaks. The following courses are recommended if academic credit for internships is desired:

  • ASCS-X 373 Internship: Theory into Practice
  • SPH-O 199 Ecological Landscaping

2 No more than six (6) credit hours earned in courses outside the College of Arts and Sciences may be applied towards certificate requirements.