Master’s in Food Business (MPS) (Online)

Degree Type
Master of Professional Studies (MPS)

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

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.

  • Students will analyze and apply real-world implications of ethics, legal, financial, and safety practices.
  • Students will develop operational strategies connected to food business execution, including analytical and problem-solving skills in decision-making.
  • Students will analyze various models for developing an organizational culture, including hiring practices, human resource management, team-building, the opportunities of international business, and planned growth.
  • Students will examine approaches for food venture formation, financing, stakeholder relations, and exit strategy.
  • Students will assess and evaluate global food systems.
  • Students will analyze the current marketplace, identify food business opportunities, and create market-ready concepts utilizing design thinking skills.
  • Students will demonstrate effective communication skills through listening, negotiations, and presentations.

Graduation Requirements

The Master of Professional Studies Program is offered once per year, beginning with a residency in August. Classes begin in September.

Students enrolling in the Master of Professional Studies in Food Business degree program must complete a specified set of courses, with a cohort, in a particular and set order, to meet the graduation requirements of the degree. They must also choose from two tracks: Restaurant/Foodservice or Food Product/Concept. All courses are online with the exception of Orientation and Cohort Formation, Framing the Business Playbook, and Practice, Pitch, Present, which are in-person residencies.

Total Credits