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Food Systems, the Environment and Public Health


Food provides many benefits, from nourishment and well-being to livelihoods. Our food systems are also at the nexus of many of the today's most significant challenges, including climate change, resource scarcity, over- and under-nutrition, and environmental exposures to workers and communities. Inequities are widespread. The certificate program in Food Systems, the Environment, and Public Health is designed for Johns Hopkins University degree students and professionals seeking to deepen their understanding of the critical role of food systems in public health and global environmental change. Students will apply selected research, communication and/or public health policy analysis and advocacy skills to address the public health and equity implications of food systems. The certificate curriculum can be customized to meet the needs of full-time and part-time students. 

Educational Objectives

Students completing the certificate program will be able to:

1. Define and describe the concepts of food systems, food security, food system sustainability, and resilience.

2. Describe how food systems and food production practices affect the public’s health, with attention to equity and the historical trends that shaped today’s food system.

3. Use a systems perspective to analyze and apply critical thinking to inter-relationships within food systems, specifically among diet, food production, the environment and public health.

4. Analyze strengths and weaknesses of political, social, and economic policies and other interventions to improve food systems.

5. Apply selected skills (such as research methodologies, communication, advocacy and behavior change) to promote healthy and sustainable food systems.

Course of Study

Students should carefully review the certificate page on the JHU e-catalogue for information about program requirements and courses. 


All JHU graduate students are eligible for admission to this certificate program, with the exception of JHSPH MAS students, who are not eligible to apply until they have completed their primary degree program. Additionally, junior or mid-level professionals (ie, non-degree students) with at least a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, a strong academic record and professional experience in food systems related work are eligible.  

Admissions Process

Applying to the certificate program as a JHU graduate student

Students already enrolled in a graduate program at JHU are not required to submit the School's electronic admissions application, but must submit declaration of intent prior to starting coursework.

Start terms: It is possible to begin the certificate program only in these terms: Summer, 1, 2, 3, & 4.

Applying to the certificate program as a non-degree student

Students who are not currently enrolled in a graduate program at JHU are required to apply to certificate programs using SOPHAS Express. All non-degree applicants should review the general Certificates Admissions page for instructions on how to apply to a certificate program and application deadlines. 

Start terms: It is possible to begin the certificate program only in these terms: Summer, 1,2,3, & 4.

TOEFL/IELTS: Not required.

Prerequisites or special requirements: None

Requirements for Successful Completion 

The student should review the section of the website that addresses completion before completing certificate program requirements. The student's transcript will not indicate that the certificate was earned until the Notification of Completion has been submitted, verified by the certificate program, and processed by the Registrar. 

Contact Information

Certificate Program Contact
Name: Philip McNab

Faculty Sponsor
Name: Keeve Nachman

Faculty Co-Sponsor
Name: Roni Neff