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Food Safety and Quality: MFSQ

Food Safety and Quality

The master of food microbiology and safety degree is a professional degree designed to provide students with in-depth training in food safety assurance. It also trains students in the use of management systems that address food safety through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, and manufacturing, distribution, and consumption of the finished product.

The degree is primarily intended for individuals who plan to have careers in food quality assurance or other food safety-related positions in the food industry.

Because this program is designated as a Western Regional Graduate Program, students from participating western states qualify for in-state tuition. For more information, visit

Students who graduate with the MFMS degree typically pursue careers in food quality assurance or other food safety-related positions in the food industry.

Admission Requirements

It is recommended that applicants are have bachelor’s degrees in nutrition or food sciences. If they don't, they must have strong backgrounds in science and mathematics. There may be prerequisite courses needed for make up in some situations. These can be taken concurrently with graduate coursework and are determined on a case-to-case basis.

Application Requirements:

  • Complete the online application
  • Pay the $55 application fee
  • Score at or above the 40th percentile on the GRE, GMAT or MAT
  • Have a 3.0 or higher GPA on your last 60 semester or 90 quarter credits
  • Provide transcripts of all college/university credits
  • Provide three contacts for letters of recommendation

International students have additional admissions requirements.

Admission Deadlines

This program has rolling admission, meaning the department will continue to consider and accept applications until the program is full. The time it takes to process an application is primarily dependent on the speed with which the School of Graduate Studies receives letters of recommendation, transcripts, and test scores. For most students, this process may take six to eight weeks. Applicants should plan accordingly.

Master's Degree Plan Option(s)

Students can receive this degree by pursuing the following plan option:

  • The Plan B option requires the production of a paper or creative work of art and is expected to reflect equivalent scholarship standards as a thesis.

Financial Assistance

Some funding opportunities are available, including scholarships and travel support. Additionally, students can purchase health insurance.

Karin Allen, PhD, Utah State University
Area: Food quality
Office: NFS 328A
Phone: (435) 797-1768

Luis Bastarrachea, PhD, University of Massachusetts
Assistant Professor
Area: Food engineering
Office: NFS 307
Phone: (435) 797-4182

Sulaiman Matarneh, PhD, Virginia Tech
Assistant Professor
Area: Meat Science/Muscle Biology
Office: NFS 329
Phone: (435) 797-3114

Silvana Martini, PhD, University of Plate, Buenos Aires
Area: Food science, sensory
Office: NFS 327
Phone: (435) 797-8136

Donald McMahon, PhD, Utah State University
Area: Food science, dairy chemistry, technology
Office: NFS 248 B
Phone: (435) 797-3644

Brian Nummer, PhD, Clemson University
Area: Food safety, preservation, and storage
Office: NFS 321
Phone: (435) 797-2116

Marie Walsh, PhD, North Carolina State University
Area: Food science
Office: NFS 318
Phone: (435) 797-2177

Robert Ward, PhD, University of California – Davis
Associate Professor
Area: Food science, bioactive materials
Office: NFS 322
Phone: (435) 797-2153

Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs

Institute of Food Technologists: With members from virtually every discipline related to food science and technology, and from more than 100 countries around the world, IFT is a professional organization for those dedicated to the science of food. IFT’s professionals collaborate to address critical issues such as hunger, malnutrition, and sustainability.

Labs, Centers, Research

Center for Advanced Nutrition: The CAN provides a multi-disciplinary venue for the discussion, discovery, and dissemination of information about the biological, physiological, and psychological mechanisms of proper nutrition. The scope of discovery is broad and falls into four distinct but overlapping focus areas: bioactive foods, nutrition and the brain, ingestive behavior, and personalized nutrition.

Center for Human Nutrition Studies: The "Center for Human Nutrition Studies" at Utah State University provides the organizational structure and logistic support for research scientists with interests in conducting clinical studies with an emphasis on nutrition. The Center, with a core staff consisting of experienced clinical researchers, community interventionist, research dietitian, clinic coordinator, laboratory research associate and support staff, coupled with an outstanding clinical facility and research kitchen, is designed to serve as a resource to Utah State University researchers in efforts to secure extramural research funding and industry contracts and partnerships. The Center also provides opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to gain experience in the design and conduct of human nutrition clinical studies. The Center is managed by the USTAR Applied Nutrition Research Team in conjunction with the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science and under the administrative oversight of the College of Agriculture.

Center for Integrated BioSystems: The CIB leads a progressive, interdisciplinary effort in research, core services, and education serving agriculture and life sciences. The CIB is where the first hybrid animal, a mule, was cloned, and was named one of “30 Awesome College Labs” by Popular Science magazine. The CIB has a research program with several active projects in diverse areas of life science that encompass plant, animal, and microbe functional genomics.

Utah Agricultural Experiment Station: The UAES is part of a network of researchers and facilities at the nation’s land-grant universities and is committed to improving agriculture and managing natural resources for the people of Utah. At research facilities on the USU campus and throughout the state, UAES supports hundreds of research projects that promote agriculture and human nutrition and enhance the quality of rural life.

Western Dairy Center: The Western Dairy Center conducts basic and applied research in dairy products and ingredients, and then transfers the results to the dairy industry. The center provides expert assistance in these important areas: fluid milk and ice cream, fermented products (cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, buttermilk), milk protein chemistry (coagulation, denaturation, separation), food engineering (membrane, extrusion and injection processing), genetics and bioengineering of lactic acid bacteria, ultra-high temperature and extended-shelf life products.

Request Information for Food Safety and Quality
Description Food Safety and Quality


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences Department


College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences

Academic Advising

Tara Johnson
Assistant to the Department Head
Office: NFS 213
Phone: (435) 797-2102

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