Thumbnail M.S. Food and Nutritional Sciences

Are you passionate about the science and engineering of food systems and dietetics?
Degree Type Master of Science
Careers and Salary Graduate Degree Outcomes
Delivery On Campus

UW-Stout’s Master of Science in Food and Nutritional Sciences offers two concentrations to students with a related or unrelated bachelor's degree and an interest in food safety, food product development, nutrition, and health. Both concentrations offer exceptional value, ease of completion and an applied research track to professional positions with competitive salaries.

Scholarships are available for both concentrations including scholarships specifically for international students. Our unique program offers undergraduate dual enrollment courses supporting programs accredited either by the Institute of Food Technologists or the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.

M.S. in Food and Nutritional Science

Our Concentrations

The Food Science and Technology concentration prepares you for a career in food science, food product development, processing technologies, and management of quality assurance while providing:

  • Graduate co-ops/internships leading to positions in demand in geographic area
  • Opportunities for applied research, sensory evaluation, and independent studies on real industry problems
  • Small student-to-faculty ratio providing ready access to professors with a broad range of food expertise

The Human Nutritional Science concentration prepares you for positions in public health, food management, medical facilities, wellness, education, and dietetics while offering:

  • Dual enrollment for undergraduate and graduate courses meeting dietetic competencies and MS degree requirements at the same time
  • An accredited dietetic internship requiring the MS degree completion
  • Mentoring by MS program alumni as dietetic internship preceptors and job supervisors illustrating regional demand
Admission Requirements

General UW-Stout Graduate School Application

All prospective graduate students at UW-Stout must follow a standard application process through our Graduate School. Beyond that, each graduate program has specific requirements that must be met to be successfully admitted to the program:

Program-Specific Admission Requirements


To be admitted with full status to the M.S. Training and Human Resource Development program, you must:

  • Have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • If English is your second language, demonstrate English proficiency by either an IELTS score of 6.5 or TOEFL score of 79 (iBT) or 550 paper-based.   

The prerequisites for admission to the Food Science and Technology concentration include chemistry, microbiology, and organic chemistry. The prerequisites for admission to the Nutritional Sciences concentration include chemistry, physiology and anatomy, and organic chemistry. Applicants who are denied admission due to deficiencies in these prerequisites will be advised that the courses can be taken at UW-Stout as a special non-degree student, but this will not guarantee admission into the graduate program.

The following courses are minimum competency courses. If the student has not completed an equivalent course, the student must take the following course(s) in addition to the required credits for the M.S. degree.

  • FN 5XX Principles of Nutrition and Food Components
  • CHEM 511 Biochemistry (CHEM 201 Organic Chemistry)

Additionally, for the Nutritional Sciences concentration, FN 520 Advanced Nutrition (CHEM 511 Biochemistry) must be taken.

Additionally, for the Food Science and Technology concentration, FN 6XX Food Chemistry (CHEM 201 Organic Chemistry) must be taken.

Employment Opportunities

Typical Careers of Graduates

Food Science and Technology Students that complete this concentration generally obtain employment in either research and development or quality assurance. They are employed in the industry as:

  • directors of food product development
  • heads of sensory evaluation divisions
  • senior food scientists
  • managers of quality assurance
  • supervisors in test kitchens
  • directors of consumer services
  • technical representatives

It is also common for students to further their education by continuing in a doctoral program.

Human Nutritional Science students are focused on dietetics and nutrition. With the completion of this concentration and a dietetic internship, they are employed in:

  • public health planning programs designed to prevent disease and promote health (i.e., public health clinics, home health agencies, and health maintenance organizations);

  • food management in healthcare facilities, airlines, prisons, colleges, and schools;

  • medical facilities (hospitals, nursing care or assisted living facilities, outpatient care centers, or offices of physicians) where they provide specialized medical nutrition therapy and nutritional counseling (more than half of all jobs are in this area);

  • wellness programs, sports teams, and supermarkets 

  • self-employed in private consulting practices 

  • private or public educational services

  • local, state or national government agencies such as county health departments; Veterans Administration; or marketing and sales for equipment, pharmaceutical, and food manufacturers

One in five is employed in local, state or national governmental agencies i.e., county health departments, Veterans Administration. Increased public interest in nutrition has led to divergent job opportunities in advertising and marketing for equipment, pharmaceutical or food manufacturers.

