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Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Food Systems

The movement for sustainable and just food systems has gained tremendous momentum in recent years, and with it the demand for policy makers and advocates, community organizers, and industry professionals to think holistically about our society’s food systems.

The Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Food Systems at Portland State University offers students the opportunity to explore the complex issues and relationships between food, people, and society. The program draws on the expertise of faculty from departments across the University), providing an interdisciplinary understanding of the issues, perspectives, strategies, and solutions involved in creating sustainable food systems. It connects a range of academic areas related to food systems, including public administration, community health, urban and regional planning, business, and education.

The certificate program provides students with a foundation of knowledge and practical experience, to help them confront the pressing challenges currently facing sustainable food systems. These challenges include environmental degradation, corporate consolidation, and social injustices. Students will learn about new responses to these issues, such as sustainable agriculture, re-development of indigenous food systems, community land trusts, worker co-ops, farm labor organizing movements, the Fight for $15, and the calls for a new Farm Bill.

As a national leader in innovative work on sustainable food systems, communities within  Portland, Oregon, also provide unique opportunities for students to expand their knowledge and experience of food systems and respond to the growing demand in the region and around the world. The city offers access to a wide range of nonprofits, progressive private-sector companies, urban and rural farms, government agencies, and established community partners.

The Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Food Systems is designed to serve two types of students:

  • Graduate students enrolled in a PSU graduate degree program seeking to add expertise in sustainable food systems to their course of study.
  • Professionals who hold a bachelor’s degree and seek to broaden their training, increase their knowledge of current issues in food systems, or enhance their employment prospects. 

The certificate program is relevant for people aspiring to work in a variety of settings, including Farm-to-School programs, urban agriculture nonprofits, regional food systems development and advocacy, farming, local, regional, or state policy, producer and consumer cooperatives, and B-Corps. 

Learn about program requirements, visit our FAQ page, meet our faculty and students, or apply now.