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Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership (Graduate Certificate)

Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership (Graduate Certificate)

Academic Programs / Graduate Degrees / Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership (Graduate Certificate)

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Agriculture, Environment, Food, Governance, Nutrition, Sustainability, leadership

Demand for healthy, sustainably produced food has heightened the need for new public policies that support food systems aligned with the global Sustainable Development Goals. You can become a leader in the field armed with the policy knowledge, skills and practical experience to initiate change.

Program Description
Degree Awarded: Certificate  Food Policy and Sustainability Leadership (certificate)

The certificate program in food policy and sustainability leadership trains students in food policy, from understanding policymaking to developing specific, master-level skills that allow them to effectively navigate legislative, budgetary and administrative governmental processes. This empowers students to grapple with real-life food system complexities and become effective agents of change.

Students are exposed to contemporary food policy issues and are required to choose a food policy issue in which, with faculty assistance, they become an expert. Students participate in research projects and professional presentations that contribute to food policy knowledge among sustainable food system advocates.

This certificate program allows students to self-schedule work with the exception of weekly calls with their professor, and also requires students to spend a week meeting with food producers in Arizona and a week meeting with policymakers in Washington, D.C.

At a Glance
Degree Requirements

15 credit hours including the required capstone course (SFS 565)

Required Core (12 credit hours)
SFS 560 Tools and Tactics for Food Policy Change (3)
SFS 561 Food and Farm Immersion Experience (2)
SFS 562 Managing Natural Resources for Food Production (3)
SFS 563 Applied Food Policy Immersion Experience (2)
SFS 564 American Agriculture in the Global Context (2)

Culminating Experience (3 credit hours)
SFS 565 Organizational Leadership (3)

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the College of Global Futures.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in a related field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of a student's first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

Applicants are required to submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. two letters of recommendation
  4. professional resume
  5. personal statement
  6. two years professional experience in food and agriculture
  7. Interview (in-person or virtual)
  8. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

International students who need an F1 or J1 visa first need to apply to and be accepted into a graduate degree program prior to being considered for the certificate program. International students residing in the USA on other types of visas must adhere to all Graduate College policies and procedures regarding admission be considered for admission to this certificate program.

The personal statement should not exceed 1,500 words, and it should describe a food policy issue of interest to the applicant and why the applicant thinks that engaging in policy is important as it relates to this issue.

Attend Online

ASU offers this program in an online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. Applicants may view the program description and request more information here.

Application Deadlines
Session A/CIn Person 07/15Final
Session A/COnline 07/15Final
Career Opportunities

Graduates of this program can pair the certificate with a variety of graduate degrees to enhance their expertise and career prospects for work in government, public health organizations, food companies or educational institutions.

Career examples include:

  • agricultural consultant
  • education coordinator
  • food policy analyst
  • food resource manager
  • lobbyist
  • nonprofit advocate
Contact Information

What are Accelerated Programs?
Accelerated Programs allow students the opportunity to expedite the completion of their degree.

3 year programs

These programs allow students to fast-track their studies after admission and earn a bachelor’s degree in three years or fewer while participating in the same high-quality educational experience of a 4-year option. Students should talk to their academic advisor to get started.

4+1 year programs

These programs allow students to accelerate their studies by combining undergraduate with graduate coursework, which may allow them to earn a bachelor’s and a master's degree in as few as five years (for some programs).

Each program has requirements students must meet to be eligible for consideration. Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students are advised by their academic departments to apply.
What are Concurrent Programs?
Students pursuing concurrent degrees earn two distinct degrees and receive two diplomas. ASU offers students two ways to earn concurrent degrees: by choosing a predetermined combination or creating their own combination. Predetermined combinations have a single admissions application and one easy to follow major map. To add a concurrent degree to your existing degree, work with your academic advisor. Either way, concurrent degrees allow students to pursue their own personal or professional interests.
What are Joint Programs?
Joint programs, or jointly conferred degrees, are offered by more than one college and provide opportunities for students to take advantage of the academic strengths of two academic units. Upon graduation, students are awarded one degree and one diploma conferred by two colleges.

What constitutes a New Program?
ASU adds new programs to Degree Search frequently. Come back often and look for the “New Programs” option.
What are Online Programs?
ASU Online offers programs in an entirely online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. See for more information.
What is WRGP (Western Regional Graduate Program)?
The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) provides a reduced tuition rate to non-resident graduate students who qualify. Visit the WRGP/WICHE webpage for more information:

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