Master's in Wine and Beverage Management (MPS) (Online)

Degree Type
Master of Professional Studies (MPS)

The core of the Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Wine and Beverage 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 and Beverage 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 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. 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 and Beverage Management upon graduation.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate an advanced level of proficiency in sensory analysis of wines, distilled spirits, and fermented and non-fermented beverages.
  • Students will analyze similarities and differences between major wine and selected beverage producing regions of the world.
  • Students will analyze complex business issues specifically related to wine and beverages and recommend solutions.
  • Students will examine the synergies between food and beverage – focusing on key processes such as marketing, distribution and retail.
  • Students will develop effective management strategies for relationships with vintners, distillers, distributors, retailers and beverage leaders throughout the United States.
  • Students will 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.

Graduation Requirements

The Master of Professional Studies program is offered once per year, beginning with a residency in September. Online classes begin in September.

Students enrolling in the Master of Professional Studies in Wine and Beverage Management 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. All courses are online with the exception of Viticulture and Viniculture, Orientation and Cohort Formation, Global Wine Summit + Framing of Capstone; and Capstone Presentation Residency, which are in-person residencies.

Total Credits