Admission Requirements

Master of Science in Food Safety Degree (US Citizens and Permanent Resident Aliens)

What are the requirements to apply?

  • a bachelor's degree, professional degree, or equivalent degree from an accredited and recognized college or university
  • at least six (6) credits of college level biological sciences, three (3) of which are in microbiology (a 300-level course or higher is recommended)  [*see below if you do not meet this requirement]
  • a cumulative grade point average of no less than a 3.0 on a 4.0 system (*see below if you do not meet this requirement)
  • work experience in a food-related field (at least two years is recommended)

Applications will also be judged on demonstrated readiness and suitability for graduate studies, as well as a likelihood to make timely progress toward successful completion of the MSFS Program.

Supplemental Materials:

  • a professional letter of intent (submit under personal and/or academic statement)
  • three (3) letters of recommendation
  • an official, original transcript from each institution attended
  • if English is not the first language, proof of English proficiency (i.e. TOEFL or IELTS). Refer to the MSU Office of Admissions for futher details
  • a current resume or CV

NOTE: This program does not require GRE scores. 

International Credentials

Applicants submitting international credentials, regardless of citizenship, must meet the requirements for International Application.  Please contact Peggy Trommater in the program office if you need to request international application procedures (trommat2@msu.edu).

What are the deadlines to apply?

MSU follows a 3-semester annual cycle.  Applications are accepted for each semester.

Application Deadlines

Spring Semester 2018   October 3, 2017
Summer Semester 2018   February 14, 2018
Fall Semester 2018   May 31, 2018

Apply early. Application deadlines represent the last day supplemental materials will be accepted for a given semester.  International applicants should apply no less than one month ahead of the deadline.

What should I know about admission status?

  • Acceptance into the Online MS in Food Safety program represents a “recommendation for admission.”
  • Credentials are forwarded to the MSU Office of Admissions for review before admission to the University is complete.

Regular Status

Acceptance to the Online MS in Food Safety degree program is granted by the Faculty Advisory Committee with final action taken by the Office of the Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine. 

Provisional Status

Acceptance can be granted to applicants not possessing all of the requirements at the discretion of the Faculty Admissions Committee.  Provisional students will be required to make up deficiencies based upon review and approval of the program director and program curriculum committee. The CVM Office of the Dean will change the provisional status to regular status once the student has met the conditions specified on the admission form and it has been approved.  Students not successfully completing the provisional requirements will be dismissed from the program. NOTE: Students accepted on a provisional basis do not qualify for Federal financial aid: finaid.msu.edu/provadmt.asp.

I don’t meet all the requirements. What can I do?*

Applicants who are concerned about meeting application requirements should address their concerns and any extenuating circumstances in their letter of intent.

My cumulative grade point average is below the 3.0 cutoff for regular admission:

The closer to a 3.0 the grade point average is, the better the chance of acceptance.  However, the committee will look at applications as a whole, weighing grades and grade patterns with work experience and references, etc.  While there are no guarantees how the committee will evaluate an application, provisional acceptance** is an option for candidates who are strong in most areas, but missing one of the requirements, such as a grade point slightly below the cutoff. 

**Note: Provisional acceptance often carries a restriction, such as taking one class per semester for a designated period of time. Students accepted on a provisional basis do not qualify for Federal financial aid.

I don’t have the 3 credits in microbiology:

A 300-level microbiology class has been added to our program curriculum (VM 337, Introduction to Foodborne Pathogens).  This 3-credit course does not count toward the 30-credit Master's degree, but is available as an extra course for those students wanting to brush up on their microbiology knowledge prior to taking the program's required 800-level course, VM 811, Evolution and Ecology of Foodborne Pathogens.

Additionally, applicants who do not meet the microbiology prerequisite, or those whose microbiology background is out of date or inadequate, can move forward with application to the program. If accepted, they will be granted provisional admission based on successful completion of VM 337 within a designated time frame.  Once again, note that this is an additional class.  The total credits to degree for these students will be 33, rather than 30. 

NOTE: Students accepted on a provisional basis do not qualify for Federal financial aid.

I'm ready to apply. What are the procedures?