Salary Information

Salaries are very competitive with other professional careers. To obtain the latest information on salary projections, refer to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook, which is updated periodically.

Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of food scientists and dietitians is expected to grow for all occupations through 2022. Employment will be stimulated by a heightened public focus on diet, health, changes in food safety, and biosecurity.

Food Scientists:  Biotechnological research will continue to offer possibilities for the development of new food products and food packaging. Opportunities are good for those with a master's degree, particularly for graduates seeking applied research positions in a laboratory. Employment of food scientists is relatively stable during periods of economic recession and layoffs are less likely because food demand fluctuates very little with economic activity.

Dietitians:  A growing and aging population, as well as the obesity crisis, increases the demand for dietitians especially those with a master's degree. Nutritional assessment on an individual basis as well as in larger facilities such as schools, prisons and hospitals will boost the demand for these specialists. Expanded Medicare coverage increases a need for nutrition therapy for renal and diabetic patients.


DessaRae Erickson

DessaRae Erickson
Duluth, Minnesota

I chose the master’s program at UW-Stout because of its great reputation in preparing students for a career in the field of dietetics. The best part about studying at UW-Stout is the staff! It is apparent that each faculty member is dedicated to the field and to preparing students for their future in dietetics. As far as research, I am particularly interested in food additives and their impact on appetite and obesity. Currently, I am completing my thesis on the diet quality and fitness capabilities of military personnel, as I am a member of the Air National Guard. After graduating from UW-Stout, I plan to become a registered dietitian and gain experience working in clinical dietetics. In the future, I would like to further my education and earn additional credentials in some area of specialty.


Kim KowieskiKim Kowieski
Marathon, Wisconsin

After working in the food industry after my undergraduate degree, I decided to come to UW-Stout because the graduate program promised to provide me with full-time, face-to-face instruction, research opportunities, and the ability to get a master’s degree in only three semesters.  Because of the diverse food science faculty, I’ve been able to take courses such as Advanced Sensory, Food Preservation, and Flavor Chemistry. The Food Science Club offers great opportunities including career preparation, professional networking through the Institute of Food Technologists, community involvement, and a product development team. Although the campus may be small, the resources at UW-Stout are endless! Currently, I have research interests in food microbiology, food safety, and research & development. My research project involves formulating an edible film for fresh cheese curds that will give them a longer shelf-life and ensure that they stay fresh and “squeaky”. After completing my graduate degree at UW-Stout, I plan to return to the food industry and work in research and development where I want to make food products better and maybe even create some new products, too!

Kelsey McLimansKelsey McLimans
McFarland, Wisconsin

After talking with the program director, Dr. Carol Seaborn, I really felt that this program would do an excellent job preparing me to become a registered dietitian. The best part about studying at UW-Stout is that the professors really care about their students. They have been so helpful in answering questions and giving advice. Furthermore, UW-Stout’s professors have impressive backgrounds and experience, so I am very appreciative of their time and the words of wisdom they have provided me. Since I am only in my first semester at UW-Stout, my research interests are very broad. That being said, I do have interests in maternal and geriatric nutrition, as well as inborn errors of metabolism. After graduating from UW-Stout, I plan to become a registered dietitian and work in the clinical setting. 

