CIA Applied Food Studies Bachelor’s Degree

  • Make a Difference in the World Through Food

    You love food, value how it is grown and sourced, and want to have an impact on how it’s perceived, distributed, and enjoyed throughout the world. The CIA Bachelor of Professional Studies in Applied Food Studies is made for you. Offered at our New York campus, this innovative program will prepare you to become a responsible leader in areas like food systems, media, sustainability, education, and advocacy through hands-on learning experiences with our accomplished faculty.


    • Gain a clear understanding of food policy, ethics, and ecology, as well as agriculture, sustainability, food systems, and world cuisines and cultures.
    • Develop leadership and communication skills that will enable you to explain complex food-related concepts and influence public opinion.
    • Gain real-world experience through a paid internship semester at one of the CIA’s 2,000+ food industry partners. (Already have experience? Check out our Turbo Option.)
    • Apply your advanced knowledge of local and global food issues and food history to current events.
    • Choose a focused concentration that aligns with your career goals, such as farm-to-table or a global cuisine, and expand your world view with a travel abroad experience.
    • Connect with 140+ companies hiring at CIA Career Fair, including Baldor, Blackberry Farm, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Food+ at Google, Food Corps, Gordon’s Foodservice, and Wegmans.

    Ready to get started? Apply Today!

    Get Involved in the Big Business of Food

    Companies are increasingly in need of experts knowledgeable about food policy, systems management, sustainability, and global distribution. After you graduate, your degree will help you pursue a career in:

    • Advocacy groups such as the Consumer’s Union, the Food Research and Action Center, and Greenpeace
    • Communications, public relations, and marketing
    • Eco-tourism
    • Education
    • Health agencies such as the American Public Health Association, Cornell Cooperative Extension, National Institutes of Health, and Public Health Association of New York City
    • Policymaking groups such as the United Nations, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and The Global Health Council
    • Production, sales, and sourcing of products for farm-to-table
    • Food industry associations such as the Food Marketing Institute, National Dairy Council, and Council for Responsible Nutrition

    With so many possibilities, our Career Services staff is ready to help you every step of the way. There’s no network like the CIA network, which includes some of the world’s most renowned culinary, beverage, and hospitality experts.

    The list of celebrated CIA alumni is as diverse as it is extensive. They’ve found success doing what they love. Now it’s your turn.


    Students taking the Bachelor of Professional Studies in Applied Food Studies program may choose one of two area of focus: Culinary Arts or Baking and Pastry Arts.

    The 129-credit BPS in Applied Food Studies, Culinary Arts focus includes:

    • 54 credits in culinary arts requirements
    • 33 credits in liberal arts requirements
    • 3 credits in liberal arts electives
    • 6 credits in business management requirements
    • 21 credits in applied food studies requirements
    • 6 credits in applied food studies electives
    • 6 credits in free electives

    The 129-credit BPS in Applied Food Studies, Baking and Pastry Arts focus includes:

    • 55.5 credits in baking and pastry arts requirements
    • 31.5 credits in liberal arts requirements
    • 3 credits in liberal arts electives
    • 6 credits in business management requirements
    • 21 credits in applied food studies requirements
    • 6 credits in applied food studies electives
    • 6 credits in free electives

    You will get an ideal mix of courses in areas like food anthropology, ecology, history, governmental policies, and sustainability that build upon the knowledge gained from the CIA’s hands-on culinary or baking and pastry arts core. Together, they will give you the perspective needed for careers that focus on food as a window into economics, culture, class, and politics.

    The curriculum features a semester-long internship experience, as well as your choice among several optional, specialized study concentration, including Advanced Wine and Beverage, Asian Cuisine, Farm-to-Table, and many more.

    As a CIA bachelor’s degree student, you can also choose to study abroad through the Global Cuisines and Cultures course, which includes travel to culinary destinations such as China, Costa Rica, France, Italy, Peru, Spain, and Tanzania.

    See catalog for curriculum details

    Requirements for Admissions

    • A high school diploma or GED credential.
    • Recommendation—One character letter of recommendation is required. It should be from an employer, teacher, or professional colleague either within or outside the foodservice industry. The letter should address your commitment to the food world, problem-solving ability, and persistence in either work or academics.

    How to Apply

    Culinary School Costs

    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—more than 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.

  • Cool Courses in Applied Food Studies

    Cool Courses You’ll Take…

    Make a difference in the world through food in the CIA applied food studies degree program, with courses that may surprise you.

    Check them out

  • Join CIA Professor Dr. Maureen Costura as she takes you on an up-close tour of the college’s apiary. This project, part of the Applied Food Studies degree program, is an exciting experience for students who are studying the role, benefits, and challenges of pollinators in the ecology of our food systems.

  • Events Calendar

    Join us for an online open house showcasing our career-focused degree and certificate programs…right from the comfort of your home.

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  • Change the World Through Food, Get CIA's whitepaper

  • Beth Forrest, CIA Associate Professor—Liberal Arts

    Faculty Spotlight

    Dr. Beth Forrest
    Professor—Liberal Arts
    PhD, MA, BA, Boston University, Boston, MA.
    Willa Y. Zhen, CIA Lecturing Instructor—Liberal Arts

    Faculty Spotlight

    Dr. Willa Zhen
    Professor—Liberal Arts
    Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery: Cherwell Food History Studentship, 2009.
  • Food is big business, and you won’t find business education anywhere as food-focused as the CIA’s.
    Learn More