CIA Applied Food Studies Bachelor’s Degree

  • Food is big business, and companies are increasingly in need of expertise in food policy, community involvement, global issues, food systems management, and much more. Our innovative Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) in Applied Food Studies degree program will prepare you to make an impact—and become an influential leader—in this growing and rapidly evolving industry.

    In our applied food studies bachelor’s degree program in New York, you will:

    • Gain the communications skills and confidence to lead and influence food policy.
    • Receive more than 1,300 hours of immersive hands-on experience in our professional kitchens and bakeshops.
    • Develop a broad-based understanding of complex food-related concepts in courses such as Ecology of Food, Food History, and Anthropology of Food.
    • Participate in hands-on, practical projects related to food studies.
    • Apply your knowledge of contemporary global food issues to real-world situations.
    • Gain in-the-field learning during exciting travel experiences.
    • Map out your own education plan with a choice of concentrations in either advanced wine, beverage, and hospitality; Asian cuisine; farm-to-table; Italian cuisine; or Latin cuisine.
    • Gain valuable real-world experience during an off-campus externship semester.

    Ready to get started? Apply Today!

    Great Food Careers Start Here

    With a CIA bachelor’s degree, you don’t just have a foot in the door—you have thousands of feet in the door. CIA alumni are an accomplished, supportive network throughout the industry, whatever your goals. Here’s a sampling of career tracks and organizations that Applied Food Studies graduates can look forward to pursuing:

    • Non-profit organizations around the world
    • Advocacy groups such as the Consumer’s Union, the Food Research and Action Center, and Greenpeace
    • Education
    • Communications and marketing
    • Production, sales, and sourcing of products for farm-to-table
    • Eco-tourism in the U.S. and abroad
    • Programs and policy-making on local and national government levels, in organizations such as the United Nations, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and The Global Health Council
    • Health agencies such as the American Public Health Association, Cornell Cooperative Extension, National Institute of Health, and Public Health Association of New York City
    • Food industry associations such as the Food Marketing Institute, National Dairy Council, and Council for Responsible Nutrition

    And with so many possibilities out there, our Career Services staff is ready to help you every step of the way, not only for that ideal first job, but for a lifetime of great opportunities. There’s no network like the CIA network!

    The list of celebrated CIA alumni is as diverse as it is extensive. They’ve found success doing what they love. They fully embraced the idea that Food is Life®.

    Now it’s your turn.


    Total Credits: 69 (CIA Associate Degree)


    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)


    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 Admission

    • 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.

    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 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.

  • 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

  • Did you know? 74% of leading food employers surveyed prefer to hire CIA grads.