University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignCollege of ACES
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Food and Environmental Systems

The food and environmental systems minor offers a systems approach to provide students with an understanding of the wide range of factors that are critical for producing healthy foods and environments.

Students in the minor learn about the complex relationships that exist between people, plants, animals, and the environment and how they interact and depend on one another. Engage in leadership opportunities both in and out of the classroom while obtaining a foundation in biological, chemical, and economic issues that are critical for healthy lifestyles. Students start with a foundation of three courses that span the breadth of the College of ACES: sustainable food systems, environmental science, and food science and nutrition. They build on that foundation with an introductory course selected from any area of study in the college. Students complete the minor with two upper-level courses in an area of focus they want to explore further. A minimum of 18 hours are required.

Students who are enrolled in the agricultural communications major, which is jointly administered by the College of ACES and the College of Media, must complete the minor as a graduation requirement. This minor gives communicators the scientific background on which to base the information they present.

Adding a minor to your program can increase your marketability to employers, or prepare you for personal activities outside your profession. 

For example, are you interested in using your major in a job or industry related to food production or the environment? The minor in food and environmental systems provides a solid scientific background to do that. This could include business or history, engineering or chemistry. Regardless of major, this minor makes you more qualified to apply your major skills to positions related to your interest in food production and environmental systems.

For example, are you concerned about the environment, and want to be an advocate for it, but don’t know where to start? Starting with the minor in food and environmental systems gives you the facts and principles related to how environmental systems function, and how human activity impacts them. That knowledge would help you select efforts and programs in which to participate that will have a positive impact and allow you to disregard those not founded on facts or able to achieve the stated goals.

The coursework in this minor provides a significant background in consumer sciences, agricultural management and production, and environmental and natural resources.

See current requirements

For more information about the Food and Environmental Systems minor, please contact:

Mary Lowry
Academic Programs
128 Mumford Hall
217-333-3380
lowry@illinois.edu

This minor is administratively based in ACES Academic Programs. Student advising takes place in this unit.

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Add a Minor!

An undergraduate minor is a coherent program of study requiring some depth in the subject, but not as extensive of a program as the major, and allow students to gain expertise in an area secondary to their major. Our campus has more than 100 undergraduate minors to choose from. Most minors entail a comprehensive study of the discipline, rather than focusing on a narrow subfield of study. In general, minors consist of at least 16 and no more than 21 hours of coursework.