Graduate Courses General Information

Thank you for your interest in the Graduate Programs in Food Science and Technology at the University of Nebraska. We offer M.S. and Ph.D. programs, as well as on-line graduate certificate programs. Our graduate program has experienced remarkable growth in recent years. Currently, we have more 60 students enrolled these programs, including 35 M.S. students and 28 in Ph.D. programs. Our students publish in top tier journals, present research at international conferences, and receive fellowships and awards. After completing their studies, graduate students obtain challenging positions in industry, academia, and government.
The Department of Food Science and Technology faculty are world-recognized for their research, teaching, mentoring, and service accomplishments. The research environment is challenging, interactive, and exciting. Graduate students have access to a wide variety of state-of-the-art instruments for conducting cutting modern research on the molecular biology of foodborne bacteria, metagenomics, immunology of the intestinal tract, detection and analysis of allergens and toxins, nutraceuticals and their properties, metabolomics and proteomics, applied food safety and predictive microbiology, and structure/function of novel food ingredients.


803. Food Quality Assurance (3 cr II) Lec 3. Prereq: FDST 205; STAT 218 Offered every spring semester. Quality related issues as they pertain to manufacturing, processing and/or testing of foods, with a major emphasis on Food Regulations, Statistical Process Control, and Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP).

805. Food Microbiology (BIOS 845) (3 cr I) Lec 3. Prereq: BIOS 312; CHEM 251; BIOC 321; or permission. Offered every fall semester. Nature, physiology, and interactions of microorganisms in foods. Introduction to foodborne diseases, the effect of food processing systems on the microflora of foods, principles of food preservation, food spoilage, and foods produced by microorganisms. Food plant sanitation and criteria for establishing microbial standards for food products. This course is also offered on-line during the Fall semester.

806. Food Microbiology Laboratory (BIOS 846) (2 cr I) Lab 6. Prereq: Parallel registration in FDST 805 or permission. Laboratory study of the microorganisms in foods and the methods used to study them as discussed in FDST 805.

812. Cereal Technology (3 cr II) Lec 2, lab 3. Prereq: FDST 205. Offered fall semester of odd-numbered calendar years. Chemistry and technology of the cereal grains. Post-harvest processing and utilization for food and feed. Current industrial processes and practices, with an explanation of the theoretical basis for these operations.

815. Mold and Mycotoxins (3 cr) Prereq: FDST 405/805 (BIOS 445/845), FDST 406/806 (BIOS 446/846), or permission. Offered fall semester of odd-numbered years. Addresses the critical role of fungi in food, both as agents of spoilage and food processing organisms. Yeasts and filamentous fungi (=molds) are covered. Covers the production of foodborne toxins and fungal enzymes. Includes techniques for isolating, culturing, enumerating and identifying foodborne fungi. Supported by readings from the current literature.

819. Meat Investigations (ASCI 819) (1-3 cr I, II, III). Prereq: ASCI 210 or permission. Offered every fall and spring semester. (ASCI 819 course description: "Conduct independent research and study meat industry problems in processing production, storage, and preparation of meat and meat products.") Every Fall and Spring Semesters.

820. Fruit and Vegetable Technology (3 cr I) Lec 2, lab 3. Prereq: FDST 205. Offered fall semester of even-numbered calendar years. Harvesting and postharvest handling of fruits and vegetables, processing and safety issues, processes of ripening and/or maturation in fresh fruits and vegetables.

825. Food Toxicology (2 cr II) Lec 2. Prereq: FDST 405/805, BIOC 321, or equivalent, or permission. Offered spring semester of odd-numbered calendar years . Toxic substances that may be found in foods with emphasis on bacterial toxins, mycotoxins, and naturally occurring toxicants of plants, animals, and seafoods. Basic toxicological methodology and the effects of food processing and handling on foodborne toxicants.

829. Dairy Products Technology (3 cr II) Lec 2, lab 3. Prereq: FDST 205. Offered spring semester of odd-numbered calendar years. Physical, chemical, and microbiological properties of milk. Principles of milk processing and manufacture of cultured dairy products, cheeses, ice cream, and concentrated dairy products.

830. Sensory Evaluation (STAT 830) (3 cr I) Lec 2, lab 3. Prereq: Introductory course in statistics. Offered fall semester of odd-numbered calendar years. Food evaluation using sensory techniques and statistical analysis.

841. Functional Properties of Food (3 cr) Lec 2, lab 3. Prereq: NUTR 224, 245, and BIOC 321; or FDST 448. Offered spring semester of odd-numbered calendar years. Relationship of structure and functionality of ingredients in food systems.

842. Ominvore's Digestive-Tract Microbiome (3 cr) Lec 2. Prereq: BIOS 312 (or equivelent microbiology course for undergraduate and graduate students. Offered every spring semester. Overview of the digestive tract microbial ecosystem both at the local and systemic scale in the context of omnivores such as humans and animals.

848. Food Chemistry (3 cr I) Lec 3. Prereq: FDST 205, CHEM 251, BIOC 321. Offered every fall semester. Molecular components of various foods and the reactions of these components during the processing of foods.

849. Food Chemistry Laboratory (1 cr I) Lab 3. Prereq: FDST 205, 448/848 (or parallel registration), BIOC 321. Experiments involving the isolation, purification, and characterization of the molecular components of foods.

