Dec 08, 2022  
2021-2022 General Catalog 
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Food Safety and Quality - MFSQ

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College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences

Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Sciences

(Plan C)

Welcome to the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Sciences. We, the faculty, sincerely hope that your experiences will be stimulating and rewarding, and that you will experience the thrill of discovery and the satisfaction of learning and service during your graduate studies. Progress toward the Master of Food Safety and Quality is outlined below.

About the Program

The Master of Food Safety and Quality is a professional (Plan C) graduate degree designed to provide indepth training in food science and food safety. This program is offered entirely online, and was designed to be flexible to meet the needs of most students who desire to enhance their careers. For more information, please contact Karin Allen, Program Director (

Tuition and Financial Aid

The MFSQ program does not provide financial aid (assistantships).


The MFSQ program of study has been tailored for students with undergraduate training in food science or majors related to food safety. It is preferable if candidates have some background in chemistry, statistics and microbiology. Prior coursework in food science or food safety is desirable.

MAT or GMAT or Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

40th percentile or above (if GRE is chosen, 40th percentile is required on both the Verbal and Quantitative tests)

Grade point average

≥ 3.0 (out of 4) on last 60 semester or 90 quarter credits

Letters of recommendation

Satisfactory letters from 3 people

(International Students) English proficiency

Computerbased TOEFL ≥ 213, internetbased TOEFL ≥ 79, or ≥ 6.0 on the IELTS.

Application, Review and Acceptance

Applicants are encouraged to contact the MFSQ program coordinator prior to completing the University online application for graduate studies. Other food science faculty can also provide assistance in determining if the MFSQ program is a good fit for an applicant’s career goals. The School of Graduate Studies will hold the application until it is complete, and it will then be reviewed by the NDFS department. If applicants have not received notification within 3 weeks of completing the application, they should contact the NDFS department (1-435-797-2126) to inquire on the status of their application. When students are accepted into the program, they will be assigned a faculty advisor within the food science group in NDFS. 

Defining a Program of Study

Students and their faculty advisor prepare a program of study that will fulfill the requirements of the MFSQ program. The proposed program of study should be completed by the end of the first semester. The faculty advisor will review and approve the student’s program of study by addressing:

  •  MFSQ core course requirements
  •  MFSQ optional course selections
  •  MFSQ program special projects/topics selections

Students select a program of study for the MFSQ that complements their BS studies and their career goals. In general:

  • Food science students with a BS from USU cannot include in their MFSQ program any courses that are dual listed2 with courses in their BS program.
  • Food science students with a BS from another university can select dual-listed courses that are distinctly different from those included in their BS program.
  • Students should bring a copy of their BS transcript when they meet with their faculty advisor if dual-listed courses are to be included in their program of study.

Registration for all subsequent semesters should be based on the approved program of study. The student may make changes to the program of study with the approval of their faculty advisor.

Program Requirements

The MFSQ program of study requires 33 credit hours minimum1 that consists of a core of courses that all MFSQ students are required to complete, with the remaining courses being selected based on the student’s background and career interests from the list of elective courses. Other elective courses can be included with the faculty advisor’s approval.

Optional Courses

Students select optional courses based upon their field of interest and past experiences. For example, students may choose courses that provide emphasis in microbial aspects of food safety and quality, or other various science aspects related to foods. Courses that are dual listed (e.g., NDFS 5000/6000-level courses) or were included in the student’s undergraduate program cannot be retaken at the graduate (6000) level.

Students may select their remaining credits from the following courses:

Capstone Report

The MFSQ program of study requires the production of a formal written capstone report. There are two options: (a) literature review or (b) special projects portfolio. The depth of the report is reflected in the number of credits taken for NDFS 6960  (2-4 credits). Expectations and credits should be discussed with the faculty advisor.

If a literature review is chosen, it must be written in a similar style as a thesis. The literature review should be appropriately scientific with conclusions drawn. Since this program is a “Plan C” program, the literature review is not submitted to the graduate school. 

The second option is a special projects portfolio. This document should reflect the experiential development of the student based on the “Special Problem” courses the student will be engaged in during their MFSQ program of study at USU.

Students should make use of the University Writing Center ( to correct formatting, grammar and presentation for either capstone report. The capstone report is submitted to the supervising professor for approval by the tenth week of the student’s final semester.

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