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About the Food Studies Program

University of the Pacific offers a Master of Arts Degree in Food Studies at the San Francisco campus and online. This multidisciplinary program is designed to train students to master skills necessary for success in food related professions. Courses range across many disciplines including Anthropology, History, Sociology, Literature and Law, and focus on developing mastery in research, writing and policy making methodologies. The successful student will gain expertise in multiple food policy implementation strategies for use by producers, consumers and law makers. Students will develop exceptional proficiency in evaluating the social, economic, aesthetic and political impact of food choices made by individuals and groups. These skills will equip them for careers in business including marketing, advertising, research and development, for positions in government agencies, NGOs, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, for careers in food writing, social work, lobbying and for advanced work in academia.

Courses in the Food Studies program systematically examine the many complexities of the modern food system, the ethical, environmental and health impact of how we grow, process, distribute, and consume food. They explore the historical dimensions of how various cultures have obtained and processed food and beverages, why serious inequalities in access to food still prevail around the world and the role food industries have in shaping the way we eat.

The program entails 32 credits of course work (8 four unit classes) drawn from a core of 4 classes offered annually and 4 electives offered in rotation. The degree can be completed full time in four semesters with a two course load each semester or may be completed over several years. There is no minimum course load required to remain in the program, but registration and matriculation fees will apply every semester to maintain active status. Students may also take courses ad hoc without seeking the degree, though the same entrance requirements will apply for all students.