The Gastronomy Program has made exciting changes to the requirements for its MLA degree in Gastronomy. Of the 40 credits required to graduate with the Master’s of Liberal Arts degree, 16 have always been set aside as required classes. Whereas previously Gastronomy students were forced to take 4 specific courses to graduate (Introduction to Gastronomy, Food and the Senses, Food History, and Anthropology of Food), now students will have more flexibility in their requirements.
“Students will be asked to complete one course each that satisfies the criteria of Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat,” explained Gastronomy Program Director, Dr. Megan Elias. Similar to the new BU HUB requirements for undergraduates, this new structure ensures students enroll in a broad range of classes, but that they select individual courses according to their personal goals. “These new requirements really get at the heart of a Liberal Arts course of study,” Elias said, “and place the Gastronomy program as a whole at the center of a new trend in the American foodscape.”
Students looking to graduate soon may be wondering which courses satisfy each category. “Figuring out which courses counted as which category was part of the fun of building this new system,” said Gastronomy Program Manager Barbara Rotger. “The course Food and Gender fits in the category of Acid, because learning about the role of the patriarchy in the food system will leave a sour taste in anyone’s mouth.”
To complete the Fat requirement, students can choose between our Saturday Baking Culinary Lab (plenty of butter there) or Debating Diet. Fun Gastronomy fact: the original proposed title for the Debating Diet course was “The Big Fat Fat Controversy.”
Courses which satisfy the Salt requirement all encourage students to engage directly with the mineral, including Science of Food and Cooking, with a full unit on NaCl, and the Wild and Foraged class, wherein students boil seawater for hours to harvest their own salt. Rumor has it Mark Kurlansky will even join the BU Faculty to teach a Salt class in 2020.
“All summer courses will satisfy the Heat requirement, naturally” explained Dr. Elias, “as will all courses that take place in a kitchen. You know what they say, if you can’t stand the Heat, you won’t graduate with an MLA.”
April Fool’s from your friends at BU Gastronomy!!