Apr 12, 2024  
General Catalog 2023-2024 
General Catalog 2023-2024

Food and Nutritional Sciences, M.S.

Mission: The Master of Science in Food and Nutritional Sciences at California State University, Fresno provides for development of advanced level knowledge, development of research abilities, and the mentoring of future leaders.

Outcomes: The program graduates will be able to (a) use knowledge and critical thinking skills to identify innovative solutions to problems, (b) communicate research findings through professional presentations and publications, (c) advance their careers, and (d) take an active role in their profession.

This program provides a graduate-level proficiency in food science or nutrition. The degree is applicable to specializations in food research, production, processing, chemistry, and microbiology; and dietetics, nutrition, nutrition education, and food service systems management.

Admission requirements: The Master of Science in Food and Nutritional Sciences assumes preparation equivalent to a bachelor of science in food science, nutrition, or similar education from an accredited institution. Students with an undergraduate degree in other fields or from other institutions who need to make up course deficiencies must consult with the graduate coordinator. In addition: undergraduate coursework grade point average of 3.0 or better on the last 60 semester/ 90 quarter units; minimum GRE scores equivalent to the 50th percentile; If preparatory language is other than English, minimum TOEFL of 550 and Minimum TWE (Test of Written English) score of 4; 500-word or less statement of professional goals; and reference letters addressing student’s ability to meet program’s expectations of graduate level performance.

Additional requirements for the Dietetic Internship Supervised Practice Program combined with Master of Science: The combined dietetic internship supervised practice program and master’s degree is a post baccalaureate professional program that meets the requirements for supervised practice experience for entry-level dietitians.

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®) has granted accreditation to this program as a combined master’s and dietetic internship. ACEND can be reached at 2120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995 or at (312) 899-0040 ext. 5400 (www.eatright.org/ACEND).

A verification statement will only be provided to M.S./D.I. graduates at the end of the two-year master’s program, once both supervised practice internship requirements and master’s degree requirements are met.

Student graduates completing the program will be eligible to take the examination for dietitians administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).

Candidates for admission will be evaluated using the following criteria: undergraduate coursework, grade point average of 3.0 or better, completion of an accredited/approved didactic program in dietetics (DPD) program and verification statement within the last five years, GRE scores (138V/136Q),Three letters of recommendation and personal statement.

If English is not a primary language of the undergraduate degree institution, student candidates must have earned a minimum TOEFL score of 550 is required if native language is not English. 

This program participates in DICAS and D&D Digital computer match. Therefore, all applicants must submit through the DICAS and D&D Digital computer matching process by the designated deadline set by DICAS/D&D Digital for the matching period.

The application process has three parts (all of which must be completed for your application to be considered):

  1. application to the supervised practice dietetic internship application process through Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Services (DICAS): https://portal.dicas.org. Application fee required.
  2. application to the university through Cal State Apply for post baccalaureate standing option, as Food and Nutritional Sciences (Dietetic Internship) program:  https://www.calstate.edu/apply CSU application fee required
  3. application to D & D Digital for online computer matching service for AND http://www.dnddigital.com Application fee required

Accepted student interns must successfully complete/pass criminal background checks, immunization clearance, and fingerprinting PRIOR to beginning program.

Prerequisite Courses

The Master of Science in Food and Nutritional Sciences assumes preparation equivalent to a California State University, Fresno undergraduate major in food science, dairy science, nutrition, dietetics and food administration, or related areas.

Students with undergraduate degrees in other fields or from other institutions who need to make up course deficiencies should consult with the graduate coordinator. The following specific prerequisite foundation courses, or their equivalents, are required:


Program Requirements

All students must complete a 12-unit common core. Under the direction of the graduate adviser, students may focus a program in a specialized area to meet their career goals. This is accomplished by the selection of a minimum of 12 units of electives. A 6-unit thesis or project completes the  program of study. A minimum of 21 units must be taken at the 200 level. This degree can be earned in combination with the dietetic internship experiential supervised practice upon successful application process into the dietetics internship program through DICAS and approval by the dietetics advisor prior to enrollment.


Approved Electives

  • 200- or 100-level courses appropriate to individually designed program; must be approved by adviser prior to enrollment Units: 12

Culminating Experience

Total Minimum: 30 Units

Advising Notes for M.S. in Food and Nutritional Sciences

  1. Several of the 200-level and approved elective courses have prerequisites other than courses listed as admission requirements.
  2. The statistics requirement may be met with any adviser approved 200-level statistics course offered by the university.
  3. Students should request specific information concerning the master of science degree and the program advising sheet from the department office.
  4. Upon admission, students should see the department graduate program coordinator for assistance in selection of a graduate adviser.
  5. To progress through the graduate program, the student must:
    1. Maintain a minimum of 3.0 GPA
    2. Complete all prerequisite coursework
    3. Attain classified standing
    4. Meet the graduate writing proficiency requirement
    5. File for advancement to candidacy
    6. Complete the program requirements
    7. File a master committee assignment form for a thesis or a project
    8. Either formally present and defend the thesis results or formally present project results
  6. The Graduate Writing Skills requirement for the graduate program in Food and Nutritional Sciences may be met by passing the writing component of AGRI 220  or FN 200 . Please see the program’s graduate adviser for more information.
  7. Advancement to candidacy requires the completion of 9 program units in residence, a minimum GPA of 3.0, meeting the graduate writing proficiency requirement, and filing a petition for advancement to candidacy a minimum of one semester prior to enrollment in thesis or project and within the deadline.
  8. Students may apply a maximum of 3 units each of FN 290  or FN 292  to their program.
  9. See Division of Graduate Studies in this catalog for university requirements.