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Old 04-26-2011, 01:00 AM   #1
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Default The Ongoing Saga of My "Brewing Degree".

I originally posted this in the DRMM forum, but decided to move the discussion here so I can keep it going.

I recently switched to a working adult-oriented college of the State University of New York, Empire State College. This college offers mentor-guided, independent study degrees, which can be tailored to many different disciplines. I asked, and received approval for an Interdisciplinary Bachelors of Arts in Brewing. Sounds crazy, but it's true.

I started putting my degree plan together today. I'm looking for ideas for areas of study. Where better to find inspiration than here? I literally have to create the classes, which will then be refined and approved by the university staff and my mentor.

I need to put together 45 high level credits to finish my degree. I'm thinking 25 in Brewing History, 10 in Brewing Science, and 10 in Business.

History is going to be broken down regionally, politically and socially.

Science is going to focus on principles of fermentation, ingredients and styles.

Business is going to focus on laws, marketing, and structure of brewing companies/corporations.

From there, I have to choose specific areas of study that are worthy of high level college credit. I know this sounds crazy, but it is legit. This school offers much more traditional degree paths, but to get something that says "brewing" on it, I have to create it myself and have it approved.

Any suggestions?

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Old 04-26-2011, 01:08 AM   #2
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For science I think you should get some yeast biology. If you are considering starting your own brewery I think your business classes should include some accounting, business management, etc.

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Old 04-26-2011, 01:11 AM   #3
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and why so heavy on the brew history? Brewstorian.... More science and def yeast bio as blizzard already suggested.

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Old 04-26-2011, 01:14 AM   #4
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Sounds great! Nice to see you applying yourself for something you really want to do. I do have a suggestion though. Being a scientist, I think of brewing as it's own kind of science. All it really is, is a mix between chemistry and biology. With that said, I would definitely take the history credits down to 10 and split that extra 15 up between the science and business. I think that would help you out more in the future then knowing a little more of the history.

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Old 04-26-2011, 01:22 AM   #5
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I actually agree with you guys on the science aspect, but the reason I am leaning against that is because when it comes down to it, this degree won't carry the same weight as one from say, UC Davis, even if I do all 45 credits in science/laboratory topics. So I'd rather focus on topics which I have a much better chance of getting approved for credit.

Maybe up the business aspects with a concentration on brewing/selling laws?

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Old 04-26-2011, 01:47 AM   #6
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on the business side i'd go for accounting 1&2, marketing, business law, strategic planning, and economics (preferable micro-economics). Have you checked out the brewing schools for what their programs are structured like? That might give you some ideas on what to take. One of my friends did his bachelors through empire state college and it worked out pretty good for him.

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Old 04-26-2011, 01:55 AM   #7
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I would seriously consider some accounting and/or finance classes in there.

Every university should have an introductory econ 101 type class which is usually micro.

Also agree with marketing. Statistics wouldn't hurt either but it seems like it's not a required class for many degrees, even though it ought to be IMO.

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Old 04-26-2011, 02:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buffalobrewer View Post
on the business side i'd go for accounting 1&2, marketing, business law, strategic planning, and economics (preferable micro-economics).
In reference to business, I'm not talking general business classes, but including studies on the specifics of the beer business. Marketing is 100% going to be included, we actually talked about that today. So basically, not classes that one would take when pursuing a business degree, but brewing/beer business specific studies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by buffalobrewer View Post
Have you checked out the brewing schools for what their programs are structured like?
My mentor wants me to get as much info about the UC Davis program as possible, and to attempt to structure my plan similar to that one, minus the laboratory work which is not possible in this case.
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airborneguy View Post
In reference to business, I'm not talking general business classes, but including studies on the specifics of the beer business. Marketing is 100% going to be included, we actually talked about that today. So basically, not classes that one would take when pursuing a business degree, but brewing/beer business specific studies.
Do you already have a background in accounting, finance, and business management?

In most universities you cannot just take whatever class without meeting the prereqs unless you get permission from the professor teaching that class, and for good reason. Undergrad or graduate, no matter what you need to know the fundamentals to understand the context for the more interesting stuff.
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:22 PM   #10
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The only pre-requisites at this school are 9 General Education categories of which a Bachelors student must fill 7. I am finishing my last one this semester. Again, I know it sounds crazy, but its true.

About an hour ago I recieved an email from my mentor detailing some more aspects of how she thinks the history credits will go. Its looking like I will have at least two classes on US brewing history. The first will deal with legal/political aspects from the Whiskey Rebellion to the Post-Prohibition era. The second will deal with the history of immigrant groups and their brewing practices, the establishment of the "Big 3", and technological innovations which were developed by the industry.

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