Diploma Overview

American Wine School is an Approved Program Provider for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and the only Diploma center in the mid west. This is a specialist qualification where detailed knowledge is combined with commercial factors and a thorough system for the professional evaluation of wines and spirits. The WSET® Level 4 Diploma in Wines aims to provide specialist product knowledge and understanding of the global and domestic markets for wines and develop a candidate’s ability to present information in a format suitable for business. The total study time required to earn the WSET® Level 4 Diploma in Wines award is (at a minimum) approximately 600 hours. The program is divided into 6 units each focusing on a specific aspect of the wine business and typically takes 18 months to 2 years+ to complete the program. Read more


The American Wine School Diploma Program 

The American Wine School offers WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines as a multi-media, hybrid course. Each unit includes a mix of online quizzes, activities, virtual classes as well as live tastings in Chicago after each exam. Each unit has an e-book containing the course content. Candidates are encouraged to read the e-book and take notes during their studies. Diploma is a journey that requires students to work independently. The exams are all written and three of the six units have blind tastings, too. This requires students to do much of the studying on their own time. The AWS offers instruction and support in the following ways:

  • WSET Global Online Classroom – this online program is offered by the WSET Online Classroom in London. Upon registering for the first unit (D1), students will automatically be registered with WSET (good for 3 years) and enrolled in the D1 Wine Production course with the WSET online classroom. While there are no set class times or lectures associated with WSET online Diploma courses, a WSET online tutor will guide students through activities, videos, and quizzes to keep you moving through the program. Students can access this information anytime during the course. The online courses are part of WSET’s Global Classroom with students from all over the world participating. The coursework offered during this program is designed to help you think critically to prepare you for your exam. While feedback is provided, the activities and mock exam are not part of your final grade. Instead, these activities are to be used as study aids to check your learning.
  • AWS Virtual Classroom – To supplement the work in the WSET Global Classroom, the AWS offers both synchronous and asynchronous virtual lectures. All Virtual classes are recorded so candidates can watch them again or catch up on a missed class. Depending on the timing of your registration, some lectures will only be available as recordings. These lectures are identical to our face-to-face classroom lectures. Please note the AWS lectures are separate from the WSET Global Classroom and are designed to supplement the material included in the Diploma e-book.
  • Mock Exam Feedback – at the end of a unit, the AWS offers mock exam feedback to help you get a better understanding of what is expected to pass the exam.
  • Tasting Portfolio – the AWS encourages candidates to keep a tasting portfolio throughout their Diploma journey. One-on-one tasting feedback will be given as you move through the program. Submitting tasting notes and receiving feedback is an important part of student learning and is highly encouraged. Students will be responsible for securing wines for units requiring tasting (D3, D4, D5).
  • Live Tasting Days – After each exam in Chicago, we offer live, in-person tastings to help candidate hone their tasting skills and prepare for the next unit. The AWS will provide the wines for the in-person tasting days.

Where to Start

The Diploma is only open to those who have earned the WSET Level 3 Award in Wine certificate. Qualified candidates may begin their Diploma Diploma journey by registering for the first, mandatory unit – D1 Wine Production. The D1 course fee also includes registration with WSET in London, which is good for 3 years. After sitting the exam, candidates may take the rest of the Diploma Units in any order. That said, it is highly suggested that candidates take D2 The Global Business of Wine immediately following D1 as together they form the foundation of the Diploma program.


D1 Wine Production (registration deadline May 28th)

D1 WSET Global Classroom

Aug 9- Sept 19, 2021

D1 AWS Virtual Zoom Lectures

Sept 20th  (Diploma Launch), Virtual Lectures Sept 27,  Oct 4, 11, 18, 2021 6pm – 8pm CST

D1 Exam

Oct 30th, 2021 at 6pm CST Sofitel, 20 E. Chestnut Street, Chicago

(We will present a Wine Tasting after the exam. Please plan to stay an hour after the exam.)



D2 The Business of Wine (registration deadline Aug 6, 2021)

D2 WSET Global Classroom

Aug 16 – Sept 26, 2021

D2 AWS Virtual Zoom Lectures

Oct 4, 11, 18, 2021 6pm – 8pm CST

D2 Exam

Oct 27th, 2021 at 11:30am Sofitel, 20 E. Chestnut Street, Chicago

(We will present a Sparkling Wine Tasting after the exam to prep you for D4. Please plan to stay a few extra hours after the exam.)

If you have any questions or are in need of further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at info@americanwineschool.com