Online Food Studies Graduate Certificate
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Ideal for students and professionals who are considering a career change or seeking to enhance their credentials, the Online Graduate Certificate in Food Studies provides a solid foundation in food studies and valuable connections to a vibrant food-focused community of scholars and students.
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 Graduate Certificate in Food Studies, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.
Food Studies in the News
See where Food Studies and Gastronomy faculty, students, and alumni have been featured in our MET in the News articles.
Current positions held by alumni of the Food Studies and Gastronomy programs include:
Boston University Metropolitan College (MET) offers competitive tuition rates that meet the needs of part-time students seeking an affordable education. These rates are substantially lower than those of the traditional, full-time residential programs yet provide access to the same high-quality BU education. To learn more about current tuition rates, visit the MET website.
Comprehensive financial assistance services are available at MET, including scholarships, graduate loans, and payment plans. There is no cost to apply for financial assistance, and you may qualify for a student loan regardless of your income. Learn more.
Boston University’s Graduate Certificate in Food Studies consists of four required online courses (16 credits).
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.
(Two courses/16 credits)
Choose at least two courses from the following:
METML622 History of Food
History is part of a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to food studies. Knowing where our food comes from chronologically is just as important as knowing where it comes from geographically. Historical forces bring our food to the table and shape the agricultural practices, labor arrangements and cultural constructions that make meals possible. We will read, research and write food history to explore the ways in which the history of food has shaped our world today, paying careful attention to structural inequalities that restrict food access. We will examine ways in which contemporary questions and problems inform historical inquiries and vice versa. Readings and projects in this course will typically focus on one geographic region but as a class we will be taking into account global connections and influences. The course material is organized both chronologically and thematically, with subthemes such as race, urbanization and industrialization. Students will learn about historical methodology and apply it to their own research. [4 credits]
METML641 Anthropology of Food
This course introduces students to the anthropological study of food and to the concept of food as a cultural system. In this cross-cultural exploration, we will examine the role of food and drink in ritual, reciprocity and exchange, social display, symbolism, and the construction of identity. Food preferences and taboos will be considered. We will also look at the transformative role of food in the context of culture contact, the relationship between food and ideas of bodily health and body image, food and memory, and the globalization of food as it relates to politics, power, and identity. Effective Spring 2021, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Ethical Reasoning, Social Inquiry I, Research and Information Literacy. [4 credits]
METML701 Introduction to Gastronomy
This course is designed to introduce students to current and foundational issues in food studies and gastronomy. Through this focus on central topics, students will engage directly in the interdisciplinary method that is central to food studies. Each week will introduce a unique view of the holistic approach that is central to a liberal arts approach to studying food and a new research technique will be presented and put into practice through the readings and course exercises. 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 credits. [4 credits]
METML715 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 credits]
(Two courses/16 credits)
Choose up to two electives. Online electives vary by semester and include, but are not limited to, the following examples:
METML565 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 credits]
METML626 Food Waste: Scope, Scale, & Signals for Sustainable Change
Food waste is a hot topic but not a new one. Some wasted food is the sign of a healthy system-- if there were exactly enough calories produced to meet each of our needs, there would be mass starvation, riots, and hoarding as we all scrambled to get our share. But by some estimates, food loss and waste account for nearly 40% of the food produced. How much wasted food is too much? At the same time this food is wasted, food insecurity is everywhere, even on BU's campus. Is all wasted food "trash?" Need it be? Why is food wasted and where along the supply chain is it wasted? What are the ethics of donating surplus food/waste/trash of those who have too much to those who don't have enough? This hybrid course explores the history, culture, rhetoric, and practicalities of wasted food, from farm, through fork, to gut (is overeating a form of food waste? What about wasting micronutrients by converting them to ultraprocessed foods?). Each week includes readings, discussion, application activity; and several weeks will include a guest lecture from a food system practitioner. Students will develop practical solutions in a final project. [4 credits]
METML629 Culture and Cuisine of the African Diaspora
The foodways of the people displaced from the African continent are interwoven with many societies, cultures, and cuisines across the globe. In this course, we will study five geographic regions of Africa; north, central, east, west and south. The list of the countries that encompass each region will follow. Cookbooks, maps, songs, poems, and even some folklore will be used as texts to analyze and add context to the history of the people of the diaspora. This course will have real, and courageous, and respectful conversations including race and power and how those two elements are embedded into the food systems in North America, Central America, South America, the Caribbean and Europe. We will trace ingredients that came with the enslaved people and track their integration into cuisines and cultures (agriculture, pop culture, aquaculture etc.) as a collective group and then independently as a capstone course project. [4 credits]
METML630 Cookbooks and History
What can cookbooks and recipes tell us about an individual? A community? A culture? What does the language of the recipe say about systems of knowledge and ways of thinking about the world? The movement of ingredients and food technology? The transmission of cooking knowledge? Does the analysis of historical cookbooks have contemporary applications? In this course, students will consider these questions through a survey of historical cooking texts and in-class exercises. We will examine cookbooks as a source of culinary history and a window into the changing material culture, practices, spaces, and relationships associated with food preparation and consumption. In addition, students will examine cookbooks and recipes as social documents that reveal the presence of social and economic hierarchies, networks and alliances, and political, economic, and religious structures. We will also examine these documents as cultural texts that reveal the construction of ethnic, gendered, and other identities. Students will study and analyze a selection of cookbooks from different historical periods and geographic regions leading to a final project and paper. [4 credits]
METML655 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 credits]
METML671 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 credits]
METML681 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 credits]
MET prioritizes the review and admission of applications submitted earlier in the rolling admission process. You are encouraged to submit your application as soon as possible and no later than the priority application deadlines for each term.
Applicants must have an earned bachelor’s degree, in any field of study, from a regionally accredited college/university (or the international equivalent) prior to enrollment at Metropolitan College. The following materials are required for a complete application:
- Completed Application for Graduate Admission and application fee
- All college transcripts
- Personal statement
- Two letters of recommendation
- Official English proficiency exam results (International students)
Associate Professor of the Practice and Director, Gastronomy
PhD, City University of New York; MA, San Francisco State University; BA, Cornell University
Senior Lecturer, Gastronomy
PhD, Boston University; MA, BA, College of William and Mary
MA, Boston University; BA, Wellesley College
To learn more or to contact an enrollment advisor before you get started, request information using the button below and tell us a little about yourself. Someone will be in touch to answer any questions you may have about the program and detail the next steps in earning your degree. You can also start your application or register for a course at Metropolitan College.