The University of Massachusetts Amherst

1-Year Professional M.S. Degree (Non-thesis)

The 1-Year Professional Masters Degree in Food Science is designed for applicants who have earned a B.S. degree in a field of science other than food science.


Enrollment is highly selective and limited to applicants with a B.S. degree from a U.S. college/university and who have the necessary prerequisites. If you have not completed any of the courses/lab work below, you will need to discuss this with your advisor.

1) GPA of 3.0 or above
2) Completed courses

  A. General Chemistry with lab
  B. Organic Chemistry with lab
  C. Biochemistry with lab
  D. Microbiology with lab 

3) Statistics


The non-thesis M.S. degree in Food Science involves the completion of a total 30 graduate course credits.

  • Category 1: At least 12 credits of Food Science courses at the 600- or 700- level are required.
  • Category 2: Student should take one course from each of following:

-Food Chemistry I, Food Chemistry II, or Food Analysis

-Food Microbiology or Food Quality

-Food Processing or Food Engineering

  • Category 3: One credit of seminar (FS791A) is required, either letter grade or SAT (satisfactory grade, no presentation). An additional seminar can be taken with SAT and this credit can be used for degree requirement.


To complete the degree, student should take a general exam after discussion with the advisor. The format of the general exam is determined by your advisor.


SUGGESTED COURSES FOR 1-YEAR (minimum 30 credits)


  • Food Chem 542 (A);  3 credits
  • Food Microbiology or Food Quality (B); 3 credits
  • Graduate course **; 3 credits
  • Elective*; 3 credits


  • Food Chem 541 (A) or Elective*; 3 credits
  • Food Processing (C); 3 credits
  • Graduate course**; 3 credits
  • Elective*; 3 credits
  • Seminar FS791A; 1 credit


  • Independent study*** (Food Science 696) up to 6 credits.


** Two 700-level Food Science courses are offered each semester. Each is offered every two years except Research Methods (FS797R, offered Fall semesters). Incoming students are strongly suggested to take Research Method (FS797R) as a part of Category 1.


* Suggested Electives: Plant & Soil Science 661 (Biometry/Statistics) or other outside-Departmental courses (400-level or above). One 400-level course from the outside department (3 or 4 credits) will be accepted.


* Students can use 1 credit Teaching Experience (FS796T), journal club credits (up to 2 credits), toward their degree requirements, either letter grade or SAT.


*** Independent study can be registered for Spring semester. Student should discuss topics and timing of independent research projects with his/her advisor.


Please note that students in this program do not qualify for graduate teaching and research assistantships, and admission is competitive. Applicants interested in a career in laboratory research or who plan to continue their graduate education should consider the standard thesis option.


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Updated August 31st. 2022