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10 Best Online Master’s Programs in Food Science and Technology

masters in food science onlineNew technology and innovation are sweeping across the landscape causing many industries to change the way they operate. The food industry is no different, and scientists in the field are looking at and using new tools to make sure that our nation stays healthy and aware of the positive and negative effects of different foods and health risks. 

With a master’s degree in Food Science and Technology, you will learn from experienced faculty about new technologies and have opportunities to engage in hands-on projects that will help you become a leader in the food science industry. Teachers provide you with the tools, concepts, frameworks, and critical thinking skills that are essential to success in the field. The online learning environment allows you to study at your convenience while managing a life outside of school. This degree has become more popular over the years and has attracted students from all over the globe to learn about the different health impacts of foods that we eat.

The coursework for the food science and technology degree is rigorous and demanding. You will learn about how to keep up with the competition that is out there along with new technologies and innovation that help with food processing and analysis. Additionally, a degree in this field will prepare you to work in any aspect you desire in food production and development, teaching you a variety of disciplines in chemistry, biology, nutrition, and chemical engineering. 

With a master’s degree in Food Science and Technology, you open yourself up to a large array of job opportunities. According to Glassdoor, some of the jobs that you can pursue with this degree include the following:

  • food technologist
  • nutritional therapist
  • quality manager
  • microbiologist
  • scientific laboratory technician
  • safety inspector
  • public health educator

Getting a master’s degree can be a monumental step in your life. In 1970, a mere 200,000 Americans held a degree higher than a bachelor’s. Today, more than 20 million individuals hold a master’s degree, according to the latest U.S. Census data. That is up 22% from what it was in 2000 for adults over the age of 25. This the future of education; students are more competitive than ever before and know that getting a graduate degree can separate them from the competition. A master’s in Food Science and Technology program also puts you in line for a doctorate degree, which more and more students are pursuing every year. 

Online education has made getting advanced degrees easier, allowing students to work on class modules and projects at times that work for them. Students can study full time or part-time, allowing them to study when they can, not when you have to. You can meet virtually with your professor online and collaborate with your peers through discussion forums and video conferencing. Getting a master’s degree has never been easier and more flexible.

Many of the programs below include a research thesis as a mandatory requirement to graduate, while some programs require a project and comprehensive examination in its place. Courses will also focus on biological sciences and chemical sciences, and their impacts in nutritional science. Specializations are offered with many of the degrees, allowing you to study the areas you are most interested in.

Below, we go over some of the things you can expect when applying for a master’s degree, such as tuition, scholarship information, and financial aid. We also wanted to give you an idea of what to expect as far as salary expectations go and the overall benefits of earning a degree from one of the Top 10 Online Master’s Programs in Food Science and Technology.

COMMON APPLICATION AND ADMISSION QUESTIONS

Getting a master’s degree in Food Science and Technology requires that a lot of time and effort are put into your studies. Online learning may be more convenient, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to be any less rigorous as far as the work goes. Maximum effort must be put in from the very beginning, and this includes the application process. The top schools on our list don’t just accept anyone. Your resume, your personal statement, your application, and answering any essay questions factor heavily and deserve a great deal of attention because they can separate you from the competition and give you a stronger chance of getting accepted into these programs.

The best advice we can give you is to be creative. When you write your essay and/or cover letter, make yours stand out. What makes you unique? What story do you have to tell that will help you showcase your strengths? Consider sharing an anecdote from a life-changing experience or a moment in your life that would help show admissions departments why you deserve a spot in their graduate program. 

As you apply, make sure you have all the documentation you need to submit your application to the school. In our descriptions of the schools below, we highlighted some of the critical documents that each school requires as part of their admissions requirements. However, we strongly advise you to contact a counselor from the university you’re applying to so you can be sure you have everything you need. Put together a checklist so you are organized during the application stage. Most importantly, know your deadlines, and make sure you get everything in before the due date.

Most schools that offer this degree will require you to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), so if you haven’t taken it already, it would be a good idea to start studying and sign up for it. Some schools do have waivers if you meet the proper grade point average (GPA) requirements. Some offer what’s called a “plus one” plan, in which students complete their undergraduate and graduate degrees at once, so those don’t require a GRE.

