Miami University
Brewing Industry Field Study

Applications For
J-Term 2025
will open soon!

We estimate applications will open as soon as early March, 2024.

Spots will fill up VERY quickly, so sign up to get program updates today, and be the first to know.

Not old enough? Don’t have enough credits yet?  Don’t worry. We run this program every year. 

SIGN UP TO GET PROGRAM UPDATES  now, and you’ll be on the early notification list for next year.

FAQ

This is a capstone-level, experiential, study-away program geared specifically for FSB students (although it can work for non-business students as well). The idea is to do an extensive, deep dive into an industry to experience how it works and apply all the concepts you have learned during your time at Miami.

The brewing industry is an ideal context for this because it is..

  • Extremely Diverse: The variety of firms in terms of size, function, place in the supply chain, markets they serve, etc is incredibly broad.
  • Extremely Dynamic: This industry has been marked by constant change since the advent of the craft beer revolution in the late 80s and early 90s. Not only do new companies and products enter and leave the industry all the time, but the industry itself is constantly evolving and being shaped and reshaped.

It’s also a lot of fun. The trip is filled with once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and you will discover some of the best breweries and most interesting beers being made in America today.

You must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for this program:

  • You must be at least 21 years old by January 2, 2025.
  • You must be in good standing academically (and in terms of disciplinary history) and have a minimum GPA of 2.5
  • To get capstone credit from this program, you must have completed at least 93 credit hours by the end of the Fall 2024 semester.

Not old enough? Don’t have enough credits yet? Don’t worry. We run this program every year. SIGN UP TO GET PROGRAM UPDATES now you’ll be on the early notification list for next year.

We will be traveling to multiple locations (Cincinnati, Dayton, Denver, CO and Asheville, NC areas) to do the following activities…

  • Field Work –visits to breweries, distributors, retailers, hop farms, yeast labs, malt houses, industry groups, etc. We will make planned visits to roughly 40 companies as a group, and there will also be lots of time for you to visit roughly 20 additional companies exploring on your own with your classmates.
  • Discipline-specific Classroom and Project Work – roughly 30% of the program will be spent working specifically within the disciplines of the two courses you choose to take (Strategy/Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Supply Chain).
  • Lab Work – we will be getting our hands dirty doing a lot of the actual work professionals in this field do (making beer, new product design, packaging, sensory analysis, etc.) Much of this lab work will happen in the Fall semester sessions before we leave for our trip.
  • Having Fun! – Most evenings, you will be free for you to explore the cities we are visiting.

The program includes three 3 credit hour, 400-level business courses. You will choose any combination of two of these courses that meets your interests and needs (for a total of 6 credit hours).

MGT495/ESP490Prof Conger teaches this course which is cross-listed as MGT495 which is the strategy capstone and ESP490 which is an entrepreneurship elective.

  • The MGT495 version can satisfy the capstone requirement for most FSB students (NOTE: There are cases where this is NOT true, most notably, this course does NOT satisfy the capstone requirement for a major in Marketing. See the note in red below).
  • The ESP 490 version can count as an elective for students in the Entrepreneurship co-major. With additional work and deliverables, students can complete their ESP 401 requirement which can apply to the ESP co-major, minor and some certificate programs.

MKT415 – Prof Stenstrom teaches this course which is the “Marketing to Organizations” course.

  • This can satisfy a 400-level elective for Marketing students
  • This can also count as a supply chain elective for SCOM majors/minors.

MGT490Prof Salzarulo teaches this course which is the “Special Topics in Supply Chain” course.

  • This can satisfy a 400-level elective and substitute for MKT412 for Supply Chain majors/minors.

IMPORTANT:

Information listed on this website is NOT comprehensive.  You should refer to Miami’s course catalog and consult with your academic advisor to make sure you have all the necessary details about these courses.

Which requirements each of these classes fulfill for you WILL vary. You should consult your academic advisor to figure out what combination of courses is best for you.

Also, Chanelle White (chanelle.white@miamioh.edu) who is the Director of the FSB Advising Office, and  Ben Palmer (palmerba@miamioh.edu), who is the Senior Academic Advisor in the advising office are very familiar with the program and is available to help you (and/or help your advisor help you).

We will meet for pre-program sessions roughly one evening per week between Oct-Dec 2024. We can figure out how to work around other class obligations that may come up. We will also have opportunities on some weekends to have some unique brewing experiences, so you’ll want to plan for these.

We will be traveling together, and working all day, every day throughout the 2025 J-Term (roughly 3 full weeks).  Every day will be very full.  You should not plan on taking other courses (not even online courses), working part-time jobs, taking breaks/side-trips, etc during this time period.  This trip will take 100% of your time.

There are two basic costs of the program.

Tuition – this is the Winter term tuition rate for the 6 total credit hours you will get through this program. This cost varies based on cohort year and in/out of state status (in all cases, the FSB surcharge also applies).

