Future Graduate Students

The Department of Food Science at the University of Guelph offers both course-based and research graduate programs.  

MSc and PhD Food Science (research)

MSc Food Safety & Quality Assurance (course work)  

Food Science MSc (thesis) and PhD programs - research

Food Science is a combination of all the pure sciences. A Food Scientist applies knowledge of microbiology, sensory analysis, biochemistry, chemistry, physics and engineering.

A Day in the Life of Xinya Wang, MSc Student

The essential role of a Food Scientist is focused on how to enhance the quality, safety, functionality and nutrition of foods. This is reflective in the research performed within the Department of Food Science at Guelph.  For example, food safety research is directed towards studying approaches to prevent, detect or decontaminate foods. Food preservation methods are researched that encompass processing technologies and packaging innovations. The application of science to improve the quality of dairy products, chocolate, ice cream, cereals and meat are also studied. Research into methods of food analysis and sensory science as well as studies around nutraceuticals and functional foods are high profile research areas.

Learn more about the graduate experience in the Department of Food Science by viewing our YouTube video.

Applying to the MSc FOOD (thesis-based) and PhD FOOD programs:

As part of the application requirements, you are required to secure a faculty advisor to supervise your program. Our faculty profiles describe research programs in more detail and can be found in our faculty directory.

Your admission application will require the department supplemental document, the Application Fact Sheet. Complete the Application Fact sheet found at the bottom of this webpage to include in your application package via WebAdvisor.  

DUE DATES for the MSc FOOD (thesis-based) and PhD FOOD applications:

Note: International applicants should apply with consideration given to time needed for immigration procedures if you receive an offer.  

Winter semester (January): by November 1st
Summer semester (May): by March 1st
Fall semester (September): by July 1st

Offer letters indicate the requirement for official transcripts by the first class day of the semester in which you start your program. International students are required to submit a valid study permit and passport when they arrive on campus.

Applications are evaluated on academic performance in a relevant field of study, referee assessments, statement of interest and experience in appropriate and related fields.  

Postings of available Graduate Student (MSc & PhD thesis) positions are listed on the lower section of the Food Science main website under Graduate Student, Research & Faculty Positions.

For more information on how the application process works, review Applying to Guelph

Financial Resources:

Financial planning 

Awards and scholarships search tool 

Visit our Graduate Studies program page for the MSc and PhD Food Science programs.

Contact Information

Graduate Program Coordinator (MSc thesis and PhD):
Dr. Iris Joye
519-824-4120 ext 52470

Academic Programs Assistant (MSc thesis and PhD):
Tricia Townsend

Food Safety & Quality Assurance Master of Science (MSc FSQA) - Course work

This course based graduate program is designed to provide a balance of scientific and management principles underlying Food Safety and Quality Assurance.  This program is intended for those currently employed as food scientists, food engineers, public health or food safety inspectors, as well as those who have recently graduated from programs with appropriate scientific backgrounds.  Success in the graduate level FSQA courses requires a food science or related academic background with courses in microbiology, toxicology, statistics, and analytical methods.  

Applications to the FSQA graduate program are evaluated on academic performance in a relevant field of study (minimum B admission average), two referee assessments, a statement of interest in the program and/or career goals, and any work 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 Certificate in Food Science before applying for the FSQA program.  The following courses are suggested:

The FSQA program curriculum provides students with knowledge of food policy development in Canadian and international food regulatory environments, applied aspects of total-quality management, food safety management, food risk analysis including microbial and chemical food safety issues, and detection and epidemiology of foodborne pathogens.   

The MSc FSQA has two streams available when applying:

  1. Hybrid stream with on campus research project (MSC.FSQA - course work) - online and on campus courses with a Faculty Advisor led research project.
  2. Distance Education stream with workplace project (MSC.FSQA - course work, online) - all online courses and a workplace research project with a current employer (employer letter of support required).

Program details can be found in the Graduate Calendar - Food Safety & Quality Assurance

Application Information:

The FSQA program has a fall (September) entry only.  Applications are currently open for the fall 2021 competition.  Applications will be taken for fall 2022 starting in July 2021.

DUE DATES Fall 2022 Start    
  Graduate Diploma

MSc Hybrid Stream

MSc Distance Education Stream

Domestic Applications April 1, 2022 April 1, 2022 April 1, 2022
International Applications NA November 1, 2021 November 1, 2021

Please review the application process for instructions on providing documents to support your application. 

Supplemental Document

The supplemental document required for an FSQA application should include a statement of interest in the program with any resume or CV details you wish to include. 

For those applying to the distance delivery option of the MSc FSQA, an employer letter of support for a workplace research project must be included in the supplemental document.

Contact Information

For information on the application process or program details, please contact:

Graduate Program Assistant (FSQA Program)
Kay Norwell

File attachments