The Culinary Institute of America

  • Applied Food Studies Bachelor’s Degree

  • The CIA's Food Studies Program

    The food industry landscape is changing rapidly, and companies are increasingly in need of expertise in food policy, community involvement, global issues, food systems management, and much more. The innovative Applied Food Studies Bachelor's Degree program will prepare you to make an impact—and become influential leader—in the food industry long after you graduate culinary school. By studying food history, cultures, and cuisines in our Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) in Applied Food Studies, you’ll be ready to address the many challenges and opportunities facing our diverse world today.

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    During this bachelor’s degree program, you will:

    • Gain the communications skills and confidence to lead and influence food policy
    • Research and analyze food studies concepts in courses such as Ecology of Food, Food History, and Anthropology of Food.
    • Participate in and conduct hands-on, practical projects related to food studies.
    • Apply knowledge of contemporary global food studies to real-word issues.
    • Have opportunities for in-the-field learning during exciting travel experiences.


    Requirements for Admission

    Candidates need to have fulfilled the CIA's freshman culinary school admissions requirements and must also have an associate degree in either culinary arts or baking and pastry arts from The Culinary Institute of America to be accepted into this program.



    Liberal Arts Requirements (24 Credits)

    Anthropology of Food or Psychology of Human Behavior or Social Psychology3 credits
    Calculus I or College Algebra or Introduction to Statistics or Science Fundamentals or Survey of Mathematics3 credits
    Foreign Language6 credits
    History and Cultures of Asia or History and Cultures of Europe or History and Cultures of the Americas6 credits
    Literature and Composition3 credits
    Principles of Macroeconomics or Principles of Microeconomics3 credits

    Liberal Arts Elective (3 Credits)

    Select from liberal arts courses listed on CIA Main Menu (the student web portal).

    Applied Food Studies Requirements (15 Credits)

    Anthropology of Food or Ecology of Food or Food History or Food Policy or Sustainable Food Systems9 credits
    Applied Food Studies3 credits
    Project in Food Studies3 credits

    Applied Food Studies Elective (3 Credits)

    Select from applied food studies courses listed on CIA Main Menu (the student web portal).

    Free Electives (6 Credits)

    Select from elective courses listed on CIA Main Menu (the student web portal).
    Total Credits: 63 (Junior/Senior Years)


    Please note:
    • The foreign language requirement must be fulfilled by the end of the junior year.
    • Not all electives will be offered each semester. For the most current list of elective offerings, students should check CIA Main Menu (the student web portal).
    • The Global Cuisines and Cultures elective travel courses take place between bachelor’s semesters in late April/early May and late July/early August.
    • Course prerequisites and corequisites are listed in the course descriptions.


    The CIA is very committed to making your CIA education as affordable as possible. Our costs are comparable to similar colleges, and here's even better news—approximately 90% of our students receive some form of financial aid.

    Don't let applying for financial assistance keep you from going to the world's premier culinary college. No matter what your individual circumstances are, we will work with you to help make attending the CIA an affordable investment in your future in the world of food.


    Great Food Careers Start Here

    With a CIA bachelor’s degree, you don’t just have a foot in the door—you have thousands of feet in the door. CIA alumni are an accomplished, supportive network throughout the industry, whatever your goals. Here’s a sampling of career tracks and organizations that Applied Food Studies graduates can look forward to pursuing:

    • Non-profit organizations around the world
    • Advocacy groups such as the Consumer’s Union, the Food Research and Action Center, and Greenpeace
    • Education
    • Communications and marketing
    • Production, sales, and sourcing of products for farm-to-table
    • Eco-tourism in the U.S. and abroad
    • Programs and policy-making on local and national government levels, in organizations such as the United Nations, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and The Global Health Council
    • Health agencies such as the American Public Health Association, Cornell Cooperative Extension, National Institute of Health, and Public Health Association of New York City
    • Food industry associations such as the Food Marketing Institute, National Dairy Council, and Council for Responsible Nutrition

    And with so many possibilities out there, our Career Services staff is ready to help you every step of the way, not only for that ideal first job, but for a lifetime of great opportunities. There’s no network like the CIA network!

    The list of celebrated CIA alumni is as diverse as it is extensive. They’ve found success doing what they love. They fully embraced the idea that Food is Life®.

    Now it’s your turn.

  • Dr. Maureen Costura, CIA Assistant Professor—Liberal Arts, participating in the CIA's food studies program

    Spotlight On: Dr. Maureen CosturaLiberal Arts

    PhD, MA, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. BA, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.
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