University of Oregon

Graduate Specialization in Food Studies

This 18-credit interdisciplinary graduate specialization track is open to all UO graduate students. By combining the food studies specialization with their primary degree, students can enhance their education and future marketability. The specialization offers a coherent structure that allows students to develop a richer intellectual foundation than would be possible or practical outside the program. The specialization also is designed to enrich the qualifications of Master’s and doctoral students, whether they have academic or community-based work aspirations.

Graduate Specialization Curriculum

  • Core Course (4 credits): All students in the specialization will complete ENVS 607: Food Matters: Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Food Studies. This course will form the foundation for the graduate specialization and will introduce participating students to the wide ranging and inherently interdisciplinary “field” of food studies. As academic interest in the realm of food studies has developed, it has become clear that there are key approaches and insights in disciplines across the social sciences, the humanities and the sciences. Each broad academic realm has its focal concerns and approaches. By design this course will provide an introduction to food studies scholarship across this intellectual continuum. Upon completion, students in the specialization will have a working knowledge of and a foundational fluency with the food studies scholarship writ large and will be able to see how their own focus fits within the larger field.
  •  Breadth Requirement (8 credits): Students will complete two 4-credit food-related courses outside their focal academic division. For example, students in a degree program in the Social Sciences will take at least one Humanities and one Natural Science course. By taking these courses students in the specialization will engage different theoretical, epistemological and methodological traditions that are relevant in the broad field of Food Studies. In essence, this requirement will insure that participants in the specialization go beyond the requirements of their major fields to gain the kind of complementary perspectives that are at the center of a truly interdisciplinary program. Courses will be selected with guidance from and the approval of the specialization Coordinator.

List of graduate courses in food studies

  • Praxis/Internship Experience (4 credits): Recognizing that food issues offer a particularly important link between the academic world and broader communities, students in the specialization will complete a hands-on experience with a group or project involved directly in food related research, practice and/or advocacy. The goal here is to foster awareness of and to ensure exposure to the important connections between academic analysis and practical application. This experience will be valuable to both students pursuing academic careers as well as those intending to follow a more applied trajectory. Again, these experiences will be selected with guidance from and the approval of the specialization Coordinator.
  • Colloquium Participation (2 credits): Enrollment in at least two terms of the one credit “Food Talks” research colloquium during the student’s matriculation. As part of this forum, students will attend three food-related talks or events during the term, gaining a broader knowledge of current research topics, designs and methodologies in the field of food studies.
  • Food Studies Career Workshop: All students in the specialization will participate in at least one of the program’s career workshops. We plan work with career services, community organizations, alumni and local government agencies to expose students to the full range of options for applying their studies. The next Food Studies Career Workshop will take place in Spring 2016. 

Applying for the Food Studies Graduate Specialization

Please fill out the Graduate School form found here: Declaration of Graduate Specialization