Close up of wine glasses filled with wine.


Carlton McCoy '06, Master Sommelier and CIA graduate.
CIA Master's Degree in Wine Management student tasting wine.
Close up of wine grapes in a vineyard.


Stand Out with a Master’s Degree in Wine

Distinguish yourself from a standard sommelier certificate with a master’s degree in Wine and Beverage Management from CIA’s School of Graduate Studies. In this one-of-a-kind wine business degree program, you’ll hone your wine tasting and theory skills while developing a rich repertoire of business management, industry innovation, and leadership competencies so that you can chart your own fulfilling career in the wine industry.

Program Highlights

  • Get Started Fast—No entrance exam required.
  • Study From Home—Classes and tastings are conducted online along with in-person residencies.
  • Get an Accredited Master’s Degree—Graduates receive a Master of Professional Studies (MPS).

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Ready to get started? Apply now.

Quick Facts

Next Start Date: Fall 2024

Program Duration: Two years

Total Credits: 30

Chat with a Wine and Beverage Management master’s student

Program Overview

Offered by CIA’s School of Graduate Studies, this master’s degree in wine program equips industry professionals with the knowledge and credibility they need to pursue elite careers in the wine and beverage business. Your studies will cover a variety of cultural and business topics, including:

  • Studying the lifecycle of wines—from bottle to table—with a curriculum that takes you from tasting, to marketing and distribution, and to restaurant and retail.
  • Residencies in Napa Valley, CA, where you’ll get hands-on field experience in world-famous vineyards alongside unparalleled networking opportunities with vintners, distillers, and other industry professionals.
  • Networking with influential industry experts while attending the CIA Wine & Beverage Summit—the premier gathering for wine and beverage professionals—during your mid-program residency in Napa Valley, CA.
  • Curated wine-tasting kits—comprised of 24–30 global wines per semester—delivered to your door for online remote learning.
  • Go beyond wine to study mixology, distilled spirits, and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • A faculty with impeccable industry credentials means you’ll gain valuable insights from some of the top wine and beverage authorities of our time.
  • A diverse, tight-knit cohort of learners who grow together while sharing knowledge of the wine and beverage industry and related fields.
  • Delivered in the online “Executive Format,” this program allows students to earn their degrees while continuing their work and personal lives.

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Ready to get started? Apply now.



Expand Your Career Potential in the Diverse World of Wine and Beverage

Today, business professionals and wine enthusiasts have unlimited opportunities to turn their passion and expertise into an exciting and fulfilling career in wines. With a master’s in Wine and Beverage Management from CIA, you will gain the global wines knowledge of a sommelier and combine that with a graduate-level business management foundation to propel you into entrepreneurship in retail and tourism or leadership roles with wineries, distributors, and importers. Read about even more wine career options for business professionals.

Curriculum Overview

The two-year, 30-credit Wine and Beverage Management master’s degree program includes:

  • 24 credits in online courses covering subjects such as global wine business operations, entrepreneurial innovation, spirits, fermented and non-alcoholic beverage, and advanced beverage management, as well as a 2-credit online capstone project developed with input from faculty advisors and mentors.
  • 4 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.

Faculty and Industry Experts​

Rows of wine grapes in a vineyard.

Networking Opportunities Abound During Napa Valley Residencies

Online learning is augmented with in-person residencies at CIA’s California campus. You’ll get hands-on learning and real-world experience in the heart of Napa Valley.

  • Visit world-renowned wineries where you’ll participate in interactive tastings and get hands-on field experience. Previous cohorts visited Opus One and Demptos Napa Cooperage, among others.
  • Network with leading industry vintners, winemakers, and distributors.
  • Focus on sustainability practices within the wine industry during your second residency.
  • Teambuilding and collaboration with classmates from diverse backgrounds.
  • Take part in educational programs such as creative beverage and sensory seminars.
  • Immerse yourself in the Napa Valley, the heart of wine country.
  • Attend the CIA Wine & Beverage Summit, where you’ll meet and network with leading wine industry professionals.

