Food Safety and Defense (Certificate)


Food Safety and Defense, Cert

Online 12 cr

Protecting the human food supply from accidental or deliberate contamination of pathogenic microbes and toxicants


The Food Safety & Defense online graduate certificate program is an inter-institutional certificate program offered as part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA / AGIDEA), in cooperation with Iowa State University, Kansas State University, and the University of Missouri. 

This online certificate can complement a graduate degree program or allow food industry professionals to advance their careers while working full-time to pursue in-depth specialized training. Core courses include Food Microbiology, Food Safety and Security, HACCP, and Food Toxicology as well as two additional elective courses.

Core Courses
Course NumberCourse NameCredits
FDST 805 Food Microbiology 3
FDST 871 Multidisciplinary Overview Of Food Safety And Security 2
FDST 872 Principles of HACCP 2
FDST 873 Foodborne Toxicants 2
Elective Courses
Course NumberCourse NameCredits
FDST 855 Microbiology of Fermented Foods 2
FDST 874 Food Laws, Regulations, and the Regulatory Process 2
FDST 875 Rapid Methods in Food Microbiology 2
FDST 876 Risk Assessment for Food, Agriculture, and Veterinary Medicine 3
FDST 877 Advanced Food Microbiology and Biotechnology 2
FDST 878 Food Protection and Defense: Essential Concepts 2
FDST 896 Independent Study in Food Science and Technology 2

Career Pathways

  • Food Safety Analyst
  • Food Safety Engineer
  • HACCP Consultant
  • Plant Manager
  • Quality Control Specialist

Graduate Admission Requirements

  • Application for Admission with $50 non-refundable application fee.
  • One set of transcripts.
  • If the student’s native language is not English, verification of English proficiency is required.
  • If International: upload copies of all college- or university-level transcripts or mark sheets (records of courses and marks earned), with certificates, diplomas, and degrees plus certified English translations.

    * Official documents are required from all students who are admitted and enroll. Photocopies of certified records are not acceptable. International students enrolled in other U.S. institutions may have certified copies of all foreign records sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by their current school’s registrar office.

  • If applicant is not a US citizen and expects an F or J visa: financial information.
  • Applicants must also fulfill any additional requirements the department specifies at the time of application.

Major Admission Requirements

  • Resume/CV
  • Personal Statement: One-page statement including your professional goals and how enrolling in this program will assist you in meeting your professional goals. 
  • Two References

Admission Deadlines

  • July 15 for Fall (August) Admission
  • November 15 for Spring (January) Admission
  • April 1 for Summer (May) Admission

NOTE: When sending TOEFL scores, our institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed

Graduate Chair

Robert Hutkins

Support Staff

Julie McManamey

Tuition & Fees

The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment.

UNL Graduate Chairs and staff please complete the program update form to provide edits. Updates to graduate program pages are made on an annual basis in conjunction with the Graduate Application for Admission.