• Wine and Beverage Graduate Certificate Program (WBGC)

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    Follow your passion, enrich your understanding of beverages, and add a credential and industry connections that can give you a decided competitive career advantage. During the two-semester Wine and Beverage Graduate Certificate program at the CIA’s Napa Valley campus, you will gain the advanced knowledge and skills that can help you make your mark in a wide variety of careers in the beverage, restaurant, and hospitality industries.

    During the Wine and Beverage Graduate Certificate Program in California, you will:

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    • Delve deeply into subjects like professional beverage management, viticulture, Old and New World wines, distilled spirits, and the global business of wine.
    • Take part in interactive, hands-on tastings, pairings, and sensory analyses, learning about the synergies between food and beverages as well as studying beverage topics that benefit from an understanding of food.
    • Study under expert professors, including a Master Sommelier, in the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies.
    • Take advantage of the program’s ideal location in the heart of the Napa Valley and Northern California wine country.
    • Connect with and benefit from guest lectures from vintners, distillers, and other leaders in the California beverage industry.


    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.


    Course of Study

    During the 30-credit graduate certificate program, you will embark on a rigorous and exhilarating study of wines and beverages. You will learn under the tutelage of a faculty team with an unparalleled depth and breadth of knowledge culled from years of experience in restaurants, vineyards, hotels, consulting, media, education, and more.

    You will take five 3-credit courses concurrently over each of the two 15-week semesters in the program, deeply and interactively exploring subjects that will challenge you, inspire you, and help you achieve your professional goals.

    First Semester

    • Develop a historical and modern-day perspective on wine and food.
    • Taste and analyze New World wines as well as the classic appellations of Europe.
    • Focus on preparation, service, and trends in fermented and non-alcoholic beverages, from beer to coffee.
    • Gain a hands-on, in-depth understanding of viticulture and viniculture.

    Second Semester

    • Delve deep into professional beverage management, from operations and service to advanced tasting and pairing.
    • Explore the world of distilled spirits, including ingredients, mixology, flavor dynamics, and sensory analysis.
    • Study New World wines from the Southern Hemisphere as well as appellations from emerging regions like Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
    • Learn the key elements of the wine business in the global marketplace.


    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 90% 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.


    Graduate Beverage Education Designed to Boost Your Career

    Adding a graduate certificate and the influential alumni network from The Culinary Institute of America to your bachelor’s degree can’t help but expand your career horizons. Whether you want to launch a career in wines and beverages, or are a culinary professional who wants to deepen your understanding of this most-profitable side of the industry, the Wine and Beverage Graduate Certificate is for you.

    Career opportunities in the beverage industry include:

    Fine Dining

    Beverage professionals can be found working in fine-dining establishments in restaurants, on cruise ships, in high-end hotels and resorts, in clubs, and other venues.

    Beverage DirectorSommelier
    Dining Room ManagerWine Steward
    Food and Beverage Manager 

    Casual Dining

    The casual dining segment—from small, independent cafés and wine bars to large chain operations—also offers a wealth of opportunities for beverage professionals.

    Regional Beverage DirectorVP of Wine and Beverage
    Wine Bar ManagerWine and Beverage Manager

    Wholesale Distribution

    The vast majority of beverage sales are made through wholesale distribution channels. Professionals in this segment represent portfolios of products from importers and wineries, and promote and sell them to restaurants and merchants.

    Brand Marketing ManagerFine Wine Sales Specialist
    Director of Trade EducationNational Accounts Manager
    District Sales Manager 


    Specialty wine shops, gourmet markets, large wine and spirits retail operations, online wine markets...all have a need for professionals with an in-depth understanding of beverages.

    Director of WineOnline Wine Sales Manager
    Regional ManagerWine and Beverage Buyer
    Wine and Spirits Sales RepWine Club Manager

    Wine Companies and Wineries

    With more than 10,000 wine labels available for sale in the U.S. alone, wineries and wine companies need knowledgeable professionals who can deliver quality products and help them stand out from the competition.

    Director of HospitalityE-Commerce Manager
    Public Relations DirectorRegional Marketing Manager
    Regional Sales ManagerSpecial Events Manager

    And More

    Wine and Beverage InstructorWine and Spirits Journalist
    Wine Consultant 
  • Robert Bath, CIA Instructor—Wine and Beverage Studies

    Spotlight On: Robert BathWine and Beverage Studies

    Co-Owner, Robert Bath Imports, St. Helena, CA. Co-Owner and Consultant, The RLB Wine Group, St. Helena. Writer and Editorial Advisory Board member, Sommelier Journal, Boulder, CO. Writer, Santé magazine, Burlington, VT. National Sales Manager, Shafer Vineyards, Yountville, CA. Regional Sales Manager, Seagram Classics Wine Company, Mission Viejo, CA.
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