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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Food Service Management

Majors Overview July 19, 2015

Those seeking to supervise casual and fine dining establishments should look for master’s degree programs in food service management. This article talks about those programs and their education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in Food Service Management

Schools often offer master’s degree programs in food service management and restaurant management through their nutrition or hospitality departments. Subject areas covered in these programs include management principles, hospitality theory, safety considerations, and food sanitation laws. Realistic experiences in a food service establishment are available to students enrolled in the program. They may also have to finish a thesis project. Program graduates become adept at overseeing the daily operation of catering services, restaurant chains, and banquet halls, among others.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to a hold a bachelor’s degree in management, hospitality, foodservice or business. They must also submit written transcripts, a proposed study plan, and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.


Program coursework may cover ways of applying management theories to the restaurant and food industries. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Human resources management
•Recreational foodservice management
•Food sanitation
•Global hospitality issues
•Quality service in hospitality
•Restaurant management
•Professional Internship
•Research methods
•Organizational leadership

Job and Wage outlook

In 2012, about 321,400 individuals were employed as food service managers in establishments in the U.S. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a two percent in job opportunities growth in the food service management field has been predicted. The pessimistic projection is due to fewer new restaurants opening during that time compared to previous years. In 2012, food service managers brought in an average annual wage of $47,960 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Few managers in the food service industry have an education higher than a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Managers in the food service industry may seek voluntary certification offered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Passage of a written examination will qualify these professionals to receive a certified Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) designation. Professionals with the FMP designation can seek higher salaries or positions within their current employment.

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