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Graduate Degrees - Food Science and Human Nutrition Masters Degree

M.S. Degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition

The area of Food Science and Human Nutrition in the School of Food and Agriculture provides students with the opportunity to obtain a M.S. degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition and a Ph.D. in Food and Nutrition Sciences, an interdisciplinary program.

The faculty and staff in Food Science and Human Nutrition conducts both basic and applied research, using human and animal nutrition models, as well as studies in the areas of fruit and vegetable products, food safety, seafood quality and product development. Competence in a foreign language is not required for a M.S. degree, but may be required of Ph.D. candidates.

Students may opt to focus their coursework in food science, human nutrition, or a combination of the disciplines. Thesis and non-thesis options are available. The Dietetic Internship may be pursued in combination with any of these options.

Applicants selecting the Food Science area must have successfully completed undergraduate training with either a major or minor in one of the biological or physical sciences. Those selecting the Human Nutrition area should have an undergraduate degree in nutrition (or approved by the American Dietetic Association), human ecology, chemistry, biochemistry, or in an appropriate combination of biological sciences with courses in nutrition, biochemistry and human physiology. Applicants with inadequate preparation are expected to make up these deficiencies in addition to degree course-work.

The Food Science and Human Nutrition thesis options for a Master of Science degree require:

  • 30 credit hour minimum, typically taking two years to complete
  • 12 credit hours of FSN formal coursework minimum, with no more than 4 credits at the 400 level, exclusive of seminars and special problems
  • 2 credit hours graduate seminar, FSN 571 and FSN 671
  • no more than 6 credits as FSN 581
  • minimum GPA of 3.0 for graduation

The non-thesis option Master of Science degree requirements are the same as those listed above except for:

  • 36 credit hour minimum, typically taking two years to complete
  • 15 credit hours of FSN formal coursework minimum, with no more than 4 credits at the 400 level, exclusive of seminars and special problems
  • no thesis

An M.S. program in Food Science and Human Nutrition may include supporting courses from the Departments of Biological Engineering; Biochemistry,Microbiology, Molecular Biology; Biological Sciences; Resource Economics and Policy; Mathematics and Statistics; Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences; and the Colleges of Business, Public Policy and Health and Education and Human Development.
The student’s program is planned in accordance with needs for competence according to the Food Science and Human Nutrition faculty areas of expertise. Graduate thesis research is under the supervision of the student’s major professor in the area of the student’s interest. Current research includes projects directed toward community nutrition, trace mineral and lipid nutrition, diet assessment, health benefits of phytochemicals, development of improved procedures for the prediction and control of food quality and safety, extrusion technology, product development, and sensory evaluation.

The area of Food Science and Human Nutrition is located in a newly constructed addition to Hitchner Hall. A new chemical food safety laboratory contains state-of-the-art equipment. Research facilities are equipped for food safety and microbiology, food composition and food quality evaluation. A Consumer Testing Center offers computerized sensory evaluation services. A pilot plant for processing fruits and vegetables, seafood and dairy products is available on site. There is a fully-equipped laboratory for food product preparation, and several research laboratories for applied human studies or animal research. Special facilities and equipment are available in the College and University, including atomic absorption spectrophotometers, electron microscopes, and an animal care facility.


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