Master's degree programs in gastronomy and food studies are available for students who are interested in learning about food culture, how food impacts society, and food markets and systems. We will explore some of these programs in greater detail below to give prospective students an idea of what these programs entail.
Master's Degrees in Gastronomy
As of 2017, there is only one master's degree in the field of gastronomy available in the United States, though there are several other related degrees in areas like food studies that are available as Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees. These programs may offer a variety of different courses, discussed below, as some may be more focused on how food impacts society and other programs may be more focused on food in arts and culture.
Food and Policy
Master's degrees in gastronomy or food studies often include a course that explores public policies regarding food. In this course, students will study various production, agricultural, and nutrition policies and how they affect the food market. They will also learn about various food marketing methods and how legislative bodies develop food policies.
Topics in Food and Gender
A course that explores topics in food and gender is also commonly offered in these programs. This course will focus on the process by which food has become gendered, the reasons for this, and how the ideas of food and gender differ from culture to culture. Gender studies, in general, will be discussed, as well as how the media contributes to ideas about food and gender.
These programs often include courses that are focused on developing skills in writing about food. Students may focus on writing about food for the media, or they may focus on more historical and theoretical writing about food. They will study existing food writings in order to improve their own skills.
History of Food
Students in a history of food course will learn about the role that food has played in societies and cultures throughout history. This course may focus on pivotal points in history in which food has had a particularly noticeable impact, like the discovery of the Americas. Students will also learn about how different cuisines and diets evolved over time, as well as the role that technology has in the world of food.
Nutrition in Food Studies
It is also common for students in these programs to take a nutrition-focused course, which provides students with a broad understanding of human nutrition. Students will learn about the composition of food and how food can be used to correct various nutritional deficiencies. They will also learn how to create healthy menus that support balanced diets.
Admission Requirements for Gastronomy Master's Degree Programs
For master's degrees in gastronomy and food studies, admission standards do vary from school to school. However, all schools require that students possess a bachelor's degree, though their prior field of study is not specified and does not have to be in a culinary or food-related field. Students will need to submit proof of their degree, undergraduate transcripts, resume, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation. Results from the GRE are generally not required for admission to these programs.
Master's degree programs in gastronomy and food studies are available to students who want to pursue a degree in this field. These programs provide students with an in-depth understanding of food production, policy, and how food and culture relate.