Program Overview

The demand for professionals with expertise in food safety science is growing rapidly. Students pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Food Safety complete three core science courses centered on foodborne pathogens, toxicology, and epidemiology plus one approved food safety-related elective. These courses are available to concurrent graduate students or to Lifelong Education students. The certificate courses are immediately applicable to students current positions while, at the same time, preparing them for future leadership roles within food regulation and industry. 

To earn the Graduate Certificate in Food Safety, you must complete 12 credit hours. 

  • Food Safety core science courses (9 credit hours) 
  • Elective course (3 credit hours) 

Why this certificate program? 

  • Obtain a transcript certificate from an accredited Big-Ten institution
  • Fully online, asynchronous study
  • Designed for mid-career/mid-management working professionals who are not seeking a degree
  • Consists of four 3-credit courses to equal a 12-credit hour program
  • Average time to certificate = 4 semesters or 16 months
  • Start with the certificate, decide if you would like to pursue the full MS degree
  • Accredited through: Michigan State University, Higher Learning Commission-North Central Association, AVMA Council on Education (COE) through the College of Veterinary Medicine, and Affiliate of the Professional Science Masters

Program Outcomes

After this program, students will:

  • Develop a deeper understanding of core food safety sciences including food borne microbiology, toxicology, & epidemiology
  • Lead food safety efforts to address new concerns such as allergens, preventive controls, food packaging, emerging food borne pathogens, antimicrobial resistance, and food safety culture
  • Solve food safety problems by identifying effective and efficient processes in an ever-changing food safety industry

Career Outlook

Graduates of our program typically move up or on in their respective field. Most of the people pursuing this certificate work in industry and others work in government or military positions and are non-degree seeking. 

Titles of Certificate in Food Safety alumni include: 

  • Quality and Regulatory Compliance Director
  • Food Safety Manager
  • SQF Coordinator
  • Quality Manager
  • Staff Veterinarian
  • Senior Scientist


  • VM 814Packaging for Food Safety3 Credits
  • VM 825Quantifying Food Risk3 Credits
  • VM 827FSMA/HACCP3 Credits
  • VM 834Current Issues in Food Safety3 Credits
  • VM 840Anti-Counterfeit Strategy3 Credits

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A bachelor's degree

  2. Previous work experience


  3. Official transcripts from all previous schools

To apply to this program:

  1. You will need to be a current graduate student at MSU or a graduate level Lifelong Education (LGL) student to pursue the Certificate in Food Safety. Anyone with at least a  bachelor's degree can apply to MSU as a graduate level LGL student. What happens after I submit my Lifelong application? Process takes approximately 3-4 days, on average Completed applications will be reviewed by the MSU Lifelong Education office, located in the Registrar’s Office. Notification from the Registrar’s office typically occurs 24-48 hours after application is submitted. You will receive an email with your MSU Personal Identification Number (PID) and Personal Access Number (PAN), as well as instructions on how to set up your MSU NetID. Your MSU NetID and password will enable you to access the enrollment system and the online learning platform, Desire2Learn (D2L). Before enrolling, you will need a course override (permission code). Please send an email to with your PID number, your choice of course, and the semester you wish to enroll.
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Key Dates

Rolling applications. Students can start the program in any semester. We recommend applications are submitted at least one month prior to the start of the semester to allow time for processing.

Tuition & Fees

In State Tuition

  • $9,066
  • Total

Out of State Tuition

  • $11,619
  • Total


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