Advisor Profile

Dr. Nicki Engeseth
Food Science & Human Nutrition Advisor

Dr. Engeseth has been advising the Illinois FSHN students since its inception in Fall 2009, though she has been an integral member of the U of I for over 20 years. She obtained her B.S. in Biology at the University of Minnesota in her hometown of Duluth. She earned her M.S. in Foods and Nutrition here at the University of Illinois before heading to Michigan State University where she obtained her Ph.D. in Food Chemistry. Dr. Engeseth studies chemical and biochemical reactions in food products with the goal of enhancement of food quality. She teaches numerous classes related to her research interests in food chemistry and chemistry of lipids in food. She believes the biggest asset of the program is the "access to business courses that traditional graduate students do not have, which allows graduates to work in marketing, management or regulatory positions that are harder for traditional MS graduates to obtain." She believes the best PSM students have great communication skills paired with a strong science background, though research or food science coursework is not required.


Food Science & Human Nutrition Science Curriculum

The science component is comprised of coursework in the major.

The Food Science and Human Nutrition PSM degree program is designed to meet the needs of rapidly changing and important segments of industry and student populations. Thus, requirements are flexible to allow each student to build a graduate curriculum that best fits his/her chosen career path. 


Courses will be taken in consultation with the student’s Advisory Committee to meet the 32 hour science requirement. At least 12 hours must be in 500-level courses.

Each student will be asked to complete at least one course in each area of emphasis. Course options within each emphasis area are listed below. 

  1. Nutrition
  2. Food Processing and Engineering
  3. Food Chemistry
  4. Food Microbiology


Specific courses depend on the student's professional objectives.


Specific courses depend on the student's professional objectives.

Courses marked with an asterisk (*) are required. However, if a student has already taken the course or its equivalent, then she/he should select an alternate course within the emphasis in consultation with her/his advisor and Advisory Committee. 


†Course numbers and titles are subject to change.  Please note that some courses are only offered in select terms. For more information, please reference the Illinois Course Catalog.


  • Graduate Seminar:  Each student is required to register for FSHN 597 (Graduate Seminar) each term (except summer) for 0 hours.
  • Statistics Competency:  This requirement may be met by prior undergraduate training (i.e., having successfully completed ACE 261, CPSC 241, ECON 202, MATH 161, PSYC 235, SOC 280, or STAT 100, or the equivalent) or by completing FSHN 440.
  • Biochemistry Competency:  This requirement may be met by prior undergraduate training (i.e., having successfully completed MCB 450 or MCB 452 or the equivalent) or by completing a course approved by the student’s Advisory Committee and advisor.
Banner Image: