Food Safety and Defense (Certificate)


Food Safety and Defense, Cert

Online 12 cr

Protecting the human food supply from accidental or deliberate contamination of pathogenic microbes and toxicants


The Food Safety & Defense online graduate certificate program is an inter-institutional certificate program offered as part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA / AG IDEA), in cooperation with Iowa State University, Kansas State University, and the University of Missouri.

This online certificate can complement a graduate degree program or allow food industry professionals to advance their careers while working full-time to pursue in-depth specialized training. Core courses include Food Microbiology, Food Safety and Security, HACCP, and Food Toxicology as well as two additional elective courses.


Find courses at:

Career Pathways

  • Food Safety Analyst
  • Food Safety Engineer
  • HACCP Consultant
  • Plant Manager
  • Quality Control Specialist

Applying for Admission

Standard requirements for all graduate programs

  • Application for Admission with $50 non-refundable application fee.
  • Transcripts (unofficial): Uploaded as part of application form.

    If International: Uploads must include all college- or university-level transcripts or mark sheets (records of courses and marks earned), with certificates, diplomas, and degrees plus certified English translations.

    After admission: Official documents are required from all students who are admitted and enroll. Photocopies of certified records are not acceptable. International students enrolled in other U.S. institutions may have certified copies of all foreign records sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by their current school’s registrar office.

  • If applicant’s native language is not English, verification of English proficiency is required.

    When sending TOEFL scores, our institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.

  • If applicant is not a US citizen and expects an F or J visa: financial information.
  • Applicants must also fulfill any additional requirements the department specifies at the time of application.

Additional requirements specific to this program

  • Resume/CV
  • Personal Statement: One-page statement including your professional goals and how enrolling in this program will assist you in meeting your professional goals. 
  • Letters of Recommendation: At least 1, up to 3.

Certificate programs are not considered degree programs, additionally, coursework for this program is delivered primarily online, so international students should be aware that admission to this program is ineligible for immigration forms for an F-1 student visa.

Admission Application Deadlines

  • July 15 for Fall (August) Admission
  • December 15 for Spring (January) Admission
  • April 1 for Summer (May) Admission

Graduate Chair

Byron Chaves-Elizondo

Support Staff

Julie McManamey

Tuition & Fees
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See program summaries for details like application deadlines and requirements.

The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment.

UNL Graduate Chairs and staff please complete the program update form to provide edits. Updates to graduate program pages are made on an annual basis in conjunction with the Graduate Application for Admission.