Food Science Graduate Certificate Programs

Updated: Dec 25, 2023

Some people in the food science world have been in the restaurant business for decades, while others are just beginning to explore options in the industry. Food science is changing rapidly to meet the ever-changing needs and demands of consumers. Many companies are working day and night to create healthier, fresher options for consumers and food scientists are an important part of the process. Earning an online graduate degree can catapult food science professionals into new heights in their careers.

What Are the Online Food Science Graduate Certificate Requirements?

Some food science graduate certificate programs only accept students who are already enrolled at the institution as undergraduates. Others accept a broader range of students. Requirements for admission to a food science graduate certificate program may include:

  • A personal statement on interest in food science
  • Prerequisite courses in nutrition, chemistry, and biology
  • Undergraduate GPA requirements – these vary by school but may be 3.0 or above

What Type of Classes Are Included in the Online Food Science Graduate Certificate Curriculum?

Course requirements for earning a food science graduate certificate differ from program to program. Some programs focus on food safety, while others focus on social issues surrounding food security. While searching for the right food science graduate certificate program, it’s important that professionals consider their career goals, and choose a program that makes sense for their professional path. Course topics may include: 

  • Rights to food and global food justice
  • Social determinants of nutrition and health
  • Food safety and sanitation
  • Food microbiology
  • Food preservation
  • Organic and natural foods

Many programs also require students to choose elective courses, allowing for the creation of a personalized program.

What Type of Career Can I Pursue with an Online Food Science Graduate Certificate?

Earning an online graduate certificate in food science can open the door to many career options for those who have years of experience working in the food industry and those who are getting started in a new career field. Career path options for professionals who earn their food science graduate certificate include:

  • Food Safety Inspector: Those who earn food science graduate certificates are knowledgeable in how to safely handle and prepare food. Working as a food safety inspector involves visiting restaurants, evaluating their food safety practices, and making recommendations for how restaurants and other food preparation facilities can improve their safety practices.
  • Product Development: The food that makes it to supermarket shelves has been perfected by scientists. A product developer for a food company can work to make food more nutritious, more delicious, and more appealing to customers. Product developers can work in any number of food industries and may have the chance to build new food products from the ground up.
  • Preservation and Packaging: Food sometimes has a long way to go before it gets to consumers. Food scientists play an important role in figuring out how to get food to consumers as safely and freshly as possible. Professionals who work in food preservation and packaging develop research that allows companies to help food stay fresher, longer.

Food Science Graduate Certificate Programs List

Interested in a food science graduate certificate program? Check out our listings below to find a traditional, online, or hybrid program near you.


Iowa State UniversityAmes, IAHybrid - Food Science


Mississippi State UniversityMississippi State, MSHybrid - Food Science


University of NebraskaLincoln, NEOnline - Food Safety & Defense

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