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Top Schools with Sommelier Training: Information and Overview

Learn about sommelier training programs, which can help students prepare for careers in the wine and food industries. Read about the programs offered at three noteworthy universities, and find a handy table that lists other schools around the U.S. that provide training for aspiring sommeliers.

School Information

Sommelier training programs are usually offered through college hospitality departments or extended studies programs. Once enrolled, students can learn wine-tasting techniques and how to pair wines with different types of cuisine. The three schools discussed below include two national and one regional university. Successful completion of their sommelier programs can lead to a specialized certificate, diploma or degree.

1. University of Houston in Houston, TX

School Highlight: Sommelier students at this university will take two fundamental courses in order to become certified and thus eligible for the sommelier diploma program.

UH's International Sommelier Program offers a 6-month sommelier diploma program. To be eligible for this program, students must first have successfully completed a two-part Wine Fundamentals program with a better-than 70% passing grade.

2. Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI

School Highlight: The Hospitality College at Johnson and Wales now houses seven four-year degree programs in addition to 19 concentrations based on the hospitality industry.

The College of Hospitality at J&W offers a number of degrees in hospitality-related areas, including lodging, tourism management and culinary arts. Students enrolled in the hospitality program can choose a concentration in sommelier studies. Core coursework includes topics in winemaking, spirits management and mixology.

J&W also offers continuing education courses and certificate programs for those who want to learn about wine and spirits without completing a degree program. These courses are aimed at preparing wine enthusiasts for professional credentialing exams, such as the Certified Specialist of Wine exam.

Top Sommelier Programs

School Name Distinction Location
Florida International University Offers Minors in Hospitality Management Miami, FL
San Diego State University Professional Certificate in the Business of Wine San Diego, CA
Sonoma State University Master of Business Administration (MBA) program with an emphasis on the wine business Rohnert Park, CA
University of South Carolina Culinary and Wine Institute at Carolina Columbia, SC

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