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Anyone gone through the NYU Food Studies program?

I was wondering if any ChowHounders had gone through the NYU food studies program: http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/nutrition/i....

It looks like a wonderful program but I've been unable to get in touch with anyone who has actually graduated from or attended the program itself. Given how much time schools spend on making themselves look prettyit's best to get the word from someone on the ground.

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  1. I had a friend who went through the food studies program as an undergrad with the intent of becoming a food photographer. It's been nearly 4 years since graduation and the degree has proved absolutely useless in landing a decent job in the industry -- at least one that can pay off the loans necessary to go to NYU.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JungMann

      Food photography is so significantly more focused on your photo portfolio than anything else- same reason why a degree in photojournalism is almost useless (note that I say almost). There's a lot one can do with a food studies degree, but applying it can be difficult since it's such a niche.

      1. re: jpschust

        I was wrong. She wanted to be a food stylist, which I suppose depends a lot on your artistic talent. Either way, her $120K degree in food hasn't helped her get a food-related job.

    2. I have been wondering this myself lately. List is on my list of programs for graduate study. I have also been looking into Cornell. Anyone know of any other or any opinions? The description of the NYU program is great.

      2 Replies
      1. re: WNCfoodie

        Boston U has the Masters of Gastronomy which is similar.

        1. re: WNCfoodie

          Indiana University has just announced a PHD program in Food Anthropology any one who would like to see the announcement and details e-mail me and I'll forward it on

        2. There's a food blogger girl that I read sometimes that just graduated from the NYU food studies program. She posts infrequently on this board as Roboppy, her site is www.roboppy.net/food Try asknig her

          1. Hello,

            I graduated from the NYU Undergrad Food Studies Program about 5 years ago. You have to choose your concentration within this major (Dietetics, Food & Restaurant Management & Food Studies.) I have to say that I loved the program because it is very comprehensive. You learn EVERYTHING about food. Nutrition, agriculture, food science, hands on cooking classes, food safety & sanitation - think of something related to food and you will find it on the curriculum. Some of the courses vary of course based on the concentration you choose. I chose Food & Restaurant management because it seemed the most practical, and at the time I had fantasies of owning a restaurant (these fantasies have since died... never to be thought of again.) Also, the thought of learning biochemistry and working in hospitals (to become a dietician) scared me. Food Studies was a little too general for me. If you plan on on becoming a food historian, food writer or food studies professor, then maybe that's for you, but i'm not sure how you get one of those jobs. I'm sure you are wondering what I do now with this degree. I am currently in charge of production for a relatively new chocolate company. I have to add that I attended culinary school for Pastry Arts after graduating NYU because I really had no idea what to do with myself. My pastry training obviously landed me the job I currently have, but my nutrition and food studies background helped as well.
            I'm not sure I would recommend this program for graduate studies. A lot of my undergrad classes had many graduate students...so it seems they were learning the same things we were. I chose NYU over the other colleges I was accepted to mainly because they offered me a scholarship. We all know it is an expensive school, so if you are not going to receive financial aid, I wouldn't recommend it. I am from nyc, and I was going to college one way or another and all I was really interested in was food (all I am interested in today), so this worked for me. Hope this helped in some way!

            2 Replies
            1. re: bklynatheart

              This thread is very helpful from someone who was considering going there for grad school! Thanks for the review!

              1. re: bklynatheart

                Hi I am an undergrad student from South Korea interested in getting a master's degree in food studies. Is there any way I could contact you?

              2. One of my nephews is presently an undergrad in an NYU program, Food & Restaurant Management, I believe and so far I've only heard good things. He sometimes posts on CH. I'll have to tell him to drop in here.

                1. I am currently in the Food Studies program as a Food Studies concentration major. i do enjoy the classes, they are informative, educational, and pressing. (mind that i am an undergraduate) personally my problems with the program have to do with the nature of the student body; young, northeast, middle-upperclass, bubble kids with little to no understanding of economics, politics, or general reasons for why/how things work in our country. for this reason classes often have 20 people arguing one side of the same point.

                  having said that, the class is great, the professors are INCREDIBLE, the real world application is better and stronger than almost any other major. it is an incredible practical education. currently i am helping to restructure the program to have a more focused path which will only make the program that much stronger.


                  it is great despite my qualms with it, but so is life/college

                  1. I haven't gone, but I did look into them. Like others have mentioned, they look like a great learning experience, but I question how much it will help with landing an actual position and it would depend on what you want to do. I'm not sure they would help you as much as back/front of the house experience, a hospitality management, business etc.

                    it seems like almost a general ed food program.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Rodzilla

                      Briefly, when my nephew, drinkwaj who posted above, a year before he graduated from NYU Food Studies he was hired as an assistant beverage manager at Otto Enoteca, one of Mario Batali's restaurants in NYC. Soon he became the assistant sommelier then The Sommelier and stayed sometime after that. . After a stint as Beverage Manager at Ellabess since Feb. of this year he has been the Beverage Director at Dell'Anima. He has been interviewed in various beverage magazines, and has won several cocktail and beverage competitions. So you see he is quickly working his way up that elusive celebrity ladder with his background from NYU.

                      1. re: Gio

                        Great to hear, and again I wasn't knocking the curriculum., I'm just wondering if in the case of your nephew a similar route could be taken by a less expensive som program (it obviously wouldn't provide as broad of a scope on food education)

                        1. re: Rodzilla

                          I am in a similar situation. I am thinking about the food studies graduate program, however I have found limited information so far. I have many years of work experience but in another industry and I am hoping this program would help me transition into the food industry. It is indeed very expensive and I was hoping that I could find a similar program that is less expensive.

                          1. re: Nuray

                            what is your past industry and what are you looking to do? You may even want to start a new topic, I'm sure plenty of hounders will offer their point of view

                            1. re: Rodzilla

                              I was in the apparel industry for 15 years in a small business environment. I should probably start a new topic; I am trying to make their deadline for application but in the meantime I am looking at culinary schools - so I guess I am a bit lost.

                              1. re: Nuray

                                I don't know what your exact interest with culinary school is, but I would think twice before spending the money. Most Chefs I've spoken with tell me you can pick up this culinary skill/experience you need elsewhere, and from everything I've read/been told - that small business experience will go a lot further in any successful food venture than culinary skill.

                                1. re: Rodzilla

                                  Thanks for your feedback, Rodzilla. It has been a little though since most jobs I would like to apply require some sort of previous food industry experience or food related education. My thinking was getting education in either food studies or culinary school would give me credentials and possible opportunities for advancement.

                                  1. re: Nuray

                                    you can pick up technique elsewhere, the actual kitchen experience is what prepares you - if you get a food handlers card and express interest I'm sure any number of local places would be happy to let you help - even work into a formal position.

                                    Many people enter culinary school thinking they'll come out with an exec chef position or ready to run a restaurant. The reality is a lot of them end up cooking on the line and getting the same hands on training as others who didn't spend a fortune on culinary school.