Food Safety and Biosecurity concentration

The Master of Agricultural and Life Sciences online master's degree program is intended to provide a broad, professional, graduate degree for persons whose interests lie in the agricultural and life science industries, governmental agencies serving agriculture, cooperative extension, and agricultural education.  The online courses are also available to Blacksburg campus students by permission of the instructors. 

Food Safety and Biosecurity is one of the 5 concentrations for the degree along with Education; Leadership Studies; Environmental Science; and Plant Science and Pest Management.  The Food Safety and Biosecurity concentration is designed for public health professionals and others interested in the microbiological safety of food, water and the environment, including the development and enforcement of laws and regulations affecting food production and processing, and the implementation of food safety management programs. 

For this non-thesis degree, students would typically complete 8 courses (24 credit hours) along with a project that is customized with faculty advisors.  Specifically, students would need to complete at least 30 graduate credits, composed of the following:

  • 6 credits from Core courses,
  • 5 credits in Project and Report (FST 5904),
  • 12 credits in an area of selected concentration
  • 6 credits of courses in another concentration area, as appropriate
  • 1 credit in Research and Report (ALS 5904)

For the Food Safety and Biosecurity concentration, students are expected to complete at least 4 of the following 6 courses.  The following online 3-credit  courses are offered:

  • Global Food Laws and Regulations (FST 5044), Fall of even years
  • Biotechnology in Agriculture and Society (APSC/PPWS 5044), Fall of even years
  • Food Safety and Security (FST 5614), Spring of odd years
  • Applied Food Microbiology and Sanitation (FST 5624), Fall of odd years
  • Good Agricultural and Manufacturing Practices (FST 5034), Spring of even years
  • Animal and Plant Biosafety and Biosecurity (ENT/PPWS 5624) Spring of even years

Core courses:  Students are expected to take 1 core course in Research Methodology (currently 3 total choices), and are expected to take 1 core course in International Agriculture or Agricultural Business (currently 4 total choices).

Currently, the tuition charge is the same for in-state, out-of-state and international students.

You can learn more about the degree at:  http://www.cals.vt.edu/academic-programs/online.html

The deadlines to apply for this degree may be as late as August 1 for fall semester, and January 1 for Spring semester.