This program is in the Division of Agriculture, Food and Environment.
The AFE program at the Friedman School has a long commitment to sustainability, especially in the agricultural realm. Meeting sustainability goals requires both public and private sector initiatives and actions. For example, many federal programs seek to help farmers and ranchers improve environmental outcomes. Within the private sector, large and small food supply chain businesses are developing and implementing best practices in response to both consumer demands and changing supply chains – these span environmental, social, and economic aspects of sustainability.
Students come to the AFE Program to help build a more desirable food production and distribution system, making agriculture and food systems more supportive of the natural environment and the society they serve. Students apply to AFE from varied academic and professional backgrounds in areas such as agriculture, biology, nutrition or health and environmental studies, as well as political science, history, economics and business or the liberal arts. Most students enter the program with applicable professional and volunteer experience which contributes to classroom discussion and community life.
To be eligible, applicants must have completed a Bachelor's degree, and have demonstrated their commitment and ability to succeed in the AFE program through previous coursework, including at least one course in physiology, general biology or chemistry, plus employment and volunteer experience. The GRE will be optional for all programs for the 2021 application cycle. Applicants to the Ph.D. program are strongly encouraged to submit GRE scores as they can be helpful in the Admissions Committee’s assessment of readiness for doctoral study. Read more about this new change in admissions policy and what it means for your application to the school.. For students taking the GRE who seek to refresh their verbal and quantitative skills, self-study materials and sample questions are available from the Educational Testing Service. Students whose native language is not English must meet TOEFL or IELTS requirements.
Master of Science
The curriculum includes core courses in nutrition science, food and environmental policy, and research skills. Each student completes a specialization (three to five courses), a field internship, and a self-designed directed study project. A total of 16 one-credit courses are required for the M.S. degree. Learning objectives:
- To develop a breadth of understanding of agricultural science and policy issues related to soil, energy, air, water, plant breeding, plant nutrients, livestock production, pest management, and forestry
- To develop in-depth expertise on one area of AFE through specialized class work (e.g., water resources policy, local food systems, animal welfare, etc.)
- To develop sophisticated knowledge of the policymaking process
- To understand historical and current aspects of U.S. agricultural production, policy initiatives, and structures
- To develop competency in statistical methods and data analysis
- To develop basic knowledge of nutrition science
- To become a critical thinker, with advanced research, analysis, and writing skills
Doctor of Philosophy
Students enrolled in the doctoral program must have completed courses equivalent to the AFE master's degree at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy or elsewhere. Students in the doctoral program must pass a written and oral qualifying examination, and then complete and formally defend a doctoral dissertation based on original research. Learning objectives:
- To become proficient in study design, hypothesis development, and statistical analysis
- To become proficient in presentation (oral and written) and publication of research findings
- To command a sophisticated understanding of relationships connecting agriculture, food and the environment
- To become conversant in the breadth of scientific and policy knowledge related to agriculture, food, and environmental issues
Combined Degree Programs: MALD, MPH, UEP, WSSS
Students enrolled in combined degree programs complete all the requirements for both degrees, but by counting selected courses towards both programs, they reduce the total time required for completion. Students must be admitted independently to each program. Our combined degree programs allow formal recognition of students emphasizing these additional areas of study, greater depth of professional preparation, and opportunities to make connections with students and faculty members in other related programs.
- A combined degree program with the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy results in both the Master of Science in Nutrition and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD).
- A combined degree program with Tufts University's School of Medicine leads to the Master of Science in Nutrition and the Master of Public Health (MPH).
- A combined degree program with Tufts University's Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning results in both the Master of Science in Nutrition and a Master of Arts in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning.