Food and Nutritional Sciences, M.S.


Department of Food Science and Nutrition

Master of Science Program
Food and Nutritional Sciences

Mission. The Master of Science in Food and Nutritional Sciences at California State University, Fresno provides for development of advanced level knowledge, development of research abilities, and the mentoring of future leaders.

Outcomes. The program graduates will be able to (a) use knowledge and critical thinking skills to identify innovative solutions to problems, (b) communicate research findings through professional presentations and publications, (c) advance their careers, and (d) take an active role in their profession.

This program provides a graduate-level proficiency in food science or nutrition. The degree is applicable to specializations in food research, production, processing, chemistry, and microbiology; and dietetics, nutrition, nutrition education, and food service systems management.

Prerequisite Courses. The Master of Science in Food and Nutritional Sciences assumes preparation equivalent to a California State University, Fresno undergraduate major in food science, dairy science, nutrition, dietetics and food administration, or related areas.

Students with undergraduate degrees in other fields or from other institutions who need to make up course deficiencies should consult with the graduate coordinator. The following specific prerequisite foundation courses, or their equivalents, are required:

Program Requirements

All students must complete a 12-unit common core. Under the direction of the graduate adviser, students may focus a program in a specialized area to meet their career goals. This is accomplished by the selection of a minimum of 12 units of electives. A 6-unit thesis completes the program of study. A minimum of 21 units must be taken at the 200 level.

FN 200 (3 units)
200-level statistics course (3 units)
(See Graduate Advising Notes.)
FN 223 (3 units)
FN 229 (1+1+1 units)

Approved Electives
200- or 100-level courses appropriate to
individually designed program; must be
approved by adviser prior to enrollment (12 units)

Culminating Experience
FN 299 (6 units)

Total minimum (30 units)

Advising Notes for M.S. in Food and Nutritional Sciences

  1. Several of the 200-level and approved elective courses have prerequisites other than courses listed as admission requirements.
  2. The statistics requirement may be met with any adviser approved 200-level statistics course offered by the university.
  3. Students should request specific information concerning the master of science degree and the program advising sheet from the department office.
  4. Upon admission, students should see the department graduate program coordinator for assistance in selection of a graduate adviser.
  5. To progress through the graduate program, the student must:
    a. Maintain a minimum of 3.0 GPA
    b. Complete all prerequisite coursework
    c. Attain classified standing
    d. Meet the graduate writing proficiency requirement
    e. File for advancement to candidacy
    f. Complete the program requirements
    g. File a master thesis committee assignment form
    h. Formally present and defend the thesis results
  6. The Graduate Writing Skills requirement for the graduate program in Food and Nutritional Sciences may be met by passing the writing component of AGRI 220 or FN 200. Please see the program's graduate adviser for more information.
  7. Advancement to candidacy requires the completion of 9 program units in residence, a minimum GPA of 3.0, meeting the graduate writing proficiency requirement, and filing a petition for advancement to candidacy a minimum of one semester prior to enrollment in thesis and within the deadline.
  8. Students may apply a maximum of 3 units each of FN 290 or FN 292 to their program.
  9. See Division of Graduate Studies in this catalog for university requirements.


The faculty members continue to be recognized for quality hands-on education as well as scholarly contributions to their academic disciplines. Each student is assigned to a faculty adviser to maximize the student's educational experience at California State University, Fresno. The faculty are noted for cooperation and activity within each industry to prepare and place graduates in their chosen career.

For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.

For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.
The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.


B.S. in Food and Nutritional Sciences - Food Science Option

A Roadmap identifies the specific set of courses students must complete in their major in sequential order. Information on corequisites or prerequisites is listed along with other pertinent information to assist students in completing courses towards the major.

For the most up-to-date roadmap, please contact the College Advising Center or check your My Degree Plan.

Please note: Roadmaps are not a guarantee of course availability.

If you are looking for archived roadmaps, please click here.


Culinary students

Graduates of the Department of Food Science and Nutrition have enjoyed outstanding employment opportunities in the food industry. Historically, graduates have been placed in challenging positions with salary advancement and professional prestige envied by other industries throughout the world. The following options are available:

Culinology® is the blending of culinary arts and the science of food. The discipline consists of chefs and food scientists working in research and development (its primary focus), food manufacturing, chain restaurants, hotels, ingredient supply houses, consulting, and academia. It includes other food professionals in sales, marketing, manufacturing, distribution, and the media. The professional organization of the discipline is the Research Chefs Association ( The group was formed in 1996 by a group of food professionals with a common interest in the challenges facing the profession. It has become the premier source of culinary and technical information for the food industry.

Dietetics and Food Administration. Graduates are prepared for challenging and rewarding employment in dietetics, nutrition, and foodservice. Employment is available in hospital dietetics, nutrition consulting, school and community nutrition, education, commercial and institutional food services.

This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics can be reached at 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995 or at 312.899.0040 ext. 5400. By completing the requirements for this option, students meet the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics didactic requirements for dietetic registration and are eligible to apply to a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) internship. To become a registered dietitian, graduates of this program must also complete a dietetic internship and pass the dietetic registration examination.

Food Science. Graduates are prepared for an endless variety of employment opportunities in the food industry, including laboratory, processing, production, and governmental roles. New product development, marketing, management, distribution, and field service opportunities   are present in many scientific, technological, and business endeavors. Located in the center of the world's most productive food processing region, the Fresno State Food Science Program is ideally suited to provide students with both a strong academic and practical education in food science. Students can gain practical experience by working in the Dairy Processing Enterprise and the Food Processing Enterprise, or research experience through the Center for Food Science and Nutrition Research.  Students can also participate in internships, projects, supervised  work experience,  and cooperative research. This program is based upon the educational standards of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). Information on careers in food science and IFT contacts can be obtained at

What You Can Earn

  • Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)
    $65,090 (in our region)
  • Food Scientist II
    $72,990 (in our region)
  • Food Product R&D Scientist II
    $72,940 (in our region)
  • Food Services Manager
    $74,818 (in our region)
  • Regional Chef
    $135, 719 (in our region)

Source: HR Reported data from as of February 2022

Interesting Classes You Might Take

  • Food Analysis
  • Food Product Development
  • Food Safety for Foodservice Professionals
  • Culinary Science III: The principles of the Bakeshop
  • Dairy Processing
  • Fruit, Vegetable, and Edible Oil Processing
  • Techniques for Healthy Cooking

What You Can Learn

  • Concepts of nutritional therapy in disease
  • Influence of nutrition on age, growth, and normal development
  • Up-to-date information on all aspects of handling food, from receiving and storing to preparing and serving
  • Experimental approach to development of new food products

About the College

The Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology's six departments offer outstanding programs to prepare leaders in the traditional areas of agriculture. Our 1,000-acre on-campus University Agricultural Laboratory gives students, classes and faculty unparalleled access to the nation’s most productive and diversified agricultural area through study, research and work experience.

College Contact Information

Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology
2415 E. San Ramon,
Fresno, CA 93740
Phone: 559.278.2061
Fax: 559.278.4496

Department Contact Information

Food Science and Nutrition
5300 N Campus Drive, M/S FF17
Fresno, CA 93740-8019

Department Phone: (559) 278-2164
Department Fax: (559) 278-7623

Department Office Location: Family and Food Science Building, Room 111