Dipak PokhrelDipak Pokhrel

I chose UW-Stout because it is known for quality education and providing its students with all of the tools and skills necessary to successfully enter the competitive professional world. I also chose UW-Stout because it is situated in the small, beautiful town of Menomonie and is only an hour away from the Twin Cities. One of the best parts of studying at UW-Stout is that the class sizes are small, so it’s easy to get to know everyone and make new friends. Another great thing about UW-Stout is that its graduate students have many opportunities to receive graduate assistantships, scholarships, and funding for their research projects.  My current research interests fall within the areas of food packing, food microbiology, and sensory evaluation. I am currently working on my research project, “The effectiveness of glucosinolate against common cheese related pathogens under vacuum and modified atmosphere packaging”. After I graduate from UW-Stout, I hope to work as a product development scientist.

Darby SimpsonDarby Simpson
Altoona, Wisconsin

I chose the UW-Stout master’s program in nutrition because I wanted to change my career to one that highlighted my passions. Even though I had worked in the health care field after receiving a bachelor’s degree in a business concentration, I was still able to complete the required dietetics courses and receive a master’s degree in two and a half years. When researching the master’s program, the UW-Stout’s website provided detailed information and after meeting with the program director, Dr. Carol Seaborn, to talk about my interests and goals, I knew that this was the right graduate school for me. The best part about studying at UW-Stout is its abundance of resources. The professors, who get to know you by name, are always willing to meet and answer your questions. The library also provides excellent research resources, which has helped me while writing my thesis. My current research interests include weight loss, eating behaviors and bariatric surgery. After receiving my master’s degree, I plan on completing the dietetic internship to become a registered dietitian. Eventually, I would like to work in the clinical setting and continue to benefit peoples’ lives by using the nutrition knowledge that I have gained at UW-Stout.

Melissa PanchyshynMelissa Panchyshyn
Champlin, Minnesota

I chose the master’s program at UW-Stout for several reasons. I really liked the location and atmosphere at UW-Stout, plus it was more affordable than other schools I had looked into. Since coming to UW-Stout, I’ve learned that the university has a lot to offer! One of the best parts about studying at UW-Stout is the support provided by the staff and other students. UW-Stout also provides lots of opportunities to get involved. Currently, I have a research interest in diabetes. In fact, I’ve had the opportunity to gain experience working with diabetes, which has further increased my interest. With my degree, I plan to become a registered dietitian. To start, I would like to work in a clinic or hospital setting to gain experience and then expand from there and see where my degree takes me.

Emily KlimmekEmily Klimmek
New Ulm, Minnesota

I chose UW-Stout’s graduate nutrition program because it allowed me to simultaneously pursue a master’s degree while completing the competencies required in becoming a registered dietitian. The program is affordable and has a great reputation! I think the best part about studying at UW-Stout is all of the practical, hands-on opportunities the university provides like learning how to measure hemoglobin, body fat percentage, and bone density in Nutritional Assessment, writing a grant in Advanced Nutrition, or developing and presenting a nutrition education lesson in Nutrition Education. My current research interests include pediatric nutrition, school food service, food allergies/intolerances, and gastrointestinal health. After graduating from UW-Stout, I plan to fulfill the requirements to become a registered dietitian. Eventually, I would like to work in school food service, pediatric nutrition, or specialize in nutrition related to gastrointestinal disorders.

AnanthreddigariAbhinav Reddy Ananthreddigari
Hyderabad, India

I chose to pursue a master’s degree in food and nutritional sciences at UW-Stout because of its attractive course curriculum offered at an affordable rate. One of the best parts of studying at UW-Stout is the Discovery Center and its plethora of resources. Through this center, I have made good industrial contacts; some of which have even offered to fund a research project in product development. Currently, my research interests are focused on the food engineering and food packaging sectors. Fortunately, UW-Stout offers one of the best packaging programs and therefore has all of the necessary equipment for my research work. After completing my master’s degree, I would like to work in the food-processing sector to apply my technical skills and gain practical knowledge. Eventually, I would like to work in a co-packing company, one that both packs food and distributes it, or work in quality assurance, as it is one of the most important positions for food technologists. 

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Graduate Assistantships

Gain valuable professional experience while enjoying paid employment as a graduate student at UW-Stout.

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