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The Food Safety and Defense 12-hour online graduate certificate program serves the needs of industry and agencies that must protect the human food supply from accidental or deliberate contamination with pathogenic microbes and/or toxicants.

In an era of terrorism and global food systems, effective control of foodborne hazards requires advanced education. There is an urgent need for online education for food industry personnel who, while working fulltime, would like to pursue more in-depth specialized training in food safety and security that is pertinent to their job. Many food-related industry and agency professionals have an undergraduate degree in some aspect of food and agricultural sciences or related area along with good technical background and work experience. But they may not be able to pursue a full graduate degree, due to expense, time constraints and/or interests. These needs warrant the development of a program to prepare graduate students and food-related professionals to effectively deal with food safety and biosecurity issues.

This certificate is only available online, as part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (IDEA).

The Great Plains IDEA is a consortium of 13 universities offering fully online graduate programs. Each university brings a unique strength to the multi-institution academic programs. In the Great Plains IDEA students apply to and are admitted by one university, enroll in all of their courses from that university and graduate from that university. However, the online courses are taught by faculty in the discipline from several universities. The Great Plains Universities are: University of Arkansas, Colorado State University, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, Michigan State University, University of Missouri, Montana State University, University of Nebraska, North Carolina State University, North Dakota State University, Oklahoma State University, South Dakota State University and Texas Tech University.

For more information about the certificate program, please see the Graduate School website Food Safety and Defense Graduate Certificate page.