The core of the Wine and Beverage Graduate Certificate Program (WBGC) involves instruction in those topics critical to professionals working in this area of the industry and will enhance prior education in areas of hospitality management, culinary arts, or other related fields.
The objective is to deliver a comprehensive overview of wines and beverages of the world—from varietals and winemaking practices to wine laws, contemporary business practices, and understanding of distribution channels—that will be of immediate value to employers looking to bring a wine and beverage professional into their organizations.
Graduates of the Wine and Beverage Graduate Certificate Program will have the skills and knowledge for entry-level positions in food and beverage management, service, wine hospitality, winery sales, distribution, catering, and wine and food event management.
To qualify for the certificate, students must successfully complete the entire course of study: two on-campus semesters of about 15 weeks each. The program consists of 30 credits of lecture and hands-on participation in classroom activities developed to increase knowledge about this important discipline in the foodservice industry. The WBGC is approximately 30 weeks in length, and depending on the calendar, students may have an occasional weekday off during the program.
Once students have successfully completed the required 30 credit hours while maintaining at least a 3.0 grade point average, they will be awarded the “Wine and Beverage Graduate Certificate Program” certificate upon graduation.
Program Learning Outcomes—WBGC
- Demonstrate an advanced level of proficiency in sensory analysis of wines, distilled spirits, and fermented and non-fermented beverages.
- Analyze the similarities and differences among the major wine- and beverage-producing regions of the world.
- Analyze complex business issues specifically related to wines and beverages, and recommend solutions.
Instructional Program and Schedule
While enrolled in this program, students will be assigned to instructional groups of up to 30 students. These groups are scheduled for all lecture and lab classes together as a team to integrate theory and practice while stressing human relations and communication skills.
Throughout the program, students will actively participate in learning assignments in classrooms specifically designed to support sensory analysis of wines and beverages. Students will progress through the curriculum, building essential knowledge of regional grape growing and winemaking techniques, geography and terroir, wine laws and regulations appropriate to each region of the world, gastronomy, and contemporary service topics. Beverage service topics are woven into each class to comprise a modern lesson in hospitality management that can be immediately applied upon graduation.
The first semester’s concurrent class schedule weaves together foundations of viniculture and viticulture as students are simultaneously introduced to systematic, professionally recognized sensory analysis of wines and spirits using a process that gives each student a common language with which to discuss and describe beverages. Beverage management disciplines and the historical context of beverages in world cultures are also explored as a foundation for providing in-depth learnings in wines of the world from traditional regions.
In the second semester, students build upon this knowledge base to further grow and develop expertise in tasting skills while adding deeper knowledge about beverages of the world and ways in which to compose successful, satisfying, and profitable business offerings.
Supporting exercises, field trips, and special guest speakers provide additional depth and critical real-world examples to the learning experience.
The college’s academic schedule ensures that students will progress from basic to intermediate to advanced subject matter in the proper sequence. The CIA reserves the right to modify course sequence, content, and offerings.