Master of Arts in Food Studies & Master of Business Administration (MAFS/MBA) Curriculum
Through this program, students earn both the Master of Arts in Food Studies and the Master of Business Administration. It includes core courses in both business and food studies, and courses that provide breadth and depth in food studies, business, and sustainable business. The degree requires 51 credits, and is designed to be completed by full time students in five semesters (includes fall, spring, and summer semesters). An optional first summer is offered for students who require prerequisites or simply want more time to take classes.
Students are expected to maintain full-time enrollment.
Each student also completes a thesis or project in Food Studies. The common preparatory courses provide all students with disciplinary training in natural and social sciences and business. Students gain a holistic understanding of food systems and traditional business skills. Internships and directed study in community settings are encouraged. Graduates will be uniquely prepared to work in various aspects of food systems in the real world.
Students meet all of the requirements for both the Master of Arts Food Studies and the Master of Business Administration. Please refer to those programs for details.
Students must meet all of the admission requirements for both the MAFS and MBA programs, and complete any prerequisite associated with either program. A total of 51 credits are required to earn the dual degree:
The MBA portion of the program consists of the following 24 credits BUS576 Sustainable Human Capital
Cultivate theoretical understanding and ethical and practical skills for managing human capital. Explore individual, group, and organizational levels of analysis focusing on topics of motivation, communication, group dynamics, decision making, culture, power, and politics. Analyze the effectiveness of tools for talent acquisition and development, such as compensation, feedback, and assessment.
3 BUS570 Global Business
This course introduces students to international business and management by studying cultural influences, government, and business structures in our global economy. Students also learn about trade relations, international finance and legal and labor agreements. Also covered, are topics on information needs, production systems, marketing and promotion, and career planning.
3 BUS577 Information Systems and Analytics
This course explores the strategic management of technology, information, and people from a Chief Information Officer’s (CIO) perspective. The business value and organizational challenges of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, data warehouses, analytics, and Big Data are critically examined through cases and hands-on projects.
3 BUS652 Managerial Accounting
This course examines accounting information that is used in managerial decision making within the organization. Focus is on interpretation of financial statements, cost accounting, financial planning and analysis, the development of internal controls, and constructing budgets.
3 BUS672 Corporate Finance
This course deepens an understanding of financial analysis tools and concepts. Students will learn how and when to use the financial-analytical tools required to make effective business and policy decision. Functional areas addressed are assessing financial health, planning financial performance, interpretation of data and recommendations, supply-chain management.
3 BUS671 Marketing Management
This course takes the Chief Marketing Officer’s (CMO) perspective to explore marketing as a core business practice. Discussions focus on theories and principles for interfacing with customers, competitors, partners, and the external environment. Concepts are applied to planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of goods and services.
3 BUS698 Strategy and Entrepreneurship
"Develop strategies to gain and sustain competitive advantage. Examine the goals of an organization, the social, political, technological, economic, and global factors in the business environment, industry structure, market dynamics, and firm strengths and weaknesses. Develop and implement strategy across industries, and as an entrepreneur, through case analyses and simulations. "
3 BUS618 Economics for Managers
This course teaches how economic tools and techniques can be used to solve business problems. Economics describes why firms do what they do and points to business strategies. The course focuses on economic applications. The course provides an understanding of how economics influences marketing, management, and other business-related decisions.
3 Required Core Total: 24 The FST portion of the program consists of the following 27 credits FST502 Essential Readings in Food and Agriculture
This class provides grounding in essential texts in the contemporary understanding of food and agriculture. Readings include key food histories, journalism, critical nutrition and food industry writers, and agriculture and environmental treatise. Class will meet monthly to analyze texts. Students will contribute to forum and blog discussions throughout the year.
1 FST508 Food Systems
Examines philosophical, sociological, economic, and cultural issues related to the production and consumption of food. From Agrarianism to the Green Revolution, explores the transformations of industrialization, technology, and migration. Provides foundation in food systems and commodity chains as concepts and methodological tools for uncovering the relationship between communities, agriculture, markets, and consumers.
3 FST509 Food Access
If food is a basic human right, how do societies create universal access to food? What is the moral ethical basis for making citizens food secure in an age of global inequality? To what extent does providing food access need to consider culturally appropriateness, nutrition, and sustainability, and justice?
3 FST620 Research in Food and Agriculture
This course assists students developing a research, educational, public policy, or advocacy project in sustainable farming. Participants study a practical and current sustainable food and/or farming problem, review the literature related to the problem, develop management tactics and strategies to address the problem, and communicate their conclusions. Goal is to develop a research plan and project outcomes for a Masters thesis or project.
2 FST510 Food, Culture, History
Provides an overview of food and diet in transnational history, emphasizing cultural impact of modernity of food gathering, farming, plant biology, the body and consumption, health, taste, and cuisine. Topics include the development of agriculture, the causes of famine, the disruptions of colonialism, global exchange, industrialization, migration, and commercial economic dominance of the food system.
3 FST520 Basic Agroecology
Through working on Chatham's Eden Hall Campus farm as well as neighboring farms, students will integrate best practices for sustainable agriculture with theory encountered in class. Topics will include basic principles of soil fertility, biodiversity, agriculture history, effects of both conventional and organic agriculture, and the politics surrounding the issues.
3 FST520L Growing Sustainably Lab
This course is a co-requisite to FST520, Growing Sustainably, and comprises the experiential lab component of the course. Students will engage in sustained research on sustainable agricultural projects, from biodynamic methods to soil or pest management comparatives. Course may be taken up to four times for credit.
1 FST518 Business of Food and Agriculture
In this class the student will learn both history and current practices related to food and agriculture as economic enterprises in the United States and the world. Skills include ability to understand strategic management principles including identifying target markets, niche marketing, SWOT analysis and diffusion of innovation theory. Students will be able to develop a business plan including understanding barriers of entry, compiling demographic data, developing feasibility studies, long and short term business goals, define and calculate a breakeven point, and budget formulation.
3 SUS607 Applied Green and Social Innovation
The class helps students develop skills for managing innovation focusing on Food, Agriculture, Environmental and Social Product and Service innovations. Students will work with actual ideas and or start-ups from local incubators and entrepreneurs. The class focuses on helping students to develop skills to use innovations for solving major social and environmental problems.
3 FST698 Thesis/Project
Course provides supervision and research guidance for Master‘s thesis or projects in Food Studies. Students will have instruction in data analysis, writing for public presentation and publication, professional development workshops, and community development issues.
1 Required Core Total: 21 Electives (choose 6 credits) FST607 Sustainable Consumption
3 FST531 Sustainable Fermentation
Through hands-on production, tastings, lectures, students learn basics of fermentation,winemaking principles and practices, sensory evaluation through tastings, viticulture history, wine regions and types, winemaking methods, chemistry and winery operations. Local production includes root beer, beer, sake, local mead and vinegar. Emphasis will be on sustainable viniculture practices and local/global links.
3 FST614 New Product Development
This course will explore the new product development process from ideation to market. Students will study the methodologies and practices of product development in a traditional Consumer Packaged Good firm and apply modified methods to manage the new product development process for a start-up local distiller. Over the course of an academic year, students will develop and bring to market a liqueur to be sold by Pittsburgh Distilling Co.
3 FST622 Advanced New Product Development
This course explores new product development process from ideation to market. Students study methodologies and practices of product development in a Consumer Packaged Goods firm. Focus for the advanced course includes consumer testing, packaging development, and production process to develop and bring to market a liqueur sold by Pittsburgh Distilling.
3 FST603 Food Journeys
3 FST625 U.S. Agricultural Policy
This graduate multi-disciplinary course examines a range of philosophical, socio-economic, health and political issues related to agricultural policy in the US. It provides a foundation and introduction to U.S. farm policy as a means of exploring how political dynamics and choices impact the nature of food, agriculture, and communities at local, national and global scales.
3 SUS581 Entrepreneurial Alternatives
The class examines alternative paths to entrepreneurship for students interested in owning and operating an existing business. There is an emphasis on food-related businesses (production/processing, distribution, retail). Students will learn about acquiring an existing business or franchise. Skills covered include selecting targets, evaluation, appropriate financial valuation, deal structuring, arranging financing and post-closing operations planning.
3 FST608 Culture and Culinary Grains
Culture and Culinary Grains
3 FST609 Dairy: From Pasture to Plate
This multi-disciplinary graduate course examines a range of agro-ecological, philosophical, socio-economic, health, and political issues related to dairy production in the US. Key course themes include: dairy history; sustainable and conventional production; raw milk and consumption debates; livestock care; milking; cheese-making; dairy policy; international issues; and popular representation of dairy.
3 FST624 Chocolate: Politics and Pleasure
This course will explore chocolate as a global product including history and culture, agriculture (growing trees, processing beans), direct/fair trade, labor and justice, health, chocolate production, sales, marketing, and sustainability. Experiential components include chocolate making, tempering; culinary practices, and site visits to chocolate manufacturers, culminating in the design and marketing of a sustainable chocolate product.
3 FST532 Sustainable Meat Production
As part of sustainable agriculture and culinary knowledge, understanding meat production outside the conventional large scale processing facilities is a critical skill for students who will work with restaurants, farm markets, and other distribution venues.
3 FST515 Writing About Food
Students will develop technique and skills for writing about food and culture by studying ethics; journalism; advertising, multimodal and new technology venues; recipe writing; food criticism; writing about food in a variety of genres from history to fiction, magazines, and websites. Course emphasizes both print and online media.
3 FST683 Special Topics
3 FST505 Food and Representations
Food is elemental to survival, culture, home, and subjectivity - to rituals of love, oloss, and celebration. Focusing on representations of food and eating in spiritual narratives, epic texts, myth, novels, and film, this class examines the cultural work food performs along with the varying meanings assigned to food and eating.
3 FST615 Food, Labor, and Inequality
In this course, we will focus on theoretical and applied frameworks for thinking about the labor of growing food, transporting it, transforming it into comestibles, and finally, serving and cleaning related to food consumption. The course considers how global labor shapes the availability and appropriateness of food for different populations and therefore includes a substantial analysis of gender, race, and social class. Readings and discussion will touch on migrant labor, domestic cooking, waiting and serving, agriculture, cooks and chefs, and food professionals.