Food Studies Graduate Certificate
Ideal for students and professionals who are considering a career change or seeking to enhance their credentials, the Graduate Certificate in Food Studies program at Boston University’s Metropolitan College provides a solid foundation in food studies and valuable connections to a vibrant food-focused community of scholars and students.
The four-course Food Studies certificate program is a good choice for those who may not be in a position to commit to a full degree program. In addition, because the certificate program shares courses with the Master of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy, Food Studies certificate students who are accepted into the Gastronomy degree program may apply 16 credits toward their degree requirements.
The certificate can be completed on a part-time basis in one year by taking two courses per semester.
Students who complete the Graduate Certificate in Food Studies will be able to demonstrate:
- 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.
For more information about the Food Studies certificate, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.
In addition to the below courses, students are also required to maintain an e-portfolio of the work they produce throughout the program. For more information, please visit this page.
(Four courses/16 credits)
Choose at least two courses (8 credits) from the following:
MET ML 622 History of Food
History is part of a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to food studies. Our goals in reading history include understanding the ways in which the history of food has shaped our world today and examining ways in which contemporary questions and problems inform historical inquiries. Course readings address some of the ways in which food has influenced human history, particularly at crucial turning points -- for example, the rise of the first civilizations and the European discovery of the Americas. We will also study selected past events and societies through the lens of food and foodways. The topics chosen for the course are presented in thematic and geographic categories, rather than in strict chronological order. The themes are divided among three encompassing meta-themes: Technology & Nature, Mobility, and Culture & Cuisine. These meta-themes will help us to move from the details of our specific weekly topics to their meanings in relationship to larger forces in world history. Students will learn about historical methodology and apply it to their own research. [ 4 cr. ]
MET ML 641 Anthropology of Food
What can food tell us about human culture and social organization? Food offers us many opportunities to explore the ways in which humans go about their daily lives from breaking bread at the family table, haggling over the price of meat at the market to worrying about having enough to eat. Food can also tell us about larger social organizations and global interconnections through products like Spam that are traded around the globe and the ways in which a fruit like the tomato transformed the culinary culture of European nations. In this course we will consider how the Anthropology of Food has developed as a subfield of Cultural Anthropology. We will also look at the various methodologies and theoretical frameworks used by anthropologists to study food and culture. 4 cr. [ 4 cr. ]
MET ML 701 Introduction to Gastronomy: Theory and Methodology
This course is designed to introduce students to current and foundational issues and methods in food studies and gastronomy. Through readings, discussions, and research, students will gain familiarity with major topics, issues, and debates in the field. They will become proficient at identifying and putting into practice different methods in food studies research and in understanding how to communicate across disciplines. This course will give Gastronomy students a better understanding of the field as a whole. While providing an overview and methodological toolbox, it will act as a springboard in to areas of specialization of the course. [ 4 cr. ]
|A1||IND||Metheny||CAS 204B||W||6:00 pm – 8:45 pm|
MET ML 715 Food and the Senses
This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of the sensory foundations and implications of food. We will study the senses as physical and cultural phenomena, the evolving concepts of terroir and craft, human nutritional and behavioral science, sensory perception and function, and the sensory and scientific aspects of food preparation and consumption. Understanding these processes, constructions and theories is key to understanding a vast array of food-related topics; cheese-making, wine-tasting, fermentation, food preservation, culinary tools and methods, cravings and food avoidance, sustainability and terroir, to name just a few. [ 4 cr. ]
|A1||IND||Ryan||CAS 320||M||6:00 pm – 8:45 pm|
Choose up to two elective courses (8 credits) from the following*:
MET ML 565 Food Marketing
The course applies the fundamental concepts and tools of marketing and brand management to the food industry, with a particular focus on the burgeoning New England culinary scene. This class will focus on marketing throughout key stages of the food-to-table supply chain, from raw ingredients and processing equipment in early production stages, through immersive culinary experiences targeted to distinct consumer segments. An additional emphasis of the course will be on marketing food products vs. services, and the strategic challenges and strategies that each portion of the food industry requires. [ 4 cr. ]
MET ML 623 Food and Public History
Students will examine interpretive foodways programs from museums, living history museums, folklore/folklife programs, culinary tourism offerings, "historical" food festivals, and food tours to compare different approaches to public histories of food. Through several case studies, students will examine mission statements, interpretive goals, and different methods of communicating with the public. Guest lectures and field trips lay the groundwork for a final project in which students develop a proposal for an interpretive food history program for an area museum, tour program, or public history program. Course offers opportunities for focused inquiry, hands-on research, and creative thinking. [ 4 cr. ]
|A1||IND||Metheny||CGS 121||R||6:00 pm – 8:45 pm|
MET ML 632 History of Wine
In this course we explore the long and complex role wine has played in the history of human civilization. We survey significant developments in the production, distribution, consumption and cultural uses of grape-based alcoholic beverages in the West. We study the economic impact of wine production and consumption from the ancient Near East through the Roman Empire, Europe in the Middle Ages and especially wine's significance in the modern and contemporary world. Particular focus is on wine as a religious symbol, a symbol of status, an object of trade and a consumer beverage in the last few hundred years. [ 4 cr. ]
MET ML 636 Culture and Cuisine: Italy
There is no such thing as Italian food. This statement is confirmed by the uniqueness and locality of the foods of Italy. This course will introduce students to regional Italian foods, taking into account geography, historical factors, social mores and language. There will be an emphasis on identifying key food ingredients of northern, central, and southern regions, and how they define these regions and are utilized in classic recipes. In addition, the goal will be to differentiate the various regional cooking styles like casalinga cooking versus alta cucina cooking. [ 4 cr. ]
MET ML 655 Planning a Food Business
Whatever type of food-related business you want to start, you will need expert advice to plan and launch. This course will guide you through the process of developing and realizing your business idea. Guest speakers from the food industry will share hands- on knowledge and insights. In this section you will focus on writing a business plan utilizing the Lean Canvas methodology (leanstack.com). Grading is based on attendance, participation and completing a Lean Canvas. [ 4 cr. ]
|A1||IND||Ward||PSY B37||W||6:00 pm – 8:45 pm|
MET ML 671 Food and Visual Culture
An extensive historical exploration into prints, drawings, film, television, and photography relating to food in the United States and elsewhere. Examines how food images represent aesthetic concerns, social habits, demographics, domestic relations, and historical trends. [ 4 cr. ]
MET ML 681 Food Writing for the Media
Students will develop and improve food-writing skills through the study of journalistic ethics; advertising; scientific and technological matters; recipe writing; food criticism; anthropological and historical writing about food; food in fiction, magazines and newspapers. [ 4 cr. ]
|A1||IND||Julian||STH 317||M||6:00 pm – 8:45 pm|
MET ML 720 Food Policy and Food Systems
This course presents frameworks and case studies that will advance participants' understandings of U.S. and global food systems and policies. Adopting food-systems and food-chain approaches, it provides historical, cultural, theoretical and practical perspectives on world food problems and patterns of dietary and nutritional change, so that participants acquire a working knowledge of the ecology and politics of world hunger and understand the evolution of global-to-local food systems and diets. Global overview of world food situations will be combined with more detailed national and local-level case studies and analysis that connect global to local food crisis and responses. [ 4 cr. ]
*Substitutions may be allowed with the program director’s approval.
View all Gastronomy graduate courses.