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 externships and hands-on work in CIA’s state-of-the-art kitchens and bakeshops.
    • Choose a concentration that matches your career goals, such as advanced wine, beverage, and hospitality; farm-to-table; and 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 Unidine, 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.

    Freshman/Sophomore Years

    Total Credits: 69 (CIA Associate Degree)

    Junior/Senior Years

    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: 51 (Junior/Senior Years)

    Total Credits, Associate & Bachelor’s Degree: 120

    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.

    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—approximately 92% 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.

  • David Flynn, CIA Associate Professor—Liberal Arts

    Faculty Spotlight

    David Flynn
    Associate Professor—Liberal Arts
    MIA, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, NYC. BA, Hunter College, City University of New York, NYC.
    Dr. Nilsa Rodruiguez-Jaca, CIA Professor—Foreign Languages

    Faculty Spotlight

    Dr. Nilsa Rodríguez-Jaca
    Professor—Liberal Arts

    PhD, MA, State University of New York at Albany

  • Our public restaurants make it real—you prepare and serve meals to customers right on campus.
    Learn More