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Food Security
Master of Science in Food Security


The MS in Food Security provides students with a foundation of knowledge in the core areas of food security; how availability, accessibility, appropriate utilization and stability of food are achieved; and how these can be aligned and achieved through coherent policies and sound programs. Building on this foundation, students then explore the multiple dimensions and disciplines of food security in greater depth. Coursework, seminars, and research activities challenge students to refine and apply their analytical skills, with a focus on the responsible application of gained knowledge. Students are equipped to start careers with governmental, non-governmental, and multilateral organizations, or to pursue further academic work. 

Click to view the brochure for the MS in Food Security in PDF format.



The MS in Food Security requires completion of a total of 30 credits, including six (6) required courses. Candidates for the MS in Food Security degree have the option to select a thesis or non-thesis program of study. Thesis students must complete 15 credits of required core courses, 6 credits from approved elective courses (at least 3 credits within FAFS), and 9 credits of thesis. Non-thesis students must complete 15 credits of required core courses, 12 credits from approved elective courses (at least 6 credits within FAFS), and 3 credits of project. In addition, all students must pass a comprehensive examination.

Students may opt to earn a further specialization in one of the following three areas: rural development; economics and policies; or food production and consumption.  For thesis students, specialization is earned through completion of one FAFS elective in the desired area and focus of the thesis. For non-thesis students, specialization is earned through completion of three FAFS electives in the desired area and focus of the project.

In addition, all students must pass a comprehensive examination.  

Required Courses

Credit Hours

FSEC 300

Food Security: Challenges and Contemporary Debate

This course introduces concepts and principles of food security, namely availability, accessibility, utilization, and stability of food supply. Students are familiarized with the history of thought on food security, from Malthus to the Green Revolution to Sen and the inclusion of political and social factors in considering food security.
Course syllabus is available online, click here.


FSEC 305

Agriculture: Technology, Supply Chains, Sustainability

This course provides an understanding of sustainable agricultural production through a value-chain approach as it relates to production and productivity, water and soil management, technology and post-harvest practices; with special application to the dry lands of the Middle East and North Africa region.
Course syllabus is available online, click here.


FSEC 310

Nutrition Security: Assessment and Intervention Strategies

This course introduces students to basic principles of nutrition security, community nutrition, and nutritional ecology; and highlights the role that nutrition plays in improving the health and wellbeing of communities. The course aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills required to conduct population-based nutrition research, assess the nutrition needs of a population; to plan, implement, and evaluate community nutrition programs and policies drawn from evidence-based practice and taking into consideration cultural, social, and contextual dimensions.
Course syllabu​s is available online, click here.


FSEC 315

Food Policies and their Planning Process

This course builds knowledge of the food system from local planning and policy and applied economic perspectives. The course familiarizes students with key players and issues related to the practice of food system planning (the process and practice of creating and implementing food policies), how this practice interfaces with the economy, and how to place these issues in a global context.
Course syllabus is available online, click here.


FSEC 320

Graduate Seminar in Food Security         

This course provides a forum for exchange of experiences and knowledge sharing. Students will participate in field trips, complete individual tasks and projects related to food security issues in the Middle East North Africa and the broader developing country context, and present and discuss findings.
Course syllabus is available online, click here.


FSEC 325

Statistical Methods in Agriculture

An investigation of the statistical techniques needed to design experiments and analyze and interpret agricultural research data.Cross-listed as AGSC 301 / RCOD 343. Prerequisites: STAT 210 or EDUC 227 and CMPS 209. Fall and spring.
Course syllabus is available online, click here.


FSEC 396

Comprehensive Exam


FSEC 397


FSEC 398



MS Thesis





Approved Electives

Credit Hours

Rural Development Specialization

AGSC 384

Political Economy of Middle East Development

(formerly Rural Social Change, Development, and the Environment)


NFSC 306

Community Nutrition: Research and Intervention


RCOD 341

Rural Community Development, Theory and Practice


RCOD 342

Qualitative Methods


Economics and Policies Specialization

AGSC 376

Resource and Environmental Economics


AGSC 389

Research Methods in Applied Economics


ECON 342

Options and Derivatives Instruments


ENSC 630

Natural Resource Management


PPIA 301

Public Policy


PPIA 305

Economics for Public Policy


PPIA 309

Evidence Policy and Communication


PSPA 316

International Environmental Policy


PSPA 352

Foundations of Public Policy


PSPA 361

Public and Non-Profit Program Evaluation


Food Production and Consumption Specialization

AGSC 389

Research Methods in Applied Economics


CIVE 648

Climate Change and Water Resources


LDEM 635

The Political Ecology of Water


NFSC 351

Food Safety: Contaminants and Toxins



Course Electives

The listing and availability of elective courses is subject to change based on course offerings. Course descriptions, including the usual semester of delivery, can be found in the AUB graduate catalogue.



The MS in Food Security is open to recent graduates and mid-career professionals. 

Recent graduates may benefit from additional knowledge relevant to the work of government ministries, consultancy-based organizations, or non-governmental organizations working to tackle hunger, poverty, human nutrition, and natural resource management.

Mid-career professionals may benefit from exposure to the latest thinking in the field of food security, including important research and applied developments since the 2008 food crises and the Arab Spring. Professionals benefit from studying in a context that is grounded in the challenges and issues of relevance to the MENA region, and from learning alongside faculty and colleagues who are focused on challenges similar to the ones they face.  



The estimated costs of completing the 30-credit MS in Food Security are as shown in the table. Tuition costs are charged per credit hour, according to the rates established by the Office of the Comptroller. Additional costs of student attendance may include travel, lodging, personal expenses, and student and other fees.  For more information on estimated costs of attendance, please consult the Office of Financial Aid or use the Office of Admissions tui​tion calculator.



Tuition (approximate)

$2,900 per course or $29,000 per degree

Student Fees


Health Insurance





Applications for the MS in Food Security for spring 2018 

are now open.

 Find the application form online.




For more information on the MS in Food Security, please contact:

Ms. Rachel A. Bahn

Program Coordinator 
Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences
American University of Beirut 
Beirut, Lebanon 
Phone: (+ 961) 1 350 000 Ext. 4422 or

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