The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems (Food and Health), 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 – 73 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

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

Food and Health Concentration - 20 hours

Required

BIOL 1322Human Nutrition

3

EEMS 4360Food Science

3

Concentration Prescribed Electives

Complete 14 to 15 hours from biochemistry courses; microbiology and taxology courses; nutrition and dietetic courses; and epidemiology courses.
Biochemistry Courses:
CHEM 2123Organic Chemistry I Lab

1

CHEM 2125Organic Chemistry II Lab

1

CHEM 2323Organic Chemistry I

3

CHEM 2325Organic Chemistry II

3

CHEM 3103Biochemistry I Lab

1

CHEM 3303Biochemistry I

3

CHEM 4320Nutritional and Exercise Biochemistry

3

Microbiology and Taxicology Courses
BIOL 3401General Microbiology

4

BIOL 3403Medical Microbiology andÿ Immunology

4

BIOL 3412Cell Biology

4

Nutrition and Dietetics Courses
EEMS 4366Nanotechnologies for Food and Agriculture

3

HLTH 3372Nutrition and Health

3

HPRS 3316Nutrition Concepts for Allied Health Practitioners

3

Epidemiology Courses
BIOL 3413Genetics

4

BIOL 3414Invertebrate Zoology

4

BIOL 4317Disease Epidemiology

3

BIOL 4413General Virology

4

BIOL 4319Medical Entomology

3

BIOL 4415Entomology

4

BIOL 4421Biotechnology

4

BIOL 4424Microbial Ecology

4

BIOL 4428Medical Genomics

4

EEMS 4365Integrated Pest Management

3

ENVR 4351Environmental Management

3

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

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