Overview of MFST

Our Focus

Feeding the world’s future population in a fashion that sustainably promotes environmental and human health is the most pressing problem facing the planet and its inhabitants. In response to this challenge, local food systems have become a fast emerging sector of agricultural and food science in major metropolitan areas with entrepreneurship, investment, and an increasing job market following the movement. We are focused on training professionals to meet this job market demand and become leaders in metropolitan food and environmental systems.

Small group of students gathered in a conference room discussing a project with technology.


The University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences is proud to be the first to offer an undergraduate major in Metropolitan Food & Environmental Systems. The interdisciplinary collaborations and training across our departments provide a unique knowledge and skill set not offered by other higher education institutions and that will translate into greater job prospects.

One of the exciting aspects of our program is working with the Discovery Partners Institute in Chicago (DPI). The institute prioritizes connecting researchers with different specialties from across the state and around the world to drive innovation and prosperity in our communities. Students are able to take in-person courses on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus, at DPI in Chicago, or other DPI-associated academic institutions. These in-person opportunities along with our online coursework give students the flexibility to learn where they feel most able to thrive.

Learn More

For more information on how you can get involved with the Metropolitan Food and Environmental Systems program, please contact us.

Email mfst-aces@illinois.edu, call 217-244-5567, or send a Facebook message.

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