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Deepen Your Understanding of Agroecology

Agroecology, Food Sovereignty and Social Movements

Investigate the social, political, and economic elements of the global food system from multiple perspectives. Learn how to scale-up agroecology and examine the intersection between agroecology, food sovereignty and government policies.

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Program Snapshot

Next Start Date

August 26, 2024

How Often

Fall, Spring



Learning Format



15 weeks

Time Commitment

6 hrs./wk.


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VA Benefit Eligible







Why Agroecology?

Identifying the most viable and sustainable ways to improve our agrifood system remains one of the most important challenges of our time. While there are no magic bullets, the field of Agroecology is a demonstrated, holistic approach that addresses the social, ecological and production challenges of current agrifood systems.

Why now?

The field of agroecology is gaining influence in a diversity of academic, political and advocacy spaces worldwide. In 2014, for the first time in its history, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) held an International Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition. Agroecology has also received endorsement from La Via Campesina, and the Journal of Sustainable Agriculture was recently renamed as Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (Gliessman)—demonstrating that groups of peasant farmers, scientists, and international policy makers are each convinced of agroecology’s value and potential. This increased attention has brought with it a call for empirical research about the performance of agroecological practices and a demand for training in agroecological principles. In response to these demands, we have developed a rigorous and practical option that offers a foundation in agroecology, opportunities for research, and a design that makes it accessible to students, international audiences, and mid-career professionals.

Prerequisite: A solid understanding of the practice and principles of agroecology and food sovereignty, acquired through formal study, life experience or both. Please contact the instructor ( to discuss prior to registering.

Fall Term: August 26 – December 6, 2024
Spring Term: January–May


The Agroecology, Food Sovereignty and Social Movements course is taught by Nils McCune, Post-Doctoral Associate, in UVM Department of Plant and Soil Science.

Cost & Time

The tuition rate is $750 for all students and does not differ based on a student’s residency. You should anticipate dedicating 6 hours per week for 15 weeks to complete the course.

Career Outlook

What career opportunities are available with this certificate or what do graduates generally go on to do after completing the program?

For those taking the non-credit stand-alone course, you receive the knowledge from the course and you may want to go on and further your education.  Career opportunities may be available if your employer has asked you to take this course to enhance your career.

The CGSA is meant to be an enrichment of an existing career path, for people that are working in related work that want to complement their knowledge and skills in agroecology.You may find career opportunities at non-profits in agricultural development, both nationally and internationally. Examples of international organizations are Groundswell International, Heifer, the Agroecology program of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, etc.


Workload for this course, including readings and assignments typically amounts to 6-8 hours per week.

The program fee for non-credit students is $750.

Learn about options for discounts, grants, loans, scholarships, and more on our tuition and financial aid page.

To reserve your seat, you have the option of paying in full by credit card, or by making a minimum payment of $500 at registration. Note that the balance must be paid two weeks prior to the start of this offering and you will receive email reminders if you have a balance due. We do not offer payment plans for this program.

If you need to cancel your attendance for this course, you must notify us via email at or call us at (802) 656-2085 at least three business days prior to the start date of the course to receive a full refund, less a $25 cancellation fee. If a medical condition necessitates cancellation/withdrawal (documentation to be provided), this will be reviewed by our Studies Committee for any type of refund.

Students who successfully complete the requirements for this course will receive a digital badge signifying they have achieved completion.

Course content is available via Brightspace online to facilitate information sharing outside the constraints of time and place among the cohort of students. This method of teaching design makes it accessible to students, international audiences, and mid-career professionals.

We hope you find this information helpful. If you can’t find the answer you are looking for, do not hesitate to contact the Agroecology and Livelihoods Collaborative Team at

If you are a non-credit student seeking accessibility support, please email and the UVM Student Accessibility Services team will be able to assist. In your email, please include that you do not have a 95 number/NetID.