Most schools will also require the submission of a professional and detailed resume. Make sure that you are as thorough as possible in describing your professional and educational experience, and that your resume is neat and organized. It is always a great idea to have one or two more sets of eyes look over it, possibly an English professor from your undergraduate institution. 

Also, research everything you can about the university and know it from the inside out; you may be asked to conduct a video or face-to-face interview with a board member, and you will want to illustrate that you have a good knowledge of the school and what it offers. If you are interviewed, dress professionally and be well-prepared for any questions that may come your way. 

Lastly, have an open mind. We all have the dream school we want to attend, but there are hundreds of good schools out there for every field. Do some research into other schools that offer graduate programs in your field, and make a list of the pros and cons of each one in case you don’t get accepted to your first choice. Know what these schools have to offer, not just from a degree standpoint. Research the faculty as well as what services the campus offers its online and on-campus students.

WHAT ABOUT FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIPS?

Paying for a master’s degree is never easy. They cost a lot more than undergraduate degrees at most high-level institutions. Before you apply, make sure you can afford it. The good news is if you can’t, there are options that can help you pay for your education. 

First and foremost, if you’ve been getting good grades over your last 60-semester hours, pursue a scholarship. There are hundreds of scholarships, especially for the Food Science and Technology programs. Many of these scholarships will help pay for some, if not all, of your college tuition. Some of the top scholarships you can pursue for a Master’s Degree in Food Science and Technology include the following, according to Scholarships.com:

  • Cameron Impact Scholarship
  • CGCS-Bernard Harris Scholarship
  • Dean Foods Company Scholarship
  • Frans Hagen Scholarship
  • Hungry To Lead Scholarship
  • National Resources-Excellence in Education Scholarship
  • Samsung@First Scholars
  • The Vegetarian Resource Group College Scholarship
  • Two Ten Higher Education Scholarship
  • UNCF STEM Scholars Program Scholarship

Another option you may want to pursue is financial aid. Many students take advantage of this opportunity to help them pay for their master’s program. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), provide your social security number, and submit your federal tax records, your income information, and bank statements. After your application is reviewed, you will receive a notice on whether your financial aid was approved and for how much.

Another good way to receive financial help is through your place of employment. Many have tuition reimbursement programs at the master’s degree level. Check with the human resources department at your workplace to see if they can help assist with funding for graduate school. Additionally, many employers will help fund your higher education if they see leadership potential in you. With online learning, you don’t have to miss work; rather, you can go home every night and work on your studies. If you’re already in the food science industry, you will be able to use what you learn in school in the workplace on a daily basis.

Student loans are another great way to fund your education. While we recommend this as a last resort—because they can take a long time to pay off—it’s worth it if you are driven to move up in your career. According to U.S. News & World Report, the following banks and loan companies are the best places to apply for a student loan:

  • Citizens Bank
  • CommonBond
  • Discover
  • Earnest LendKey
  • Laurel Road

Many of the banks on our list above can offer loans of up to nearly $21,000 for your master’s degree. Be sure that the interest rates on the loan aren’t too high to find the best loan for you.

The bottom line is don’t let money automatically hold you back. There are many ways to get help. If you want it enough, go out there and find a way to make it happen. Pursue all of the options above so you can be on your way to getting that master’s degree. 

HOW MUCH CAN I MAKE WITH A MASTER’S IN FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY? 

Food, nutrition, and agricultural scientists research ways to improve the efficiency and safety of different food products and establishments. Most of these scientists work in laboratories, in offices, and in the field. Without these workers in place, we wouldn’t have a good grasp on which foods are the healthiest and where the dangers are concerning nutrition. People with this background play a major role in the health and well-being of millions of Americans.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, food and agricultural scientists make an annual salary of just under $61,000 a year. With management positions in the field, those salaries can exceed $100,000 a year in some areas. However, there are a large variety of other careers you can pursue with a master’s degree in Food Science and Technology that also have very strong annual salaries. Some of the most common and popular careers out there, according to Payscale, are the following:

  • Quality Assurance Manager: $77,000/year
  • Research & Development Director: $126,000/year
  • Senior Production Development Scientist: $82,000/year
  • Food Safety Manager: $64,000/year
  • Microbiologist: $55,000/year
  • Nutrition Specialist: $59,000/year

According to Salary.com, the average income for a graduate with a master’s in Food Science and Technology is between $58,000 and $62,000 per year. With a bachelor’s degree, that number is closer to $50,000 a year. In other words, getting that master’s degree is not only worth it for the salary potential but also for the potential to move up into management. 

