CIA Applied Food Studies Bachelor’s Degree

  • You love food—and value where it comes from, how it’s grown, and the policies that influence the future of global and local food sources. Our Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) in Applied Food Studies program prepares you to become a responsible leading expert in food systems, sustainability, and advocacy. This gives you a wide range of career options with global impact—including government policy maker and food advocate, nonprofit executive director, food media professional, food and culinary educator, and other fields where you’ll be able to influence how food is perceived, understood, and distributed around the world. The CIA’s industry-experienced faculty will ensure you receive a hands-on, real world learning experience that provides you with the foundation for a successful career. After you’ve earned your degree, you will have a clear understanding of food policy, ethics, and ecology, as well as agriculture and sustainability, local and global food systems, and diverse cuisines of the world.


    • Learn how to explain complex food-related concepts to different audiences to influence public opinion.
    • Apply your advanced knowledge of global food issues and food history to current events.
    • Build your confidence and strengthen your leadership skills through mastery of communication skills.
    • Gain valuable real-world experience through off-campus internships and hands-on work in CIA’s state-of-the-art kitchens and bakeshops.
    • Choose a concentration that matches your career goals, such as farm-to-table, Asian, Italian, or Latin cuisine.
    • Interact with more than 130 companies that visit CIA’s campus four times a year to recruit students. Discuss career opportunities with these leaders, which include Baldor, Batali and Bastianich, Blackberry Farm, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, CAST Alimenti, Dogfish Head Brewing, Marriott, and Undine, among many others.

    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 culinary 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, France, Italy, Peru, and Spain.

    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.

  • 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.

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

  • Available Enrollment Dates

    Apply now for the Applied Food Studies bachelor’s degree!
    Apply now for the Applied Food Studies bachelor’s degree!
    Apply now for the Applied Food Studies bachelor’s degree!
  • Contact Us

    Admissions Office
    1946 Campus Drive
    Hyde Park, NY 12538-1499
    Phone: 1-800-CULINARY
    Alt. Phone: 845-452-9430
    Fax: 845-451-1068
  • Dr. Deirdre Murphy, CIA Professor—Liberal Arts

    Faculty Spotlight

    Dr. Deirdre Murphy
    Professor—Liberal Arts
    PhD, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN. MA, BA, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA.
    Beth Forrest, CIA Associate Professor—Liberal Arts

    Faculty Spotlight

    Dr. Beth Forrest
    Professor—Liberal Arts
    PhD, MA, BA, Boston University, Boston, MA.
  • Did you know? More than 90% of CIA students receive scholarships and financial aid.
    Learn More