855. Microbiology of Fermented Foods (2 cr II) Lec 2. Prereq: FDST 405/805. Offered every spring semester. Physiology, biochemistry, and genetics of microorganisms important in food fermentations. How microorganisms are used in fermentations and the effects of processing and manufacturing conditions on production of fermented foods. This course is also offered on-line during the spring semester.

855L. Microbiology of Fermented Foods Laboratory (1 cr II) Lab 3. Prereq: FDST 405/805 and parallel FDST 855. Offered spring semester of even-numbered years. Companion laboratory course to FDST 855.

858. Advanced Food Analysis (3 cr II) Lec 2, lab 3. Prereq: FDST 205, 448/848 and 449/849. Offered every spring semester. Theory and application of molecular and atomic spectroscopy, immunochemistry, and thermal methods to the analysis of foods. Theory and application of chemical separation techniques to the isolation of food constituents.

860. Food Product Development Concepts (3 cr II) Lec 2, lab 3. Prereq: FDST 405/805, 448/848. Offered every spring semester. Develop a commercially viable food product using chemical, microbiological and sensory analysis principles, and marketing and packaging sciences.

865. Food Engineering Unit Operations (MSYM 865) (3 cr II) Lec 2, lab 3. Prereq: FDST 363. Offered every spring semester. Unit operations and their applications to food processing.

870. Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods (3 cr II) Lec 3. Prereq: BIOC 321 or BIOC/BIOS/CHEM 431/831. Offered spring semester in odd-numbered calendar years. Evaluation of natural compounds impact on human health. Inflammation, cancer, heart disease, and the impact of gut micro-flora on health.

880. Advanced Food Science: Selected Topics (2-8 cr, max 8) Lec. 2. Topics will be offered on a rotating basis, in alternate years as indicated.

A. Food Carbohydrates (2 cr II). Prereq: FDST 448/848, CHEM 831 or permission. Offered every fall semester, even-numbered calendar years.

L. Food Lipids (2 cr I). Prereq: FDST 448/848 or equivalent. Offered fall semester, odd-numbered calendar years . In-depth discussion of composition, quality, and chemical and physical properties and reactions of fats and oils in food systems; processing and refining of food fats and oils; manufacture of various fat and oil products; current research related to fats and oils.

P. Food Proteins (2 cr II). Prereq: FDST 448/848 or CHEM 431/831 or permission. Offered spring semester, even-numbered calendar years.

896. Independent Study in Food Science and Technology (1-5 cr). Prereq: 12 hrs Food Science and Technology or closely related areas or permission. Individual or group projects in research, literature review, or extension of course work under supervision and evaluation of a departmental faculty member.

899. Masters Thesis (1-10 cr). Prereq: Admission to masters degree program and permission of major adviser.

908. Advanced Food Microbiology (2-8 cr, max 8). Current topics in food microbiology, offered on a rotating basis in alternate years, as indicated.

B. Food Borne Pathogen s (2 cr II) Lec 2. Prereq: FDST 405/805 (BIOS 445/845), BIOS 420/820, or permission. BIOC 831 and 832 recommended. Offered spring semester, even-numbered calendar years. Survey of current research topics in the molecular biology of agents of foodborne disease. Includes structure-function analyses of toxin molecules and other virulence determinants; genetic mechanisms of phenotypic variation, coordinate regulation or virulence gene expression; mobile genetic elements that contribute to pathogenesis; invasion of host tissues; and stress-response systems and survival.

E. Readings in Food Microbiology (2 cr II) Lec 2. Prereq: FDST 405/805 (BIOS 445/845) or permission. Offered spring semester, even-numbered calendar years. Primarily a literature course that focuses on current topics in food microbiology. Articles from food microbiology, as well as other applied and basic microbiology journals reviewed and discussed. Recent advances in methodology and microbiological techniques emphasized.

951. Advanced Food Science Seminar (1 cr per sem, max 2, I, II). Prereq: Permission. Advanced study and discussion of the scientific literature and research pertaining to food science.

996. Research in Food Science and Technology (1-8 cr, max 8) Prereq: 6 hrs microbiology, 12 hrs chemistry or permission. Studies and investigational work relating to chemistry, microbiology, and processing of food products.

999. Doctoral Dissertation (1-10 cr, arr., max 55) Prereq: Admission to doctoral degree program and permission of supervisory committee chair.

A listing of undergraduate coursework can be found here.


Online courses

Several graduate level courses are offered via online or distance education programs. Some of these courses are delivered directly by Food Science and Technology instructors; others are delivered by partner institutions.
Current online courses offered directly by UNL include:

FDST 805. Food Microbiology
FDST 855. Microbiology of Fermented Foods
FDST 908E. Gastrointestinal Microbiology

Online courses offered by UNL partner institutions include:

FDST 871. A Multidisciplinary Overview of Food Safety and Security
FDST 872. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point System
FDST 873. Food-borne Toxicants
FDST 874. Food Laws and the Regulatory Process
FDST 875. Rapid Methods and Automation in Microbiology
FDST 876. Risk Assessment for Food, Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine
FDST 877. Advanced Food Microbiology and Biotechnology