You can consult OneStop to find out the details…

  1. Go to OneStop: https://www.miamioh.edu/onestop/paying-for-college/costs/oxford-campus/undergrad-fall-2016
  2. Choose your cohort from the menu on the left
  3. Choose “Winter/Summer Term Per Credit Hour)
Also, take note that all the courses in this program are FSB courses, so any FSB course fees apply.

Program Fee – this fee covers all the additional costs of the program including…

  • All travel costs (This includes all airfare and ground transportation for the entire trip.)
  • All housing costs while outside of Oxford (We will stay together in hotels for the entire trip. You will have a roommate.)
  • Roughly 1/2 of Meals (Breakfast will be included every day at our hotels. Roughly half of our lunches/dinners will be at host companies on our tour – these will be paid for by the program.)
  • Other program costs such as tour fees, apparel, membership to the Brewers Association, etc.

The program budget will be determined prior to applications opening in the Spring 2024 semester. We estimate the program fee for J-Term 2025 will be approximately $3,000-$3,500.  HOWEVER, THIS NUMBER HAS NOT BEEN FINALIZED YET. The official fee amount will be available when the application site opens.

You will need to put down a $1000 deposit on this program fee upon acceptance to the program.  The remaining balance is due in the Fall semester (see details in the “how do I apply?” section below).  After that point, the program fee is non-refundable (but tuition is refundable) if you have to pull out of the program. The deposit is always non-refundable.

NOTE: Actual costs will vary based on program capacity, fuel costs, etc. It will never go OVER the program fee you agree to upon committing to the program, but any money we do not spend will be refunded to you.

Other Costs – Any/all costs beyond those specifically noted above are yours to cover out-of-pocket. In the past several years, students have told us they spend roughly $500-$1,000 total on these expenses. Some of these expenses are necessities (i.e. meals) but the amount you spend on this is largely discretionary, and students report spending at least half of this total cost on non-meal expenses (e.g. nightlife, off-hours recreation, etc.)  The expenses outside of tuition and program fee students typically incur include…

  • Meals not covered by the program fee – This is roughly 1/2 of your meals on the trip, usually evening meals.  Also, during long tour days, often our only opportunity for lunch are quick fast-food stops. There are grocery stores within easy walking distance of all of our hotels, so this is also a very viable option for meals. Also, many students find they make more day-to-day purchases while on the road than they would in their normal routine (most notably: Starbucks.) (Students reported spending anywhere from $400-$700 on these expenses.)
  • Purchasing products at host locations (beer, merchandise, etc.) – There is an opportunity to sample products at many of our tour locations.  Often our hosts will provide samples free of charge, but not always.  Also, many students choose to try additional beers which they purchase. Finally, it is important to recognize that craft beer is a premium product that ranges widely in price, and is often 2-5 times more expensive than mass-produced products from big beverage companies. Sampling beer is an acceptable and integral part of the experience of this program, but it is NEVER required, and any decision to purchase products at any tour location is entirely up to you. Also, many students enjoy buying merchandise (shirts, hats, glassware, stickers, etc) from many of the breweries we visit as mementos of the trip. This can, obviously, add up. (Students reported spending anywhere from $100-$500 on these expenses.)
  • Evening recreation (nightlife, etc.)  – Each of our hotels are in vibrant cities and 5 – 40min distance from myriad restaurants, clubs, bars, music venues, sports arenas, arcades, bowling alleys, theaters, etc. All of these options are open to you on virtually every evening after our program activities for the day are complete. Obviously, the sky is the limit on how much you can spend on these activities, so this varies A LOT between students. (Students reported spending anywhere from $150-$400 on these expenses.)

UPDATED: 1/30/2024

Here are the relevant dates you need to know (All are approximate at this time. Watch this space for updates.)..

  • Application Site Opens: Late March – Early April, Spring 2024 semester (exact date TBD.) Deposit of $1000 (which applies toward your program fee) will be required immediately upon application acceptance in order to guarantee your seat.
  • Priority Application Window: Roughly between Spring Break and the end of the Spring 2024 semester.
  • Late Application Window: Roughly between early Summer and September 2024.
  • Final Fee Balance Deadline: The remainder of your program fee (less the $1000 deposit already paid) will be due roughly around Oct-Nov 2024.

PLEASE NOTE: This program tends to be very popular and fills up quickly. Although the application window will be open for several months, we expect seats will fill up within a month of the applications being opened (perhaps much faster.)  It’s very important that you be ready to act quickly and have a clear strategy for how to make it happen.  SEE the “How do I maximize the chances of my application being accepted?” section below.

Spots in this program are limited and there is frequently a long waitlist. In order to maximize the chances of your application being accepted, you need to be ready to act quickly and have a clear strategy for how to make it happen.

THE BEST STRATEGY FOR SUCCESSFULLY SECURING YOUR SPOT IN THIS PROGRAM IS…

BEFORE THE APPLICATION OFFICIALLY OPENS (see “How do I apply and what is the deadline?” section above.)

