Pursuing an education as an adult presents distinct challenges. How do you earn a graduate degree while tending to the demands of your profession, your family, and your limited free time? How do you afford it—and how big a bite will it take out of your time? At Boston University’s Metropolitan College (MET), there are options that enable you to balance an education with the demands of life.

Master’s degree programs at BU’s Metropolitan College have been carefully designed to provide flexible modes of study within the parameters of a rigorous education. That means you have more control over how long you choose to take to complete a program, and whether to pursue it as a full-time or part-time student—a calculation that plays a role in how much a degree at BU MET might cost.

Take BU MET’s Master of Arts in Gastronomy. The MA in Gastronomy at BU is a meal ticket for those interested in the study of food and the role it plays in culture and society, providing entry to a world of fellow epicures, dining professionals, food historians, vendors and entrepreneurs, and culinary academics. While the benefits of studying food studies at BU MET commence as soon as you begin your first course, practical questions remain, determining the path to graduation and the next stage of your career.

BU MET has a long history—over half a century—supporting nontraditional learners from diverse walks of life in pursuit of their education. The college offers a variety of ways you can tailor your program to suit the needs and demands of your own life. Practically speaking, you can choose to enroll in courses offered during the fall, spring, and summer terms. Whether you pursue your course of study full-time or part-time is your choice, based on what works best for you. Additionally, you can pursue the MA entirely online, which is also true for Metropolitan College’s Graduate Certificate in Food Studies program—and BU MET allows you to transfer those four courses into the Gastronomy master’s.

How Many Years Will It Take to Earn a Gastronomy Master’s at BU?

The short answer is that it depends. Will you study part-time or full-time? Will you take courses every semester—spring, summer, and fall—or will you take a break from your studies between terms? Will you study evenings on campus or online? At BU’s Metropolitan College, these are all decisions you can make based on what works best for you.

For those studying on campus, the 40-credit MA in Gastronomy at Boston University can be completed in 12 months of full-time study, and as few as 24 months as a part-time student.

For those pursuing the master’s in Gastronomy online, you can complete the program part-time in five semesters, or 24 months.

How Much Will It Cost to Earn BU’s MA in Gastronomy?

The cost of earning a master’s degree in Gastronomy at Boston University is directly related to whether you study full- or part-time. Either way, a BU degree is an investment that will pay great dividends. A degree from Boston University not only adds shine to your résumé; it is a credential that is trusted by employers and higher ed institutions alike. Whether you’re looking to advance your career, change your profession, or continue your scholarship in a PhD program, a degree from BU will make greater successes that much more obtainable.

Metropolitan College tuition is set annually by the Trustees of Boston University and can differ from semester to semester and year to year. For updated costs, visit BU MET’s Tuition and Financial Aid page.

Cost for Part-Time Graduate Study at BU MET

Part-time tuition rates at BU MET provide an affordable pathway to a BU education. Part-time graduate students are enrolled in no more than 11.5 credits per semester (at 12 credits or more, you are considered full-time). As a part-time student, courses numbered 600–999 cost $975 per credit and courses numbered 100–599 cost $550 per credit, unless otherwise noted.

Cost for Full-Time Graduate Study at BU MET

As a full-time student, you are enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits per semester, and will pay a commensurate full-time Boston University tuition. Currently, BU’s full-time tuition rates stand at $33,335 per semester. Pursuing more than 18 credits in a single semester will lead to an additional charge of $2,083 per credit.

To see what you can expect to pay for the master’s program as a part-time student, look at the “Cost” section of the MA in Gastronomy page.

Financial Assistance at BU MET

Along with Federal Unsubsidized Loans, Graduate PLUS Loans, and Military Veteran Benefits, BU MET offers a wide variety of financial assistance opportunities that you may be able to take advantage of.

Merit Scholarships

To recognize exceptional academic and professional accomplishments, MET offers merit scholarships of $3,000–$5,000 toward tuition and fees to eligible students admitted to a graduate degree program. Awards are based on the strength of each applicant’s academic qualifications and professional experience. Recipients are notified within their admission letter, with awards disbursed in even installments for each course of enrollment toward master’s degree requirements. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA and good academic standing to maintain their merit scholarship award. Learn more about Merit Scholarships.

Graduate Assistantships

Assistantships are available for Metropolitan College graduate students through individual academic departments or programs—an excellent opportunity to work with full-time faculty members through teaching, research, or other scholarly activities. Graduate degree candidates who are in good standing with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and who are registered for at least one course are eligible to apply. Assistantships are applied on a semester basis and typically range from 3 to 20 hours per week, allowing students to earn up to $5,500 per semester (paid in weekly installments) to assist with living expenses. Learn more about Graduate Assistantships at BU MET.