Additionally, jobs in the food science industry are growing at a faster-than-average rate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for food scientists is expected to grow by more than 7%. With technology impacting more and more jobs, especially in food science, that number will only increase in the coming years.

WHAT ARE THE BEST MASTER’S DEGREES IN FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY?

We know that you have educational goals that you want to pursue but may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following three aspects:

40% potential salary after graduation: average mid-career salary of school alumni 

30% institutional accreditation: regional and national accreditation for the 2019–2020 school year 

30% overall degree affordability: average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals.

Check out our ranking of the Best Master’s in Information Systems!

#1. Michigan State University

Master’s in Food Safety

When it comes to size and popularity, not many can match that of Michigan State University. Located in the state capital, Lansing, it is the eighth-largest university in terms of enrollment, totaling more than 50,000 students. Home of the Spartans, the school bleeds green and is the alma mater of one of the most famous basketball players to ever live, Magic Johnson. 

There are a lot of great reasons to love “State,” and if you end up studying for your MS in food safety here, you will love the school even more. Michigan State’s faculty will provide you with many hands-on opportunities and practices so you can be a leader in the food industry and have the most knowledge possible when it comes to food laws and regulations.

The 30-credit curriculum touches on a wide variety of disciplines, including leadership, microbiology, toxicology, epidemiology, and food law. The program lets you choose nine-elective credits of your choice toward your degree, and you will complete a six-credit applied project where you will get a chance to show you have a grasp of everything you have learned. Sample core courses you will be taking include Evolution and Ecology of Foodborne Pathogens; Intro to Food Safety and Professional Development; Food Safety Research Methods; Food Safety Toxicology; and International food Laws & Regulations. Between the required core courses and elective courses, there are more than 60 classes to choose from.

Additionally, the program offers a dual degree option and also offers an alternative certificate in food safety. More than 80 instructors and experts are part of your master’s degree education who will guide you as you move along in your coursework. The program itself comprises students from 30 countries and 46 different states.

According to the program’s website, MSU ranks No. 1 on the list of Best Online Food Safety Graduate Programs in the Nation. It also ranks No. 34 on the list of Top Public Schools in the Nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. If you are motivated and driven to apply to MSU, make sure you contact an admissions counselor and meet all the requirements the university is looking for. Applicants are required to submit GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, official transcripts, a resume, and a personal statement to the office of admissions.

While the program can be taken fully online, many students still enjoy the environment of studying on or near campus. MSU has lots of student life opportunities for you in and around campus. If you like to bike, the MSU campus has 12 miles of biking trails and 20,000 bicycle parking spaces. The university has more than 900 student organizations, so no matter what you’re interested in, there’s bound to be a club for you. Athletics is also extremely popular at MSU, including men’s college basketball, which has won two national championships over the last 41 years, including during Magic’s years as a student.

#2.  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Food Science Graduate Program

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the biggest of three state campuses and is home to 18 colleges and more than 150 programs of study. The university is known for many things, but none may be bigger than being the birth of YouTube. Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, both UI alumni, created the online video platform that has become a phenomenon bigger than they ever could have imagined. A master’s degree in food science will teach you about a variety of different skills and safety procedures within the field, including food microbiology, sensory science, food processing, and chemical food safety. The program can be taken fully online so you can work your education around your schedule.

The 32-credit curriculum requires at least 17 required core credits followed by 15 elective credits. You can choose electives from a number of different specializations, including Food Processing and Engineering; Food Chemistry; and Food Microbiology. You can also choose electives from other areas of interest. Sample core courses you will enroll in include Advanced Food Chemistry; Food Processing I; Nutrition for Food Scientists; and Seminar in Foods and Nutrition. 

