Graduate Certificate in Food Systems
About the Certificate
The Graduate Certificate in Food Systems empowers new leaders with the capacity to create innovative solutions to pressing food and agriculture challenges. Building on UC Berkeley’s strength as a cross-disciplinary pioneer in food systems studies, the Graduate Certificate in Food Systems prepares masters and doctoral students to think critically about the multi-level, multi-system factors that impact food production, distribution, and consumption locally, nationally, and globally. This interdisciplinary program complements students’ primary fields of study by addressing the ecological, social, health, political, policy, legal, and economic dimensions of food and agriculture and providing graduates with the necessary theoretical framework and practical skills that can be applied across diverse and emerging food systems challenges.
The Graduate Certificate core course also provides a unique networking opportunity for students across campus to connect with a shared interest in food systems. Typically students from ten different Berkeley degree programs participate in the core course; together they make an interdisciplinary intellectual community not typically found within students’ primary degree programs.
The Graduate Certificate in Food Systems is hosted by the School of Public Health, Rausser College of Natural Resources, and Goldman School of Public Policy, and administered by the Berkeley Food Institute. Students from any graduate program at UC Berkeley are eligible to earn the certificate.
Please contact email@example.com with any questions. See below for more information about eligibility and course requirements.
How to earn the Graduate Certificate in Food Systems
In order to earn the Graduate Certificate in Food Systems, you must:
- Be currently enrolled in a UC Berkeley graduate program, and
- Be in good academic standing, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
You must also complete a minimum of 3 courses (totaling a minimum of 9 units), each of which must be taken for a letter grade. Those courses must be:
- The required core course: PB HLTH 207: Transforming Food Systems: From Agroecology to Population Health (3 units, taught each fall)
- A minimum of two elective courses, chosen from the list below, totaling a minimum of 6 units. Courses not on the electives list will be considered on a case by case basis.
We encourage students to take all certificate courses outside their primary degrees. However, one course can overlap with your primary degree requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to review the course catalog and confirm the course if offered. For any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Complete the Application for Admission Form to plan out your certificate coursework. You are encouraged to apply prior to taking the core course, though it is not required. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. For students in two-year masters programs, you are encouraged to take the core course and/or at least one elective during your first year to ensure you are able to complete the certificate requirements.
This application for admission signals a student’s interest in the Graduate Certificate in Food Systems, but does not guarantee that the certificate will be awarded, nor guarantee a seat in approved courses.
Once you have fulfilled all requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Food Systems, please submit the Certificate Completion Form by April 15 of your graduating year. This deadline ensures that the certificate appears on your transcript. If you have certificate courses in progress during your final semester, you can indicate this on the form. Final grades will be verified prior to award of the certificate.
Completion of the Graduate Certificate in Food Systems will be noted in the memorandum section of your official transcript (not on your diploma). At the time of completion, each student receives a physical certificate signed by the deans of Berkeley Public Health, Rausser College of Natural Resources, and Goldman School of Public Policy.
PBHLTH 207 Transforming Food Systems: From Agroecology to Population Health is held every fall and taught by Kristine Madsen, Professor in the Joint Medical Program/Public Health Nutrition. The course is conducted as a weekly seminar with guest lectures by UC Berkeley’s preeminent food systems scholars and other experts in the field. It takes a solutions-oriented approach to addressing the pressing problems in current food systems through strategies used by the disciplines of agroecology, policy, law, public health, and business in working to improve food systems and apply their varied approaches to real-world case studies. Through weekly readings, discussions, and problem-solving sessions with Berkeley’s leading food systems experts, students will gain a broad understanding of food systems and the leverage points that can be targeted to improve the health of people and the planet.
The Fall 2023 core course will be held on Thursdays, 2 to 5pm, for in-person instruction (pending latest public health guidelines).
The following electives count toward the Graduate Certificate in Food Systems. Note that not every course is offered on a yearly basis. Check guide.berkeley.edu for the most up to date course descriptions and class schedule. Classes in bold with an * are being held in Fall 2023.
- *ANTHRO 230: Food, Agriculture, and Sovereignty, 4 Units (Fall). Christine Hastorf.
