Food Studies (MAFS)
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Food Studies (MAFS) Overview
Priority & Regular
Priority deadline for fall enrollment is February 1 (all application materials must be received by this date for first consideration for fellowships and assistantships). Regular deadline for fall enrollment is June 15. Regular deadline for spring enrollment is November 1.
The Chatham University's MA in Food Studies requires 42 credits to complete and can be completed in 2 years of full-time study. A part-time enrollment option is also available.
Cost consists of program tuition (cost per credit times number of credits) as well as any applicable University and degree-specific fees.
MAFS + MBA
Students may also choose to pursue a dual-degree MAFS + MBA.
Explore the Master of Arts in Food Studies Degree:
Students study agricultural and culinary history and examine food production and consumption through sociological, cultural, political, ecological, economic, and geographic lenses. At the heart of the curriculum model are common preparatory, experiential, and core courses, which allow students to develop a shared knowledge base and community-based networks.
- A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
- Overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale. Applicants with less than a 3.0 who show extreme promise through other achievements may be granted conditional admission.
- Completed Application Form (found here), which includes submission of the following documents:
- Curriculum vitae or resume
- Admissions Essay
- Two letters of recommendation, preferably from an academic source
- Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts, sent directly by the institutions
- Additional writing sample (optional, but encouraged)
FST 607: Sustainable Consumption
A sustainable food system supports environmental health and local economies and is socially just. Eating “sustainably” implies acting on these concepts when making food choices. This course begins by defining and describing a “sustainable diet” in the context of regional food system work and regional food system assessments. Students will then explore Sustainable Consumption from three perspectives: the consumers’ viewpoint, including nutritional health, perception of “sustainability”, how food choices are made, and marketing issues like eco-labels; the growers’ and producers’ viewpoint, including questions of logistics and food safety; and the institutions’ or food business’ challenges of incorporating what we would consider foods grown and/or sourced in a sustainable manner in their operations.
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.
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.View Full Curriculum
I entered the food studies program convinced that industrialized farms were the enemy and that local/organic farms were the avenue to creating a more just food system. I’ve learned that there is no black and white in the world of food. There are many obstacles to achieving a just and equal food system, but this program is giving me the tools to ‘fight the good fight.'
—KAITLYN BEST, MAFS ’13
The Falk School of Sustainability & Environment cultivates robust partnerships with entities in Pittsburgh and beyond. Find out how one such partnership brought new life to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center downtown.
Faculty members are accomplished teachers, scholars, practitioners, and active leaders in the field.
Experiential Learning: Agroecology Demonstration Garden
In Chatham's Master of Arts in Food Studies program, we stress experiential learning, which often focuses on "learning how" alongside "learning what". One way we accomplish this is through the student-driven Agroecology Demonstration Garden (ADG).Learn About the ADG : Checkerboard 1 - Experiential Learning: Agroecology Demonstration Garden
Funding & Support
From fellowships to work-study positions, we offer a variety of ways to help you fund your education while gaining valuable experience.View Funding Opportunities : Checkerboard 2 - Funding & Support
Community Partnerships: La Prima Coffee
Since the start of Chatham University’s Master of Food Studies program, students have been touring the Pittsburgh coffee purveyor La Prima Espresso Company. Through partnerships like this one with local businesses, government, non-profits, farms, purveyors, and restaurants across the region, Chatham MAFS students gain the kind of hands-on, experiential understanding of their field that marks our Food Studies program as truly unique.Watch More Videos : Checkerboard 3 - Community Partnerships: La Prima Coffee
Support to Build Your Projects
Frankie Williams, MAFS is the fire master for the Eden Hall bread oven, a community gathering place on campus. The bread oven was a thesis project by MAFS alum Shauna Kearns, who wrote a successful grant for this project.Watch More Videos : Checkerboard 4 - Support to Build Your Projects
Eden Hall Campus
Located 20 minutes north of Pittsburgh, Chatham's Eden Hall Campus is the world's first academic community built from the ground up for sustainability. The grounds and infrastructure support research and learning around energy and climate; water and aquaculture; food and agriculture; community and health; and design and planning. As an MAFS+MBA student, you will balance your time between the Shadyside Campus and Eden Hall.Watch More Videos : Checkerboard 5 - Eden Hall Campus
Center for Regional Agricultural, Food, and Transformation (CRAFT)
An affiliate of the MAFS program, CRAFT provides resources, learning opportunities, and technical assistance on food systems, regional food cultures, and sustainable economies to individuals, organizations, and businesses. It offers ample opportunities for students to be involved in assistantships, research, and project engagement.Learn About CRAFT : Checkerboard 6 - Center for Regional Agricultural, Food, and Transformation (CRAFT)
The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement comes to Pittsburgh Public Schools
Simple changes in the environment can lead to healthier lunchtime choices. That’s the thinking behind the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement (SLM), a program started in 2009 by researchers at the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition.Learn About SLM : Checkerboard 7 - The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement comes to Pittsburgh Public Schools
Master of Arts in Food Studies
Agroecology Demonstration Garden
Find out about Chatham's Agroecology Demonstration Garden, a student-focused garden at Eden Hall Campus where they pursue projects that illustrate what they're learning in class.
Toni Simpson, MAFS '21
ChathamU alum Toni Simpson knows the power of food to unite and inspire. Learn about her role as School Director and Lead Chef Instructor at Community Kitchen Pittsburgh.
Rachel Waugh, MAFS '19
As a final project, Rachel Waugh designed a tour of Eden Hall Campus that focuses on the earliest known occupants of the land, acknowledging that it “shares the legacy and continued violence of settler colonialism with the rest of the state and country.”