The program provides you with the option of working with a faculty adviser who will guide you through the coursework and help you stay on top of your studies. The faculty is made up of experts in the field who bring their experience to lessons on rheology; the use of acoustic ultrasound in food processing; bioprocessing; state-of-the-art processing technologies; and biodegradable resins. Some of the major areas that you will study during your coursework include food safety and toxicology; the manipulation of storage components; flavor chemistry; the chemical stability of foods; and structure-function behavior.

UIUC ranks No. 14 on the list of Top Public Schools in the Nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. The city of Urbana-Champaign also ranks No. 2 on the list for startup and entrepreneurial activity, according to Silicon Prairie News. UIUC requires all applicants to have at least a 3.0 GPA in their last 60-semester hours to be eligible to apply. The office of admissions also requires the submission of GRE scores along with official transcripts from all previous institutions, three letters of recommendation, and a statement of professional interest. You may also submit a professional resume detailing all the experience and skills you will bring to the university.

UI has graduated some of the nation’s most famous names, including film critic Roger Ebert, Ferris Bueller actor Alan Ruck, and Knots Landing actress Donna Mills. If you live on campus, you are surrounded by a number of big cities within easy access. The university is only a couple hours from Chicago and is also within driving distance of St. Louis, Mo., Indianapolis, Ind., and Louisville, Ky. On-campus, UIUC has one of the largest university libraries in the world with more than 24 million items. There are also more than 1,000 student organizations on campus for you to join and more than 20 different sporting teams to cheer for.

#3.  Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Master’s in Agriculture and Life Sciences (Food Safety and Biosecurity Concentration)

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, more commonly called Virginia Tech, is known for its powerful school spirit. Located in Blacksburg, students wear the maroon and orange, and cheer on their Hokies at every sporting event. Unlike many schools that have to push students to attend school and sporting events, students at Virginia Tech do it willingly so they can show school pride by being as loud as possible to push their teams to win. The school’s Master’s in Agriculture and Life Sciences with a concentration in Food Safety and Biosecurity will educate students in the laws and regulations concerning food production and processing and teach them how to implement food safety management programs.

The 30-credit curriculum does not require a thesis and can be completed fully online. Students will enroll in eight courses and culminate their studies with a final hands-on project in which they will apply all the skills they’ve learned and show full mastery of the content. Twelve of the credits will be specifically tied into the Food Safety and Biosecurity concentration. 

Some of the sample courses you will enroll in include Global Food Laws and Regulations; Animal and Plant Biosafety and Biosecurity; Applied Food Microbiology and Sanitation; Food Safety and Security; and Good Agricultural and Manufacturing Practices. Additionally, all students are expected to take one core course in Research Methodology along with one core course in International Agriculture or Agricultural Business. You can also take more courses and add other concentrations, including concentrations in Education; Applied Nutrition and Physical Activity; and Plant Science and Pest Management.

VT ranks No. 32 on the list of Top Public Schools in the Nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences also ranks among the top 100 programs, according to QS rankings. If you are interested in submitting an application online to VT, you will need to also scan and submit a number of documents. The office of admissions requires three letters of recommendation and official transcripts to be sent in. To see if you need to take the GRE and submit those scores, contact an admissions counselor to see whether you are eligible for a waiver.

If you like to eat (and who doesn’t?), VT has some of the best campus food in the nation. In fact, The Princeton Review ranked VT No. 2 in the nation for having the best food on campus! The dining halls and local eateries have everything, from lobster and London broil to delicious pizza and tacos. You’ll never go hungry on campus. Overall, it has 11 restaurants on campus and serves more than 5 million meals per year, according to HumansOfUniversity.com

The campus is also known for its networking opportunities and student life. There are hundreds of clubs to join and many different study abroad options. And students can become active in the multitude of school traditions, including the Corps of Cadets, which is perhaps the most popular student organization on campus.

