Frequently Asked Questions | UC Davis Extension

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Frequently Asked Questions

When are the Master Brewers and Professional Brewers Certificate programs offered?

Each program is offered once per year. The Master Brewers Program is in session from the end of January to the middle of June. The Professional Brewers Certificate Program is in session from the end of January to the first week of April. The Professional Brewers Certificate Program is taught simultaneously with the first 10 weeks of the Master Brewers Program, so those enrolled in the Master Brewers Program will earn the Professional Brewers Certificate as well.

How do I apply?

You must complete and submit an application online for both the Master Brewers Program and Professional Brewers Certificate Program. Applications are reviewed and accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. All minimum academic prerequisites must be met in advance of applying. Class size is limited. Early application submission is strongly encouraged.

It is the policy of UC Davis Extension to admit students without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, age, disability, or any other factor prohibited by law.

Do I need to be 21 to apply?

Students do not need to be 21 years of age to apply; however, students must be 21 years of age when they begin the Master Brewers Program or Professional Brewers Certificate Program.

What are the prerequisites for the Master Brewers and/or Professional Brewers Certificate programs?

You must be able to provide transcripts documenting successful completion of the math requirement and at least two of the following four subject areas listed below:

  • Mathematics — (i.e., pre-calculus); The brewery engineering program does not require calculus for success, but competent and confident algebra skills are necessary for calculating (e.g., fluid flow and heat exchange). These skills are usually described as "pre-calculus," meaning the most advanced mathematics course before a calculus course. The engineering program provides ample opportunity for computation, and you should not be intimidated by this.
  • Biological sciences — (i.e., biochemistry, microbiology or cell biology); Such courses, along with chemistry, are the foundation of our brewing science studies (e.g., malting, mashing and fermentation), which is about two-thirds of the total effort. You should choose courses that are general in approach, include cell structure and function, cell components (e.g., proteins enzymes and carbohydrates) and the biochemical pathways that drive the life of cells. Students with a good biology background should focus on physics/math preparation.
  • Chemistry — (i.e., second semester offering of general chemistry or beyond); Inorganic chemistry covering the nature of matter (e.g., atoms, chemical bonds, gases, liquids and solids, solutions, colloids and change of state) is useful. A similar introductory course in organic chemistry is also desirable because most all of the molecules relevant to brewing are organic. Ideally, you should understand nomenclature, structure, bonding/bonds and isomerism of organic molecules, and the properties of functional groups on alcohols, esters, organic acids, aldehydes and ketones as these compounds are important in intermediary metabolism and in beer flavor.
  • Physics — Physics is a very useful foundation for our engineering courses, and candidates without engineering course experience should complete some physics coursework. Physics courses on heat (temperature and thermal properties of matter and heat transfer) and mechanics (mechanical properties of matter, motion, work/energy, momentum, gas laws) are useful. Courses on electricity, magnetism and light are not applicable. Process control courses are not a substitute for physics courses, but have their own value for parts of the curriculum.
  • Engineering — Candidates with engineering courses (whether or not a degree was granted) are likely to have adequate physics and math skills and probably a sufficient grasp of chemistry for our program. However, such candidates are often under prepared in biology and should concentrate on biology courses.

Please note: You must take course(s) from an accredited institution and you must receive a passing grade in order for the course(s) to count towards the prerequisite coursework. All minimum prerequisites must be completed in advance of applying. Incomplete applications will not be considered for admission and/or placement on the waitlist.

Do my transcripts need to be official?

No. Unofficial transcripts and/or photocopies of official transcripts will suffice.

How do I transfer credits from another institution?

You will not officially transfer credits to UC Davis Extension. Instead, you will submit a transcript demonstrating successful completion of the academic prerequisites with your application. Your transcript DOES NOT need to be official.

How does the waitlist work?

Applicants who are placed on the waitlist, but are not called to participate in the program during the year for which they applied will automatically roll over to the following year, with the top 35 being guaranteed a position and all others going back on a waitlist. The application will continue to roll until the student is offered a formal position in the program.

How much does the program cost?

Tuition for the 10-week Professional Brewers Certificate Program is $9,800.
Tuition for the 18-week Master Brewers Program is $16,000.
All fees are subject to change.

What does my tuition cover?

The fee includes all textbooks and course materials; and for those enrolled in the Master Brewers Program, it also covers all Institute of Brewing & Distilling fees associated with the Diploma in Brewing Examination.

Is financial aid available for the Master Brewers and/or Professional Brewers Certificate programs?

At this time UC Davis Extension students are not eligible for financial aid based on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), sometimes referred to as Title IV funds, which have requirements UC Davis Extension programs do not meet. However, students in courses and programs offered through UC Davis Extension may be eligible for a tax credit for educational expense, job training funds, alternative student loans (which do not require enrollment in a degree program) or other financial assistance. For more information visit Financing Your Education on the UC Davis Extension website.

What forms of payment are accepted?

UC Davis Extension accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Wire Transfer, checks drawn on a U.S. bank and U.S. money orders. UC Davis Extension is not responsible for any transaction fees. If submitting payment by wire transfer, contact the Student Services department for banking information at or 530.757.8777 or 800.752.0881. Please allocate sufficient time to process wire transfer payments.

Does UC Davis Extension accept VA benefits?

Yes. Veterans of the U.S. military who have available educational benefits can enroll in UC Davis Extension certificate programs and obtain reimbursement from the Veterans Administration. UC Davis Extension has approval under the Veterans Educational Benefits program to allow veterans, their dependents and others who qualify for Veterans Educational Benefits to further their education via one of our certificate programs.
Contact UC Davis Extension to find out if the program that interests you has been approved for G.I. Bill educational benefits, ask questions about the process, or, when you are ready to enroll, contact Diane Bynum Carr, our Veteran Services Coordinator, at (916) 327-0007 or email

Is on-campus housing available for students in the Master Brewers and/or Professional Brewers Certificate programs?

No. On-campus housing is not available to students in either program. Most students rent apartments or homes in Davis or surrounding areas (Woodland, West Sacramento, Sacramento, Dixon). For more information about the Davis community and/or rental properties, please visit:

Do you offer job placement services for graduates of the Master Brewers and/or Professional Brewers Certificate programs?

While we do not offer formal job placement services to the graduates of our programs, we do actively aid students in finding jobs in the brewing industry. For example, each year we publish a booklet that contains the résumés of each student enrolled in the Master Brewers or Professional Brewers Certificate programs for that year. The Résumé Booklet, as it's called, is then mailed to the 3500+ microbreweries in the United States.

In addition, a weekly "Job Postings" email is distributed to the alumni of the Professional Brewing Programs, which lists various job opportunities available in the brewing industry. There are ample opportunities to network with industry representatives during the Master Brewers and Professional Brewers Certificate programs as well.

Is the Master Brewers Program a master's degree program?

No. The Master Brewers Program is not a UC Davis master's degree program. It is an 18-week certificate program. Students who successfully complete the program will be awarded the Professional Brewers Certificate.

Additional questions? Please contact Melissa Marbach, program manager, at 530.757.8734 or