Culinary Arts and Science

Major: Culinary Arts and Science
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Minimum Required Credits: 45.0
Co-op Option: None
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 12.0509
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 11-9051

NOTE: This program is no longer accepting applications as of the 2020-2021 academic year.

About the Program

The Culinary Arts and Science (CAS) program investigates the modern system of food production and consumption by combining critical, systems-thinking based scholarship and experiential, hands-on culinary learning. Faculty in the CAS program come from a mix of disciplinary backgrounds and contribute a range of perspectives and approaches that all converge in the object of study: food and the system in which it is produced. The CAS program focuses on three core pillars of study: culinary arts, food and culinary science, and food systems. Drexel University’s CAS program is unique, as it is the only program in which students can combine rigorous, academic studies with culinary-arts training. While all students will take courses in all three pillars, each individual will be able to focus his or her program through electives on the particular area of CAS that they wish to engage with. Students will work individually with faculty or staff advisors to develop an individual plan of study.

Students who will fit well within the CAS program are independent, rigorous thinkers who are first and foremost interested in effecting change within the food system. Students come from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds, but share a deep commitment to understanding and responding to the world’s food-related challenges. The CAS program at Drexel offers more than just critique and theory-development; classes emphasize the development of practical, real-world fixes to food-system problems. Students will have the opportunity to engage further with a required practicum course and the option for a research-based thesis project.

Students who are considering the CAS program see this degree as a dual opportunity: to gain the skills necessary to respond to the dilemmas facing the world’s food system and to advance their careers within the culinary world, food industry, and non-profits who share their goals. The program appreciates and welcomes a diversity of backgrounds, including students from the liberal arts and professional studies, the hard sciences, and professionals who are seeking to orient their career towards food-related work.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the program must meet the general requirements for admission to graduate studies at Drexel University.

Prospective students must also submit a 500-word essay explaining why they want to enter the program and some of the issues related to food, cooking, and society that they would like to study. These statements are read carefully by the faculty screening committee to evaluate each applicant’s sense of purpose and fit for the program.

Visit the Graduate Admissions website for more information about requirements and deadlines, as well as instructions for applying online.

This program has the following course requirements, which may be waived for equivalent professional/academic experience or taken as co-reqs in the first terms of the degree. Please contact the admissions coordinator or the program director for more information on possible equivalencies.

CULA 115 Culinary Fundamentals

CULA 125 Foundations of Professional Baking

FDSC 100 ServSafe

FDSC 154 Foods: Ingredients, Interactions, and Formulations

Degree Requirements

Basic Requirements (21 credits)
FDSC 506Food Composition & Behavior3.0
FDSC 550Food Microbiology3.0
FOOD 503Global Cuisine Studio3.0
FOOD 520Culinary Studio3.0
FOOD 605Culture and Gastronomy3.0
FOOD 606The Contemporary Food System3.0
FOOD 801Food Systems Practicum/Project2.0
FOOD 890Seminar in Culinary Arts and Science1.0
Advanced Requirements (9 credits) *9.0
Culinary Arts (select at least 1 of the following)
Kitchen Garden
Foundations of the Hospitality Industry
Culinary Tourism
Food Science (select at least 1 of the following)
Advanced Food Product Development
Functional Foods
Food Engineering
Food Systems (select at least 1 of the following)
Contemporary Social Theory
Campaigns for Health and Environment
Introduction to Science, Technology and Society
Material Culture
Thesis and Electives 15.0
Thesis Research in Culinary Arts and Science
Culinary Arts Electives ††
Global Cuisine Studio
Garde Manger Laboratory
Advanced Studies with a Master Chef
Food Writing
Kitchen Garden
Foundations of the Hospitality Industry
Culinary Tourism
Food Science Electives ††
Research Methods for Food Science
Advanced Food Product Development
Functional Foods
Food Engineering
Sensory Evaluation of Food
Food Systems Electives ††
Contemporary Social Theory
Material Culture
The Body Digital: Biopolitics and Media
Campaigns for Health and Environment
Science Writing
Grant Writing
Sustainability & Public Policy
Introduction to Science, Technology and Society
Research Methods
Material Culture
The Biopolitics of Health
Theoretical and Sociological Aspects of Measurement
Total Credits45.0

Nine (9.0) credits of courses taken in completion of the Advanced Requirements do not count towards the Thesis and Elective Requirement. For example, if FOOD 626 is the only course a student completes under the Culinary Arts Advanced Requirement, it cannot count towards the 15.0 credits of Electives. However, if a student takes both FOOD 626 and HRM 501, this will count as 3.0 credits towards Electives.


Students who elect to pursue the Thesis option should plan to complete 9.0 credits of FOOD 699 Thesis Research in Culinary Arts and Science, and select 6.0 credits from the list of suggested electives.

The presence of a course on this list does not guarantee that it will be offered during any particular term. Some courses are offered at faculty discretion or only once every several years.  


Graduate students in the MS Culinary Arts and Science program may take other electives from across Drexel University with prior approval from the Director of the MS Program in Culinary Arts and Science. Unless otherwise noted, these courses may not be repeated for credit.

Sample Plan of Study

First Year
FOOD 6053.0FDSC 5063.0FOOD 6063.0
FOOD 5203.0FOOD 5033.0Food Science Elective3.0
Food Systems Elective3.0Food Systems Elective3.0Food Systems or Culinary Arts Elective3.0
 9 9 9
Second Year
FDSC 5503.0FOOD 8012.0 
FOOD 8901.0Thesis or Food Science Elective*3.0 
Thesis or Culinary Arts Elective*3.0Food Systems or Culinary Arts Elective3.0 
Thesis or Food Systems Elective*3.0  
 10 8 
Total Credits 45

Students pursuing the Thesis option will generally take 6.0 credits of thesis research in the first quarter of their second year, and 3.0 credits the second quarter; however, if necessary in order to pursue desired electives this order can be modified by working with the Program Director or an advisor.

Culinary Arts & Science Faculty

Jonathan Deutsch, PhD (New York University). Professor. Social and cultural aspects of food, culinary education, culinary improvisation, recipe and product development; food sustainability.
Richard Pepino Executive Chef. Culinary fundamentals, Advanced culinary techniques
Jasreen Sekhon, PhD (Oklahoma State). Associate Clinical Professor. utilization of industrial food waste, with specialization in value added processing, co-product utilization, process development, food chemistry and studying the effect of processing on the quality of food products
Michael Traud, EdD (Villanova University) Program Director, Hospitality and Tourism Management. Associate Clinical Professor. Implementation of Korean Cuisine in the United States; hospitality law; Italian cuisine.
Rosemary Trout, DHSc (Drexel University) Program Director, Culinary Arts and Food Science. Assistant Clinical Professor. Food safety and sanitation in food service and food manufacturing; sensory evaluation, ingredient functionality and food chemistry, food media.
Michael Tunick, PhD (Temple University). Assistant Clinical Professor. Dairy and Cheese science, rheology, Sensory science, Food chemistry and engineering
Charles Ziccardi, MS (Drexel University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Classic Italian cuisine, Italian culture, gardening for the kitchen, food sustainability, and professional hospitality management.

Emeritus Faculty

A. Philip Handel, PhD (University of Massachusetts). Professor Emeritus. Food science, especially lipid chemistry; food composition and functionality; evaluation and analysis of frying fats and fried foods.
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