Sustainable Food Systems

Systems of food production shape our world. They impact the climate, habitat biodiversity, energy consumption, water quality/availability and our health. By pursuing the sustainable food systems emphasis, you'll learn a variety of approaches to working within diverse landscapes, from procedures for increasing urban food yields to methods for maintaining soil integrity in rural crop production.


You'll have opportunities to participate in internships with NIU's Communiversity Gardens and the Department of Biological Sciences greenhouse, as well as nonprofits and other organizations. Potential internship sites include:

  • Angelic Organics Learning Center
  • DeKalb County Community Gardens
  • DeKalb Sanitary District
  • Heritage Prairie Farm
  • Socially Responsible Agricultural Project

Learn More About Internships


With our many active faculty labs, you'll have several options to participate in research on food security and justice. In addition, food systems innovation is one of the research areas prioritized by the Northern Illinois Center for Community Sustainability, leading to additional opportunities for you.

Learn More About Sustainable Food Systems Research

Get Involved

There are a variety of ways to get involved on campus. You can gain hands-on experience with the Huskie Food Pantry or Northern Illinois Food Bank, participate in outdoor adventures and join a variety of student organizations, such as:

  • Bread for the World
  • Collegiate Association of Unreasonable Social Entrepreneurs (CAUSE)
  • Innovation Club
  • Vegetarian Education Group

Explore Student Organizations

What Can I Do With a Sustainable Food Systems Emphasis?

When you graduate, you'll have the innovative knowledge and advocacy skills needed to promote sustainable food production methods. Some jobs you could have include:

  • Community organizer
  • Environmental consultant
  • Farming or food production
  • Farmland preservation
  • Forest resources manager
  • Social entrepreneur
  • Sustainability analyst

Learn More About Career Resources

Complementary Programs

Contact Us

Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability and Energy
325 Montgomery Hall
DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone: 815-753-1814
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