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You can now gain a master’s degree in brewing beer

Auburn University now offers a master’s degree in brewing science and operations — a first of its kind in the US.

According to the university, its first cohort of 17 students graduated in August 2023 after a master of science element was added in 2021.

Initially, the degree programme began in the autumn of 2015 as a simple graduate certificate, but has since expanded to include the masters.

Speaking about the course, Auburn University’s director of brewing science and operations Clark A. Danderson said: “The most basic requirement is having a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, we select students based on their experience in the craft beer industry and homebrewing. Most of our students have at least some brewing experience or interest in craft beer. It also doesn’t hurt to have some knowledge of biology and chemistry.”

Danderson explained: “We also want students that are highly motivated and can work in a non-traditional educational environment. As our programme is distance-learning, students need to be able to maintain their educational schedule and feel comfortable learning from their personal computer.”

The masters takes two years to complete over six semesters, and yet the graduate certificate can be completed in just one year through Auburn’s Horst Schulze School of Hospitality Management College of Human Sciences. Danderson also pointed out that the masters is exclusively online and works mostly with students who work full-time.

He added: “Our programme allows them to pursue their dreams of succeeding in the craft beer industry without hindering other aspects of their personal and professional lives.”

According to local reports, the university partners with on-campus brewery New Realm Brewing Company, which gives students the opportunity to have a hands-on approach and learn more about the industry.

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