9 Ways to Major in Food Without Going to Culinary School
Learn to brew beer at UC Davis
Some people go to college and drink a lot of bad beer. Others go to UC Davis and learn to make good beer. Since 1958, UC Davis has offered a unique specialization in brewing science as part of its undergraduate degree program in food science and technology (Michael Lewis, one of the early leaders of the department, quite literally wrote the book on brewing). Along the way, UC Davis became the only brewing program in North America that is accredited by the London’s prestigious Institute of Brewing and Distilling. Amongst the many courses UC Davis offers as part of the program are Introduction to Brewing Chemistry, Brewing Calculations and Practical Brewing.
Get your masters degree in gastronomy at Boston University
Cofounded by Jacques Pépin and Julia Child, Boston University’s Master of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy is a unique program that encompasses the arts, the humanities and the natural and social sciences. The program offers students four different focuses—Business & Entrepreneurship, Communication, Food Policy and History & Culture—but the real draw is the range of courses offered. History of Food, Pots and Pans: Material Culture of Food, Survey of Food and Film and Fundamentals of Wine are all required amongst many others.
Learn to make ice cream at Penn State University
It makes perfect sense that you would learn to make ice cream in a place called Happy Valley. In 1892, Penn State became the first American university to offer courses in ice cream making. While the program has grown considerably since its early days in a one room cold storage and cream-ripening facility, Penn State’s ice cream program continues to be one of the pioneers in the field and counts both Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield amongst its esteemed alumni. The ice cream extension course includes more than 20 workshops on specialized areas of ice cream technology including flavoring, refrigeration, freezing and hardening techniques, along with the manufacture of frozen yogurt and novelty frozen desserts.
Learn to be a food writer at NYU
There are plenty of master’s programs in writing and food studies, but very few marry those two disciplines. However, the dual masters program in Food Studies and Library Sciences at NYU does just that. Besides the core classes in food systems, research techniques and nutrition, additional required courses include food writing, theoretical perspectives in food culture, food and media, food in the arts and food photography.
Embrace sustainiablity with the EcoGastronomy dual major at the University of New Hampshire
A big question for food culture in 2017 is how to make to keep it sustainable, which is the primary driver behind the University of New Hampshire’s dual major in EcoGastronomy. UNH’s dual major, which is part of the school's Hospitality Management program, looks at the full spectrum of food, from farm to fork, health and nutrition outcomes, as well as political issues surrounding food.
For the truly studious carnivore, Ohio State University offers a meat science major through their College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Science. The degree includes classes covering live animal, carcass, and genetic assessment, critical factors influencing animal care and welfare and meat processing and branded meat products. Additionally, OSU also offers short extension courses in sausage processing, whole muscle meat processing and Jerky process validation, along with being home to a Meat Judging Team, which sounds like the most delicious extracurricular ever.
Learn to run a restaurant at Cornell University
If you’re more interested in front of house operations instead of work in the kitchen, Cornell University’s famed School of Hotel Administration is the place for you. Besides being the breeding ground for aspiring hoteliers, the curriculum is also designed for those looking to become restaurateurs. The core classes address all of the aspects of running a business, including strategizing and planning, design and construction, financing and marketing, and management and operations, all from a hospitality perspective.
Attend actual culinary school at Drexel University
So your parents want you to get a four-year university degree, but you want to go to culinary school. Consider Drexel University in Philadelphia, which offers the best of both worlds. Drexel University is one of the few four-year colleges that offers a full culinary arts curriculum. The program includes classes in everything from Science of Food and Cooking to Foundations of Professional Baking to Beverage Managements, all while requiring a six-month co-op experience at a restaurant, food brand or publication as well.