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    CIA Wine and Beverage Graduate Certificate Program (WBGC)

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  • Americans continue to pour money into savoring their favorite wines. According to Wines & Vines magazine, U.S. wine sales reached $60 billion in 2016—the 24th consecutive year of growth. About $39.8 billion of those sales stem from domestic wineries, with many of the most renowned wine growers located in the legendary Napa Valley. Sommeliers and other wine experts are crucial in helping restaurant guests decide which wine best complements their meal. And what better place to learn about this high-growth field than at the CIA’s California campus in the Napa Valley? Earn a CIA Wine and Beverage Graduate Certificate through a unique two-semester program. Learn professional beverage management, viticulture, Old and New World wines, distilled spirits, and the global business of wine. The CIA’s industry-experienced faculty will ensure you receive a hands-on learning experience that puts you in line for a top position. After earning your certificate, you’ll be an expert in wine and beverage management as well as be proficient in wine and beverage selection for high-end and casual dining establishments.

    Highlights:

    • “Wine tune” your education as you study the wines of the Old and New world regions as well as Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Levant.
    • Explore a range of fermented and non-alcoholic beverages as well as distilled spirits and principles of mixology.
    • Take part in tastings, pairings, and sensory analyses, learning about the synergies between food and beverages.
    • Learn from expert professors and sommeliers in the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies.
    • Network with a range of vintners, distillers, and top executives from world-class wine and beverage companies from around the world.

    Ready to start? Apply Today!

    Uncork Your Opportunities

    Wine experts are in high-demand at high-end restaurants, casual dining establishments, wholesalers and retailers, and wineries. Career options include:

    • Brand marketing
    • Food and beverage management
    • Dining room management
    • Hospitality management
    • Journalist or consultant
    • Public relations
    • Sales manager
    • Sommelier
    • Special events
    • Vineyard manager
    • Wine bar management
    • Wine distribution
    • Wine educator

    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.

    First Semester

    CourseCredits
    Viticulture and Viniculture
    3 credits
    Advanced Beverage Management
    3 credits
    Old World Wines: Southern and Eastern Europe
    3 credits
    Northern Wine Countries of Europe: The Wines of France, Germany, Austria, and Hungary
    3 credits
    Historical and Cultural Perspectives in Food and Drink
    3 credits
    Total Credits: 15

    Second Semester

    CourseCredits
    Distilled Spirits and Introduction to Mixology
    3 credits
    The Wines of the New World: Northern Hemisphere
    3 credits
    New World Wines of the Southern Hemisphere, Asia, and the Levant
    3 credits
    Global Wine Business Management
    3 credits
    Fermented and Specialty Non-Alcoholic Beverages
    3 credits
    Total Credits: 15

    Total Credits for Graduate Certificate: 30

    Requirements

    To enroll, you must meet the following requirements by the program start date:

    • Be at least 21 years of age
    • Have a bachelor’s degree, preferably in hospitality management or a related field. While students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in another discipline may enroll in this program, they are expected to enter the program with some knowledge of the industry.

    In addition, you must complete a 300- to 500-word Statement of Purpose concerning your purpose for undertaking or continuing graduate study in wines and beverages, your reasons for wanting to study at The Culinary Institute of America, and your professional plans and career goals. You may also explain any special circumstances applicable to your background and elaborate on relevant academic and/or professional achievements.

    How to Apply

    Wine & Beverage School Costs

    The CIA is very committed to making your education as affordable as possible. Our costs are comparable to similar colleges, and here’s even better news—approximately 92% of our students receive some form of financial aid.

    The CIA offers a generous merit scholarship and need-based scholarship for the Wine and Beverage Graduate Certificate (WBGC) program in addition to participating in the Federal Graduate Direct Loan programs. Eligibility to borrow through the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program will be determined once you have been accepted into the WBGC and have filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can also apply for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan to help with any remaining expenses.

    Don’t let applying for financial assistance keep you from coming to the CIA. 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 wine and beverage world.

  • Brayton Bailey ’17

    Alumni Spotlight

    Brayton Bailey ’17
    General Manager, Outland
    “My first and foremost plan was to go to CIA, network, and learn as much as I could.”
    Christie Dufault, CIA Instructor—Wine and Beverage Studies

    Faculty Spotlight

    Christie Dufault
    Associate Professor—Wine and Beverage Studies
    Professional Background:
    Sommelier, RN74, San Francisco, CA; Restaurant Vincent Guerithault, Phoenix, AZ; The Marker, Adam's Mark Hotel, Philadelphia, PA. Head Sommelier, Quince, San Francisco. Wine Director, Restaurant Gary Danko, San Francisco. Guide, Butterfield & Robinson, Beaune, France.
  • Visiting chef demos, major conferences, and special events on campus let you rub elbows with stars of the food world.