Food Safety and Defense

Graduate Certificate Program Summary


The Food Safety and Defense graduate certificate program serves the needs of industry and agencies that must protect the human food supply from accidental or deliberate contamination with pathogenic microbes and/or toxicants. In an era of terrorism and global food systems, effective control of food borne hazards requires advanced education.

This certificate is aimed at professionals with a bachelor's degree who are working in a food industry related field and interested in furthering their knowledge of food safety and defense. Potential career paths include:

  • Food safety analyst
  • Quality control specialist
  • HACCP consultant
  • Plant manager
  • Food safety engineer

Online and Distance Opportunities

All courses are completed online through Great Plains IDEA, a consortium of 20 universities offering courses and programs in the Human Sciences and Agricultural disciplines.


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Food Science and Technology

Graduate Chair and Faculty Contact
Dr. Robert Hutkins
Food Science and Technology

Staff Contact
Diane Wasser

Department Address
Innovation Campus
1901 N. 21st St
Lincoln NE 68588-6205

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Application checklist and deadlines

1. Required by Graduate Studies

Submit these items as part of the standard steps to admission.

2. Required by the department

After you apply, allow one business day for us to set up your access to GAMES, where you'll complete these requirements.

Application deadline
Rolling admission; contact the department for more information.


The online certificate includes a minimum of 12 credit hours with 9 credit hours in core courses and a minimum of 3 elective credit hours.

Unless otherwise noted, all courses are 2 credit hours.

Core Courses

  • FDST 871: A Multidisciplinary Overview of Food Safety and Security (Kansas State University)
  • FDST 805: Food Microbiology (3 cr) (University of Nebraska)
  • FDST 872: Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point System (Kansas State University)
  • FDST 873: Food-borne Toxicants (Iowa State University)

Elective Courses

  • FDST 855: Microbiology of Fermented Foods (University of Nebraska)
  • FDST 874: Food Laws and the Regulatory Process (Iowa State University)
  • FDST 875: Rapid Methods and Automation in Microbiology (Kansas State University)
  • FDST 876: Risk Assessment for Food, Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (3 cr) (Iowa State University)
  • FDST 877: Advanced Food Microbiology and Biotechnology (University of Missouri-Columbia)

Cost of attendance

Cost differs from one student to another. For details see Tuition, Fees, and Funding or try our Cost Estimator.

More course information

The Course Catalog provides course descriptions and prerequisites, grouped by subject area.

The Schedule of Classes specifies dates, times, locations, and instructors for courses being offered in current and near-future terms.

This summary page is maintained by Graduate Studies.
For additional details check out the dept./program website: Food Science and Technology.

Departments: Have an update for this summary? Contact Stacy Dam.