Food Studies Graduate Certificate Program


Food Studies Graduate Certificate Program

"Food is our common ground, a universal experience"

- James Beard

Food is integral to life. It meets basic human needs for growth, development and function. It is also important for the functioning of societies, allowing people to make social linkages and distinctions. It plays a role in multiple aspects of life and is a subject of interest and inquiry in multiple disciplines including agriculture, anthropology, geography, humanities, law, nutrition, psychology, public health, public policy, and other natural and social sciences.

With food security and environmental sustainability becoming increasing global concerns, there is an urgency to educate the next generation of leaders with strong interdisciplinary foundations. The Food Studies graduate certificate program offers UCLA PhD, MA and professional school students the opportunity to investigate this growing field. The program will prepare students from diverse disciplines to address complex topics that span food cultures and histories, nutrition and public health, food policy and food justice, urban planning, and agrifood systems and the environment.


Successful completion of the certificate requires four graduate courses (16 units). Students must complete the Food Studies core course, URBN PL 216 (4 units), and three additional courses (4 units each) selected from at least two of the three subject areas below. 

2015-16 Schedule of Classes
Certificate Course Checklist
Course Descriptions
Frequently Asked Questions

Core Couse (required)

  • URBN PL 216: TBD

Food Policy and Food Systems

  • CHS 448: Nutrition Policies and Programs
  • LAW 440: Introduction to Food Law and Policy
  • LAW 634: Food Law and Policy Seminar
  • LAW 912: City Food Policy
  • URBN PL 265C: Food Systems

Nutritional Science

  • CHS 231: Maternal and Child Nutrition
  • CHS 443: Assessment of Family Nutrition
  • EPI 254: Nutritional Epidemiology

Social and Cultural Aspects of Food

  • ANTHRO M266/CHS M260: Health and Culture
  • CHS 224: Social Determinants of Nutrition and Health
  • ENGL 260 (Carruth): Studies in Literature and its Relationship to Arts and Sciences
  • OB 229B: Anthropological Perspectives on Global Health


Applications will be available in Winter 2017!

All graduate (masters, doctoral, professional degree) students currently enrolled at UCLA with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 are eligible to apply for participation in this certificate program. Admission is based on academic performance and a statement of interest in food issues and interdisciplinary learning approaches. On average, about 10 students will be admitted to the program each year. Classes taken prior to admission to the program will count towards the 16 unit requirement.


Students must obtain at least a B on all four courses. Students will be required to submit an "Intent to Complete" form to the Food Studies Certificate staff by the start of Spring Quarter of the year they wish to earn the certificate. 


Check out the Food Studies Event Calendar for information on events and activities on campus! 


Connect to additional Food Studies Resources.


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The Food Studies staff are happy to help, just email us at

Alexis Oberlander
Project Manager

Sarah Roth
Graduate Student Researcher