Twin Cities campus

This is archival data. This system was retired as of August 21, 2023 and the information on this page has not been updated since then. For current information, visit

Twin Cities Campus

Food Science M.S.

Food Science & Nutrition
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of Food Science and Nutrition, 225 Food Science and Nutrition Building, 1334 Eckles Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55108 (612-624-6753; fax: 612-625-5272)
  • Program Type: Master's
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2020
  • Length of program in credits: 30
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Master of Science
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
Food science applies scientific principles to the manufacture, distribution, marketing, and consumer aspects of food. Food scientists apply the basic principles and techniques of many disciplines, including chemistry, physics, microbiology, and nutrition, to food processing and preservation, new product development, and food marketing. Food scientists are concerned with the theoretical and practical aspects of the food chain, from the production of raw materials to the use of food products by consumers. Students may emphasize the chemistry, engineering, microbiology, nutrition, or technology of food products. Students may spend a maximum of five (5) years in this degree program.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.00.
Applicants to the program need a bachelor's degree, or its international equivalent, in any field.
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
The minimum requirements are general chemistry with laboratory, organic chemistry with laboratory, physics with laboratory, biology with laboratory, and calculus. If preparation appears inadequate, certain additional courses may be required after admission.
Applicants must submit their test score(s) from the following:
  • GRE
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
    • Total Score: 6.5
    • Final score: 80
Key to test abbreviations (GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Plan A: Plan A requires 20 major credits, 0 credits outside the major, and 10 thesis credits. The final exam is oral.
Plan B: Plan B requires 30 major credits and 0 credits outside the major. The final exam is oral. A capstone project is required.
Capstone Project:The Plan B project is equivalent to 120 hours of work or three full weeks of research and writing. It should consist of one of the following options, which are intended to familiarize the candidate with the tools of research or scholarship in the field and serve to demonstrate the ability to work independently: 1) The candidate may prepare one paper equivalent to 120 hours of work in one advanced course, over and above the normal course requirement as approved by the instructor in consultation with the advisor. This course must be from the major field of interest. 2) The candidate may prepare one paper equivalent to the requirement of 120 hours in some related field or course as approved in consultation with the instructor and the adviser. 3) The student may do an equivalent amount of library or laboratory research and write a research report to satisfy the requirement as approved by the adviser. This may take the form of a research proposal.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
A minimum GPA of 2.80 is required for students to remain in good standing.
At least 1 semesters must be completed before filing a Degree Program Form.
All students are expected to participate as teaching assistants during their graduate careers. Up to 9 credits of 4xxx-level courses are allowed.
Required Courses
All students take the following required courses for 11 credits:
FSCN 4112 - Food Chemistry and Functional Foods (3.0 cr)
FSCN 4121 - Food Microbiology (3.0 cr)
FSCN 4332 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
FSCN 8318 - Current Issues in Food Science (2.0 cr)
Take one of the following courses for a total of 2 to 4 credits:
FSCN 5131 - Food Quality for Graduate Credit (3.0 cr)
or FSCN 5312 - Food Analysis (4.0 cr)
or If FSCN 5122 is taken, FSCN 5123 must also be taken
FSCN 5122 - Food Fermentations and Biotechnology (2.0 cr)
FSCN 5123 - Molecular Biology for Applied Scientists (1.0 cr)
Food Science Elective
Take at least 3 additional FSCN credits, in consultation with the adviser.
FSCN 5xxx
or FSCN 8xxx
General Elective
Choose remaining credits in consultation with the adviser to meet minimum credit requirements.
Plan Options
Plan A
Take 10 master's thesis credits.
FSCN 8777 - Thesis Credits: Master's (1.0-18.0 cr)
Plan B
Plan B students do not have additional requirements.
More program views..
View college catalog(s):
· College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

View future requirement(s):
· Fall 2023
· Fall 2022

View PDF Version:
Search Programs

Search University Catalogs
Related links.

College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Graduate Admissions

Graduate School Fellowships

Graduate Assistantships

Colleges and Schools

One Stop
for tuition, course registration, financial aid, academic calendars, and more
FSCN 4112 - Food Chemistry and Functional Foods
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Most-important food constituents, their occurrence, structures, functional properties, and health benefits. Proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, water. Vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytochemicals, food additives, contaminants. prereq: 3102, BIOC 3021
FSCN 4121 - Food Microbiology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Microorganisms involved in food-borne disease, food fermentations, and food spoilage. Methods for their control/detection. Food microbiology. Foodborne pathogens. Microbial food spoilage. Control of microorganisms in food. prereq: BIOC 3021, [2021 or VBS 2032 or MICB 3301]
FSCN 8318 - Current Issues in Food Science
Credits: 2.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Current issues in Food Science and how they impact the food industry.
FSCN 5131 - Food Quality for Graduate Credit
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Management systems, statistical procedures, regulatory requirements involved with producing quality food/ingredients. Risk assessment/management, good manufacturing practices, hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP), statistical methods for process control, total quality management, food/drug laws. Prereq: Food Science Grad Student Student may select grading basis if instructor approves. A-F registration is required for class to count toward degree.
FSCN 5312 - Food Analysis
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Analytical tools needed for investigation in Food Science/Technology, whether by food industry, governmental agencies, or universities. Application of quantitative/ qualitative physical, chemical/instrumental methods used for analysis/examination of food constituents. Sensory evaluation techniques, evaluation of methods/interpretation of results. prereq: 4112, STAT 3011
FSCN 5122 - Food Fermentations and Biotechnology
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Major food fermentations important for today's food industry, with particular focus on microbiological components. Fermentations cover all major commodity food groups of dairy, cereal, meat, vegetables, fruits. prereq: MICB 3301, BIOL 4003
FSCN 5123 - Molecular Biology for Applied Scientists
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Half semester course. Two hours per week for 8 weeks. Basics of molecular biology/how it has been used for biotechnological applications. Origins of molecular biology from discovery of DNA as inheritance material within cells to advent of gene cloning/sequencing technologies. prereq: MicB 3301 or FScN 2021 or instr consent
FSCN 8777 - Thesis Credits: Master's
Credits: 1.0 -18.0 [max 50.0]
Grading Basis: No Grade
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
(No description) prereq: Max 18 cr per semester or summer; 10 cr total required [Plan A only]