The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems (Food and Society), 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

Food and Society Concentration - 27 hours

Required - 18 hours minimum

ANTH 4314Environmental Anthropology

3

HIST 3335American Environmental History

3

ENVR 3302Environmental Ethics

3

ENVR 4357Urban Sustainability

3

SOCI 1301Introduction to Sociology

3

Choose one
GEOL 4411Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

4

SOCI 3301Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences

3

Concentration Prescribed Electives - 9 hours minimum

Choose at least one course from each of the groups below.
Communication and Environmental Courses
COMM 3321Public Relations: Theory and Practice

3

COMM 4345Conflict Management

3

ENVR 4301Environmental Regulations

3

GEOL 4408Applications of Geographic Information Systems

4

HIST 3302World Environmental History

3

SAFS 1301Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture

3

Humanities Courses
ANTH 1324Human Evolution

3

ANTH 4385Topics in Anthropology

3

HIST 3326/ANTH 4304Indians of North America

3

HIST 3329American Legal History

3

HIST 3332/MASC 3332Mexican-American History

3

MASC 2301Introduction to Mexican American Studies

3

PHIL 4322Social and Political Philosophy

3

Sociology Courses
SOCI 3312Environmental Sociology

3

SOCI 3348Disaster and Society

3

SOCI 4310Sociology of Gender

3

SOCI 4313Race and Ethnic Relations

3

SOCI 4343Sociology of Globalization

3

SOCI 4352Social Stratification

3

SOCI 4380Social Protest and Social Movements

3

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

Total Credit Hours: 120