CIA Announces Major in Applied Food Studies

New Degree Prepares Graduates to Influence the Future of Food

Media Contact:

Jeff Levine
Communications Manager

Hyde Park, NY – The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) is launching a new bachelor’s degree major in applied food studies, with classes to begin in January 2015 at the CIA’s Hyde Park campus. The new major joins existing bachelor’s degrees in management and culinary science. Management majors can also pursue concentrations in advanced beverage and hospitality management, farm-to-table cooking, and Latin cuisines. Together, these majors and concentrations give CIA graduates many food career options to influence the future of the way the world eats.

Unique to this food studies program, is the CIA’s proven curriculum, which includes a high percentage of hands-on learning in the college’s kitchens and bakeshops. The major offers students an in-depth understanding of global food resources, policy and cultures, and their interconnections. Courses such as Anthropology of Food, Food Ecology, and Food History complement the college’s foundational classes covering culinary fundamentals, world cuisines, banquets, and restaurant cooking. Together they prepare graduates to impact the issues facing food systems from a chef’s perspective.

“This new major highlights an emerging and unique version of liberal and experiential learning,” says Dr. Michael Sperling, CIA vice president of academic degree programs. “If learning by doing was the theory behind ‘liberal arts 2.0’ in recent years, then applied food studies can be viewed as ‘liberal arts 3.0.’ The integration of the conceptual study and kitchen-based experiences in this program has no parallel.”

Graduates will be ready to make a difference working for advocacy and policy-making organizations, health agencies, and food industry councils, or to bring a global view to restaurant kitchens.

The CIA will be accepting many liberal arts credits for this program that students have earned through previous college experience. It’s a prime opportunity for those interested in food careers to complete their degree at the CIA, even if they started college studies elsewhere.

For more information about the CIA’s applied food studies bachelor’s degree and transfer credit information, call 1-800-CULINARY or visit

Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image

Applied Food Studies at The Culinary Institute of America is a new major with a unique combination of experiential hands-on learning and conceptual study of global food resources, policy, and cultures. (Photo credit: CIA/Keith Ferris)
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Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering associate and bachelor's degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, applied food studies, and culinary science, as well as certificate programs in culinary arts and wine and beverage studies. As the world's premier culinary college, the CIA provides thought leadership in the areas of health & wellness, sustainability, and world cuisines & cultures through research and conferences. The CIA has a network of 46,000 alumni that includes industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Roy Choi, Cat Cora, Dan Coudreaut, Steve Ells, Johnny Iuzzini, Charlie Palmer, and Roy Yamaguchi. The CIA also offers courses for professionals and enthusiasts, as well as consulting services in support of innovation for the foodservice and hospitality industry. The college has campuses in Hyde Park, NY; St. Helena, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Singapore.

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