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Online Master’s Degree in Food Science

Food science is an interdisciplinary field of study that analyzes food nutrition and safety at molecular and cellular levels. A master’s degree in food science incorporates several scientific disciplines as well as culinary arts to prepare students for an advanced career in food development and research. Many online master’s degrees in food science require 30 or more hours of course work. Full-time students often complete the degree in two to three years, though some students may take more time to graduate. Part-time students may take four to five years to earn their degree and complete any additional program requirements.

Classes for an Online Master’s Degree in Food Science

A master’s degree in food science focuses on the nutrition and safety of food and food development. Students take courses in several scientific disciplines, in addition to courses in agriculture, nutrition, statistics, and research methods. Coursework in physics, chemistry, microbiology, and engineering are often required in a food science curriculum. Students will also develop the ability to test and evaluate food, which will be beneficial in future food laboratory environments. Courses in human health may also be required. Core coursework will include courses similar to:

  • Microbiology of Food
  • Quality Assurance of Food Products
  • Food Analysis
  • Advanced Food Chemistry
  • Natural Science Statistical Methods

Additional degree requirements for a food science master’s program will vary depending on whether the program is online or on-campus. On-campus programs typically require a thesis or research project and a formal presentation of the student’s research findings. Traditional programs may also require laboratory experience or field work. An online master’s degree in food science might require a comprehensive exam or an internship.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Master’s Degree in Food Science

Graduate degrees in food science often lead to careers in food manufacturing, agriculture, or food research and development. Food scientists typically work in office environments though some might work in laboratories developing or testing foods for nutrition and safety. Food scientists need at least a bachelors degree and some go on to earn doctoral degrees in food chemistry or food science. A master’s degree in food science may be sufficient to launch a career in this field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, food scientists can earn approximately $58,000 per year on average. However, salaries can vary significantly depending on the employer, the geographic location, and the candidate’s individual qualifications.

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