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Graduate Food Studies Programs: A List

I began keeping this list of graduate food studies program after a fascinating roundtable discussion titled, “Masters Programs in Food Studies, Food Systems, and Food Policy,” at the 2013 joint meeting of the Association for the Study of Food and Society and the Agriculture, Food & Human Values Society at Michigan State University in East Lansing.

During this discussion, the directors of seven graduate food programs debated the key issues emerging in graduate food education. They were also asked by a session attendee to summarize each program’s distinguishing features, which I’ve summarized here in the hopes it might prove useful for any students currently weighing their options for graduate study in food.

Note: I’ve been keeping this list as current as possible. Last update: January 25, 2019

Boston University, MLA in Gastronomy 

  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Program Director: Megan Elias, Ph.D.
  • Program History: Co-founded in the 1990s by Julia Child & Jacques Pépin
  • Strengths / Specialities: Focus on the liberal arts; can include culinary arts & wine study; online, blended and in-person courses; in large, research university
  • Follow: Twitter (@GastronomyatBU); Facebook (BU Gastronomy); Blog (Gastronomy at BU)

Chatham University, MA in Food Studies

Drexel University, Master of Science in Culinary Arts and Science (MS CAS)

  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Program Director: Rosemary Trout
  • Program History: Launched fall 2017
  • Specialties / Strengths: Program combines focus in culinary arts, food science, and gastronomy/food systems
  • Follow: Twiter (@DrexelHSM)

Green Mountain College, MS in Sustainable Food Systems– University to close in 2019 

Marylhurst University, MS in Food Systems & Society 

  • Location: Marylhurst, OR
  • Program Director: Patricia Allen, Ph.D.
  • Program History: Enrolled first cohort in 2014; program closing in 2018
  • Strengths / Specialities: Focus on social justice and change through food; “low-residency” program combines online learning with twice a year on campus intensives
  • Follow: Twitter (@marylhurstfood)

New York University, MA in Food Studies

  • Location: New York City, NY
  • Program Director: Jennifer Berg, Ph.D.
  • Program History: Program began in 1996
  • Strengths / Specialities: Focus on food and culture; can concentrate in food culture or food systems; specialized in urban food systems
  • Follow: Facebook

Syracuse University, MS in Food Studies

  • Location: Syracuse, NY
  • Program Director: Anne C. Bellows, Ph.D.
  • Program History: MS program was approved in 2015
  • Strengths / Specialities: Program provides a foundation in a political economy and human rights-based approach to food systems; program intersects with longstanding professional programs in nutrition and public health
  • Follow: Facebook (SUFoodStudies)

University of Adelaide, MA in Food Studies – Program closed November 27, 2013

  • Location: Adelaide, SA, Australia
  • Program Staff: Barbara Santich, Ph.D. and Rachel Ankeny, Ph.D.
  • Program History: In existence for more than 10 years, but recently changed
  • Strengths / Specialities: International focus; graduate certificate in food writing; online and in-person study options

University of the Pacific, MA in Food Studies – Program to close in 2020

  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Program Director: Polly Adema, Ph.D.
  • Program History: Enrolled first cohort in 2015
  • Strengths / Specialties: Food policy and politics, food history, food sociology, food business
  • Follow: Facebook

University of Vermont, MS in Food Systems


  1. Hi, I was wondering what you had heard about the MSc in Gastronomy program at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh… I’m currently looking at food studies/gastronomy post-graduate degrees and came across it in my search.


  2. Leslie says

    Currently looking into online programs or graduate certificates in Food Studies. Have any suggestions? All I’ve been able to find are in person…


    • Emily Contois says

      Hi Leslie. I know that the Boston University Gastronomy program has a food studies certificate that they endeavor to make available online. If you’re looking for an international option, Gustolab in Italy also has some online programming. Good luck!


  3. Thank you!

    ‘University of the Pacific is no longer accepting applicants or new students for the Master of Arts in Food Studies program, which is scheduled to close in spring 2020.’


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