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Graduate Certificate in Food Safety

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The Graduate Certificate in Food Safety can be earned completely online.

The Department of Public Health and the Department of Food Science and Technology (College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources) jointly offer a graduate certificate in food safety to prepare public health and food industry leaders, researchers, educators, and practitioners to understand and apply knowledge and skills to enhance food safety and prevent food-related disease. The Center for Agriculture and Food Security and Preparedness, the Department of Health inspector testing the temperature in a Health inspector testing the temperature in a resturant refrigerato refrigeratorBiomedical and Diagnostic Sciences, and the College of Veterinary Medicine are partners supporting this certificate. The certificate offering is coordinated through the Tennessee Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence and is administratively housed in the Department of Public Health.

The certificate program is designed to build upon and expand concepts from core courses of the curriculum of each discipline’s master’s degree programs and the previous experiences and interests of students. Credit hours obtained for the certificate may also count as graduate degree hours. The certificate is also designed for the current workforce in public health or food industry-related employment to acquire additional training and expertise relevant to their job functions.

Course experiences will foster the examination and application of current policy research and the development of skills related to policy analysis, research, program evaluation, and advocacy.


Certificate Declaration Forms

Certificate Faculty Contacts

Public Health
Assoc. Prof. Kathy Brown

Food Science
Asst. Prof. Thomas Denes

Required Courses (10 hours)

    • FDSC 421 Food Microbiology (3)
    • CEM 508 Epidemiology of selected parasitic, food borne and bacterial zoonotic diseases (3) Online course.
      CEM 507 Epidemiology of selected vector borne and bacterial zoonotic diseases (3) Online course.
    • PUBH 540 Principles of Epidemiology (3)
    • PUBH 541 Student Outbreak Rapid Response Training (SORRT) (1)
      Cross-listed with CEM 541 and FDSC 541.

Electives (3 hours)*E-coli bacteria in a petri dish

Students may choose from the following list of electives:

    • FDSC 429 Food Microbiology Lab (2)
    • FDSC 521 Advanced Food Microbiology (3)
    • PUBH 640 Advanced Epidemiologic Methods (3)
    • AREC 430 Food and Agricultural Policy (3)
    • FDSC 495 Quality Assurance and Sanitation Practices (3)

* Additional electives may be considered with pre-approval of one or more COE-associated faculty members.


Certificate candidates must:

  • Be currently admitted to a degree-granting graduate program at the University of Tennessee

– or –

  • Hold an undergraduate degree and be admitted into the certificate program by applying to the University of Tennessee Graduate School

Additional Learning

Tennessee’s Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence Free Classes

Tennessee’s Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence has developed a series of on-line, self-paced foodborne outbreak investigation courses that may be used as either an introductory training or a refresher for more experienced staff.  Continuing education units (CEUs) are offered for each course.  The courses are FREE and also incorporate in-person activities you can download and conduct with your foodborne outbreak investigation team.

For more information about the courses offered, visit the Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence website.

If you have any questions, please contact Katie Garman (