Master of Science in Food Systems and Society

Two wooden spoons, one full of grain and one nearly empty.

Food systems—how societies grow, process, distribute, and consume food—are central to our health and survival, but many aspects of food systems are neither fair nor sustainable. We need to do better. Urgently.

OHSU’s Food Systems and Society online Master of Science program will provide you with a rigorous intellectual framework to identify, assess, and address social problems and social justice in our food systems.

In the Food System and Society program, you will find:

  • A dedicated focus on social justice. Students analyze social conditions in food systems to reveal, challenge, and address existing inequities. Every student completes a guided Capstone research project on a topic important to them. Read about the program's foundation in critical pedagogy.
  • A collaborative learning environment. We welcome students from across the United States and from all academic backgrounds. Students’ varied locations, experiences, and engagements enhance opportunities for collaborative learning. 
  • An engaging and rigorous online program closely guided by faculty.  FSS courses are cumulative and consistent in their design, delivery, and expectations to enable students to better focus on learning.
  • Graduates well-positioned to work in many fields. Our students work in the policy arena, lead nonprofit organizations, serve as researchers, writers, educators and health care providers, and create innovative food enterprises.

In every way and every place that you engage the food system, your work will be enhanced by your Food Systems and Society degree and the skills you develop in addressing social-justice problems in food systems and society through critical inquiry.

FSS Students and Alumni

Food Systems and Society students are motivated by interest in and commitment to improving the social conditions and processes that influence justice in food systems and society.  

Food Systems and Society current students and alumni s are located in a wide range of places and engaged with an wide range of food systems-related work. Professional areas include: education (at all levels), research, clinical health practice, corrections, journalism, policymaking, nonprofit organizations. 

Read Food System and Society student and alumni profiles and learn more about their careers and Capstone research

What Graduates Say about the FSS program

  • “This program changed my life. It changed how I see and understand the world. It changed everything I understood about how to do my work as a dietitian — how to incorporate social justice work into my role as a dietitian. Food systems affect everything we do as dietitians.” 
  • “It gave me the concepts to understand the problems I had observed in the food system before starting the program, and to be able to break them down into components, elements, and solutions. 
  • “I gained a comprehensive perspective on food and its ties to social justice that my nutrition background hadn’t provided.” 
  • “I really appreciated the design of the program, the fact that it was remote online. As someone that was working in the food system it was essential to have that flexibility.” 
  • “Faculty help students do a deep dive into some of the most critical problems that the food system is facing. Students are challenged to think about how to merge theory and practice.” 
  • “The program does a great job of consistently asking students to reflect on how what we are learning connects to our own lives, our own experiences, and our own work.” 
  • “I was able to use this degree to leverage a sharp turn in my career. Now I am a policy director and I honestly pull from my FSS experience every day.” 
  • “I learned about my voice and how much of an impact an individual can make. The program allowed me to learn the language I was missing to understand my experiences in the food industry, and how to go about making the appropriate changes, small or big. "

Apply to the Food Systems and Society Program

Learn about our admissions process and application requirements. 

  • Applications accepted until June 30, 2024
  • Courses begin August 12, 2024

Co-enrollment in FSS M.S. and Dietetic Internship Programs

Students in the online MS in Food Systems and Society program learn how to identify, assess, and address social problems in the food system encountered by many dietitians. Dietetic Internship program students are able to co-enroll in the MS in Food Systems and Society program. The articulated MS in FSS–DI degree pathway enables students to complete both programs in two academic years.  The application deadline for the OHSU DI in 2024 has passed, but applications will open in Fall 2025.

Review the MSFSS - DI curriculum here and learn about admissions requirements here.