Food Safety

The degree is designed to prepare practitioners of diverse backgrounds and perspectives to address complex, environmental, social, community, and biologically based problems in agricultural industries, education, and agencies. The degree program allows the student to select an emphasis area. 

Spring ESRM 5393 Statistics in Education** 3
  POSC 4033 Statistical Process Control  3
Summer PBHL 4613 Principles of Epidemiology 3
  ESRM 5393 Statistics in Education** 3
  FDSC 5503 Food Industry Sanitation 3
Fall ESRM 5393 Statistics in Education** 3
  FDSC 4823 Principles of Food Microbiology 3
  FDSC 5223 Biosecurity in the Food Industry 3
Spring ESRM 5393 Statistics in Education** 3
  POSC 5113 Food Toxicology 3
Summer ESRM 5393 Statistics in Education 3
  FDSC 5423 Foodborne Diseases 3
Fall AGEC 5713 Food Safety Law 3
  AGED 5473 Interpretation of Social Data in AG** 3
  ESRM 5393 Statistics in Education** 3
Spring ESRM 5393 Statistics in Education** 3
  POSC 4033 Statistical Process Control  3
Summer CHLP 4613 Principles of Epidemiology 3
  ESRM 5393 Statistics in Education 3
  FDSC 5503 Food Industry Sanitation 3
Fall AGEC 5713 Food Safety Law 3
  FDSC 4823 Principles of Food Microbiology 3

NOTE: Schedule is subject to change

** Students only need ESRM 5393 OR AGED 5473

Required Statistics Courses (3 hours - Only ONE of these is required)

AGED 5473. Interpreting Social Data in Agriculture. The development of competencies in analyzing, interpreting and reporting the results of analyses of social science data in agriculturally related professions. Students will select appropriate analysis techniques and procedures for various problems, analyze data, and interpret and report the results of statistical analyses in narrative and tabular form.

ESRM 5393. Statistics in Education and Health Professions. Applied statistics course for Master's degree candidates. Includes concepts and operations for frequency distributions, graphing techniques, measures of central tendency and variation, sampling, hypothesis testing, and interpretation of statistical results.

Emphasis Area Courses (21 hours)

FDSC 4823. Principles of Food Microbiology. This web-based course is a study of the fundamentals of food microbiology to include its history, classifications, spores and their importance, and the most common and serious pathogenic food microorganisms. Fermentation, spoilage microorganisms and control methodology are also discussed.

FDSC 5223. Food Biosecurity. This course is the study of the security of agricultural products and the protection of our food supply from intentional and accidental, domestic and international contamination.

FDSC 5423. Foodborne Diseases. This course will introduce students to the major pathogens associated with foodborne diseases, their epidemiology, and approaches to outbreak investigation and control of foodborne illness.  An emphasis will be placed on understanding the relationships between the host, the etiologic agent, and the environment as they relate to disease causation. The student will gain knowledge through lectures, case studies, readings, and an individual project.

FDSC 5503. Safety and Sanitation for the Food Industry. This web-based course will provide an appreciation of the need for sanitation in food processing and increase the students' knowledge of sanitary techniques. Topics will include contamination sources, plant and equipment design, cleaners and sanitizers, HACCP, and food biosecurity. Also covered will be considerations in selecting, establishing and maintaining a sanitation program. Prerequisite: General Microbiology or Food Microbiology; General Chemistry.

POSC 4033. Statistical Process Control in the Food Industry. Analysis of processing data related to compliance with regulatory limits, quality & safety limits and internal & external customer specifications. Emphasizes statistical process control chart development, including understanding data and chart selection, calculating statistical limits, and interpreting process performance.

POSC 5113. Food Toxicology and Contaminants. During this course, the student will learn basic concepts of food toxicology, study the different physiological processes involved in food borne intoxications, and learn about potential health problems associated with exposure to these compounds.

FDSC or POSC 500V. Special Problems Research. Original investigation on assigned problems in food safety.

Additional Coursework (6 hours)

AGEC 5713. Food Safety Law. This course provides students with an introduction to food law and policy, history of food regulation, the organization of federal food law and regulatory agencies, government inspection and enforcement powers, food safety standards, food labeling, food advertising and product liability.

CHLP 4613 Principles of Epidemiology. Distribution and patterns of disease or physiological conditions within populations; an examination of the nature of epidemiological research. Prerequisite: Senior standing and BIOL 2013 and BIOL 2011


 Helpful information

Application deadlines for this program are May 1st for fall enrollment and December 1st for spring enrollment. All applications will be reviewed after the deadline. 

This program timeline can be shortened. Please contact your academic advisor.

An oral or written examination and exit interview are required to fulfill degree requirements.

This program does not currently accept international students residing outside of the United States.

Program Checklist

Program Contact

Kristin Seals
Programs Coordinator

 Program Cost

$500 Tuition

Tuition and fees per credit hour reflect fall 2016 rates for students studying completely online. If an online student takes a course on campus, tuition and fees will differ.

Program at a Glance

100% online

30 credit hours

Can be completed in 3 years or less

One course per semester - 9 credits per year


GRE exempt

Requires a 3-hour Special Problem course (self-directed study)

A cumulative GPA of 2.85 or higher

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