“From the vineyard and winery field trips, and educational tasting sessions, to meeting and interacting with some of the wine and beverage industry’s most respected professionals, I feel that this residency experience was one of the most valuable components of the program.”
—Jeffry Wiesinger, Wine and Beverage Management master’s alum

One-of-a-kind Online Learning Format

The Wine and Beverage Management master’s degree at CIA offers online learning via premium wine tasting kits delivered to your door, allowing you to participate in class from wherever you are.

Carefully curated by our expert faculty and reflecting the excellency standards synonymous with CIA, tasting kits are comprised of 24–36 global wines per semester. You’ll learn the complexities of wine identification, sensory analyses, and master the intricacies of food and wine pairings.

An innovative and modern approach to online learning, this flexible format takes into consideration the realities of working professionals with busy schedules. But online learning doesn’t mean alone—you’ll be part of a vibrant cohort who learns, grows, and networks together.

CIA online Master’s Degree in Wine Management wine kit to study from home.

Alumni Spotlights

Carlton McCoy ’06, master sommelier, star of CNN series NOMAD with Carlton McCoy, and CEO of five Napa .Valley wineries.

Carlton McCoy ’06, master sommelier, star of CNN series NOMAD with Carlton McCoy, and CEO of five Napa Valley wineries.

CIA Advantage

Choosing CIA for your Wine and Beverage Management master’s degree makes perfect sense. CIA’s Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the CIA Greystone campus—where you’ll visit during your residencies—is a state-of-the art wine education center. Home to innovative educational offerings, it boasts sensory classrooms designed for analyzing wines and beverages, wireless keypad response systems, built-in light boxes, and expectoration stations.

We’ve been educating successful wine, beverage, and hospitality professionals for decades, helping to launch and advance thousands of careers of wine and beverage leaders. As a graduate of CIA you’ll have lifelong access to career resources—including job listings, and Career Fair and networking events. Additionally, you’ll instantly become a member of a 50,000-strong influential professional network of CIA alumni, paving the way for unparalleled career opportunity. Your network will consist of CIA grads who are shaping today’s wine industry, including:

  • Raj Parr ’96, master sommelier, James Beard award-winner, and co-founder of Acclaimed Domaine de la Côte, Sandhi, and Evening Land wineries
  • Melissa Monosoff ’00, published author and director of education for the Court of Master Sommeliers
  • Kyungmoon Kim ’05, master sommelier, wine instructor, and founder of KMS Imports


What Are They Saying

“The CIA’s Wine and Beverage Management master’s degree is helping me grow my career in the wine industry. I’m making connections, learning about the hospitality industry, and being challenged in unexpected ways. I am thankful for the online option, as it has allowed me to continue to work full-time while obtaining my master’s degree.”
Emilie Lariviere, master’s in Wine and Beverage Management

Emilie Lariviere, CIA student in the online Master's Degree in Wine Management program.

“Choosing to invest in my professional development with the Wine and Beverage Management master’s program was easy. Online classes let me maintain my career while furthering my education, and I’m applying this new knowledge directly to my job.”
Lauren Balak, master’s in Wine and Beverage Management

Lauren Balak, CIA student in the online Master's Degree in Wine Management program.

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Frequently Asked Questions

You must be at least 21 years of age. You must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution or hold an international equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. You must be able to receive shipments of alcoholic tasting kits. International students will need U.S. shipping address that allows for alcohol delivery. Alcohol delivery restrictions vary by state. Inquire now to learn more.
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.
CIA’s online master’s in Wine and Beverage Management 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. 

Contact our Graduate Admissions Team

CIA Graduate Admissions Team

Robert Tremblay ’10
Associate Director—Graduate Admissions

Rebecca Rein
Graduate Admissions and Enrollment Counselor