Food, Agriculture, and Climate Change Certificate

Certificate director: Mark Bomford, Yale Sustainable Food Program (YSFP)

This interdisciplinary certificate prepares Yale College students for creative, critical, and unconventional engagement with multiple pressing challenges facing food and agriculture at local and global scales.

Central to the success of this certificate is the Yale Sustainable Food Program (YSFP) and the Yale Farm, which has served as a place of innovative hands-on learning on campus for over twenty years. Learning at the Farm is active, reflexive, embodied, and relational, and these qualities provide an enriching complement to the classroom regardless of the discipline. The YSFP will support those enrolled in the certificate to draw out the important cross-disciplinary connections and contributions they can make to food and agriculture through the lens of their chosen major, even when the subject matter may appear only tangentially related at first appraisal.


Students must successfully complete five courses (5 credits) from three areas that reflect the scope of the certificate: food, agriculture, and climate change.

  1. Consumption (food): 2 required courses; search YC FOOD: Consumption in Yale Course Search. These courses are concerned with the cultivation of plants for harvest as food, feed, fiber, and fuel, and the husbandry or harvest of non-human animals destined for human consumption.
  2. Environment (climate change): 1 required course; search YC FOOD: Environment in Yale Course Search. These courses concern the broad substrates and surroundings of food and agriculture, particularly those linked to processes of climate change.
  3. Production (agriculture): 2 required courses; search YC FOOD: Production in Yale Course Search. These courses are concerned with the broad practices of eating, both as essential to human nutrition and health, and also inextricably entwined with cultures, histories, values, identities, politics, and economies.

Students must also participate in 5 co-curricular events identified by the YSFP as directly supporting the academic goals of the certificate and write a 6-8 page (double-spaced) summary. The summary should reflect observations of a recurring theme, an area of controversy, and a proposed resolution. Students should confirm eligibility for these events with the certificate director. The certificate director will provide more information about the scope and format of the written report.

No more than two course credits fulfilling the requirements of the Food, Agriculture, and Climate Change certificate may overlap with a major, a simultaneous degree, or another certificate. Additionally, no course credit may be applied toward the requirements of more than two curricular programs. For example, the same course credit may not be used to fulfill the requirements of two certificates and a major. Graduate and professional school courses may count toward the certificate.

Courses accepted by Yale College for full course credit but taken outside of regular fall and spring semesters—for example, in the summer term or during a year abroad—can provisionally count towards satisfying the certificate requirements. Before considering such courses, students should consult with the certificate director.

Yale Course Search Searchable AttributesYC FOOD: ConsumptionYC FOOD: EnvironmentYC FOOD: Production

Credit/D/Fail Courses taken Credit/D/Fail may not count toward the certificate.

Declaration of Candidacy

Students must submit a Declaration of Candidacy for a Certificate form, as early as possible, but at the very latest, before the start of the student’s last semester at Yale. The form can be found on the University Registrar’s Office website. Once declared, Degree Audit tracks students' progress toward completion of the certificate.

Requirements of the Certificate

Number of courses 5 course credits 

Distribution of courses two courses in consumption area; one course in environment area; two courses in production area; 6–8 page summary of five co-curricular events