  • GET ON THE LIST FOR PROGRAM UPDATES NOW – Sign up HERE to get on our mailing list for program updates (this does not obligate you in any way) and be notified as soon as any new information is available.
  • PREPARE TO APPLY NOW – Do and figure out everything you need to make a decision about this program BEFORE the application window opens so you can pull the trigger when the time comes.
    • Assess your graduation requirements – Talk to your academic advisor. Figure out how the courses offered in this program can work for you and what boxes they can tick for you. Figure out your plan for your 2024-25 school year classes, and how these J-Term courses fit into that plan.
    • Assess your finances – Talk to your parents. Talk to the financial aid office. Review the “How much does it cost?” section above.  Make sure you have cash available to put down the $1,000 deposit immediately upon your application being accepted.
    • Write your essay: The application will include a required essay telling us why you should be in this program. This is one of the MOST important pieces of the application. I’ve made a short video explaining a bit more about what we are looking for. You can find it here – https://youtu.be/0j4o36afWig. You should not wait until you are ready to submit the application to do this. Do this NOW so you are ready to submit it with your application as soon as the application window opens.

AS SOON AS THE APPLICATION SITE OFFICIALLY OPENS

  • MAKE SURE YOU COMPLETE THE ENTIRE APPLICATION: The application itself includes multiple steps and components.  It is easy to overlook some of the small details if you don’t pay close attention. Double (or triple) check your application, make sure it is complete, AND make sure you have absolutely clear confirmation that it was submitted successfully after submit.
  • SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION RIGHT AWAY: You should complete and submit your application absolutely as soon as you have the opportunity to do so.  We consider all applications holistically, but as soon as we determine an applicant meets the requirements and is a good fit for the program, we accept their application immediately. Seats can fill up in as little as a few weeks (or even days). Your very best chance to get a seat is to act quickly.

WHILE YOU WAIT FOR YOUR APPLICATION TO BE PROCESSED (This usually takes a few days but can take longer… The bottleneck is typically waiting for the Dean of Students’ office review of your disciplinary record)

  • KEEP TABS ON YOUR APPLICATION’S PROGRESS: Return to the application website and check the status of your application frequently. Be ready to answer any questions, submit missing paperwork, and most importantly – to take action as soon as possible if you are accepted.
  • BE READY TO DO AN INTERVIEW IF NEEDED: If anything comes up on your disciplinary record check, you may need to have a brief interview with the program director to determine if this disqualifies you from participating in the program.  If this interview needs to happen, the director will reach out to you directly. You should be ultra-responsive to this request so the interview can be scheduled ASAP.  If you are slow, seats may be full before your application can be processed.

AS SOON AS YOUR APPLICATION IS ACCEPTED

As soon as your application has been reviewed and we have determined you are qualified and a good fit for the program, we will set it to “accepted/approved” status.  HOWEVER, your seat in the program IS NOT SECURED UNTIL YOU HAVE COMPLETED BOTH OF THE FOLLOWING…

  • COMPLETE POST-ACCEPTANCE PAPERWORK: Go back into the application and complete ALL of the remaining paperwork. (This will set your application status to “committed.)
  • PAY YOUR DEPOSIT: This is absolutely critical… ONLY after your $1,000 deposit is paid and confirmed by the Global Initiatives office is your seat in the program guaranteed.  You should do this within 48hrs of your application being accepted.  We will NOT hold your seat after that, so if others complete the process in the meantime, they may take your seat.

THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS

  • KEEP YOUR NOSE CLEAN: Your disciplinary record is another VERY important factor in determining whether you will be accepted to this program. We take safety, responsibility, and professionalism very, VERY seriously in this program. Anything in any person’s history that could negatively affect these things (illegal activity, alcohol/drug-related incidents, and certainly any dangerous/violent behavior would all be a major concern for us.) It is possible to be accepted with an alcohol-related incident on your record, but we will need strong evidence that part of your history is not an ongoing reason for concern that may affect this trip. Current or recent incidents on your record will make it extremely hard for us to accept you. Likewise, if you are accepted and subsequent issues arise between acceptance and when we go on the trip, it is very likely that acceptance would be withdrawn. The bottom line is… be responsible, be safe, and keep your record clean if you want to be a part of this program.
  • It is our expectation that we will be able to travel together as a group in the 2025 J-Term without significant restrictions. We were able to travel for the 2022, 2023, and 2024 J-Terms, so we have very good reason to believe 2025 will also be a good year for travel. HOWEVER, it is possible that ongoing restrictions will force us to make unforeseen changes. We will do our best to keep all prospective participants informed of any possibilities of change to the program as soon as possible if and when they become necessary. We have built in alternative plans to run the program with travel restrictions or even fully online if absolutely necessary… Students can expect a well-planned and high-quality experience regardless of the format.
  • Our first and overriding priority is and always will be to keep all students, staff, and faculty as well as people at the businesses we visit safe. We will be following the guidelines of public health agencies (CDC, Butler/Hamilton County Health, etc.) to determine whether we are able to do any/all program activities in-person. We will follow Miami’s Healthy Together guidelines for an activities we do in-person.

Get in touch with the program director, Prof. Eric Stenstrom (stenstep@miamioh.edu).