Chatham University

The Bachelor of Arts in Food Studies (BAFS) allows students to gain mastery of experiential liberal arts through the lens of food. Students accumulate applied agricultural and culinary knowledge, as well as round out their classroom learning through participation in our signature Food Fellows Experience–a term of cooperative learning and professional development supported by in-person and online guidance from faculty and practitioners.

Bachelor of Arts in Food Studies Brochure
Download BAFS Brochure »

The B.A. in Food Studies is part of Chatham's Falk School of Sustainability & Environment, one of the earliest schools focusing on sustainability in the country.

Curriculum timeline

BAFS students typically begin with two years of general education and major-specific core courses.

Spring of year two includes preparatory and online courses for the Food Fellows Experience, which is typically done in year three.

During year four, students take electives and complete the Integrated Capstone Seminar, which builds off of and expands upon the entirety of their undergraduate experience.


Required Core Courses in Food Studies
(27 credits)

FST 150: Food, Farm, and Field (3)
FST 315: Food Access and Food Policy (3)
FST 420: Agroecology (plus lab) (4)
FST 215W: Global Foodways (3)
FST 240: Global Food Chains (3)
FST 321W: Food Narratives (3)
FST 342: Sustainable Production (3)
FST 490: Capstone (3)
FST 417: Safe Food (1)
FST 418: Field Work Preparation (1)

Required Courses outside Food Studies
(12 credits)

BUS 105: Foundations of Business (3)
BIO 123/L: Nutrition and Nutrition Lab (2+1)
BUS 217: Introduction to Project Management (3)
BUS 310: Introduction to Six Sigma (3)

Elective Courses Include:

FST 234: Asian Foodways
FST 250: International Cuisine
FST 302: Nutrition and Community
FST 365: Coffee: History, Policy, Practices
FST 428: Tree Care
FST XXX: Mediterranean Diet: Myths, Realities, Practices
BIO 303: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
COM 415: Environmental Communication
ECN 262: Global Environmental Economics
ENG 313: Food and Identity
ENG 400: The Literary Cookbook
ENV 451: Soil Science
HIS 215: Industrialization and the Working Class
HIS 402: Gender and Family in America
PSY 213: Psychology of Eating
PSY 340: Psychopharmacology
SUS 203: Global Environmental Health
SUS 302: Social Justice and Sustainability
SUS 304: Environment and Culture
SUS 315: Ecotoxicology
SUS 426: Aquaculture

Featured Courses

FST 315: Food Access and Policy
If food is a basic human right, how do societies create universal access to food? This course explores the ethical basis for making citizens food secure despite global inequality. Major topics include private versus public solutions and the relationship between food access, gender, cultural appropriateness, nutrition, sustainability, and justice.


FST 215W: Global Foodways
A strategic survey of regional or global food ways in historical and contemporary contexts. Emphasis on anthropological understanding of food ways, cultural studies critique of class, gender, and family dynamics articulated via food, and historical transformations of food culture in response to migration and globalization. Areas of global emphasis may include Asia, Africa, Regional North America, and Amazonia.

FST 215W Global Foodways

FST 342: Sustainable Production
This course explores specific modes of production, agricultural and culinary, with a focus on applied and experiential learning through practical application in a group project. Students focus on farm to kitchen and develop problem solving skills for practical applications.

FST 342 Sustainable Production

FST 365: Coffee: History, Politics, Practices
This applied course includes hands-on and practical experiences at local coffee roasters with different business models. Participants will train in the Eden Hall student cooperative café at Eden Hall including cupping, barista, and tasting skills. The correlated readings, discussions, and assignments address challenging issues surrounding coffee, including labor, global procurement, and labeling.

FST 365 Coffee History Politics and Practices


Food Fellows Experience

Chatham's BAFS degree is distinguished by the Food Fellows term. This is a 15-credit experience, preferably undertaken during students' third year, that allows them to choose a site for hands-on learning while potentially earning income as well as credit.

The Food Fellows term and the other core experiential components of the program use resources at Eden Hall and Shadyside campuses, Pittsburgh at large, and other areas in the US and internationally that provide students with the opportunity for field-based learning.