#4.  Colorado State University

MS in Food Science and Nutrition with Specialization in Nutrition

When it comes to traditions, Colorado State University is all about it. Located in Fort Collins, students at CSU showcase their Ram pride daily and take school spirit seriously. Whether it be old traditions or starting new ones, students there love their school and enjoy their experience in the Rocky Mountain state. With a Master of Science in Food Science and Nutrition, with a specialization in Nutrition, you will learn fundamental and advanced principles about the relationship between nutrition and health, and apply what you’ve learned in the coursework to real-world settings.

The 35-credit program offers courses online or face-to-face at the main campus. The program has two options: one that includes a thesis and one that includes extra coursework and a culminating project. You will be required to take a group of required courses along with a long list of electives you can choose from. Some of the electives include Cancer Genetics; Early Childhood Safety, Health, and Nutrition; Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy; Medical Microbiology; and Biological Physics. A practicum is also encouraged in an effort to give students more hands-on experience in the field.  

The final research project in the non-thesis path includes three options: A Dietetics Research Project, a Nutrition Research Project, or a Food Service Management Research Project. You will also be required to take Statistics and Research Methods from the required course bank. The program is not only designed to help you with advanced concepts you can use after you earn your master’s, but it’s also designed to prepare you for further studies should you decide to continue on toward earning a PhD. The specialization in the curriculum focuses on the relationship between nutrition and health.

According to the CSU website, 84% of students who graduate earn a job related to their field of study. CSU ranks No. 77 on the list of Most Innovative Schools, according to U.S. News & World Report. If you are interested in applying to the university, you will be required to take and submit GRE scores to the office of admissions. Along with the application, the university requires three letters of recommendation, transcripts, a resume, and a personal statement to be submitted.

Former Nevada senator John Ensign, Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken, and comedian Leslie Jones are just a few of the thousands of CSU esteemed alumni. Located just north of Denver, a recent Gallup survey found that Fort Collins ranked No. 4 on the list of Healthiest Midsize Cities in America. With beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains all around the city, it gives graduate students the perfect environment for their studies. There are more than 30 sports teams and clubs to support at CSU and more than 500 intramural sports and student organizations to join. Whether you are interested in politics, health, sports, or agriculture, there is definitely a club for you with the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.

#5.  Kansas State University

Food Science Master of Science — Online

Located in Manhattan — Manhattan, Kan., that is — Kansas State University welcomes students from all walks of life into its university. Twenty-seven percent of students at KSU are from other states and 18 different countries. KSU embraces diversity and encourages engagement and the sharing of deep knowledge. KSU is represented by Willie the Wildcat, who shows up at home football and basketball games, and on-campus from time to time. An online food science master’s program is for degree-holding food industry professionals who wish to advance their careers and learn more about the safety of food development and production. 

Students who do not wish to pursue a thesis are required to complete 34-semester credit hours, and 20 to 22 of the semester credits are core courses followed by the remaining credits, which are electives. Those who complete the six-credit thesis must compose a project, give an oral presentation, and take a comprehensive examination prior to graduation. Sample core courses in the program are Food Microbiology; Advanced Food Chemistry; Sensory Analysis; Research and Development of Food Products; and Quality Assurance of Food Products. At least 18 of the semester credits in the core and elective course bank must be 700-level courses or higher in order to count toward the degree. 

In 2019, The Princeton Review ranked KSU No. 2 on the list of Best Health Services Programs and Best Quality of Life. It also ranked No. 7 on the list of Best-Run Colleges in the Nation. If you wish to apply to KSU, you must have a Bachelor of Science degree with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA in your last 60 hours of coursework. You must also have prerequisite courses completed in Physics, Microbiology, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Calculus, Statistics, and Biology (or Botany or Zoology). 

Additionally, applicants are required to take the GRE and submit those test scores along with all transcripts from past institutions, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a brief statement of objectives. The statement of objectives should be a one-to-two page document that describes why you want to pursue a Food Science master’s degree from KSU. You should discuss your specific area of interest and include any prior contact you have had with faculty from the university, and if you have had contact, indicate which faculty member you prefer to most work with as a graduate student.

Kansas State University has handed out degrees to thousands of past alumni, including actress Kirstie Alley, four-star general and KSU president Richard Myers, and Earl Woods, father of golfing great Tiger Woods. KSU students sport the Powercat logo, which stands as the official logo for all its very popular athletic teams. The school is part of the Big 12 Conference and regularly plays other esteemed universities like Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma, the University of Texas, and the University of Kansas. KSU has three other campuses throughout the state, one of those being a polytechnic university. Any of KSU campuses can be attended in an effort to complete your online studies. 

#6.  University of Arkansas

Master of Science in Food Safety

Known for being a top research school, the University of Arkansas ranks among the top 3% nationwide for having the “highest possible level of research,” according to The Carnegie Foundation. By studying toward an online Master of Science in Food Safety, you will be taught by experienced faculty in the field and learn essential skills in the preventative process, microbiology, toxicology, and epidemiology. The program is based solely on U.S. standards, including Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points as well as food safety laws and regulations.

The 30-credit curriculum is fully online with nine credits being earned a year. However, the three-year program can be accelerated if you wish to earn your degree in a shorter amount of time. You will be required to complete a final three-hour special problems research project along with an oral presentation and examination administered by a graduate faculty committee. The university also encourages internships to give you more hands-on practice in the field. 

Sample core courses that you will take include Principles of Food Microbiology; Food Biosecurity; Safety and Sanitation for the Food Industry; Food Toxicology and Containments; and Food Safety Law. There is also a three-hour statistics requirement that you must take along with your other courses as well as six hours of electives. Unlike other schools, UA’s Food Safety Graduate Program does not require a thesis in order to successfully complete the degree. The same faculty members who teach students face-to-face also teach online courses in the Food Safety program. 

UA is located in Fayetteville, which recently ranked No. 4 on the list of Best Places to Live, according to U.S. News & World Report. That same survey ranked UA as No. 72 on the list of Best Public Universities. If you are interested in applying to UA, you will want to inquire whether you are eligible to bypass the GRE and be placed on the exempt list. Contact an admissions counselor to see if you meet the requirements. 

Applicants are asked by the office of admissions to submit all transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a professional resume, and a personal statement along with the application itself. Applicants are required to have at least a 3.0 GPA and a bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible to apply. Unfortunately, UA does not accept any international students who live outside the U.S.

Two of the most famous graduates from UA include former President Bill Clinton and former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, gold medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown, and Hall of Fame football coach Jimmy Johnson also walked away with a degree from UA. The school has a 19-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio, making it ideal to have a better one-on-one interaction with your professors. For those who study on or near campus, there are more than 380 registered student organizations along with 33 Greek organizations to join. The campus also offers regular musical performances, art shows, visiting speakers, free films, poetry readings, and on-campus concerts, among other events. 

#7.  Texas A&M University

Master of Science in Food Science

Many confuse Texas A&M University with being a military academy. It’s not, but it does have the largest ROTC program of any other university and is well known for its Corps of Cadets, which are visible at every home football game at Kyle Field during the season. In fact, the Corps of Cadets is TAMU’s oldest student organization and is led by Reveille, a real-life collie who holds the Cadets’ highest rank.

The Master of Science in Food Science is targeted toward students who want professional training with real-world experience along with a management orientation in the food industry. The program is designed to give you advanced skills in problem-solving while improving your experience in a variety of different food industry–related areas.

The 32-credit curriculum requires a list of core courses as well as research and development of a thesis that must be presented prior to earning a degree. You will also have the choice of taking nine electives, three of which must come from outside your area of interest. Sample courses you will see on your schedule include Chemistry of Foods; Microbiology of Foods; Directed Studies; and Food Science Seminar. You will receive some course credit for the research you conduct for your thesis. An acceptable thesis must demonstrate comprehensive understanding and mastery of the literature in the program as well as all content given to you by your professors.

Faculty members in this program have extensive experience and will provide you opportunities to work hands-on within the field. Courses are offered both online through virtual coursework and face to face. Dual degree options are also available in nutrition and kinesiology. Internships are encouraged by the Department of Nutrition and Food Science.

TAMU ranks No. 18 on the list of Best Public Schools in the Nation, according to the Times and Wall Street Journal. It was also ranked by Money Magazine as the Best Value School in Texas. If you wish to apply to TAMU, you must have at least a 3.0 GPA in your undergraduate studies and score a minimum of 300 on the GRE to be eligible for admission. Along with your application, you are required to submit official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement.

Among the many alumni who have earned a degree from TAMU include former Texas governor Rick Perry, American Idol star Jason Castro, singer Lyle Lovett, and NFL pro bowl wide receiver Mike Evans. Football is extremely popular at the university, and the crowd there has a 12th man tradition where they cheer loudly to give the team an extra boost during home games. TAMU is also big on community service. It holds what is called “The Big Event” every year, where more than 20,000 students pitch in and help out in the community. 

Located in College Station, you are within driving distance of Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. There are hundreds of student organizations to choose from on campus, including student government, musical groups, and fraternities and sororities. If you live off-campus, there is no need to drive. The university has excellent transportation services that operate all day that will take you to and from the university.

#8.  University of Florida

Master of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition

It’s hard to find a better place to study than the University of Florida. Located in Gainesville, you are within driving distance of the beautiful East Coast beaches, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, Orlando, and Tampa. You also get to enjoy “Gator-Mania” on Saturdays during college football season, where the football team is a regular national championship contender. UF is on a small list of schools that win multiple national championships in both men’s college basketball and college football. In all of its athletics, it’s totaled 36 national championships!

The Master of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition is designed to prepare graduates for ultimate success in the food industry. It will also prepare graduates for positions in both the academic industry and government. The program admits around 90 to 100 graduate students each year and there are approximately 30 faculty members on staff. 

The 30-credit curriculum consists of 24-course credits and six-research credits. Three of the courses are required while the other five courses offer a list of classes to be taken from three different categories. Those three categories are Food Processing and Engineering; Food Microbiology and Safety; and Food Chemistry. And all students are required to take Research Planning; Statistical Methods in Research I; and Food Science and Technology Seminar. 

For students wishing to take the Nutritional Science track, the program offers a variety of research areas of emphasis, among them Human Nutrition and Molecular and Cellular Nutrition and Metabolomics. Just like the Food Science track, 24-semester hours are required with six credits going toward research. Sample courses include Minerals in Nutrition; Nutritional Aspects of Carbohydrates; Proteins and Amino Acids in Nutrition; and Clinical Nutrition. Courses are offered both online and face-to-face for graduate students.

UF is one of the most well-respected universities in the nation. It ranks No. 7 on the list of Top Public Schools in the Nation. It also ranks No. 3 among the Best Agricultural/Biological Engineering Programs in the Country, according to U.S. News & World Report. If you are interested in applying to UF, you must have at least a 3.0 GPA in your last 60-semester hours of coursework to be eligible. Additionally, the admissions office requires the submission of GRE scores, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a statement of educational objectives and career goals.

Among the graduates to earn a degree from UF include sportscaster and TV personality Erin Andrews, Senator Marco Rubio, actress Faye Dunaway, and Mets All-Star Pete Alonso. Students who attend UF for their first year love it, with 96% of them returning for another year, according to the school website. UF is also known as well for its successful diversity efforts. It ranks No. 1 in the nation among all Amateur Athletics Union institutions for Most Master’s Degrees Awarded to Hispanic Students. The university also has two Pulitzer Prize-winning faculty members and 43 faculty elections to the National Academy of Sciences Engineering. 

#9.  Penn State University

MS in Food Science

Penn State University is world-renowned for being the home of not only the Nittany Lions but Berkey Creamy Ice Cream (the largest university creamery in the world). It is known for giving courses to Ben and Jerry, who opened their own ice cream parlor soon after they earned their degrees. Established in 1855, PSU also has the fourth-largest football stadium in the world and is the third most populated city in Pennsylvania during Saturday home games.

A Master of Science in Food Science at PSU will develop your food processing and decision-making skills so you can leave the university with the talent to make a positive impact on the industry. Award-winning faculty members who have professional experience in the field are the ones who train you to be leaders upon graduation. All students in the program are expected to present a thesis and successfully pass an oral examination prior to earning a degree. Courses are offered both on-campus and in an online setting where you can earn many of your credits from home. 