- ARESEC 242 Quantitative Policy Analysis, 3 Units (Spring). David Zilberman and Brian Wright.
- *CY PLAN C256/PB HLTH C233 Healthy Cities, 3 Units (Fall). Jason Corburn.
- DEVP 227 Principles of Natural Resource Management, 2 Units (Spring). David Zilberman, Catherine Ruth Van Dyke.
- ENERES 275 Water and Development, 4 Units (Spring, every other year). Isha Ray.
- ENERES 290/ ESPM 290 Agrarian Questions: Land, Labor, and Livelihoods, 4 Units (Spring). Youjin Chung.
- ENGIN 283 Special Topics in Technology and Entrepreneurship: Technical Foundations for Alternative Ingredients and Foods, 3 Units (Fall). Celia Homyak.
- ESPM 226 Interdisciplinary Food and Agriculture Studies, 3 Units (Fall, every 3 years). Timothy Bowles & Alastair Iles.
- ESPM 230 Sociology of Agriculture, 4 Units (Spring). Kathryn de Master.
- ESPM 235 Indigenous Environmental Studies, 4 Units (Spring). Elizabeth Hoover.
- *ESPM 261 Sustainability and Society, 3 Units (Fall). Alastair Iles.
- ESPM 268 Seminar in Range Ecology (Agroforestry), 2 Units (Fall). Lynn Huntsinger.
- *ESPM 278 Range Assessment, 3 Units (Fall and/or Spring).
- ESPM 280 Seminar in Range Ecosystem Planning and Policy, 3 Units (Spring). James Bartolome.
- *ESPM 298 Directed Group Study: Agroecology in a Planet in Crisis, 1 Unit (Fall). Miguel Altieri. (Class will meet over 4 Mondays from 9/18-10/9).
- ETHSTD 250/ ESPM 232 Research Seminar: Indigenizing Cultural Heritage Management and Land Stewardship, 4 Units (Spring). Peter Nelson.
- MBA 292N Food Innovation Studio, 2 Units (Fall). Will Rosenzweig. (This course is by application; instructions will be posted here when the course is next offered)
- MBA 292T Edible Education 101, 3 Units (Spring). Will Rosenzweig. (For nonHaas students: the MBA Program does not use CalCentral to manage its course enrollments. You must instead use the Haas Online Registrar system. Go to mbarequest.haas.berkeley.edu to submit your request. Requests open in early December for spring classes).
- NUSCTX 260 Metabolic Bases of Human Health and Diseases, 4 Units (Spring). Andreas Stahl, Ronald M. Krauss.
- PBHLTH 206B Food and Nutrition Policies and Programs, 3 Units (Spring). Wendi Gosliner, Lia Fernald, or Barbara Laraia.
- *PBHLTH 206D Programs and Policies in Global Nutrition, 3 Units (Fall). Lia Haskin Fernald, Isabel Madzorera.
- *PBHLTH 207A Public Health Aspects of Maternal and Child Nutrition, 2–3 Units (Fall). Lia Fernald.
- PBHLTH 209A/MBA 292T.8 Plant Futures Symposium: Introduction to Plant-Centric Food Systems, 1 Unit (Spring). Will Rosenzweig, Brittany D Sartor.
- *PBHLTH 209B Plant Futures Challenge Lab, 3 Units. (Spring). Will Rosenzweig, Brittany D Sartor.
- PBHLTH 266A Foodborne Diseases, 2 Units (Spring, every other year). Sangwei Lu.
- PBHLTH C271G/ESPM C282 Health Implications of Climate Change, 3 Units (Spring). Justin Remais.
- PBHLTH 271J Social Justice and Worker Health, 3 Units (Fall, every other year). Suzan Teran and John Balmes.
- PUBPOL 290 The Social Safety Net, Poverty and Income Inequality, 4 Units (Spring). Hilary Hoynes.
Students can petition for graduate courses (200 level) beyond the standard elective list to count toward the certificate. Particularly 290 Special Topics and 299 Independent Study courses will be considered on a case by case basis, as topics pertain to food systems. Submit the Elective Petition Form to propose a course. Electives proposed by petition must be approved by the certificate administrator and faculty director for the course to count toward the certificate.