The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems (Agriculture and Ecology), Bachelor of Science

The multidisciplinary Bachelor of Science degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems (SAFS) serves students interested in improving the sustainability of modern food and agricultural systems. This major prepares graduates to understand the interdisciplinary and systems-based aspects of sustainability and provides them with the knowledge, leadership skills, and experiences required to excel in agricultural and food systems professions. A degree in SAFS prepares students for a broad range of careers related to agricultural production (including plant, animal, and biofuels) and food system management, rural and urban community services, education and development, as well as careers in agricultural, environmental, and economic policy and analysis. Employers may include private industry, local, state and federal government, public service agencies, non-profit organizations, nature preserves, community organizations, or any other group that aims to produce, distribute, or improve access to food, to improve the quality and/or sustainability of food or food systems, to improve human health related to diet and nutrition, to work towards social justice related to food access or hunger, or to develop policy or social structures related to food or food systems. The SAFS major also prepares students for graduate studies in a wide range of fields related to agriculture, food, water, and energy systems.

Core Curriculum - 42 Hours

The Core Curriculum serves as a broad foundation for the undergraduate degree. All candidates for a bachelor’s degree must achieve core student learning outcomes, including communication, critical thinking, empirical and quantitative skills, teamwork, personal responsibility and social responsibility, by completing courses within each category or component area of the Core Curriculum as outlined below.

The University has approved specific courses that satisfy Core Curriculum Requirements. Approved courses can be found on the Core Curriculum Page. Students seeking the most efficient way to complete the core curriculum and major or minor requirements are advised to take approved courses that can fulfill both requirements. Although core curriculum courses can also be used to fulfill major or minor requirements, earned credits hours are only applied once. The courses listed below fulfill core curriculum and major requirements. Students who have completed a core curriculum category with courses other than those listed below will still be required to take the listed course(s) to meet major requirements.

020 Mathematics - 3 hours

Choose one: 
MATH 1314College Algebra

3

MATH 1414College Algebra

4

Life and Physical Sciences – 6 hours

ENVR 1401Introduction to Environmental Science I

4

ENVR 1402Introduction to Environmental Science II

4

080 Social & Behavioral Sciences - 3 hours

ECON 2301Principles of Macroeconomics

3

090 Integrative and Experiential Learning – 6 hours

BIOL 1406General Biology I

4

ENVR 1401Introduction to Environmental Science I

4

ENVR 1402Introduction to Environmental Science II

4

One credit hour from each required Life and Physical Science course applies.

Major Requirements – 72 Hours

Required Courses - 45 hours

Sustainability Core– 36 hours

Required:
ANTH 4310Food and Culture

3

BIOL 1406General Biology I

4

BIOL 1407General Biology II

4

BIOL 3409Ecology

4

EEMS 4388/BIOL 4388Global Change Ecology

3

SAFS 4429/BIOL 4429Agroecology

4

ECON 3355Development Economics

3

ENVR 3305Sustainable Agriculture

3

HIST 4333Food and Agricultural History

3

PHIL 4318Philosophy of Food

3

Three credit hours from BIOL 1406 apply. 

Choose one:
ENVR 3301Natural Resources Conservation

3

ENVR 3304Sustainable Development

3

Capstone - 9 hours

EEMS 4381Community-Engaged Service Learning I

3

Or

CESL 3301Community Engaged Scholarship and Learning Internship I

3

 

EEMS 4382Community-Engaged Service Learning II

3

Or

CESL 3302Community Engaged Scholarship and Learning Internship II

3

 

EEMS 4191Interdisciplinary Seminar Series Fall

1

EEMS 4192Interdisciplinary Seminar Series Spring

1

EEMS 4193Interdisciplinary Synthesis & Communication

1

Agriculture and Ecology Concentration - 19 hours

Required:

EEMS 3360Soil Science and Conservation

3

EEMS 4365Integrated Pest Management

3

ENVR 4351Environmental Management

3

Natural Resource Management and Food Science

Choose at least three hours from: 
BIOL 3404Conservation Biology

4

BIOL 3413Genetics

4

BIOL 4423Wildlife Ecology and Management

4

EEMS 4360Food Science

3

EEMS 4366Nanotechnologies for Food and Agriculture

3

ENVR 4350Environmental Planning & Permitting

3

ENVR 4450Environmental Monitoring

4

SAFS 1101Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture Lab

1

SAFS 1301Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture

3

SAFS 1129Introduction to Food Science Lab

1

SAFS 1329Introduction to Food Science

3

 

Production Sciences

Choose at least three hours from Crop Production, Livestock Production, or Aquaculture/Fisheries Courses:

Crop production related courses:
BIOL 3408Plant Morphology

4

BIOL 4318Ethnobotany

3

BIOL 4405Plant Physiology

4

BIOL 4408Plant Pathology

4

MARS 4410/BIOL 4410Marine Botany

4

BIOL 4414Plant Taxonomy

4

SAFS 1103Introduction to Agricultural Engineering Lab

1

SAFS 1303Introduction to Agricultural Engineering

3

SAFS 1115Sustainable Horticulture Lab

1

SAFS 1315Sustainable Horticulture

3

SAFS 4306/CHEM 3306Medicinal Food Chemistry

3

Livestock production related courses:
BIOL 3345Animal Nutrition

3

BIOL 4411Ecological Physiology of Animals

4

BIOL 4432Animal Behavior

4

Aquaculture/Fisheries related courses:
BIOL 4402/MARS 4402Marine Zoology

4

BIOL 4404Ichthyology

4

MARS 4426/BIOL 4426Marine Ecology

4

MARS 4427/BIOL 4427Marine Animal Field Studies

4

MARS 4430/BIOL 4430Coastal Ecology

4

MARS 3250General Aquaculture Laboratory

2

MARS 3350General Aquaculture

3

With approval from the department, additional courses may be used to fulfill concentration requirements.

Support Courses - 8 hours

CHEM 1311General Chemistry I

3

CHEM 1111General Chemistry I Lab

1

CHEM 1312General Chemistry II

3

CHEM 1112General Chemistry II Lab

1

Free Electives - hours will vary

Free electives credit hours required may vary to achieve the institutional minimum of 120 hours for a degree. 

Free elective credit hours at the advanced level may be needed to achieve the institutional minimum of 42 advanced hours. 

Total Credit Hours: 42

Total Credit Hours: 120