Skip to content
COVID-19 Extension Updates and Resources ... More Information »

Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences

Graduate Programs

Food, Nutrition and Culinary Sciences, M.S.(Thesis)

Food, Nutrition and Culinary Sciences, M.S. (Non-thesis)

Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences, Ph.D.

Packaging Science, M.S.

The Department of Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences at Clemson University offers M.S. thesis and non-thesis degrees in Food, Nutrition and Culinary Sciences, M.S.degree in Packaging Science, and Ph.D. degree in Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences. The department requires applicants to have a faculty member agree to act as their major adviser prior to acceptance. Typically, applications remain open until the adviser requirement is met. Applicants may contact graduate faculty directly to facilitate this process.

The goals of our programs are to develop scientists with:

  • expertise in a specific research area
  • strong interdisciplinary skills in research design
  • critical thinking
  • communication skills

Handbook (PDF)

Previous handbooks are available upon request. If interested in archived handbooks please email Paul Dawson at  pdawson@clemson.edu.

General Inquiries:

Kim Collins
Office: 223 Poole Agricultural Center
Phone: 864-656-3397
Email: kcllns@clemson.edu

Graduate Program Coordinator:

Paul Dawson
Office: 226 Life Sciences Facility
Phone: 864-656-1138
Email: pdawson@clemson.edu

M.S. Non-thesis Nutrition Adviser:

Angela Fraser
Office: 206 Poole Agricultural Center
Phone: 864-656-3652
Email: afraser@clemson.edu

students cooking in culinary lab
  • Food, Nutrition and Culinary Sciences, M.S. (Thesis)

    The M.S. research thesis option requires a minimum of 24 credit hours of coursework and 6 credit hours of research (FDSC 8910 or NUTR 8910). Core courses include FDSC 8100, FNPS8510, NUTR 8030, STAT 8010, additional credit hours of advanced-level courses may include courses in food science or in areas such as chemistry, nutrition, biochemistry, animal and veterinary sciences, microbiology, statistics, or cell biology. Only 6000-level courses and higher may be used for graduate credit, and at least one-half of the 24 hours of coursework must be 8000-level or higher. Prerequisite courses must be completed before admission as a graduate student, whereas co-requisite courses may be taken concurrently but must be completed before receipt of the master’s degree. In addition, a minimum GPA of 3.0 is required to maintain good academic standing and to be eligible for graduation. Coursework must be approved by each student’s Graduate Committee which is comprised of a major advisor and at least two other faculty. The student must complete an in-depth research project, defend the research thesis to the Committee, and complete a thesis approved by the Committee and the Graduate School. 

    Each student is required to select a major faculty advisor, prepared to accept the applicant as an advisee, before starting a graduate degree. The program also offers an M.S. non-thesis option. 

    For additional information, please see the Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences Graduate Student Handbook and University Graduate Catalog.

  • Food, Nutrition and Culinary Sciences, M.S. (Non-thesis)

    Students enrolled in the M.S. non - thesis option select from two tracks: Food and Culinary Sciences or Nutrition.

    Food and Culinary Sciences Non-Thesis Track

    The M.S. non-thesis Food and Culinary Sciences Track option of the Food, Nutrition and Culinary Sciences M.S. program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework as outlined below. A creative research experience* is required. A minimum of 15 hours must be at the 8000-level or above. In addition, a minimum GPA of 3.0 is required to maintain good academic standing and to be eligible for graduation.

    Required Courses (12 hours)

    FDSC 8100: Chemical and Biochemical Aspects of Foods, 4 cr. (4 and 0)
    FDSC 8210: Selected Topics, 4 cr. (Creative Research Experience*)
    FNPS 8510: Seminar, 1 cr. (1 and 0)
    STAT 8010: Statistical Methods I, 3 cr. (3 and 0)

    3 out of these 9 courses (10-12 hours)

    FDSC 8110: Physical and Thermophysical Properties of Foods, 3 cr. (3 and 0)
    FDSC 8120: Microbiological Aspects of Food Systems, 3 cr. (3 and 0)
    FDSC 8150: Food Service Systems Management, 4 cr. (3 and 3)&
    FDSC 8200: Selected Topics in Food Science, 2 cr.
    FDSC 8070: Scientific Writing, 2 cr. (2 and 0)
    NUTR 8030: Advanced Human Nutrition, 4 cr. (4 and 0)
    NUTR 8040: Nutrition Education of the Public, 3 cr. (3 and 0)
    NUTR 8050: Metabolic Basis of Medical Nutrition Therapy, 3 cr. (3 and 0)
    NUTR 8070: Trends in Culinary Nutrition, 3 cr. (3 and 0)

    6 to 8 additional hours of 6000 or higher approved by student’s Graduate Advisory Committee.

    Students in the non-thesis Food and Culinary Sciences Track are required to do a creative research experience component.*

    *Independent investigation in food and culinary sciences directed by a faculty member resulting in a creative product. Examples include but are not limited to a comprehensive literature review or a research experience or project that meets a professional standard publication as approved by the student’s graduate committee.

    The Graduate Program Coordinator is the major faculty advisor for Food and Culinary Sciences non-thesis students and the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee will consist of the major advisor. The program also offers an M.S. thesis option. 