The City of Pittsburgh is home to a number of organizations and individuals within Chatham's network making a difference in areas touched by food studies, including:

  • The Heinz History Center and its collection of historical documents about food production and consumption
  • Global and local food businesses including DeLallo's, Starkist, Giant Eagle, and Parkhurst
  • Small scale regional and artisanal producers
  • Multiple nonprofits engaged in social change such as anti-hunger and urban agriculture work at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Just Harvest, and Grow Pittsburgh
  • City, state, and county officials interested in community-based food systems, land preservation, and economic development
  • An enormous healthcare system and workforce
  • Civic action groups and policymakers who work directly with local food producers and food advocates

Students may also choose to further their education at Chatham through pursuing an Integrated Degree Program (IDP) with our Master of Sustainability. Through the IDP, students earn both bachelor's and master's degrees in as few as five years, saving time and money. Learn more about IDPs ▶

And see what M.A. in Food Studies students are doing...

Eden Hall Campus

Eden Hall Campus offers unparalled access to an unparalled space for Food Studies students. It encompasses a certified organic farm, demonstration garden, orchards, a 30+-acre crop area, greenhouses (one heated year-round by solar-thermal panels), and demonstration kitchens. Faculty and students research sustainable agricultural practices and produce food for EHC and for the Shadyside Campus. Initiatives include nutrient recycling and soil building from compost; aquaculture and aquaponics; mushroom farming; and edible landscaping around buildings.

All students are encouraged to play an active role in helping to manage and develop Eden Hall Campus. Jobs that directly link to classes are available–managing the woodlands, working with the data and energy systems that permeate the campus buildings, partnering with local businesses, or doing community outreach. The experience at Eden Hall isn't just taking classes and living in the dorms.

– PETER WALKER, PH.D., dean of the Falk School of Sustainability & Environment

Campus Focus Areas



Stormwater is managed by rain gardens that collect and direct water flow, gravel walkways that make it easier for rainwater to get to the soil below, and a rainwater harvesting system that uses it for crop irrigation. Eden Hall treats wastewater through a six-step process that mimics nature and handles up to 6,000 gallons daily.

Food and Sustainable Agriculture

Food & Sustainable Agriculture

Eden Hall Campus encompasses a certified organic farm, demonstration garden, and greenhouses (one heated year-round by solar-thermal panels). Faculty and students demonstrate sustainable agricultural practices, and produce food for the campus. Initiatives include nutrient recycling and soil building from compost; aquaponics; mushroom farming; and edible landscaping around buildings.

Energy and Climate

Energy & Climate

Over 400 solar panels not only generate enough energy to power 14 homes annually–they also provide heat for a residence hall and a greenhouse, and the campus is heated and cooled via 40+ geothermal wells. Eden Hall's weather station collects data on solar radiation, air temperature, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and leaf wetness. Soil sensors collect data on items like volumetric water content and electrical conductivity.

Design and Planning

Design & Planning

Eden Hall models a variety of building standards, energy management techniques, and new ways of sustainable living. Each building is monitored to determine optimal energy consumption. Buildings meet LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) Platinum certification, and some future buildings are planned to be built to Living Building Challenge standards.

Community and Health

Community & Health

Eden Hall attracts academic, public, and artistic communities through year-round programming including workshops, dinners, performances, and festivals. Visitors hike eco-education trails, take yoga classes, explore sustainable agriculture sites, and observe natural water treatment systems in action. Also, our farm connects to the community through farm-to-school programs and partnerships with local farmers and nonprofits.

Eden Hall Campus Master Plan

Eden Hall Campus Master Plan

From the very beginning, the design of Eden Hall Campus was intended to be revolutionary. Each venue, classroom building, outdoor area, and residential space ensures full-campus sustainability and functions so that students don't just learn about sustainability, but live it every day. Review that full plan for Chatham's sustainable campus in the North Hills of Pittburgh. Download Master Plan ▶

A Brighter, Healthier Tomorrow

Eden Hall Campus | A Brighter, Healthier Tomorrow

There's a lot ongoing and planned for Eden Hall, and it all starts with our work in the sustainability field. Learn about Chatham's history of leadership in sustainability that has driven plans for our ultra-green Eden Hall Campus. Download Booklet ▶

CRAFT: The Center for Regional Agriculture, Food, and Transformation at Chatham University

The Center for Regional Agriculture, Food, and Transformation (CRAFT) at Chatham University, based at Eden Hall Campus, works to transform the future of food and agriculture in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. CRAFT offers many opportunities for students to get involved with all aspects of food studies, from research to production.

