Masters of Science in Agriculture - Nutrition & Food Science

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The Master of Science in Agriculture with the subplan in Nutrition and Food Science offers interdisciplinary in-depth study of the principles and application of nutritional and food sciences. The program is structured with Thesis and Non-Thesis tracks. Both tracks meet the objectives of both the generalist and those seeking specialization in one of the following areas: nutritional biochemistry, community nutrition, clinical nutrition, or food science. Students in both the Thesis and Non-Thesis tracks will acquire skills to pursue careers in teaching, research industry, Students in the Thesis track will be prepared for advanced graduate studies. The teaching format includes lectures, discussions, research methods, evaluation of scientific literature, laboratory work, and independent research.

Entrance Requirements

  • Students will be admitted to the Nutrition thesis option with a faculty sponsor. All other Nutrition option students when admitted will be admitted as non-thesis.
  • Faculty Sponsor is required for admission to the Food Science option.
  • Excellent communication skills in this major are essential.
  • Test scores:
    • GRE scores are required at the time the application is submitted:  We require minimum 1,000 overall, 500 in verbal (on the old test, a 153 on the new test), and 3.5+ on the written exam
    • GPA: 3.0 minimum
    • Foreign Students must take the: TOEFL: 550+ written and 86+ computer
  • Please note that our program has become increasingly competitive, and adherence to the minimum test qualifications or GPA doesn't ensure admission to the program or imply unconditional admittance to the program
  • Also required:
    • A statement of your research interests, career goals and motivation for pursuing an advanced degree is required 
    • A valid diploma from an accredited university
    • Three letters of recommendation from qualified individuals familiar with the applicant's academic qualifications and potential as a graduate student.
      • The three letters should be sent to the Department Graduate Coordinator
    • A minimum of 24-quarter units of courses in Foods and Nutrition or a related discipline. Suggested classes include nutrition, chemistry equivalents to 121/121L & 122/L, organic chemistry and biochemistry (if possible), biology, statistics, physiology and microbiology
    • When reaching a decision on admittance, we consider all entrance requirements (see above)
  • A total of 45 approved units are required for a Master’s degree. Consult the current catalog or an advisor for the appropriate courses.

Thesis Option

  • In addition to the minimum requirements for admission, a research thesis is required.
    • Additional classes might also be required, depending on the thesis topic.
  • Students will conduct independent research as partial fulfillment for the Master’s degree.
  • Some faculty will require a peer-reviewed manuscript and presentation of the research at a professional conference as partial fulfillment for the Master’s degree.

Non-thesis Option

  • In addition to the minimum requirements for admission, a publishable critical review paper will be required upon completion of coursework. 
  • Some faculty will require a presentation of the research.

Dietetic Career and Internship Requirements

The following requirements are for those individuals wishing to become Registered Dietitians.

  • Meets or exceeds entrance requirements for the Master’s program (see above)
  • Entry into an accredited Dietetic Internship may require up to 54 additional undergraduate units (see website for course listings) to satisfy requirements.

Undergraduate Preparatory Coursework

  • General Chemistry – chemistry equivalent to 121/121L & 122/L (2 quarters)
  • Organic chemistry – 1 semester/quarter (or series for Life Sciences)
  • Biochemistry (if possible) – 1 semester
  • Nutrition – 1 semester/quarter
  • General Biology – 1 semester/quarter
  • Basic Statistics – 1 semester/quarter
  • Physiology – 1 semester/quarter
  • Microbiology – 1 semester/quarter

The following classes or equivalents are required for the Nutrition Graduate classes: (Advanced Nutrition) FN 433, 434, 435. These classes can be taken after admittance.

Student in chemistry lab

Student in chemistry lab