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Sustainable Food Systems

Professor Erin Sparks teaching course about hydropincs in agriculture

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Department of Plant and Soil Sciences

Sustainable Food Systems Major Page


Become a leader in improving the sustainability of food systems  

Sustainable Food Systems will train you to approach key food system challenges critically and innovatively — from agriculture and production, processing, retail consumption and waste. Sustainable food businesses, nonprofits and policymakers need more thinkers, strategists, planners and activists to help lead the population in utilizing, yet preserving our precious natural resources.

Career options

  • Food entrepreneur
  • Hydroponics specialist
  • Extension agent
  • Greenhouse grower
  • Nursery technician
  • Urban farmer

Graduate Programs

  • Plant Biology
  • Public Horticulture Administration
  • Agronomy
  • Botany and Plant Science

What’s special about this program?

Classroom theory meets practical application in our distinctive 350-acre classroom — a live laboratory with state-of-the-art greenhouses, gardens and research labs. SFS majors gain practical experience in a diverse atmosphere. Our resources are second-to-none, including a U.S. Department of Agriculture certified organic vegetable operation, greenhouse with hydroponics and a farmbot, controlled environment growth chamber facilities, research laboratories, food production facilities, hop production yard, botanic gardens, and ecology woods. Many other on-campus laboratories host SFS undergraduate researchers, including Delaware Biotechnology Institute and the Harker Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory. Delaware Cooperative Extension also offers opportunities in programs like 4-H youth development, lawn and garden, and family and consumer sciences. Students may also take part in internships and other experiential learning activities at the Carvel Research and Education Center, which spans 467 acres in Sussex County.

Get Involved

Ag Ambassadors

Agricultural College Council (AgCC)

Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity (AGR)

Alpha Zeta (AZ)

Animal Science Club

Collegiate 4-H

Collegiate FFA

Design Articulture (DART)

Ducks Unlimited

The Entomology Club

Equestrian Team

Food Science Club

Horticulture Club

National AgriMarketing Association (NAMA)

Sigma Alpha Sorority (SA)

Volunteers for Intercultural and Definitive Adventures (VIDA)

The Wildlife Society

Sample curriculum

PLSC101/104 Botany I and lab
PLSC145 Introduction to Sustainable Food Systems 
MATH114  College Mathematics and Statistics OR
MATH 115 Pre-Calculus 
UNIV101 First Year Seminar 
APEC150 Economics of Agriculture and Natural Resources
PLSC 170 

Soils and Sustainability

GEOG 152 Climate and Life 
ENGL110 Seminar in Composition
  Introductory Agriculture (1/3) 
  University Breadth Requirement (1/3)
ENWC 205 Insects and Society 
STAT200 Basic Statistical Practice 
PLSC270 Biotechnology: Science and Socioeconomic Issues 


Intro to Crop Science (3cr.)

PLSC201 Botany II 
COMM212 Oral Communication in Business 
  Introductory Agriculture (2/3 and 3/3)
  Free elective

University Breadth Requirement (2/3)

PLSC307 Environmental Sustainability of Food Systems 
PLSC302 Vegetable Science 
PLSC303 Introductory Plant Pathology
GEOG430 Food Geographies and Food Justice 
  Advanced Ag Elective (1/4) 
  Free electives (4)
PLSC364 Internship OR
UNIV468  Undergraduate Research 
AGRI 400

Senior Capstone in Agriculture and Natural Resources

ENWC411 Insect Pest Management
  Multicultural requirement 
  Advanced agriculture elective (2/4, 3/4 and 4/4)
  Free electives (4)


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