This page provides information on the required curriculum for the Gastronomy MA degree and the Food Studies Certificate.  For specific questions, please email

Master of Arts in Gastronomy degree

Master of Liberal Arts in GastronomyBoston University’s Master of Arts in Gastronomy program offers a rigorous, interdisciplinary approach to food studies that pairs opportunities for experiential learning in culinary arts laboratories, wine studies courses, and classroom lab activities with a core curriculum based in the liberal arts. Students in the Gastronomy program hone the critical and analytical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills necessary to tackle today’s complex food issues, and develop a deep understanding of food in the context of arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.

The interplay of research, reading, and writing about food, combined with the process of exploring food through the senses, gives the program exceptional depth. Students engage with distinguished scholars and academic departments across BU’s 17 schools and colleges, as well as with renowned visiting faculty and notable food industry professionals, developing the practical and theoretical expertise required for working in food-related industries, governance, and non-profit organizations.

Candidates for the MA in Gastronomy must complete a minimum of 40 credits, including 16 credits from four required core courses:


Focus Areas

The remaining 24 credits are completed with elective courses, offered in the Spring and Fall Semesters, as well as during Summer Term. Within the elective credit requirement, students may choose to complete one or more of the following 8-credit focus areas:

For a complete list of courses, click here.

Culinary Arts certificate programAdditionally, Boston University’s Culinary Arts certificate program and Beverage Studies courses, organized by the Programs in Food and Wine, are available to matriculated students for elective credits.

Candidates for the MA in Gastronomy with a qualifying GPA of 3.7 are eligible to complete an 8-credit master’s thesis, advised by a full-time member of the Boston University faculty.

The Gastronomy program is available to both part-time and full-time students. Most classes are offered in the evening, meeting one day per week, from 6 to 9 p.m. Part-time students (registered for fewer than 12 credits per semester) pay tuition based on a per-credit-hour fee. Part-time students can finish the degree in approximately two years (8 credits in each Fall and Spring Semester, and 8 credits during Summer Term).  Full-time students register for up to 16 credits per semester. Full-time students can complete the degree in one calendar year (two full-time semesters, plus 8 credits as a part-time student).

Graduate Certificate in Food Studies

Food Studies Certificate

The 16-credit Graduate Certificate in Food Studies is an opportunity for those who may not be in a position to commit to a full degree program to advance their career in the field. Students who complete the Graduate Certificate in Food Studies and who have been accepted into the MA in Gastronomy program may apply 16 credits toward their degree requirements. The certificate can be completed on a part-time basis in one year by taking two courses per semester.


Certificate students complete at least  2 classes/8 credits from the following list:


The remaining 8 credits can be fulfilled by a wide range of elective classes, with the exception of culinary, wine, and cheese courses. To view a list of courses, click here.

Both the MA in Gastronomy and the Food Studies Graduate Certificate can be completed on campus or online. Distance students should look for sections “OL” or “EL” in the course descriptions.

Course offerings for MA and certificate students are enhanced by regular guest lectures and special events, as well as the Jacques Pépin Lecture Series, co-hosted by Programs in Food and Wine and the Gastronomy program. Students are also able to take advantage of the many academic and cultural resources in the Boston area, including lectures and conferences at other area universities and access to significant library and archival collections.