Food Safety and Quality Assurance Program (FSQA)

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Look at our FSQA video on YouTube

Applications are accepted until July 1st for September admission  

Food Safety & Quality Assurance

Master of Science (MSc) or Graduate Diploma (GDip)

Both GDip and MSc FSQA students acquire knowledge of the fundamentals of food policy development, Canadian and international food law, applied aspects of total-quality management, food safety management systems, risk analysis, and detection and epidemiology of food borne pathogens. 

This graduate program is intended to prepare food scientists, food engineers, public health or food safety inspectors, and others with appropriate scientific backgrounds for participation in food safety monitoring in industry and government.  Students who undertake graduate studies at the MSc level will complete online & on campus courses including a research project course.   The GDip FSQA is suited for those who want online courses and are not interested in completing a research project.  

Take some time to review the program information posted in our Graduate Calendar and contact us if you have any questions about the information provided -

Who should apply?

The course-based Food Safety and Quality Assurance graduate programs are available to domestic applicants and does not require a Faculty Advisor prior to admission.   FSQA students are both recent graduates of BSc programs and those working in industry who want to continue their education taking advantage of our online courses and part-time studies. 

Application reviews consider academic performance in a relevant field of study, two referee assessments, a statement of interest in the program or career goals, and any experience in appropriate and related fields.  

If you do not have a background in Food Science, you may wish to take courses online in the Food Science Certificate program before applying for the FSQA program.   For success in the graduate level courses, a background in microbiology, toxicology, statistics, and analytical methods is required.   

The University of Guelph Graduate Studies admission requirements can be found in the Graduate Calendar.

Information on the application process is available from Graduate Studies.

How much of the program is online?

The GDip FSQA provides an opportunity for graduate-level study of theory and research to students who reside anywhere in Canada through 5 online courses. This GDip FSQA program is designed to provide a balance of scientific and management principles underlying Food Safety and Quality Assurance, including microbial and chemical food safety issues, national and international regulatory environments, food risk analysis, and quality management.  The program is most suitable for those currently employed or seeking employment in any area of the food industry and associated service and government sectors that require advanced knowledge of food safety and quality management.

The FSQA Master of Science is a course based program as well, but also includes on campus graduate courses and a research project course.  You can choose elective courses from a diverse selection of courses to fit your interests.  

The 5 online courses are available in either the GDip or MSc FSQA program.

What time commitment do I need to make?

  • The FSQA programs can be taken full-time or part-time.  You can also change between full and part-time studies.
  • Flexibility is built into the program to meet your needs and support is available to help you plan completion of the program.
  • With approval, a leave of absence from the program for a semester can be approved to accommodate your work demands.  
  • The MSc FSQA research project is a two semester course graded on a research paper and poster presentation.
  • The MSc FSQA program can be completed full-time in 4 semesters.
  • The GDip FSQA program can be completed full-time in 2 semesters.

What is the cost?

Information on applicable fees for graduate students is available from Student Financial Services.

What Scholarships and Awards are available?

Guelph Food Technology Centre (GFTC) Legacy Fund 
Guelph Food Technology Centre GFTC Legacy Fund Graduate Scholarships [I5949]
JD Cunningham Scholarship in Food Safety & Quality Assurance [I5115]
Ontario Food Protection Association Graduate Bursary in Food Safety [Z5735]

For more information, contact