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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


PLSC 101 – Botany I (3 cr.)

PLSC 104 – Botany I Laboratory (1 cr.)

PLSC 171 – New Student Colloquium (1 cr.)

GEOG 152 – Climate and Life (4 cr.)

PLSC 145 – Introduction to Sustainable Food Systems

PLSC 204 – Introduction to Soil Science (3 cr.)

PLSC 205 – Introduction to Soil Science Laboratory (1 cr.)

PLSC 270 – Biotechnology: Science and Socioeconomic Issues (3 cr.)

PLSC 303 – Introductory Plant Pathology (4 cr.)

PLSC 307 – Environmental Sustainability of Food Systems

APEC 150 – Economics of Agriculture and Natural Resources (3 cr.)

COMM 212 – Oral Communication in Business (3 cr.)

ENWC 205 – Insects and Society (3 cr.)

GEOG 430 – Food Geographies & Food Justice (3 cr.)

STAT 200 – Basic Statistical Practice (3 cr.)

AGRI 100 – Organic and Sustainable Farming (3 cr.)

AGRI 130 – Understanding Today’s Agriculture (3 cr.)

PLSC 140 – People and Plants: Feast or Famine (3 cr.)

PLSC 151 – Introduction to Crop Science (3 cr.)

ANFS 101 – Animals, Science and Society (3 cr.)

PLSC 206 – Farm to Table (3 cr.)

CHEM 101 – General Chemistry (4 cr.)

CHEM 103 – General Chemistry (4 cr.)

CHEM 107 – General Chemistry for Life Sciences I (4 cr.)

MATH 114 – College Math and Statistics (3 cr.)

MATH 115 – Pre-calculus (3 cr.)

ENWC 214 – Apiculture (2 cr.)

ENWC 224 – Apiology and Apiculture Laboratory (1 cr.)

ENWC 311 – Insects in Agricultural and Urban Environments (3 cr.)

ENWC 411 – Insect Pest Management (3 cr.)

PLSC 218 – Fermentation Sciences (3 cr.)

PLSC 302 – Vegetable Science (4 cr.)

PLSC 305 – Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition (4 cr.)

PLSC 401 – Agronomic Crop Science (3 cr.)

PLSC 410 – Introduction to Plant Physiology (3 cr.)

PLSC 412 – Ecosystem Ecology (3 cr.)

PLSC 430 – Urban Ecology (3 cr.)

PLSC 441 – Forage Resource Management (3 cr.)

A minimum of nine credits from any three different subject area codes, outside the subject area codes of the student’s major, offered by the departments in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Minimum of eight credits from CHEM, GEOL, PHYS, or SCEN.

ENGL 110 – Seminar in Composition (3 cr.)

First Year Experience (0 to 4 cr.)

Discovery Learning Experience (3 cr.)

Multicultural Requirement (3 cr.)

Creative Arts and Humanities (3 cr.)

History and Cultural Change (3 cr.)

Social and Behavioral Sciences (3 cr.)

Math, Natural Sciences, and Technology (3 cr.)

Capstone Experience

Ready for the next step? 


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