Students within the Food Studies Minor possess one thing in common—a passion and drive for exploring, evaluating, and examining the many complexities surrounding food and its production, preparation, sharing, consumption, and disposal. The Minor’s diverse curriculum allows for students to understand issues surrounding food from an individual, socio-cultural and global perspective. Students in the minor come from many academic disciplines, including majors in:

  • Communication Studies
  • Physiological Sciences
  • English
  • Art History
  • Human Biology and Society
  • Sociology
  • Psychobiology
  • Environmental Science
  • Chemistry
  • Middle Eastern Studies
  • Geography/Environmental Studies
  • World Arts and Culture
  • Economics
  • Biology
  • Anthropology
  • Global Studies

Graduates are well-versed in the ever growing field of food studies and will be equipped with the critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to pursue careers in fields such as: the arts, education, government agencies, medicine, public health, law, medicine, non-profit and philanthropic organizations, urban planning and public policy.


Meet a few of the students enrolled in the Food Studies Minor and learn about their experiences!


Major: Pre-Human Biology and Society, B.A.
Volunteer Work: Venice Family Clinic and UCLA’s Healthy Campus Initiative
Favorite Food Studies Minor Related Course: My favorite course so far is Civic 170SL (Food Studies and Food Justice in Los Angeles). It is a service learning class, so you get the opportunity to go out into the Los Angeles community and learn more about food justice.
Why minor in Food Studies?: Growing up, I wanted to become a physician, but as I grew older, realized that my passion and interests lie more in the realm of public health. With my own interests and experiences in mind, I became particularly interested in food and how food can be used within the field of medicine to help prevent illness. In addition, I also wanted to meet other likeminded people who are interested in food.
Post-Graduate Goals: At the moment, I hope to attain a Masters in Public Health and/or possibly become a Registered Dietitian. A few of my career aspirations include pursuing a career in public health policy, food law and policy, or becoming a nutritionist. I feel that the Food Studies Minor has provided me with a broad understanding of food and how it affects different communities, thus helping me to better understand how I may be able to make a positive impact on the world.


Major: Communication Studies
Volunteer Work: Social Media and Public Relations Intern with the National Center for Research on Evaluation
Favorite Food Studies Minor Related Course: It is only my second quarter in the Minor, but I loved Society and Genetics 134, which provides an excellent overview of humans’ relationship with food from the beginning of our species to today.
Why minor in Food Studies?: I always knew I wanted to find a career path that would help people, and I was always interested in social and environmental justice. The Food Studies minor has allowed me to study one specific issue—food inequality and access—and has led me to realize that I would like to pursue a career in politics or policy, specifically with an emphasis in ending food deserts in the U.S.
Post-Graduate Goals: After graduation, I hope to begin a career in politics, hopefully in Los Angeles, with an emphasis in environmental or food issues. I believe that a knowledge of the scope of how food impacts our lives is critical for any student today, but especially students in California, which is both a culinary hub and one of the largest areas of food production in the world.


Major: Middle Eastern Studies
Volunteer Work: Healthy Campus Initiative and Venice Family Clinic
Favorite Food Studies Minor Related Course: One of my top favorite courses is Civic Engagement 170SL (Food Studies and Food Justice in Los Angeles) taught by Professor Kathy O’Byrne. This course is special because students are given the opportunity to do hands-on work at non-profit organizations that support food justice, enabling them to learn several things that would be difficult to teach in a traditional classroom setting.
Why minor in Food Studies? Post-Graduate Goals: The Food Studies Minor has opened my eyes to a number of possibilities and has shown me the many different career options related to food, as well. Through coursework offered in the Minor, I am now looking to explore and pursue a career as a Registered Dietician.


Major: Environmental Science Major
Volunteer Work: Food Waste Sustainability Action Research (SAR) and Climate and Sustainability Education Resource Library (CSERL)
Favorite Food Studies Minor Related Course: My favorite Food Studies course so far has been Civic Engagement 170SL (Food Studies and Food Justice in Los Angeles). I took it during the summer with Dr. Kathy O’Byrne and it was one of the most unique experiences that I have had here at UCLA. The course is about food justice here in Los Angeles and the in-class discussions were fantastic, because the class had so many diverse backgrounds and perspectives in relation to food. The class also included a service learning component—this is what pushed me outside of my comfort zone and helped me to learn in a more personal way.
Why minor in Food Studies?: Food sustainability is a passion of mine. I am an Environmental Science major and the environment’s relationship with our food has always been the most interesting part of this field to me. Food is one of the few things in the world that everyone can relate to on at least some level—whether it’s nutrition, culture, socializing, or something completely different. I feel this minor has provided me with the opportunity to not only participate in relevant coursework, but to learn about all aspects of the people, science, and movements taking place with food both now and in the past.
Post-Graduate Goals: My current post-graduate goal is to attend a graduate school and study public health. I want to pursue a career in food sustainability and I am especially interested in fighting the issue of food waste. I would love to stay in Los Angeles because there is so much I feel I can get involved in—the people in this city are passionate about using innovation to create a more sustainable planet.