Current projects include: Workshops on bread baking, fermentation, bean-to-bar chocolate, and heritage grains; Product development with food businesses and farms to create regionally sourced pizza, pancake mix, and more; Developing sustainably sourced fish food for aquaculture; Kitchen Lab for culinary and experiential skill development. Learn more about CRAFT »

To make the most out of your experience at Chatham, we require that students live and study on-campus for at least two years as shown below:

Year 1: Shadyside Campus (Most first-year BAFS classes will take place here)
Year 2: Student's choice (Shadyside Campus, EHC, or off-campus)
Year 3: Eden Hall Campus
Year 4: Student's choice (EHC, Shadyside Campus, or off-campus)

  Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Shadyside Campus ×
Eden Hall Campus ×
Off-campus/Commuter × ×

The importance of Eden Hall Campus residency

For students' third year, unless they are participating in a Food Fellows experience that requires that they live elsewhere, students live at Eden Hall Campus. EHC is a living and learning laboratory that offers BAFS students cuttingedge agricultural spaces and practices, demonstration kitchens, an aquaculture lab, orchards, and other spaces conducive to the interdisciplinarity of food studies.

Although residency at Eden Hall is only required during Year 3, students can choose to live and study at Eden Hall during Years 2 and 4 to take advantage of the unlimited opportunities EHC presents to Bachelor of Arts in Food Studies students.

Shadyside Campus

Shadyside Campus is located in an urban arboretum, where students live in renovated historic mansions, minutes away from the center of Pittsburgh, home to 70,000 college students. Please note that even while living at Shadyside Campus, student will have some classes and experiences at Eden Hall Campus.


Chatham was ranked 7th in the nation for best food grown and sourced locally by Sierra Magazine's 2015 "Cool Schools" report.

Contributing to that is another perk of an on-campus farm »

Eden Hall Campus

Eden Hall Campus is where passions can come to life: students can study the botanical and biological properties of staple plants; explore the social and cultural significance of these plants as "crops" or foodstuffs; and create historically significant culinary dishes or products, all by using EHC's gardens, greenhouses, woodlands, kitchens, and classrooms.

Campus shuttles connect Eden Hall and Shadyside campuses for courses and extracurriculars throughout the week.

Orchard Hall

Orchard Hall, Eden Hall Campus's residence building, is constructed to the highest LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) standards.

NOTE: This policy applies to students entering in the 2018 academic year. Exceptions may be made only by the Dean of Students in consultation with the Director of Residence Life and the Dean of Falk School, on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, all current undergraduate and graduate students in the Falk School of Sustainability & Environment who are receiving funding from the Falk Endowment will be required to live at Eden Hall Campus.

Robust professional preparation, the cornerstone of a Chatham education, is woven throughout the BAFS degree:

  • The Food Fellows Experience taps student into valuable hiring networks and social capital.
  • Students graduate with business training that's transferable to a wide range of occupations.
  • The required project management course offers the option of a certificate on completion of the course and an external exam.
  • The safe food course provides certification necessary for jobs in food service and agricultural production.

The Bachelor of Arts in Food Studies prepares graduates for careers in:


  • Environmental scientist (plants, seeds, animals)
  • Soil/food microbiologist

Non-Profits & NGOs

  • Fundraising/development for food philanthropy
  • Community development for local/regional food
  • Food labor and food justice advocacy
  • Non-profit organizations (urban agriculture, living history museums, culinary heritage preservation, food waste, environmental health and well-being)

Industry & Government

  • Food industry, restaurant, or test kitchen development work
  • School, hospital, and workplace sourcing and planning
  • Sustainable supply chain management
  • Food production and distribution
  • Consulting firms
  • Global and environmental politics around agriculture
  • USDA, FDA, USAID, and other government agencies/policy making


  • Food and agriculture media: journalism, filmmaking, oral history, and more
  • Promotion and marketing for specialty foods, food writing, regional food
  • Market research
  • Culinary tourism
  • Public education and outreach around food history, food systems, community food
  • Public relations

Office of Career Development

Chatham's Career Development staff is eager to help you develop and reach your goals from year one, day one. They'll:

  • Advise you in one-on-one appointments to maximize job search skills, develop dynamite resumes and cover letters, and ace job interviews
  • Help you find a mentor in your career field
  • Connect you with hundreds of employers through job fairs and Handshake, our online job and internship posting database

More info: