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MA, Food Studies

Applications and Admissions

Where can I apply for the NYU Food Studies MA program? 

The application is available on the Steinhardt Graduate Admissions website

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 prerequisite courses.

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 a 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 advisor.

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 of Nutrition and Food Studies 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 9 credits. Part-time students must take a minimum of 4.5 credits to qualify.

Learn more about the process, financial aid, and scholarships 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.

What percentage of applicants receive acceptance into Food Studies?

All applicants will be considered for admission. Successful candidates typically have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0, an up-to-date resume, strong letters of reference, 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 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.

Is experience in the food industry a requirement for acceptance? 

While experience in the field is not a requirement to apply, it is encouraged to have some either volunteer or professional experience purely so you are able to decide and test the waters if this field is the right fit for you.

Do students matriculate in the fall or spring semesters?

Our application cycles are for both the fall semester and spring semester. The application deadline for the Fall semester is February 1st. The application deadline for the Spring semester is October 1st.

Curriculum and Courses

May I enroll in courses outside the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, NYU Steinhardt, and beyond NYU?

Students may enroll in most classes offered through NYU Steinhardt without special permission. For classes in other schools at NYU, students need to get advanced approval from a Food Studies advisor within our department and permission from the school or department offering the course. Courses in other universities require both advanced permission from a Department advisor 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?

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

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 advisor. For financial aid purposes, part-time means 4.5 credits and full-time means 9 or more credits per semester.

Does the Department offer any study abroad opportunities?

The Department of Nutrition and Food Studies regularly offers courses abroad. 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. The Study Abroad Office has more information about these options.

The Food Studies Department offers courses in many international locations such as Shanghai, Paris, Florence, India, and in-depth course sites in the United States. 

How do I register? When do I register?

Each semester, you need to make an appointment with a graduate advisor. 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 take the course Current Research which meets throughout the semester. We devote one of these classes to advising.

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

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

What are the core classes I'll take?

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

Can I take classes in the summer?

In the summer we offer a study abroad opportunity and a small number of Food Studies classes. Most students choose to pursue food-related career opportunities or work on their research over the summer. 

Does Food Studies have any lab facilities? 

Yes! We have a Food Lab and Urban Farm Lab

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

While no joint graduate degrees are allowed at NYU, 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 advisor and professor, from academic departments in other schools at NYU.

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 two and three years to complete the degree. Full-time students can complete the program faster, but this is not always recommended. Students get more out of the program and receive stronger job opportunities by enrolling only part-time and working/interning while studying.

Can this program be completed entirely online?

At this time, the MA in Food Studies is not available to be completed entirely online. 

Can I take classes without enrolling in the program?

It is possible to take some courses as a non-matriculated student before applying to the program, such as core courses and some electives. If you would like to apply to register as a non-matriculated student please reach out to the Food Studies Graduate Advisor ( 

Are classes available in the evening?

All the required core courses are offered in the evening (4:55-6:35pm and 6:45-8:25pm depending on the course and term). We have a handful of other courses offered during the day, but these are typically electives and experiential courses that are not a requirement in the program. Many of our students work full-time and organize their class schedules to work around their jobs. 

Careers and Internships

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, fellowships, and part-time opportunities to build their careers during graduate school. We maintain an email listserv for all currently enrolled graduate students, where we continually post notices regarding internship and job opportunities. We recommend that students pursue a variety of different opportunities during the program. 

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 advisor approval, the student may register and pay for a one-credit independent study.

What kind of job can I get when I graduate?

Food Studies graduates find jobs in all areas within the food industry. Some examples below are based on our specialization courses. 

Policy and Advocacy

  • Nonprofit work (education, food/hunger advocacy groups)
  • 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)

Business and Social Entrepreneurship

  • Food production companies (producers and manufacturers of food items)
  • Food distribution companies (importation, transportation, and retail)
  • Brick and mortar business creation
  • E-commerce
  • Consumer Packaged Good creation

Media and Cultural Analysis

  • Publishing (magazines, newspapers, online sources)
  • Public relations (restaurants, food lobby groups, cookbooks, food organizations)
  • Marketing (for restaurants, celebrity chefs, cookbooks, organizations)
  • Education (research, museums, schools, higher-level academia, community-based organizations)

Community and Services

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 is the average age of the students?

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

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.

Where are classes held?

Most of our classes are on the Washington Square Park campus, all within walking distance of each other. 

Is there transportation?

NYU has several shuttles around the city transporting students, faculty, and staff with their University ID. 

Does NYU have a gym I can join? 

It is free for all students to join the NYU Athletics facilities! There are two facilities near the Washington Square Park campus and one in Brooklyn. 

International Students

Can I work during my time in the program?

Your length-of-stay visa requirements stipulate if you can work or not while you are a student. Please refer to the Office of Global Services (OGS) for more information. 

How many credits do I have to take as an international student?

Depending on your length-of-stay visa requirements, you may have to be a full-time student and take 9 credits per semester.