The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems (Business and Policy), 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

080 Social & Behavioral Sciences - 3 hours

ECON 2301Principles of Macroeconomics

3

030 Life and Physical Sciences – 6 hours

ENVR 1401Introduction to Environmental Science I

4

ENVR 1402Introduction to Environmental Science II

4

Three-credit hours apply from each course. 

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

Business and Policy Concentration - 27 hours

Business and Policy Concentration Core - 12 hours

Required:
ENVR 4357Urban Sustainability

3

HIST 3335American Environmental History

3

POLS 4356U.S. Environmental Policy

3

ENVR 3302Environmental Ethics

3

Complete 15 hours from the Business and Policy electives OR Entrepreneurship electives. 

Business and Policy Prescribed Electives - 15 hours

Choose at least one course form each group below
Methodological Statistics and Forecasting Courses
ECON 3341Econometrics

3

ECON 3342Business and Economics Forecasting

3

GEOL 4411Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

4

POLS 2470Introduction to Political Science Research

4

QUMT 2341Business Statistics I

3

QUMT 3341Business Statistics II

3

SOCI 3301Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences

3

Broader Economic Theory Courses:
ECON 3343Economics of the Government Sector

3

ECON 3351Macroeconomic Theory

3

ECON 3352Microeconomic Theory

3

ECON 3353International Trade

3

ECON 3357Economics of Poverty

3

ECON 3358Labor Economics

3

ECON 3360Managerial Economics

3

Political Science Courses:
POLS 2340Introduction to Political Theory

3

POLS 2350Introduction to Political Economy

3

POLS 3310U.S. State and Local Government

3

POLS 3321Comparative Politics of Developing Nations

3

POLS 3333Gender Theory in World Politics

3

POLS 3342Contemporary Political Theory

3

POLS 3351Interest Groups and Political Movements

3

POLS 3355U.S. Public Policy

3

POLS 3356U.S. Economic Policy

3

POLS 4313U.S. Legislative Process

3

POLS 4316/MASC 4316U.S. Latin@ Politics

3

POLS 4332International Organizations

3

POLS 4350Political Socialization and Civic Engagement

3

POLS 4355U.S. Labor Policy

3

Sector or Region Focused Courses:
ANTH 4314Environmental Anthropology

3

ENVR 4301Environmental Regulations

3

ECON 3336The Political Economy of Mexico

3

POLS 3323Middle Eastern Politics

3

POLS 3324Asian Politics

3

POLS 3330International Politics

3

POLS 4320Latin American Politics

3

POLS 4321Central American Politics

3

POLS 4322Western European Politics

3

POLS 4323Mexican Politics

3

POLS 4324Contemporary Chinese Politics

3

POLS 4333/MASC 4333U.S. Mexico Border Relations

3

Entrepreneurship Prescribed Electives - 15 hours

Required:
ENTR 3356Introduction to Entrepreneurship

3

ENTR 3340New Venture Creation and Innovation

3

Choose three courses:
ACCT 2301Introduction To Financial Accounting

3

MARK 3300Principles of Marketing

3

MGMT 3361Principles of Management

3

FINA 3391Small Business Financial Management

3

FINA 3393Entrepreneurial Finance

3

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

Support Courses - 3 hours

ECON 2302Principles of Microeconomics

3

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