Program at a Glance

  • On Campus and Online*
  • Part-Time or Full-Time Study
  • 16 Credits
  • 8–12 Months to Completion
  • No GRE/GMAT
  • Tuition & Fees—Part-Time Study**: $15,720

*Please note that most online Food Studies courses run on a 14-week schedule.
**Based on 2024–2025 Boston University tuition and fees.

Explore the Intersection of Food Systems and Culture

Available on campus and online, the Graduate Certificate in Food Studies at Boston University’s Metropolitan College (MET) is ideal for students and professionals who are considering a career change or seeking to enhance their credentials. A good choice for those who may not be in a position to commit to a full degree program, BU MET’s four-course Food Studies certificate program can be completed on a part-time basis in one year by taking two courses per semester.

This program provides a solid foundation in food studies as well as valuable connections to a vibrant food-focused community of scholars and students. In addition, you have access to the Jacques Pépin Lecture Series, co-hosted by Boston University’s Programs in Food & Wine and the Master of Arts in Gastronomy program. You can also take advantage of the many academic and cultural resources in the Boston area, including lectures and conferences at other area universities and access to significant library and archival collections.

The Graduate Certificate in Food Studies offers an excellent foundation for a wide variety of careers in the field. See a list of positions held by our alumni.

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What Do My Career Options Look Like with a BU Master’s in Gastronomy?

Gastronomy & Food Studies Career Outlook

Gastronomy & food studies career options.

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Why Earn a Graduate Certificate in Food Studies at BU?

  • Active Learning Environment: BU’s Food Studies courses offer interplay between academic research and critical thinking as well as exploring food through the senses—providing rare and exceptional range and depth to food studies scholarship. Courses are enhanced by regular guest lectures and special events.
  • Engaged Faculty: In BU’s Food Studies certificate program, you benefit from working closely with highly qualified faculty who draw from active research and extensive field experience in all aspects of gastronomy: policy, history, anthropology, entrepreneurship, marketing, hospitality, journalism, and science. Culinary arts courses are taught by highly regarded working chefs and food professionals.
  • Extensive Network: Study complex issues of gastronomy and foodways alongside peers with solid academic and practical experience, learn from faculty who have valuable contacts in the field, and benefit from an alumni community with strong professional connections.
  • Student Support: Enjoy an exceptional student-to-instructor ratio, ensuring close interaction with faculty mentors and access to support.
  • Valuable Resources: Make use of Boston University’s extensive resources, including the Center for Career Development, Educational Resource Center, Fitness & Recreation Center, IT Help Centers, Innovate@BU, Mugar Memorial Library, Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, Center for Antiracist Research, Initiative on Cities, Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, George Sherman Union, and many others.
  • Flexible Options: Study at the pace that works for you, evenings on campus or fully online. On-campus and online courses begin fall, spring, and summer. Most online Food Studies courses run on a 14-week schedule.
  • Track Record: Learn from the best—BU MET’s legacy in food studies goes back to 1991, when the Gastronomy master’s degree program was founded by Jacques Pépin and Julia Child, two legends of the culinary world.

A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Complex Study of Food

The Graduate Certificate in Food Studies is offered online and on campus through BU MET’s Department of Applied Social Sciences. In addition to the Food Studies certificate, BU also offers a Master of Arts in Gastronomy, available online and on campus. The master’s degree is ideal for those intending to develop a career based in the deeper academic investigation of food. The certificate is ideal for students seeking to explore a new field as well as professionals aiming to enhance their credentials and expertise.

Both the master’s track and graduate certificate can be tailored to focus on business, communications, history and culture, or policy. Graduates of our programs have gone on to pursue PhDs in related fields; teach; write for and edit food-centric publications; launch food businesses; open restaurants; become chefs; work in food marketing; research food trends; and work for nonprofit organizations. See a list of positions held by our alumni.

Graduate with Expertise

Boston University’s Food Studies graduate certificate will equip you with:

  • Interdisciplinary and holistic approaches to the study of food through a liberal arts perspective.
  • Advanced knowledge of social theory applicable to food studies.
  • An ability to critically analyze current and foundational issues in food studies and food systems.
  • Research skills in food studies and knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methodologies for interdisciplinary food studies research.
  • Competence in the written and oral presentation of complex ideas and arguments in scholarly and professional contexts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Visit the Gastronomy program website for a list of FAQs about the Graduate Certificate in Food Studies and the MA in Gastronomy program.

Certificate-to-Degree Pathway

BU MET graduate certificate programs can serve as building blocks to a master’s degree. The Graduate Certificate in Food Studies shares specific courses with the Master of Arts in Gastronomy degree program, and certificate students may apply all 16 credits toward their degree requirements. Students may also earn academic credit toward the MA in Gastronomy by completing courses in the Certificate Program in the Culinary Arts, Cheese Studies, Pastry Arts, and Wine Studies programs. Students currently enrolled in a graduate certificate who are interested in transitioning into a master’s degree should contact their academic advisor to declare their interest in this pathway. A new master’s degree application is not required. Connect with a graduate admissions advisor at apssadmissions@bu.edu to learn more about this option.

Additional Food & Wine Programs

Open to the general public and industry professionals, Boston University’s Programs in Food & Wine include a variety of noncredit seminars, lectures, and certificates:



A total of four courses (16 credits) is required for the certificate. Students are also required to maintain an e-portfolio of the work they produce throughout the program. For more information, please visit this page.

Please note that most online Food Studies courses run on a 14-week schedule.

Required Courses

(Two courses/8 credits)

Choose at least two courses from the following:

Elective Courses

(Two courses/8 credits)

Choose up to two electives. Courses vary by semester and include, but are not limited to, the following examples:

Under special circumstances, certificate courses may be substituted with prior approval of the academic advisor.

Food Studies Faculty

Tuition & Financial Assistance

Competitive Tuition

Our part-time rates are substantially lower than those of the traditional, full-time residential programs yet provide access to the same high-quality BU education.

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Comprehensive Financial Assistance

Our services include scholarships, graduate loans, and payment plans.

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BU MET programs offer the flexibility of part-time study, either on campus or online. Tuition, fees, and total program cost are determined by enrollment status. Course enrollment in this certificate program is 1–2 courses (4–8 credits) in a semester, and tuition is charged the part-time per-credit rate.

Food Studies Graduate Certificate (Online and On Campus)

Enrollment Status Part Time
Courses per Semester 2 courses
(8 credits)
Time to Degree 2 semesters
(8 months)
Tuition* $550-$975
per credit**
Fees per Semester* $60
Total Degree Cost* $15,720

*Based on 2024-2025 Boston University tuition & fee rates.
**Cost per credit is determined by course number (100–599 = $550/credit, 600–999 = $975/credit).

Questions? Please contact us to hear from an Admissions Advisor who can help you determine the best enrollment pathway. For information regarding financial aid, visit BU MET’s Financial Aid page.

Get Started

Please visit the BU MET admissions page for details on how to apply, financial assistance, tuition and fees, requirements for international students, and more.

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