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.

  • Introductory Course & Examination ($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.
  • Certified Sommelier Examination ($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.
  • Deductive Tasting Workshop ($395 US) is a one-day workshop geared towards students preparing for the Certified or Advanced level examinations. The workshop is an elective, not a mandatory program.
  • Advanced Course ($795 US) is a three-day educational program to prepare for the Advanced Examination, mandatory to enroll in the Advanced Examination and valid for three years.
  • Advanced Examination ($795 US) three-day examination.
  • Masters Theory Examination ($795 US) Candidates must pass the theory portion of the Masters Examinations before submitting intent for the Practical and Tasting portions of the Examination.
  • Masters Practical & Tasting Examination $795 US per portion or $1500 US for any two portions.


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:

For general inquiries contact Kady Domingos at
For in-house Introductory Courses and/or upper level programs please contact Kathleen Lewis, Executive Director, 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.


Please check the applications page for the current Introductory Courses and Certified Examinations dates and locations.


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