Minors and Certificates

We offer undergraduate minors in food science, nutrition and brewing science and technology, a certificate in food safety for undergraduate and graduate students, and a graduate minor in food safety.

Nutrition Minor

Opportunities for students with an undergraduate nutrition minor vary widely depending on your primary area of interest. You can select courses to emphasize human or animal nutrition, or a combination of both.

For example, if you have a background in animal or poultry science, a nutrition minor might help you find jobs in research, technical sales/service in a feed or pharmaceutical company, or production, research and development for a livestock or poultry producer.

A nutrition minor could also be helpful if you desire a career in healthcare, the food industry, or as a science or health science educator.


Dr. Natalie Cooke certifies students’ completion of the nutrition minor. You must submit certification no later than the registration period for your final semester. You must complete the minor no later than the semester you expect to graduate from your degree program.

Requirements and Coursework

Brewing Science and Technology Minor

Brewing EquipmentThe brewing science and technology minor will help prepare you for a career in the fermentation beverage industry. It prioritizes chemistry, microbiology, and the technologies used in the modern beer industry. This minor offers a strong science component and hands-on experience with both production-scale fermentation equipment and a quality control lab.

NCSU Brewing Lab

Food Science Minor

The food science minor can give you a competitive edge for employment in the food, pharmaceutical, and related industries in such positions as chemist, microbiologist, engineer, nutritionist, business specialist, or technical writer.

Coursework will help improve your knowledge and understanding of how food is produced. It also gives you the flexibility to tailor the program to complement your major.


Dr. Keith Harris certifies students’ completion of the food science minor before graduation. You must submit certification no later than the registration period for your final semester. You must complete the minor no later than the semester you expect to graduate from your degree program.

Visit the NC State Course Catalog to learn more about food science courses. (Click the Browse button and select FS (Food Science) to view a list of classes.)

Minor Requirements and Coursework

Food Safety Certificate

The Food Safety Manager Certification program provides individuals with skills and knowledge of food safety, quality control, and operations management concepts useful throughout the food manufacturing supply chain. It is available through distance education to non-degree seeking students and both undergraduate and graduate students at NC State University.

For more information about the Food Safety Manager Certificate, contact Dr. Clint Stevenson.

Food Safety Certificate Requirements

Graduate Food Safety Minor

The graduate food safety minor focuses on knowledge of the food safety continuum. You will receive training in microbiology, epidemiology, quantitative risk assessment, environmental health practices, and social sciences.


Master’s Degree (10 credits)
Students in a master’s program must have all ten credits from the core courses to earn the food safety minor.

Doctoral Degree (10 credits)
Students in a doctoral program must have, at a minimum, ten credits from the core courses. The actual number of classes (credits) required is dependent on the courses previously completed during the master’s program either at NC State or another institution. The additional courses should be related to the disciplines associated with food safety.

Core Courses

Pre-Harvest Food Safety (FSA 520, 3 credits)
Participants will study all of the major food production systems in animals and plants. The animal component will consist of 5 modules covering dairy, beef, swine, poultry, and seafood. Topics in each module will include government regulation of the food animal products, and the use of the antimicrobials in food animal production and the emergence of resistant human pathogens. We emphasize epidemiology and control of major recognized foodborne pathogens in the course. The plant component will cover the production and harvest of field, fruit, and vegetable crops. Students will study natural and chemical hazards in food plants, including pesticide residues, and the philosophy of organic farming and the public’s perception of biotechnology applications in food.

Post-Harvest Food Safety (FSA 530, 3 credits)
This course covers the relationship of post-harvest handling of agricultural commodities and food products to food safety. It also provides background on the current issues and developments associated with post-harvest food safety, including the biological, chemical and physical food safety hazards. Additionally, we cover regulations governing food safety and the role of consumer perceptions.

Food Safety and Public Health (FSA 540, 3 credits)
This course covers the relationship between food safety and public health, including:

  • emerging foodborne pathogens
  • virulence and pathogenicity
  • foodborne toxins
  • epidemiological techniques used in the investigation of foodborne disease
  • rapid detection methods
  • quantitative microbial risk assessment in food safety

Professional Development and Ethics in Food Safety Seminar (FSA 580, 1 credit)
A one-credit professional development and ethics seminar is required. This course focuses specifically on professional development and ethical issues related to food safety will be scheduled during the fall and spring semesters. While the course can be taken for credit just once, regular attendance by participants in the Food Safety Minor will be highly encouraged. This seminar will be integrative of all departments and disciplines.

For more information about the Food Safety Minor, contact Dr. Clint Stevenson.