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MA, Food Studies

What are the core classes?

All students are required to take five core classes and two research classes. For additional information about requirements, see the curriculum summary.

Can I receive credit for participating in an internship?

We urge students to pursue internships while in the program. However, there is no graduate internship course through which students receive credit. On rare occasions, if the organization demands that a student receive credit, then pending adviser approval, he/she may register and pay for a one-credit independent study.

Are GREs required?

As of now, we do not require that students take the GREs. If you have already taken the exam and earned a high score, please feel free to include it in your application.

Do I need a culinary degree?

While we do not require that students hold a culinary degree, we certainly value the accomplishment. 

What prerequisite courses are there?

There are no prerequisites.

I've taken graduate courses at another university, do those credits transfer over?

If you have taken graduate-level classes, that did not serve towards another degree, at another university within the past 10 years and received a B or higher, you may receive advanced standing when you matriculate. The courses must be approved by a Food Studies adviser.

What if I went to culinary school? Do I take fewer classes? Am I exempt from any classes?


May I enroll in courses outside the Department, Steinhardt and beyond NYU?

Students may enroll in most classes offered through Steinhardt without special permission. For classes in other schools at NYU, students need to get advanced approval from a Food Studies adviser within our department and permission from the professor of the course and his/her home department. Courses in other universities require both advanced permission from a Department adviser and permission from the other institution. In addition, an official transcript must be sent to the Department upon completion of the course.

How do I find out about what classes are offered?

For up-to-date information, see the NYU course schedule and individual departments’ course schedules, which are usually linked through department websites.

The descriptions of courses offered through the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies are available here.

Should I go part-time or full-time?

We highly recommend that students attend part-time. By pursuing related jobs and internship opportunities while in school, we believe that students get more out of the program and have stronger job prospects upon completion. However, in certain circumstances, a full-time commitment makes more sense for some students. We suggest discussing the options with a Food Studies adviser. For financial aid purposes, part-time means 6 credits and full-time means 12 or more credits per semester.

How long does it take to hear from graduate admissions?

The admission process is coordinated through the Office of Graduate Admission.  Applicants generally hear from graduate admissions within six to eight weeks of having a completed application. During the review months following application deadlines, the process may take longer. Please be advised that there is no way for the Department to track the status of an application.

How do I find out about financial aid?

To be considered for any type of financial aid (including scholarships and student loans), applicants must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as FAFSA. In order to qualify for full-time financial aid, you must be taking at least 12 credits. Part-time students must take a minimum of 6 credits.

Learn more about the process and the financial aid available at NYU Steinhardt here.

Many outside organizations also offer scholarships for graduate students. Be certain to check the organization's website for application deadlines.

Does the Department offer any study abroad opportunities?

NYU operates a number of campuses and maintains relationships with other universities around the world, thus providing students with a variety of study abroad opportunities. Many departments offer courses in these locations throughout the year. The Study Abroad office has more information about these options. The Department of Nutrition and Food Studies regularly offers courses abroad.

The Food Studies Department offers courses in Pueblo, Mexico, Hong Kong, Paris, Florence and in-depth course sites in the United States. 

How many students are in the graduate Food Studies program?

At any given time, approximately 160 students (full or part-time) are enrolled in the Food Studies program. An average of 60 students matriculate each year.

What percentage of applicants receive acceptance into Food Studies?

All applicants will be considered for admission.  Successful candidates typically have a strong undergraduate GPA, an up-to-date resume, and a well-crafted essay with goals and motivations that are in line with those of the program and department. Relevant experience in the food profession, while not required is helpful and strongly encouraged.

How do I register? When do I register?

Each semester, you need to make an appointment with a graduate adviser. These appointments may be in person or over the phone. Prior to the appointment, you should pre-select classes and make a list of pertinent questions. Students in their first semester meet three times as a group in New Student Seminar. We devote one of these sessions to advising.

What kind of job can I get when I graduate?

Food Studies graduates find jobs in all areas within the food industry.

Food Culture

Food Culture graduates find jobs within 5 broad categories:

  • Publishing (magazines, newspapers, online sources)
  • Public relations (restaurants, food lobby groups, cookbooks, food • organizations)
  • Marketing (for restaurants, celebrity chefs, cookbooks, organizations)
  • Nonprofit work (education, food/hunger advocacy groups)
  • Food operations (wine importers/distributors, restaurants, retail)

Food Systems

For graduates of Food Systems, common job categories include:

  • Local and national governmental (city government, federal government, food regulations, relations between industry and government)
  • NGO work in advocacy and policy (farming, labor, food scarcity, trade)
  • Development organizations (community building, national programs, international trade and aid organizations)
  • Food production companies (producers and manufacturers of food items)
  • Food distribution companies (importation, transportation, and retail)

Is there a strict curriculum, or do I choose my own classes?

The Food Studies curriculum is broken down into three categories – core requirements, concentration requirements, and electives. For additional information about requirements, see the section below on core classes.

What if I'm interested in both food and nutrition (or public health)? Is there a joint degree?

No joint graduate degrees are allowed at NYU. However, students have many opportunities to take nutrition and public health courses within the Department. Students can also take classes across Steinhardt and, with permission from adviser and professor, from academic departments in other schools at NYU.

Does the Food Studies graduate program require an internship? When should I do it?

We strongly urge all Food Studies students to pursue as many internships as possible during their graduate career. We maintain an email listserve for all currently enrolled graduate students, where we continually post notices regarding internship and job opportunities. We recommend that students pursue different positions each semester.

What is the average age of the students?

Students range in age from recent college graduates to retirees. Most students are in their late twenties.

How many students are in the classes?

We limit most classes to 25 students; however, seminar, writing, and research classes are often smaller.

How long does it take a typical student to complete the master's program?

Most graduate Food Studies students attend part-time and take between 2 and 3 years to complete the degree. Full-time students can complete the program faster, but we do not recommend this. Students get more out of the program and receive stronger job opportunities by enrolling only part-time and working/interning while studying.

How much does the program cost?

Costs for the program are on a per-credit basis, plus basic registration fees. In general, cost per credit is reduced slightly as credit load increases.

Do I need health insurance? Where can I get it?

All graduate students are required to have health insurance. NYU offers a range of health insurance plans, depending on students’ needs and credit load. If you have health insurance from another company or organization outside of NYU, you may opt out of the university plan. For more information, visit the Student Health Center’s health insurance webpage.