FSS Course Descriptions and Degree Pathways

Course Descriptions

Below are the course descriptions; please also refer to Degree Pathways section below to see where each course appears in the curriculum. 

Course Title Description Credits
FSS 500: Academic Foundations: Food Systems Inquiry Provides a foundation for advanced academic engagement and inquiry in food systems and society. Establishes academic skills and graduate-level reading and writing proficiency integral to FSS coursework. 4
FSS 501: Food Systems and Society Discusses the history, drivers, and context of contemporary food system issues through lenses of class, race-ethnicity, and gender. Reviews the roles of discourse, ideology and epistemology in our understanding and shaping of the food system. 4
FSS 502: Fall Intensive I Students attend in-person intensive designed to build a collegial scholar-practitioner community while addressing key concepts in and strategies for improving food system equity. Students will participate in activities and reflect on their experiences and program coursework. 1
FSS 503: Directed Study in Food Systems and Society I Students develop critical reading skills and content knowledge through systematic engagement with literature relevant to their research and professional interests in food systems and society. 1
FSS 504: Spring Intensive I Students attend in-person intensive designed to build a collegial scholar-practitioner community while addressing key concepts in and strategies for improving food system equity. Students will participate in activities and reflect on their experiences and program coursework. 1
FSS 505: Directed Study in Food Systems and Society II Students develop and apply writing and communication skills relevant to their capstone projects and professional goals in food systems and society. 1
FSS 506: Fall Intensive II Students attend in-person intensive designed to build a collegial scholar-practitioner community while addressing key concepts in and strategies for improving food system equity. Students will participate in activities and reflect on their experiences and program coursework. 1
FSS 508: Spring Intensive II Students attend in-person intensive designed to build a collegial scholar-practitioner community while addressing key concepts in and strategies for improving food system equity. Students will participate in activities and reflect on their experiences and program coursework. 1
FSS 510: Food Policy and Politics Discusses the roles of policy, politics, and ethics in determining who eats, what we eat, and who benefits and loses in the current food system. Examines literature, policy, and practice at various scales, focusing on social justice in the food system. 4
FSS 511: Food in Culture Discusses the role of cultural meanings and practices in food systems through the lenses of cultural studies and social equity. Investigates frameworks, issues and representations of race-ethnicity, class and gender in historical and contemporary food systems. Examines how culture is transmitted and preserved through food, and the ways in which food fosters social connections and divisions. 4
FSS 520: Food Systems Theory Explores theories from multiple disciplinary perspectives that are relevant to food systems scholarship, discourse, and practice. Considers how to effectively apply theory and corresponding analytical frameworks to ask and answer questions about food systems and society. Pre-requisites: FSS 500, FSS 501, FSS 510, FSS 511. 4
FSS 550: Social Movements in the Food System Examines social movements and strategies for social change in the food system. Explores public, private and nonprofit contexts to illustrate and analyze advocacy and change strategies. 4
FSS 560: Topics in Food Systems and Society Examine concepts, perspectives and strategies relevant to advancing food system equity and social change. Topics vary from term to term. 4
FSS 580: Scholarship and Social Change Considers the role of scholarship in food system equity and social change. Through presentation and discussion of their research, students learn about a diverse array of topics and approaches as well as develop discursive strategies for engaging complex ideas and themes. Pre-requisite: FSS 598-3. 4
FSS 598-1: Capstone I Students define a capstone topic and develop their capstone proposal on a topic relevant to social justice and social change in the food system. Pre-requisites: FSS 500, FSS 501, FSS 510, FSS 511, FSS 550, FSS 560. 4
FSS 598-2: Capstone II Students explore contemporary issues and approaches in food systems equity and continue work on their capstone. Pre-requisite: FSS 598-1. 4
FSS 598-3: Capstone III Students examine contemporary issues and approaches in food systems equity and complete the Food Systems and Society capstone. Pre-requisites: FSS 598-2. 4
Total Required Credits 50

Degree Pathways

Below is the degree completion pathway for a full-time student. Part-time student options are available; please contact us at fss@ohsu.edu to learn more. 

Full-time Student Degree Pathway
Year 1 Fall Winter Spring
FSS 500: Academic Foundations: Food Systems Inquiry (4 cr.) FSS 503: Directed Study in Food Systems & Society I (1 cr.) FSS 504: Spring Intensive I (1 cr.)
FSS 501: Introduction to Food Systems & Society (4 cr.) FSS 510: Food Policy & Politics (4 cr.) FSS 520: Food Systems Theory (4 cr.)
FSS 502: Fall Intensive I (1 cr.) FSS 511: Food in Culture (4 cr.) FSS 598-1: Capstone I (4 cr.)
Year 2 FSS 506: Fall Intensive II (4 cr.) FSS 505: Directed Study in Food Systems & Society II FSS 508: Spring Intensive II (1 cr.)
FSS 550: Social Movements in the Food System (4 cr.) FSS 560: Topics in Food Systems & Society (4 cr.) FSS 580: Scholarship for Social Change (4 cr.)
FSS 598-2: Capstone II (4 cr.) FSS 598-3: Capstone III (4 cr.)