Manager in the kitchen of a food business.


Hands holding a bundle of greens.
Beverage business employee inspecting bottles.
Close up of celery stalks.


Be a Changemaker in the World of Food

Lead the food industry into an innovative future with a master’s degree in Food Business. Pairing business education with a food focus, this is the only program of its kind, and it’s only found at CIA. Develop the skill set to successfully assess market opportunities, prepare for what’s ahead in the food world, and spearhead the next revolution in food. Achieve your career goals by launching your own food business, developing a product, or stepping into leadership roles within the food company you work for. You’ll be ready to do that all and more with the CIA master’s in Food Business program.

Get Our Free Brochure

Ready to apply? Start your application.



  • Advance your career while you’re working through online study with top subject matter experts drawn from the food, beverage, and hospitality industry and CIA faculty.
  • Examine global forces like shifting demographics, technology, a renewed focus on health and wellness, and the growing consumer demand for sustainability.
  • Focus on design thinking, marketing and branding, product development, operations, law, real estate, food systems, and leadership that inspires high-performing teams.
  • Gain invaluable insights from guest speakers in food and beverage, finance, marketing, operations, law, entrepreneurship, food concepts, and product development.
  • Begin with a short residency at CIA at Copia in Napa, CA and finish the program with the final residency at CIA in Hyde Park, NY, pitching your business playbook to leaders in the corporate, investment, and education worlds.
  • Network with thought leaders and attend the CIA-Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Menus of Change® conference during your mid-program residency at CIA in Hyde Park, NY.

Get Our Free Brochure

Ready to apply? Start your application.


Advance Your Career with a CIA Master’s Degree

The CIA Master of Professional Studies in Food Business degree is designed for professionals who aspire to lead successful business ventures; help existing food, beverage, and hospitality businesses to grow; and capitalize on the unprecedented entrepreneurial opportunities in the global food world.

The food business master’s degree is ideal for:

  • Current and future food industry leaders charged with bringing innovation to market through restaurant companies, food manufacturers, supply chain operations, and other corporate ventures.
  • Professionals who desire targeted, graduate-level education that focuses on success strategies for entrepreneurial ventures as well as positions in restaurant groups, hospitality operations, product development teams, and retail food businesses.
  • Recent college graduates and mid-career explorers who are passionate about food systems, food entrepreneurship, and food product design and development.
  • Culinary educators fulfilling graduate degree requirements for career advancement and/or tenure.


The two-year, 30-credit Food Business master’s degree program includes:

  • 27 credits in asynchronous online courses covering such subjects as food systems, ethical leadership, business, and design thinking, as well as a capstone project developed in concert with faculty advisors and mentors.
  • 3 credits consisting of three short residencies at the California and New York campuses held before the start of your first semester, after the completion of your second semester, and as your final semester concludes.

See catalog for curriculum and course details.


The convenient and asynchronous online learning format of the food business master’s degree program is supported by occasional in-person residencies. Your cohort will gather for hands-on learning and immersive experiences in the major food hubs of Napa Valley and the Hudson Valley. Meet with leading entrepreneurs and get a behind-the-scenes look at how running a business can innovate the food industry. Attend the CIA-Harvard collaboration Menus of Change Leadership Summit and network with leading food industry leaders. You’ll also get the opportunity to bond and collaborate with your fellow cohort members, who all share your passion for the food industry.

Mentor Network

Students in the food business master’s program receive exclusive access to one-on-one mentoring sessions with influential industry leaders in the world of food, including C-suite executives, finance experts, marketing professionals, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and more.

CIA Food Business Master's Degree graduate managing a restaurant.

Student at his Culinary Institute of America graduation.

CIA Advantage

As a graduate of the CIA, you’ll instantly become a member of a 50,000-strong influential professional network of CIA alumni, paving the way for unparalleled career opportunity. You’ll also have lifelong access to career resources—including job listings, and Career Fair and networking events.



“The master’s in Food Business program was the preparation I needed for the next phase of my career. The professional and person networking opportunities along with a solid and robust curriculum refreshed my skillset and has already proven valuable to my career trajectory.”
Andrea Heinly, master’s in Food Business

Andrea Heinly, CIA student in the online master’s degree in Food Business program.

“Through the lens of knowledgeable instructors and influential guest speakers, the master’s in Food Business program at the CIA provides a portal for you to view the future of food, and the knowledge to make a difference.”
Douglas Gregoire, master’s in Food Business

Douglas Gregoire, CIA student in the online master’s degree in Food Business program.

“The Food Business master’s program is helping me gain knowledge and insight in order to build a solid foundation for my business endeavors. The program has opened my eyes to new ideas, new ways of thinking, and the ability to connect with industry professionals on all levels”
Tayo Adeboyejo, master’s in Food Business

Tayo Adeboyejo, CIA online master’s degree in Food Business student.

Frequently Asked Questions

You must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution or hold an international equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. If your first language is not English, you must complete an English proficiency examination.
No—CIA does not require GMAT or GRE submittals for master’s degree program applicants.
No—the online master’s degree program has been designed for distance delivery. Other than the required short residencies (four to six days), students should be able to complete the program from any location with an internet connection. 
While the academic rigor of the online master’s degree program does require commitment, we believe the workload and pacing will allow most students to achieve a reasonable work/life/study balance. Students will be enrolled in in two, 3-credit hour courses per 15-week semester. Study time is flexible; students can spread class work across multiple short study sessions or fewer blocks of longer duration to make their schedule needs. Assignments and associated timelines will vary by course and will be clearly outlined in the syllabus provided at the start of each course.
No—Food industry experience is always a plus, but is not required as long as your application conveys more than a casual interest in the food business.
The CIA online master’s in food business has been intentionally designed to be delivered in an environment where students bond and develop into a learning community over the two years. While extraordinary circumstances will be treated on a case-by-case basis, serious candidates are expected to make every effort to stay on pace and progress with their original cohort. 
No—the food business master’s degree program will focus on mindsets, skill sets, and tool sets of significant value to entrepreneurs and innovators in a wide variety of professions in the food industry. Future owners and/or leaders in foodservice operations of all kinds will benefit from the courses taught by professors and seasoned industry experts. 

Contact Us

Robert Tremblay ’10, Associate Director—Admissions
Robert Tremblay ’10
Associate Director—Graduate Admissions

Specializes in assisting master’s programs students