Graduate Programs

Our graduate students make their mark on the world.

Cultivating Leaders

As a graduate student in FBNS, you have the opportunity to engage with award-winning faculty and focus on cutting-edge research technologies.

Choose from several paths in food science and nutrition science, including thesis and non-thesis master’s degree programs and doctoral programs. We also offer one of the top online master’s degree programs in nutrition science.

The Art and Science of Cured Meats

Graduate student Juan Asencio will be honored in Frankfurt, Germany, with five gold medals, a silver and a bronze at the German Butchers’ Association and the American Association of Meat Processors’ Quality Competition for Sausage and Ham.

Read Juan's story

M.S. in Food Science

Our “program-area” approach to graduate studies in food science includes courses in chemistry, engineering, microbiology, processing, nutrition, and sensory analysis. You will gain a general knowledge of food science and related disciplines and be adept at conducting, analyzing and communicating research in academic or industrial settings.

Students with science, agricultural, biochemistry, and engineering degrees can design academically-challenging and enriching M.S. programs that will prepare them for rewarding careers in fields such as food, pharmaceuticals and bioprocessing in industry or regulatory agencies. 

Requirement and Coursework

Master of Food Science

Demand is increasing for professionals who have training in food safety for inspection and certification and knowledge of the safe development and use of ingredients in food products. FBNS graduate students meet these demands and graduate knowing how to communicate core product and quality concepts. 

They launch successful careers with companies and agencies in food safety compliance; quality assurance and quality control; sales and technology, product development and modification, among others. 

Requirements and Coursework

M.S. in Nutrition

The Master of Science (M.S.) degree is a thesis degree option for students seeking research experience in an area of study in nutrition. Students use their training to obtain a technical research position or to work toward a Ph.D.

This interdepartmental program includes Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, Animal Science, Agricultural and Human Sciences, and Prestage Department of Poultry Science. Students may complete their thesis work with faculty in any one of these departments as chair or co-chair of their advisory committee.

Research activities are diverse, ranging from the molecular to the whole animal. Students’ department and faculty advisor choices depend on their research interests. Prospective students should contact the faculty whose programs best match their research interests. Nutrition students often co-major with the program from the department of their advisor.

Note: NC State does offer the Certification in Didactic Program in Dietetics.

Requirements and Coursework

Master of Nutrition

A Master of Nutrition is a non-thesis option for students seeking to expand their knowledge in the science of nutrition. Students in this program develop skills for jobs in public health; health and wellness promotional firms and departments; and food and pharmaceutical companies emphasizing their products’ nutritional health.

Many students continue for other degrees and certifications in allied health fields or complement prior health and nutrition licenses and certifications for jobs that require a master’s degree. The program includes the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, Department of Animal Science, Prestage Department of Poultry Science and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Requirements and Coursework

Ph.D. in Food Science

Thrive in a Challenging Research Environment

The Ph.D. program in food science is geared toward individuals with graduate or B.S. degrees in related sciences who want an in-depth research experience in areas such as food safety, functional foods, food processing, sensory science, and food fermentation.

You can specialize in research areas such as:

  • Food Chemistry
  • Food Microbiology
  • Food Engineering
  • Food Processing
  • Flavor Chemistry/Sensory Science

Come to NC State and challenge yourself in the study of food ingredient functionality and rheology, the molecular mechanisms of foodborne illness and detection of foodborne bacterial and viral pathogens, the genetics and beneficial effects of probiotic microbes and lactic acid bacteria on human health, the science of brewery and dairy fermentation, the thermal/aseptic processing of foods, and the sensory and flavor chemistry of dairy and other ingredients.

Research with Renowned Faculty

Our faculty are routinely recognized for their research achievements and teaching accomplishments. Under their mentoring, Ph.D. students publish in prestigious peer-reviewed journals and present at national and international conferences.

Requirements and Curriculum

Ph.D. in Nutrition

We focus on the development of creativity in nutrition research.

The Ph.D. in nutrition is an interdepartmental program with faculty from four departments: Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Science, Animal Science, Agricultural and Human Sciences and Poultry Science. Our faculty’s research activities are diverse, ranging from the molecular to the whole animal, from the individual to the community.

As a Ph.D. student in nutrition, you will immerse yourself in advanced study in nutrition as well as the biological, physical and social sciences. You will be affiliated with one of the participating departments depending on your research interests. Advisory committees develop individual programs of courses for each student, ensuring that you’ll be engaged and challenged.

Want to know more?

Learn more about course requirements for the Ph.D. in nutrition. Visit the graduate student handbook for more in-depth information and resources.

Nutrition Graduate Handbook

As I headed down the path of changing my career focus to nutrition science, NC State ended up being the best fit for me because I wanted a strong biochemistry-based foundation for my understanding of nutrition and human health.

Maryanne Perrin