Master of Science with Thesis Option in Food Science and Technology

Master of Science Degree with Thesis Option consists of original research that contributes to new knowledge. It is designed to prepare students for careers in research. Students go on to doctoral degree programs or hired as scientists, technologists, and development positions in industry, laboratories and government agency.

Annual Progress Report and Supervisory Committee Meetingcomplete at least once a year
Annual Progress Report (Word)

At least two weeks before their supervisory committee meeting, students need to email the completed Student Progress Report form to their supervisory committee members and FDST Graduate Coordinator. It is your responsibility to call meetings with your committee.

Supervisory Committeecomplete by end of 2nd semester
M.S. Supervisory Committee Departmental Form (Word)


  • Minimum of three committee members
  • Faculty advisor from the Department of Food Science and Technology serves as chair
  • At least two must be Food Science and Technology faculty. The third member may be from Food Science and Technology or another department.
  • If pursuing a minor: required to have a graduate faculty member from the minor program on their Supervisory Committee

Memorandum of Coursescomplete by end of 2nd semester or before completion of 15 credit hours
Memorandum of Course OGS Form (Word)

Plan of Study Calculation Spreadsheet (Excel)

Minimum of 30 semester credit hours

  • At least one-half (15 hours), including thesis credits, must be in Food Science and Technology (FDST)
  • Minimum of 8 credit hours must be 800 or 900 level without 400-level counterparts (excludes FDST 899)
  • 6-10 hours of FDST 899 Master Thesis credit hours
  • Minimum of 1 credit hour of FDST 896-002 Teaching Assistant
  • Minimum of 1 credit hour of FDST 951 Seminar
  • Minimum of 1 credit hour of FDST 952 Professional Communication

Research Proposal Defensecomplete by the end of 3rd semester or before completion of 20 credit hours
Proposal Defense Evaluation Form (PDF)

Proposal Defense Summary Form (PDF)

Written Research Proposal Requirements

  • Written format as a grant proposal for USDA, NIH, or NSF - Proposal length is recommended to be 6 to 7 pages
  • Sections of a grant proposal can be included, but not limited to: Project Summary or Abstract, Project Narrative or Description, Bibliography and References

Oral Research Proposal Defense Requirements

  • 20-minute seminar presentation with Supervisory Committee members
  • Followed by oral examination by the Supervisor Committee

Final Semester and Graduation

Please follow the Office of Graduate Studies (OGS) Steps to Completion in order to meet OGS deadlines and complete the necessary forms.

Applying for Graduation
Graduation Application

Thesis and Final Oral Defense
Final Examination Report OGS Form

Written Requirements
Office of Graduate Studies Written Format Guidelines

Oral Defense

45-minute public seminar presentation with 10 minutes for questions, open to faculty, graduate students, and guests; followed by oral examination by the Supervisor Committee (please allow 2 hours)

Last Day and Departure Checklist
Departure and Offboarding Checklist (Word)

Submit a departure checklist before you leave UNL to Julie McManamey, FDST Graduate Program Coordinator. Your last day for FIC building access is commencement day. If you are on a graduate assistantship, your last workday is commencement day.