Green Mountain College: Sustainable Food Systems (MS)

First in Sustainaiblity
Green Mountain College: Sustainable Food Systems (MS)

One Brennan Circle Green Mountain College, Poultney, 05764, United States

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First in Sustainaiblity

Food Systems
Online Degree Program
General info

In today’s world of complex food and agriculture systems, we need leaders with a deep knowledge of the economic, ecological, and social forces driving food systems.

Our Master of Science in Sustainable Food Systems program prepares you for a graduate level interdisciplinary understanding of sustainable agricultural production, and a deep knowledge of the economic, ecological, and social forces driving food systems.

At Green Mountain College, we’ve been teaching about sustainability for two decades. Our distance MSFS program—built on the success of the College’s undergraduate major in sustainable agriculture and on the surging interest in food and agriculture in the U.S. and beyond—is accredited by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC), and is designed to provide students with the skills to conduct in-depth interdisciplinary investigations into the complex arena of their own bioregional food systems. MSFS students graduate with the knowledge and confidence to become leaders and join a cutting-edge community ready to make a difference.

The MSFS program requires 39 hours of Green Mountain College graduate credits. All of the courses are three credits and last six weeks. Most of our course sections range from 10-18 students, creating an ideal online learning environment.

The courses are typically taken sequentially year round, with a one week break in-between each course. You will focus on the content of each course as you proceed through the program (most students take the courses in the same order). You’ll complete projects by applying the skills and knowledge you acquire and they engage with one another and their instructors in asynchronous discussions.

 We recognize that people working in changing food systems tend to be rooted in place, and the MSFS program allows students to remain committed to their communities and professions. Not only do students explore their own bioregional foodsheds, but they also contrast their findings with students from other parts of the U.S. and abroad, enhancing their understanding of food system dynamics and leverage points for change.

Here is what makes Green Mountain College’s MSFS program so unique:

Optional-Residency Requirements Reduces Travel Time and Expense: Although we hope for all MSFS students to attend, we do not require student participation at the annual residency. Unlike other programs, we use our residencies to build relationships and enhance learning among our students, faculty, and scholars in residence. This means you will spend less money on obtaining their MSFS degree and less time away from work and family.

Bioregional Approach: GMC master’s degree programs combine the best of online learning with intensive locally applied experience. We call it a bioregional approach to distance education. Rather than learning about environmental studies solely through examples in a textbook, students use their local ecosystems as laboratories in which to experiment with new concepts and skills.

Leading Faculty: Our faculty possess in-depth experience teaching and researching concepts in sustainable agriculture and food systems. Many of our faculty are nationally known and recognized as leaders in their fields.

College is Recognized for Environmental Leadership: Green Mountain College has been focused on the environment for fifteen years, and is consistently ranked among the top colleges & universities in the world with an environmental mission. In 2010 we were selected by Sierra Magazine as the #1 Green College in the United States.

Student Variety: GMC students span the United States and the globe, bringing a breadth of perspectives and experiences that are not available in masters programs that draw the majority of their students from the same geographic area.

Proven Online Learning System and Small Classes Facilitate Learning: We’ve been teaching online longer than any other similar program. Our students can focus on their studies, not on dealing with technological glitches. In addition, we keep our class size small—normally, no more than 20 students per section. This ensures that you have meaningful interactions with you fellow students and receive individualized attention from the instructor.


About The Sustainable Food Systems Sourcebook

The Sustainable Food Systems Sourcebook is a free database of degree programs, consultants, scholarships, funding, conferences, and other education and training resources for professionals and students focused on food systems work. It is published by the Thomas A. Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems in collaboration with the North American Food Systems Network (NAFSN). The Lyson Center is a project of the Center for Transformative Action (a 501c3 nonprofit organization affiliated with Cornell University).


Contact Duncan Hilchey with any questions or comments.