1. Apply online from the Graduate School's website. The application fee must accompany your application.

  • College:        Veterinary Medicine
  • Major Name:  Food Safety
  • Major Code:   4914
  • The nonrefundable application fee can be paid using Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, or an electronic check

2. Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an E-mail directing you to MSU's My Account Application Portal.  From here, you will check the status of your application, send e-messages to the program office, upload various required documents, and request your letters of recommendation.

3. Transcripts are not uploaded into the application portal. They are sent separately.

  • Request one official transcript from each institution attended. 
  • Have transcripts sent to Peggy Trommater in the MS in Food Safety program office (see address below). Transcripts should come directly from the academic institution, and must arrive in a sealed, official envelope. Alternatively, institutions using an official e-scripting service can email a certified PDF to Peggy Trommater at trommat2@msu.edu.
  • International transcripts must meet the requirements specified under Non-US/International Applicants.  Please refer to the section below on International application, or contact Peggy Trommater in the program office to request procedures for international admission (trommat2@msu.edu).

4. Send official transcripts and questions to:

Peggy Trommater, Admissions Coord.
MS in Food Safety Program
Michigan State University
1129 Farm Lane, Rm. B-51
East Lansing, MI  48824
trommat2@msu.edu
(517) 884-2080

What happens after I submit my application?

  • Expect the process to take appoximately two months from application submission to final University admission.
  • Status updates will be provided by the program office once the official application has been received.
  • Completed application packets are submitted to the program's Faculty Advisory Committee for review.
  • Notification of the committee's decision will be received between 2 and 4 weeks after application submission. Official notice is sent by U.S. mail.
  • Credentials will be forwarded to the MSU Office of Admissions for final review and approval following committee review.
  • New students receive an admission letter from the MSU Office of Admissions approximately one month after notification of acceptance

Master of Science in Food Safety Degree (International)

What are the requirements to apply?

  • a bachelor's degree equivalent to a 4-year U.S. Bachelor's degree from an accredited and recognized college or university
  • at least six (6) credits of college level biological sciences, three (3) of which are in microbiology (a 300-level course or higher is recommended) (*see below if you do not meet this requirement)
  • a cumulative grade point average comparable to a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (*see below if you do not meet this requirement)
  • work experience in a food-related field (at least two years is recommended)

Applications will also be judged on demonstrated readiness and suitability for graduate studies, as well as a likelihood to make timely progress toward successful completion of the MSFS Program.

Additional Materials:

  • a professional letter of intent (submit under personal and/or academic statement)
  • three (3) letters of recommendation
  • a current resume or CV
  • official transcripts, mark sheets and/or certificates, sent directly to the MS in Food Safety office from each institution attended. Photocopies are not acceptable.  An officially attested copy of the diploma must be included.  Documents must arrive in a sealed, official envelope from the issuing institution
  • an official word-for-word English translation for all records not issued in English
  • official proof of English proficiency, i.e. TOEFL or IELTS, sent from the issuing agency to the MSU Office of Admissions
  • English proficiency waiver request letter if English is the first language (contact the program office for assistance) 
  • all materials must be received no later than the semester application deadline

U.S. DEGREE EQUIVALENCY 

Admission to a program leading to a master’s or doctoral degree requires completion of a level of education comparable to a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree. High Scholastic standing and suitable preparation for the intended field of study are also considered. Michigan State University does not accept three-year bachelor’s degrees or a combination of 2-year diplomas or certificates as comparable to a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree.  All international credentials will be evaluated for equivalency and authenticity before admission to the university is granted. If you have questions, contact Peggy Trommater in the program office (trommat2@msu.edu).

What are the deadlines to apply?

MSU follows a 3-semester annual cycle.  Applications are accepted for each semester. 

International Application Deadlines

Semester   Application Deadline   Supplemental Materials Deadline
Spring Semester 2018   August 16, 2017   October 3, 2017
Summer Semester 2018   December 13, 2017   February 14, 2018
Fall Semester 2018   March 21, 2018   May 31, 2018

International applicants have an earlier deadline since it can take longer to obtain official international credentials.  All credentials should arrive no later than the supplemental materials deadline.

What should I know about admission status?

  • acceptance into the Online MS in Food Safety program represents a “recommendation for admission” 
  • all applications are subject to final approval by the MSU Office of Admissions and the MSU Board of Directors

Regular Status

Acceptance to the Online MS in Food Safety degree program is granted by the Faculty Admissions Committee with final action taken by the Office of the Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine. 

Provisional Status

Acceptance can be granted to applicants not possessing all of the requirements at the discretion of the Faculty Admissions Committee.  Provisional students will be required to make up deficiencies based upon review and approval of the program director and program curriculum committee. The CVM Office of the Dean will change the provisional status to regular status once the student has met the conditions specified on the admission form and it has been approved.  Students not successfully completing the provisional requirements will be dismissed from the program.  NOTE:  Students accepted on a provisional basis do not qualify for Federal financial aid: finaid.msu.edu/provadmt.asp.

I don’t meet all the requirements. What can I do?*

Applicants who are concerned about meeting application requirements should address their concerns and any extenuating circumstances in their letter of intent.

My cumulative grade point average is below the 3.0 cutoff for regular admission:

The closer to a 3.0 the grade point average is, the better the chance of acceptance.  However, the committee will look at applications as a whole, weighing grades and grade patterns with work experience and references, etc.  While there are no guarantees how the committee will evaluate an application, provisional acceptance** is an option for candidates who are strong in most areas, but missing one of the requirements, such as a grade point slightly below the cutoff. 

**Note:  Provisional acceptance often carries a restriction, such as taking one class per semester for a designated period of time.  Students accepted on a provisional basis do not qualify for Federal financial aid.

I don’t have the 3 credits in microbiology:

A 300-level microbiology class has been added to our program curriculum (VM 337, Introduction to Foodborne Pathogens).  This 3-credit course will not count toward the 30-credit Master's degree, but is available as an extra course for those students wanting to brush up on their microbiology knowledge prior to taking the program's required 800-level course, VM 811, Evolution and Ecology of Foodborne Pathogens.

Additionally, applicants who do not meet the microbiology prerequisite, or those whose microbiology background is out of date or inadequate, can move forward with application to the program. If accepted, they will be granted provisional admission based on successful completion of VM 337 within a designated time frame.  Once again, note that this is an additional class.  The total credits to degree for these students will be 33, rather than 30.

Students accepted on a provisional basis do not qualify for Federal financial aid.

I'm ready to apply. What are the procedures?

Apply online from the Graduate School's website. The application fee must accompany your application.

  • College: Veterinary Medicine
  • Major Name: Food Safety
  • Major Code: 4914
  1. The nonrefundable application fee can be paid using Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, or an electronic check. If alternate methods of payment are necessary, contact the MSU Office of Admissions for instructions.
  2. Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an E-mail directing you to MSU's My Account Application Portal. From here, you will check the status of your application, send e-messages to the program office, upload various required documents, and request your letters of recommendation.
  3. Transcripts are not uploaded into the application portal. They are sent separately to Peggy Trommater in the MS in Food Safety program office. (See address below.)
    1. One official copy of all records of any previous schooling (mark sheets, transcripts, diplomas, certificates, etc.) must be submitted as official documents directly from each institution. Photocopies are not acceptable. These records must show courses taken and grades earned, and should arrive in an official, sealed envelope.
    2. If the original records are in another language, they must be translated into English. If a document is translated, it should be certified as accurate and correct by an appropriate public or school official, or sponsoring agency or government. The original record should also be included. If you need assistance locating a certified translation agency, visit the ATA American Translation Agency website at http://www.atanet.org/.
    3. International students from China must arrange for a verification report of their university transcript with the China Academic Degree and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC). The report must be mailed directly to the MSU Office of Admissions by the CDGDC, rather than by the applicant or any third party.
    4. MSU does not accept certified copies of transcripts or documents notarized by embassies.
  4. All international applicants and applicants whose first language is not English must prove proficiency in English as a condition for regular admission to Michigan State University. Such applicants will be required to demonstrate their proficiency by meeting certain minimum standards on either of the following tests:
    1. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A total score of 550 with no subscores below 52 (paper version) or 80 with no subscore below 19 (22 for writing section) (Internet-based version) is required. The official report must be received by the Office of Admissions directly from Educational Testing Service (recipient code 1465)
    2. International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A score of at least 6.5 is required. The official report must be received by the Office of Admissions directly from IELTS.
    3. All language tests must have been taken within two years of a student's application.
    4. If the first language is English, a letter requesting a waiver of this requirement can be E-mailed to the pogram office. English waiver requests can also be submitted for students who have completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from a top ranking U.S. University, or who have lived and worked in the United States for a signifant number of years. For help in determining whether you qualify for this exception, contact Peggy Trommater at trommat2@msu.edu.
  5. Send admission materials and questions to:

Peggy Trommater, Admissions Coord.
MS in Food Safety Program
Michigan State University
1129 Farm Lane, Rm. B-51
East Lansing, MI 48824
trommat2@msu.edu
(517) 884-2080

Online international applicants do not need an I-20 for F-1 or J-1 student visa application since they will not be studying in the United States. Therefore, a Statement of Financial Proof is not required.

More information on international application is available from the graduate school website. Refer to the MSU Office of Admissions for futher details on International application

What happens after I submit my application?

  • status updates will be provided by the program office once the official application has been received
  • completed application packets are submitted to the program's Faculty Advisory Committee for review
  • credentials are forwarded to the MSU Office of Admissions for evaluaion.  If they do not meet MSU's requirements, or if futher documentation is needed, you will be contacted
  • notification of the Committee’s decision will be sent by U.S. mail in approximately 5 to 6 weeks
  • new students will receive an admissions letter from the MSU Office of Admissions approximately 3 to 6 weeks following notification of acceptance to the program (Spring admissions take longer).

Certificate in Food Safety (LifeLong Education)

What is the Certificate in Food Safety?

As an alternative to the Master of Science in Food Safety, our program offers a four-course (12 credit-hour) online Certificate in Food Safety which is achieved through Lifelong (non-degree) Education.  To satisfy the requirements for the Certificate in Food Safety, a Lifelong student must complete any four approved 3-credit courses within the MS in Food Safety curriculum.  These courses can be taken in any sequence. 

What are the requirements for Lifelong Education?

  • Applicants must have a bachelor's degree, professional degree, or equivalent degree from an accredited and recognized college or university
  • Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better for their first 9 credits
    • failure to maintain the appropriate GPA standard may result in removal from Lifelong Education status
  • Note that lifelong credits intended for transfer into a degree program will count toward the 5 year time limit for completion of degree certification
  • Only classes earning a grade of 3.0 or better will qualify for transfer into a degree program

Acceptance to Courses as a Lifelong Student

Requests for overrides into our courses will be reviewed individually and acceptance will be made based on seat availability following enrollment of admitted MSFS students.  The following factors will be considered at the discretion of the program management team:

  1. MSFS Program alumni status
  2. Other online MSU graduate students
  3. Other on-campus MSU graduate students
  4. Readiness and suitability for graduate studies (can be based on prior MSFS Program coursework and instructor feedback)
  5. Likelihood to make timely progress and successfully complete the course.

I'm ready to apply. What are the procedures?

  1. Go to the MSU Admissions page and submit a Lifelong application. 
  2. You will be contacted by the Registrar's office within a few days with your MSU Personal Identification Number (PID) and Personal Access Number (PAN).  With these, you will set up your MSU NetID and password, allowing you access to enrollment.
  3. Before enrolling, contact the department offering the course to arrange an override. Provide your PID number, choice of course, and the semester you wish to enroll.
    1. For VM (Veterinary Medicine) courses, contact Heather Ricks, Academic Advisor for the Food Safety Program, at ricksh@msu.edu
    2. For FSC courses, contact Mary Anne Verleger from the Institute for Food Law and Regulations at iflr@anr.msu.edu
  4. Enroll for classes using the MSU Schedule of Courses.

Information and guidelines for Lifelong Education students is available from the Office of the Registrar’s website.

Admission Questions?

Questions?

Contact Peggy Trommater, Admissions Coordinator trommat2@msu.edu

"This program has been an invaluable resource for me. As an industry we are lucky to have this program to develop. Thank you for all your hard work in supporting this program."

– Laura McCready