Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Food Business
The Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Food Business gives students the knowledge, skill set, and tools to launch their own food businesses, lead innovations within a company, and more. This online master’s program provides skills and connections unique to the food business. The program offers advanced, food industry-specific learning to assess market opportunity, become a next-level leader, and prepare for what’s coming in the food world. Students will be mentored by experts from the food, beverage, and hospitality world along with CIA faculty. In addition to the online courses, the curriculum includes short residencies at both the CIA at Copia in Napa, CA and at the main campus in Hyde Park, NY, where students have the opportunity to network with industry thought leaders at the college’s influential Menus of Change® conference. The MPS program is offered through the CIA’s Food Business School, a part of the CIA’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies.
To qualify for the master’s degree, students must successfully complete the entire course of study: four online semesters, three on-site residencies, and a final capstone semester online. The program consists of 30 credits, with a total of 78 weeks of course work completed over two years. Students can choose from two program tracks: Restaurant/Foodservice or Food Product/Concept. 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 Master of Professional Studies degree in Food Business upon graduation.
Program Learning Outcomes—MPS in Food Business
This pioneering online CIA Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Food Business is designed to equip students with the knowledge and network needed to design, deliver, and lead transformative innovations that address the world’s most pressing food-system challenges—as well as its greatest business opportunities. Over the course of the program, students discover and practice new leadership and business skills. They learn how to identify, understand, and anticipate the interlocking trends—in science, consumer tastes, technology, and public policy—facing the food system. Their newfound knowledge, hands-on learning, and connection to the CIA’s network will help position them—and the organizations where they work—to lead toward greater and sustainable success.
- Analyze and apply real-world implications of ethics, legal, financial, and safety practices.
- Develop operational strategies connected to food business execution, including analytical and problem-solving skills in decision-making.
- Analyze various models for developing an organizational culture, including hiring practices, human resource management, team-building, the opportunities of international business, and planned growth.
- Examine approaches for food venture formation, financing, stakeholder relations, and exit strategy.
- Assess and evaluate global food systems.
- Analyze the current marketplace, identify food business opportunities, and create market-ready concepts utilizing design thinking skills.
- Demonstrate effective communication skills through listening, negotiations, and presentations.
Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Wine Management
The core of the Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Wine Management degree program is offered through the CIA’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies. The core of this program 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 MPS in Wine Management 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 degree, 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 Wine Management program 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 Master of Professional Studies in Wine Management upon graduation.
Program Learning Outcomes—MPS in Wine Management
- Demonstrate an advanced level of proficiency in sensory analysis of wines, distilled spirits, and fermented and non-fermented beverages.
- Analyze similarities and differences between major wine and selected beverage producing regions of the world.
- Analyze complex business issues specifically related to wine and beverages and recommend solutions.
- Examine the synergies between food and beverage – focusing on key processes such as marketing, distribution and retail.
- Develop effective management strategies for relationships with vintners, distillers, distributors, retailers and beverage leaders throughout the United States.
- Demonstrate effective communication skills through collegial online discussion posts, peer reviewing, and developed scholarly writing.
Instructional Program and Schedule
While enrolled in this program, students will be assigned to instructional groups of up to 36 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.
An online graduate seminar spans both semesters resulting in a capstone project for the program.
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.