Male graduate student in a lab swabbing a petri dish

M.Sc. in Food Safety & Quality Assurance (Course-based)

Keep people safe through policy, processes and science.

The Food Safety & Quality Assurance (FSQA) course-based master's program is offered through our world-renowned Department of Food Science. It provides advanced, career-oriented education and training in flexible options to suit your career goals. FSQA graduates work in industry and government positions, applying their knowledge of food safety systems, risk analysis, detection and control of foodborne pathogens, food policy development, and food law in careers around the world. 

 Combine science and management

Gain an understanding of the science, technology and management principles needed for a career in food safety and quality.

 Upgrade your credentials

Learn about policy and regulation, food safety management, food risk analysis (microbial and chemical), issue detection, and epidemiology of foodborne pathogens.

 Course-based studies

You will take a minimum of seven courses, including a seminar course and a two-semester research project course. A faculty supervisor is not required for admission!


Three options for study are available to give you flexibility:

  1. Hybrid (on campus and online learning) with a Major Research Paper
  2. Hybrid (on campus and online learning) with a Major Research Paper; specialization in Toxicology
  3. Distance Education (entirely online) with a workplace project
  • Food Safety and Quality Assurance
  • Food Law and Policy
  • Food Quality Assurance Management
  • Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals
  • Special Topics in Food Processing

No matter the delivery method, you’ll have the ability to select from a variety of elective courses that match your interests! View all courses here.

  • Food Safety and Quality Control Manager
  • Food Inspector/Food Safety Evaluator
  • Public Health Food Safety Specialist
  • Food Safety Analyst
  • Consultant
People in lab coats and hair nets walk by clean assembly line machinery

More information on courses and admission requirements can be found here.

Prof. Keith Warriner in metal rimmed glasses and black dress shirt.
Our research is about is food safety, food microbiology specifically. And really what we're trying to do is either prevent or remove pathogens when they're getting to the food to make it safer.

Dr. Keith Warriner, Faculty
Professor, Department of Food Science
Hear more from Dr. Warriner

Loong-Tak Lim in fine rimmed glasses and brown suit jacket.
Many consumers are after products that are fresh, minimally processed, and this is really a challenge for the food industry simply because that the products are no longer as stable, so by using antimicrobial active packaging system we should be able to achieve the required shelf-life as well as meeting the consumer demand.

Dr. Loong-Tak Lim, Faculty
Professor, Department of Food Science
Hear more from Dr. Lim

How to Apply

This program is designed for students currently employed as a food scientist, food engineer, public health or food safety inspector or are a recent graduate of related programs. It's also a good fit for students with a food science or related academic background with courses in microbiology, toxicology, statistics, and analytical methods.  

Application to this program is more like the process of a job application (rather than the process you went through applying for your undergrad degree). You apply directly online at Applying to Guelph and a faculty advisor is not required for this course-based program. More details on the U of G graduate program application process here.

Applications to the MSc FSQA are evaluated on academic performance in a relevant field of study, referee assessments, a statement of interest in the program and/or career goals, and work experience in appropriate and related fields. View the MSc FSQA admission requirements here.

Hybrid Delivery Deadlines

  • Domestic applications (for Fall 2023 entry) are due by April 1, 2023
  • International applications (for Fall 2024 entry) are due by November 1, 2023

Distance Education Delivery Deadline

  • All applications (for Fall 2023 entry) are due by April 1, 2023


  • Review the U of G Graduate Studies' uploading documents information for instructions on providing required supporting documents to complete your application.  
  • Application to the M.Sc. FSQA requires a supplemental document. This document should include a statement of interest in the program with any resume or CV details you wish to include. 
  • Applications to the Distance Education stream require an employer letter of support for a workplace research project. This should be included in the supplemental document.
  • *International applications are due in advance of domestic applications to ensure time for processing of application documents and study permits. Some exceptions might apply.
  • 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: FOOD*2420 Introduction to Food Microbiology; FOOD*2410 Introduction to Food Processing; and FOOD*4310 Food Safety Management Systems. Food Science Certificate - UofG OpenEd (
  • There’s lots of helpful information available on the U of G Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies FAQ webpage

Additional Food Science Options

You may also be interested in these programs: Food Safety & Quality Assurance (GDip); Food Science (Thesis-based).


For questions on applying and admissions, contact: 

Robin Verrall
Department of Food Science
519-824-4120, Ext. 56983

For questions on graduate program options, contact:

Leigh West
Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) 
519-824-4120 Ext. 52101

The ability to continue to work full-time while completing my MSc was something I didn't think I would be able to achieve until I discovered that UoG offered a program in my field that could be completed entirely online. It's a game changer.

Laura Nurse