Julia Child Student Writing Award

First established at Boston University’s Metropolitan College by the Fisheries Foundation, the Julia Child Student Writing Award honors the late Julia Child (Hon.’76), world-renowned chef and author who introduced French cuisine to American audiences through her cookbooks and television programs, including The French Chef on PBS.

The Julia Child Student Writing Award goes to a matriculating student in the Master of Arts in Gastronomy who has been nominated by their instructor for outstanding academic work in their program. For more information, visit BU MET’s Julia Child Student Writing Award page.

Alexis Gavras Scholarship Fund

The Alexis Gavras Scholarship Fund was established at Boston University’s Metropolitan College thanks to a generous gift from Haralambos Gavras, MD, and Irene Gavras, MD, in memory of their son and BU MET alum, Alexis (CAS’93, MET’04). This scholarship is for native or self-identified Greek graduate students who completed their bachelor’s at the University of Patras in Greece, or any other accredited Greek college or university, and for Greek-American undergraduates who completed their undergraduate degree at any accredited college or university. Eligible students in BU MET master’s degree programs may apply for this award.

Boston Medical Center Employee Scholarship

If you’re eligible for benefits as an employee at Boston Medical Center (BMC), this scholarship provides a 50 percent reduction on tuition and can be applied to graduate programs at BU Metropolitan College. Learn more about the Boston Medical Center Employee Scholarship.

Boston University Women’s Guild Scholarships

These scholarships provide both aid and encouragement to women 30 and over enrolled in Boston University graduate programs. You do not need to be a US citizen or enrolled full time to be eligible for a Women’s Guild Scholarship.

The Bryan D. Willard Scholarship

Established in memory of Marine Captain Bryan Willard, this scholarship is available to graduate students who are members or veterans of the armed forces who have been awarded a Purple Heart for a wound received while in combat. Spouses and children of veterans killed in the line of duty are also eligible and encouraged to apply. To learn more, visit the Bryan D. Willard Scholarship page.

City of Boston Scholar Program

Scholarships are available to City of Boston employees taking courses at Boston University towards master’s degrees and graduate certificates through the City of Boston Scholar Program. To learn more, visit BU MET’s City of Boston Scholar Program page.

Visit the Boston University Metropolitan College scholarships page for information on all scholarships available to graduate students.

Transferable Credits

There are other ways to manage your time and costs in pursuing a food studies graduate program at BU MET. Those who bring external graduate expertise to their degree program may transfer up to two approved graduate-level courses (8 credits) to the Gastronomy master’s degree requirements as course waivers, provided they have earned at least a B. Credit transfer is dependent on course hours. Official transcripts, course descriptions, and syllabi must be submitted for course waivers to be considered.

Graduate Certificate in Food Studies

For some, the pathway to a master’s degree starts with a four-course graduate certificate. Credits earned in the four-course Graduate Certificate in Food Studies at BU’s Metropolitan College can be transferred into the master’s degree in Gastronomy program. This allows you to build additional flexibility into your education plans.

Boston University’s Food Studies graduate certificate can be completed online or on campus in as few as four months, full-time, or up to 16 months of part-time study.

Experiential Education in Food and Wine

For those enrolled in the Gastronomy master’s program, select hands-on culinary instruction courses offered by Metropolitan College’s Programs in Food & Wine may be counted towards degree requirements, providing an experiential component to studies. Courses eligible to satisfy elective credits include:

For more information about these courses, or to register, please contact the office of Programs in Food & Wine at foodwine@bu.edu or 617-353-9852 and indicate that you are a Gastronomy student.

A BU Education is Within Reach

Metropolitan College was established at Boston University in 1965 in order to ensure that adult learners had access to a prestigious Boston University education through flexible learning options and affordable tuition. Many students at BU MET are working professionals; as such, they earn their degree or certificate while working part-time or full-time. That reality often dictates how much time a student can commit to graduate study each term. For those studying part-time, BU MET offers competitive tuition that brings a BU education within reach.

At the same time, Metropolitan College offers opportunities for full-time study for those who wish to commit as much time as possible to their courses each semester. Full-time options are also excellent for international students who must maintain F-1 visa status in order to study in the US.

What is the ultimate cost and duration of the program? You’ll have to decide that for yourself, depending on the specific way you manage and complete your requirements. But no matter how you achieve your degree, you’ll find, like those before you, the main course to be worth the preparation.