MS in Food and Hospitality Systems

Degree Requirements

  • Minimum of 30 hours of graduate-level coursework.
  • 15 hours must be at the 8000-level or above. 
  • Maximum of 40% of coursework can be F_S 8090 or F_S 8085 hours.

While a basic goal of the M.S. program is to provide students with specialized skills and training in research methods, the graduate faculty believe that it is important for M.S. students to understand the breadth of the discipline as well.

There are three tracks in the Food and Hospitality Systems (FHS) M.S. program: Food Science, Hospitality Management and Agricultural Systems Technology.  Each track includes specific required courses. 

Note: Tracks do not appear on transcripts or diplomas.  Emphasis areas appear on transcripts.

Food Science Track Required Courses:
Chemistry and Analysis3-4
F_S 7310Food Chemistry and Analysis4
or F_S 7311 Investigation of Food Properties
or F_S 7315 Food Chemistry and Analysis Laboratory
F_S 7160Food Process Engineering3
or F_S 7330 Principles of Food Processing
F_S 7370Food Microbiology3
F_S 7375Food Microbiology Laboratory2
Hospitality Management Track Required Courses (pick 4 in addition to FS 7941):
HSP_MGMT 7100Hospitality Human Resources Management 3
HSP_MGMT 7110Hospitality and Tourism Marketing3
HSP_MGMT 7180Strategic Management in the Hospitality Industry3
HSP_MGMT 7200Destination Management3
HSP_MGMT 7400Hospitality Finance Management3
F_S 7941Internship in Food Science (Operational-based, minimum of 150 field hours)1
Agricultural Systems Technology Track Required Courses (pick 4):
AG_S_TCH 7020Agricultural Safety and Health3
AG_S_TCH 7220Material Handling and Conditioning3
AG_S_TCH 7320Agricultural Equipment and Machinery4
AG_S_TCH 7390Optimization and Management of Food and Agriculture Systems3
AG_S_TCH 7420Surface Water Management3

Plan of Study

The student and the major advisor, in consultation with the FHS M.S. Program Committee will prepare a plan of study (M1 form). The plan of study includes a list of the formal courses, readings, problems, research hours and seminars that the students will use to fulfill the requirements for the M.S. degree. The M1 form must be turned in to the FHS Graduate Program Coordinator by the end of the second semester of the student's graduate program for submission to the Graduate School.

Minimum Requirements
F_S 8402Research Methods in Food Science2
F_S 8087Seminar in Food Science (Must be taken in FHS; 1 cr required, maximum of 2 cr.)1
Two 8000-level courses (excluding Readings or Problems courses)6
Statistics Course3
F_S 8090Research in Food Science6

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Thesis Requirements

A FHS Masters Degree Program Committee must be identified prior to approval of the research topic for the M.S. thesis and no later than by the end of the second semester. An acceptable FHS M.S. Program Committee must include at least three graduate faculty members, at least two of whom must be from the FHS Graduate Program, including the advisor chair who must be a faculty in the track the student is in. The third committee member must be a graduate faculty member from MU and may or may not be from outside of the FHS Graduate Program. A signed M2 form which lists the names and academic programs of the committee members must be turned in to the FHS Graduate Program Coordinator by the end of the second semester of the student's graduate program for submission to the Graduate School.

The defense for the M.S. degree program will include the following components:

  1. Exit seminar presented to the M.S. graduate program committee and the public.
  2. Oral examination to demonstrate mastery of the course of study.
  3. Defense of the research presented in the M.S. thesis.
  4. Submission of a manuscript based on the student's research in the format of a journal publication.

In addition to the departmental requirements, the Graduate School is requiring that all graduating students include a public abstract. The public abstract will be used by the MU Graduate School to record and track graduate student's research interests.

Exit Seminar

Immediately before the final examination, the M.S. student must present a seminar on his or her research. The seminar must take place when MU is officially in session, and is open to the general university audience. The FHS Graduate Program Coordinator will announce the exit seminar to appropriate colleagues within and outside the program. All members of the M.S. Program Committee will attend and the student must be enrolled at the time of the seminar presentation and the final examination that follows.  

Final Examination

After the student's exit seminar has been presented, the FHS M.S. Program Committee will conduct a final oral examination. The candidate should be prepared to defend his/her research and discuss any related areas. A report of the examination, carrying the signatures of at least three members of the committee, must be submitted to the Graduate School before the deadline preceding the anticipated date of graduation. For the thesis to be considered successfully defended, the student's FHS M.S. Program Committee must vote to pass the student on the defense with no more than one dissenting or abstaining vote. The signed M3 form which shows the results of the student's final exam must be turned in to the FHS Graduate Program Coordinator for submission to the MU Graduate School immediately following the completion of final exam.

A final copy of the thesis must be submitted to the Graduate School electronically. A final bound copy of the thesis and an electronic copy of at least one manuscript suitable for publication must be turned in to the FHS Graduate Program.


Applicants are required to meet two sets of minimum qualifications for admission: the requirements of the MS in the Food and Hospitality Systems Graduate Program and the minimum requirements of the MU Graduate School. Because requirements vary, you must refer to a degree program's graduate admission page to learn about specific admission criteria, application deadlines, eligibility and application process. Your application materials will be reviewed by both the Graduate School and the degree program to which you’ve applied before official admission to the University of Missouri.

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