This is an archived copy of the 2016-17 catalogue. To access the most recent version of the catalogue, please visit

Food Systems M.S.

All students must meet the Requirements for the Master's Degree

Students in the Professional Track complete a final project in lieu of a thesis.


Food Systems M.S. graduates gain a broad and deep understanding of contemporary food systems, as well as a set of applied skills and experience – preparing them to succeed.

There are two phases to the Food Systems Graduate Program: Immersion and either Research or Application. All students will take the same first-year immersion program.

Most students complete required coursework and spend one semester designing and researching a final project.  However, upon request of a Food Systems faculty member, a student can design a year-long thesis research project.

For more information please visit the Food Systems Graduate Program website.

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Master of Science

The Food Systems Graduate Program is transdisciplinary and involves an understanding of social, physical, and life science concepts related to food from production through consumption. Therefore, students from all academic backgrounds are welcome to apply. Minimum requirements include:

  • GPA of 3.00 or higher
  • Completion of the GRE with satisfactory results in the general (aptitude) portion. Read Graduate Admissions Tests for more information. If you have received a Master's Degree from an accredited institution, you may request to have the GRE waived. Contact the Program Coordinator for more information.
  • TOEFL exam scores must be submitted if you are an international student.
  • Completion of a college-level statistics course. If this information is not clearly listed on a college transcript, you will need to provide additional documentation as evidence that you have fulfilled this requirement.  

Minimum Degree Requirements

31-32 credit hours, including:

Required Courses:
FS 335Qualitative Research Methods (Spring)3
FS 345SU:Food Systems, Soc & Policy (Fall)3
FS 340Food Systems, Science & Policy (Spring)3
FS 350Food Systems Application Sem (Spring)3
FS 351Professional Development Sem. (Fall)1
CDAE 351Research Methods (Fall)0 or 3
FS 352Research Design Seminar (Required for Thesis Research)1
FS 391Master's Thesis Research (Year-Long Thesis Research)1-18
or FS 392 Master's Project Research
Food Systems Immersion Requirement: May be taken fall, spring or summer terms, or during semester breaks (3 credits). Students have the option of taking a travel immersion or practicum course, or a community internship.

Comprehensive Examination

There is a required comprehensive examination. The details and format are decided upon by the Project & Thesis Committee and will be discussed with the student well in advance of the exam.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Science

Satisfactory completion of all degree requirements and the Comprehensive Exam.