Chatham University

Master of Arts in Food Studies (MAFS) Student Resources

Q: What Can You Do With a Degree in Food Studies?

A: Almost anything related to food and agriculture.

In general, people who come to a graduate program in Food Studies need to be good communicators, community advocates, and self-starters - basically folks who can imagine places where the food system could be improved and place themselves in that role. One of the most exciting things about the good food world is that there so much opportunity to create meaningful work for yourself and maybe even for others too.

So how do you figure out how to fashion your own perfect good food job? Good food can't be separated from a particular place and community. Having a clear set of skills to bring to the table - say cheese-making, or writing, or community organizing - is great, but this program also helps you cultivate relationships in the kinds of places where graduates want to work. This helps students understand how their talents and interests can fit into what's needed in your food system and it encourages potential employers to see what they need in terms of assistance with sustainability and food system viability.

The Chatham MAFS broadens students' existing skills while providing them with an excellent background and practical experience in food-related businesses, non-profits, and organizations. The program provides students with internships in a vast array of potential employment sites, including local farm organizations and advocacy groups, food production companies, non-profit food organizations, publishers, public relations and marketing firms, magazines, food distributors,food producers and educational institutions, as well as agriculture and food professionals who work in them and enrich the program by serving as adjunct faculty and guest lecturers. The experiential learning components at the Eden Hall Campus include sustainable agriculture, food and agricultural labs, culinary arts skills which give Chatham graduates a great range of abilities.

Potential employment sites include

Non-profits:

  • Consulting on food justice, security, and sustainable community development
  • Local food system mapping and historic preservation (land, agriculture, food heritage)
  • Food security and policy, anti-hunger organizations
  • Urban development
  • Farm-to-table
  • Education: farm-to-school programs
  • Fair trade advocacy and oversight

Businesses:

  • Sustainable farm-to-table consulting for food production companies, restaurants, small businesses, farms, and other producers
  • Sustainable and heritage culinary education and product development
  • Green marketing
  • Urban and rural planning related to local food systems and economic infrastructure growth
  • Ethnic entrepreneurship and women's business development
  • Neighborhood development and economic preservation
  • Geographical indicator promotion
  • Food operations and distribution

Communications:

  • Food writing/publishing
  • Web development and other online food sites
  • Public relations and marketing (particularly sustainably-oriented restaurants, lobby groups, and promotional organizations)
  • Regional promotion and development
  • Policy and advocacy work

Government:

  • Local and regional development
  • Community-building organizations
  • Fair trade regulation
  • NGO work