The University of Massachusetts Amherst

M.S. with Thesis

The standard M.S. degree in Food Science involves the completion of a total 30 graduate course credits.

  • Category 1: At least 6 credits of Food Science courses at the 600- or 700- level are required excluding Thesis, Independent Study or Journal Club.
  • Category 2: One credit of seminar (FS791A ) is required.
  • Category 3: Minimum 6 to a maximum of 10 thesis credits.

Category 1: Two 700-level Food Science courses are offered each semester. Each is offered every two years.


Students with a background in Food Science need not repeat following courses but may enroll in other 500-level or above courses.

  • Food Chemistry (FS 541 and 542)
  • Food Microbiology (FS 567) or Food Quality (FS590B)
  • Food Processing (FS 561)
  • Food Analysis (FS 581)*

* An analytical chemistry course in the Department of Chemistry at the 400-level or greater may be used to satisfy this requirement


One course (3 or 4 credits, 400- level or above) may be from courses outside the Department.


Graduate students can take Teaching Experience (FS796T), an additional seminar with SAT (satisfactory grade, no presentation), or 1 credit journal club toward their degree requirements, either  letter grade or SAT.


Student should complete a thesis defense at the completion of research project. The advisor may require proposal of thesis. Format of proposal and thesis should be discussed with the advisor.


Continuous enrollment: Students who completed all course and thesis requirements should register for Continuous Enrollment (GRADSCH999) and pay the Program Fee.

Full-time override:
Students with continuous enrollment and students who take less than 9 credits should request an override for full-time status by e-mailing Stacy ( This needs to be done each semester you enrolled for both US and non-US students.


Credit transfer

  • Maximum 6 Graduate credits can be transferred from a BS degree or another MS degree, if they were not required for the respective degree. To transfer, you will need to submit a correct form to the Graduate School. Appropriate forms can be found at
  • For students completing 5 year BS/MS program (Accelerated Masters), additional 6 credits can be transferred from the BS degree (double counted). Please submit a form for ‘Transfer credits, Accelerated Masters’ 
  • For students transferring unused credits from the previous MS program from another institution, please submit a form for ‘Transfer credits, External’
  • For more information, please check


Updated May 26th, 2021