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Program Overview

The demand for professionals with expertise in food safety science is growing rapidly. The Online MS in Food Safety program provides working professionals with core curriculum featuring multi-disciplinary sciences while also including food law components. Elective choices offer students flexibility to tailor their program to meet their interests and career goals. Additionally, students complete a non-thesis applied project that connects to the work they do daily. The programs courses are immediately applicable to students' current positions while, at the same time, preparing them for future leadership roles within food regulation and the industry. Additionally, students use elements such as course discussions and activities that encourage professional networking and peer-to-peer learning that helps bridge the siloed nature of their specialist roles as they work with colleagues across roles in labs, processing plants, fieldwork, and markets.

To earn the MS in Food Safety, you must:

  • Complete 30 credit hours. This is a non-thesis degree. 
  • Food Safety core science courses (12 credit hours) 
  • Food Law course (3 credit hours)
  • Research Methods & Applied Project courses (6 credit hours)
  • Elective courses (9 credit hours)

Why this master's program? 

  • Upon completion, you will attain an advanced degree from a respected, accredited Big-Ten institution 
  • Fully online, asynchronous study allows for flexibility
  • Designed for mid-career/mid-management working professionals
  • Consists of ten 3-credit courses to equal a 30-credit hour program
  • Average time to degree = 3 years
  • Non-thesis professional science masters: Plan-B applied food safety project
  • 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: 

  • Be able to work collaboratively with experts in their field
  • Effectively evaluate and manage a broad range of currently available food safety information
  • Understand and evaluate new and emerging technologies as they arise
  • Utilize a deeper understanding of core 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
  • Demonstrate use of critical thinking, organizational and leadership skills
  • Solve food safety problems by identifying effective and efficient processes in an ever-changing food safety industry
  • Be able to connect food safety regulations to the science behind them

Career Outlook

Graduates of our program typically move up or on in their respective field, with many alumni receiving promotional opportunities within the first year after completing the degree. The majority of program alumni represent industry and others work in government or military positions. Graduates represent over 300 organizations and work in 41 US states and 20+ countries. 

Some titles of MS in Food Safety alumni include: 

  • Quality Manager
  • Director of Food Safety
  • Research Microbiologist
  • Regulatory Affairs Specialist
  • USDA or FDA Inspector



  • FSC 810International Food Laws & Regulations3 Credits
  • FSC 811U.S. Food Laws & Regulations3 Credits
  • VM 810 Intro to Food Safety & Prof Development3 Credits
  • VM 811Evolution and Ecology of Foodborne Pathogens3 Credits
  • VM 812Food Safety Toxicology 3 Credits
  • VM 815Applied Project in Food Safety3 Credits
  • VM 825Quantifying Food Risk3 Credits
  • VM 827FSMA/HACCP3 Credits
  • VM 830Food Safety Research Methods3 Credits
  • VM 840Anti-Counterfeit Strategy3 Credits

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A bachelor's degree

    Or equivalent degree from an accredited and recognized college or university.

  2. 3.0 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale
  3. Completed coursework

    At least six (6) credits of college level biological sciences, three (3) of which are in microbiology (a 300-level course or higher is recommended) Cumulative undergraduate grade point average of no less than a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

  4. Previous work experience

    Résumé - Two years of work experience in a food-related field

  5. Taken the TOEFL

    (Only required if English is not your native language)

  6. Official transcripts from all previous schools

To apply to this program:

  1. Complete a university graduate application (program code: 4914) Transcripts should come directly from the academic institution, and must arrive in a sealed, official envelope.
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Tuition & Fees

In State Tuition

  • $25,140
  • Total

Out of State Tuition

  • $25,140
  • Total

Flat Fees

  • Textbooks
  • $150


As one of the top research universities in the world, Michigan State University has advanced the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years.

MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community.