The 30-credit curriculum requires 18 required core credits and six elective credits. The final six credits will come from the culminating research for the thesis project. Required courses include Research Methods in Food Science; Fundamentals of Food Science-Chemistry; Fundamentals of Food Science-Microbiology; and Fundamentals of Food Science-Engineering. You can continue your education and earn a doctorate degree in Food Science with a postgraduate degree in either Clinical and Translational Sciences or International Agriculture and Development.

PSU ranks No. 14 on the list of Top Public Universities in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. It also ranks No. 4 on the list of Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs, according to U.S. News & World Report. To be eligible for admission at PSU, you must hold at least a 3.0 GPA in your last 60-semester hours of coursework. The office of admissions also requires all students to take the GRE and submit those scores. Along with the application, PSU requires all students to enclose official transcripts, a resume, and three letters of recommendation. For any other documentation requests, contact the university’s office of admissions.

Biochemist Paul Berg, who graduated from PSU in 1948, earned a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1980. Also among the most recognized alumni at PSU are NFL star running back Saquon Barkley, journalist Lisa Salters, and former Senator Rick Santorum. Student life is what attracts many students to the university. In your free time, you can take a car ride or short train ride to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., or New York City and explore much of the history of the East Coast. There are hundreds of clubs to join at a university that is big on involvement as well as diversity. Athletics and school spirit are a big part of the university as its teams compete against other Big 10 Conference schools for national championships in every major male and female sport.

#10.  University of Idaho

The mission of the University of Idaho is to shape the future through innovative thought, community collaboration, and transformative education. UI values the connection teachers are able to make with their students, which is why they aim to keep class sizes at a reasonably low number. A 16-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio allows for improved feedback and one-on-one communication in the classroom.

The Master of Science in Food Science allows you to conduct innovative and high-quality research to solve the challenges facing today’s food science industry. As part of the program, you will work hands-on getting real-world experience using the resources UI offers. You will also have the opportunity to apply for assistantships and compete in competitions while publishing your research.  

The curriculum includes a thesis and a non-thesis option. With the non-thesis option, you will need to complete 33-semester credits and take an oral examination and research project that shows mastery of the course content. With the thesis option, you will work with an adviser and present a thesis proposal to the graduate committee. The program emphasizes research and also includes an oral examination. Along with food science courses, students are required to complete three-credits of statistics and nine-credits in specific core food science courses.

The curriculum emphasizes courses in food processing, food chemistry, food microbiology, sensory evaluation, and other specialized areas. East student’s program of study is individualized based on their interests, prior academic experience, and collaboration with their faculty mentor. UI collaborates with Washington State University and has faculty that teaches at both schools.

UI ranks No. 89 on the list of Top Public Universities in the Nation and No. 79 on the list of Best Value Schools, according to U.S. News & World Report. If you are interested in applying to UI, you do need to have at least a 3.0 GPA in your undergraduate studies and submit GRE scores to the office of admissions. Furthermore, you will need to send in with your application three letters of recommendation, a professional and up-to-date resume, a statement of purpose, official transcripts, an area-of-emphasis form, and a writing sample. 

Among those who have studied at UI include financial analyst Lou Dobbs, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, and cyclist Kristin Armstrong. UI provides access to resources in facilities in two states and seven cities with its main campus in Moscow, Idaho. There are nine research and extension centers on-campus and the school is a noted national leader in student-centered learning and interdisciplinary research that promotes public service, according to its website.

The university, home of “The Vandals,” provides opportunities to get involved in the community and on-campus. You can sign up to mentor undergraduates in their research, for club activities, and to join faculty in international research projects. You can also sign up for a number of student organizations and clubs on campus, both in your field, including the Food Science Club and the Food Product Development Team, and outside your area of interest such as signing up for the College Bowl Team. The university regularly collaborates with the UI Food Technology Center, the WSU Creamery, and USDA Western Wheat Quality Lab. 

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Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor