Exciting Change - MS in Food Safety Program

by Peggy Trommater

Beginning Fall Semester 2013, the required course VM 810 Introduction to Food Safety, will be changed to a fully online format.  The on-campus portion will no longer be part of the program requirements. 

VM 810 has been canceled for Summer Semester 2013 while this transition is being implemented.

VM 810 Changes:

1.  The new online version of VM 810 will be offered during Summer, Fall and Spring Semesters beginning in Fall 2013.

2.  All new students will be required to take this as their first course in the program.

3.  Returning students who need VM 810 should take the online version as soon as possible.

4.  General per credit tuition rate for all new students will increase. (See table below.)

5.  Tuition for returning students who have not taken VM 810 will increase. (See table below).

6.  Tuition for returning students who have already taken VM 810 will not change.

 Tuition per Credit Hour
 (based on current  rates)*

Michigan Resident


 Food Safety - Master of Science
 If you took VM 810 prior to Fall 2012 (hybrid)



 Food Safety - Master of Science
 If you will take VM 810 after Fall 2012 (online)



 Graduate Level Lifelong Education



    *All tuition rates are subject to an annual increase of approximately 5% each Fall Semester
  ** This tuition rate is subject to final approval


Why Two Different Tuition Rates for the Master’s Degree?

In order to make this transition as simple and fair as possible, while keeping the total cost of the degree competitive with other programs and universities, an adjustment to the tuition was necessary.  By increasing tuition for students who have not taken VM 810, and keeping the tuition rate at a constant for those who have paid the on-campus fee, a comparable balance is achieved.

How Will These Changes Affect Me?

no change
(based on current rates) 
  new course requirement and tuition rate
(based on Fall 2013 rates)
(based on $608.50/credit hour)
$16,42.50   30 CREDITS
(based on $700.00/credit hour)
Hybrid VM 810 (3 CREDITS plus fee) 5,970.00      
MSU Student Taxes (approximate) 150.00   MSU Student Taxes (approximate) 150.00
Estimated Total Cost of Degree 22,549.50   Estimated Total Cost of Degree 21,150.00


Why Are We Making This Change:

MSU’s Online Master of Science in Food Safety program has led food safety education for the past 10 years.  In order to meet the educational needs of a growing global community, it was determined that our program also needs to grow. 

Analysis showed one challenge to the scalability of this program to be the on-campus requirement.  As much as our students, faculty and staff love coming together on campus, there are obstacles that cannot be ignored.  These include:

  • The necessity for students to pay a large, up-front fee, separate from tuition (and often not covered by financial aid or tuition reimbursement)
  • Cost of travel to and from campus
  • Arrangements for 6 days away from work and home
  • Visa issues and increased travel cost for international students
  • Accommodation for large class sizes and multiple offerings (effecting venue, speakers and activities)

While we, and previous students, valued the unique and fulfilling experience of the required on-campus course, we hope the overall improvements to the program that include accessibility will outweigh this loss.

Still to Come:

A plan is underway to add a new elective course that will offer selective students an opportunity to visit the MSU campus.  The class will be taught in a workshop environment and focus on executive-level leadership training.  Highlights will include presentations by food safety experts and peer networking opportunities.   Enrollment will be limited and students must apply for consideration.  We hope to offer the first session of this new course during Summer Semester 2014.  Additional fees will apply.

If you have questions or concerns on how these changes will impact you, please contact our office.