    Nutrition Non-Thesis Track

    The M.S. non-thesis Nutrition Track option of the Food, Nutrition and Culinary Sciences M.S. program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework as outlined below. A final cumulative exam* is required. A minimum of 15 hours must be at the 8000-level or above. In addition, a minimum GPA of 3.0 is required to maintain good academic standing and to be eligible for graduation.

    Required Courses (12 hours)

    FDSC 8100: Chemical and Biochemical Aspects of Foods, 4 cr. (4 and 0)
    FNPS 8510: Seminar, 1 cr. (1 and 0)
    NUTR 8030: Advanced Human Nutrition, 4 cr. (4 and 0)
    STAT 8010: Statistical Methods I, 3 cr. (3 and 0) OR ED F 8770: Experimental and Non-experimental Research in Education I, 3 cr. (3 and 0)

    3 out these 6 courses (9-10 hours)

    FDSC 8110: Physical and Thermophysical Properties of Foods, 3 cr. (3 and 0)
    FDSC 8120: Microbiological Aspects of Food Systems, 3 cr. (3 and 0)
    FDSC 8150: Food Service Systems Management, 4 cr. (3 and 3)
    NUTR 8040: Nutrition Education of the Public, 3 cr. (3 and 0)
    NUTR 8050: Metabolic Basis of Medical Nutrition Therapy, 3 cr. (3 and 0)
    NUTR 8070 Trends in Culinary Nutrition, 3 cr. (3 and 0)

    8 to 9 additional hours of 6000 or higher courses approved by student’s Graduate Advisory Committee.

    *Cumulative Exam (one day core and one day remaining content selected from department courses).

    The written cumulative exam covers the major areas of the degree program and includes questions related to coursework. There are four topic areas: 1) Food Engineering/Processing, 2) Food Microbiology/Safety, 3) Food Chemistry/Analysis, and 4) Human Nutrition. Students will be required to pass three of these four topic areas with a 70% score on each of three sections. Students will get two attempts to pass each section and will not have to retake sections that were passed on the first attempt.

    The Non-thesis Nutrition Advisor is the major faculty advisor for Nutrition non-thesis students and the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee will consist of the major advisor. The program also offers a M.S. thesis option.

  • Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences, Ph.D.

     The Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences doctoral program is offered by selected faculty from the departments of Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Plant and Environmental Sciences, Animal and Veterinary Sciences, and Microbiology and Molecular Medicine. Applicants must have a strong background in food technology, human nutrition, or related areas. Each student is required to select a major faculty advisor, prepared to accept the applicant as an advisee, before starting a graduate degree.

    A Ph.D. in Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences shall consist of a minimum of 30 credit hours (MS equivalent, typically 24 coursework and 6 research hours) + 30 credit hours(12 of coursework and 18 of research hours (FDTH 9910))approved by the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee. Core courses required are FDSC 8100, FNPS8510, NUTR 8030and STAT 8010. All doctoral students must register for seminar for two semesters. Seminar taken during the MS degree does not count towards the two required for a Ph.D.

    As a Ph.D. candidate in the program, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the principles of food science, with an expanded knowledge that covers your focused research areas. Your Committee has final approval on all coursework. You must pass both the written and oral comprehensive examinations given by your Advisory Committee. Upon passing the examinations, you must also write and defend a research dissertation to the satisfaction of your Advisory Committee. You should also expect to publish a minimum of two refereed research manuscripts from your dissertation.

  • Packaging Science, M.S.

    The M.S. degree program in Packaging Science is designed to prepare the graduate to work independently in the research, development, and application of new packaging materials and processes. A variety of fields of research related to foods, distribution, design, medical and healthcare, polymers, biopolymers, active packaging are available as focus areas of thesis research. The overall curriculum for the M.S. degree is individually designed to augment the student’s background and to provide a broad understanding of packaging science along with the selected specialized knowledge in the area of the student’s research.

    Graduate students may be accepted with backgrounds relating to chemistry, physics, mathematics, biology or engineering. Graduate students with backgrounds in business or graphic communications or other disciplines may be accepted on a provisional basis which converts to full acceptance after completing courses equivalent to the basic science and mathematics courses in the department’s undergraduate curriculum.

    The M.S. degree in Packaging Science requires 30 hours of coursework, 6 of which are thesis research (PKSC 8910), and the completion of an acceptable M.S. thesis. In addition to PKSC 8910, students register for at least one credit of FNPS 8510 (Seminar).

    Each student is required to select a major faculty advisor, prepared to accept the applicant as an advisee, before starting a graduate degree.

  • Current Courses

    To view the course listings please visit the Graduate Catalog page.

    Graduate Catalog

  • Application Deadlines

    The FNPS Program has rolling admissions and accepts students for the Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters. Applications are considered year-round for all semesters with the final deadline of acceptance prior to the last day to register for classes.

  • Clubs

    The Food, Nutrition, Packaging Sciences Graduate Students Association's mission is to improve and advance graduate education through partnerships between students, leadership, networking, and outreach.

    Visit FNPS GSA Website

    To view a full list of clubs offered within CAFLS, visit the clubs page.

Department of Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences
Department of Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences | 223 Poole Agricultural Center; Box 340316, Clemson, SC 29634