Master's Degree Programs in Food Service Management

Learn about on-campus and online master's degree programs in food service management. Get information on the curriculum and admission requirements for this program, as well as career opportunities in the field. Schools offering Restaurant & Catering Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Learn in a Master's Degree Program in Food Service Management?

As a master's candidate, you'll explore ways to improve quality and productivity in food service facilities. You'll generally be required to complete a thesis or capstone project on some aspect of the food service industry, and you'll gain hands-on, professional experience through a practicum or internship. Topics of study that you're likely to encounter in a master's program in food service management include the following:

  • Organization of food service systems
  • Prevention of foodborne illness
  • Human resources in nutritional care management
  • Food science and technology
  • Food analysis

Admission RequirementsBachelor's degree, minimum GPA, GRE or GMAT scores, letters of recommendation and possible prerequisite courses
Common CoursesHuman resources in nutritional care management, food analysis, preventing foodborne illness, food science; a thesis or capstone project is typically required
Online AvailabilityMost coursework can be found online; some seminars, lectures and a practicum or internship must be completed in person
Job Outlook (2016-2026)*9% growth for food service managers
Average Salary (2018)* $58,960 for food service managers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Prerequisites?

Prerequisites will vary by school, but both online and on-campus master's programs in food service management typically require a bachelor's degree from an accredited university, as well as a grade point average of 3.25 or higher. You also might be required to submit letters of recommendation and a copy of your scores from the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Additionally, some schools might require you to complete prerequisite courses, such as the following:

  • Basic nutrition
  • Introductory accounting
  • Quantity food production
  • Microbiology

Can I Earn My Degree Online?

Many colleges offer online food service management master's degrees as part of their distance learning programs. You should be able to complete most of your courses online; however, you might be required to attend guest lectures or seminars on campus, in addition to completing your on-site practicum or internship.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

A master's program can prepare you for a management career with a restaurant, hospital, school or other food service business. Employment for food service managers was projected to grow at a rate of nine percent - an average rate - from 2016-2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Job prospects were forecast to be good due to the need to replace food service managers who were expected to leave their positions (

Salaries for food service managers can vary greatly, as they did in 2018. That year, the lowest ten percent of food service managers earned $31,580 or less, according to BLS figures, while the highest ten percent made $92,410 or more. The average annual salary for food service managers was $58,960.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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