Courses & Schedules Overview

The title of Master Sommelier is reserved for individuals who successfully complete all four levels of the Court of Master Sommeliers’ educational program.  The Master Sommelier distinction is the only internationally recognized credential for individuals in the beverage sales and service fields.

Please review the Demeanor of the Professional Sommelier as a guideline for industry professionals.

 There are four program levels to becoming a Master Sommelier.

  • Level I ($525 US) is the Introductory Course & Exam which includes a fast paced review for a day and a half with a theory exam at the end of the second day. Those who pass receive a certificate of completion and a pin designating success. Candidates should have been employed in wine service for a minimum of three years, although this is not mandatory to enter the Introductory Course.
  • Level II ($325 US) is the Certified Sommelier Exam, a one-day exam only with no classroom work. Candidates are encouraged to take some time to prepare between the Level I Introductory Course and taking the Level II Certified Exam. In most cities where both the Level I & II are offered, the Certified Exam is a day prior to the Introductory Course as we are targeting the Certified for those candidates who have previously passed the Introductory Course and have had time to prepare.
  • Level III  is the Advanced Sommelier Course ($795 US) & the Advanced Sommelier Exam ($795 US)
  • Level IV ($795 US per portion or $1500 US for any two portions) is the Master Sommelier Diploma Exam.
Additional program information can be found by selecting the link below.

Application Info

All Introductory Sommelier Courses and Certified Exams are filled on a first come, first served basis. The Advanced Course applications are subject to the decision of the selection committee and will be based on merit and preparedness. The Advanced Exam is based on merit, preparedness and letters of recommendation.


You must be qualified to register for these courses and exams. A minimum of three years in the wine/service industry is strongly recommended for the Introductory Course.

Candidates must have passed the Introductory Course Exam to enroll for the Certified Exam.

Entrance into the Advanced Course and the Advanced Exam is via a selection process of the Court of Master Sommelier's academic admissions committee. You must have passed the Introductory and Certified Exams and have at least three (3) years minimum experience, five (5) years suggested, in the front-of-the-house restaurant service industry.

The Master Sommelier Diploma Exam is by invitation only after successful completion of the Advanced Exam.

It is our expectation that candidates will professionally refer to themselves, for example, on a resume or business card, only by that level which they have successfully completed. With that, we expect no professional reference to a level to which they may or may not be a candidate. Nor can candidates at any level use the Court of Master Sommeliers logo on professional or personal material.

General Program Inquiries:

Contact Kady Domingos at
For in-house program or upper level programs Kathleen Lewis, Exectutive Director, can be reached at or (707) 255-5056 x11.

Replacement Pins and Certificates:

Please email with your name, mailing address, level of pin or certificate to be replaced and exam year.


Below are some locations the Court has conducted programs. Please check the applications page for the current Introductory Courses and Certified Examinations dates and locations.

 "Red" Pins - 2012 program locations             "Yellow" Pins- program locations the CMS has conducted in the past


Courses Overview
Read an overview of Master Sommelier courses. Click here
Why should you  become a Master Sommelier? Click here
CMS Scholarships
Learn more about our scholarship program and application details. Click here