Flexibility in classes and career options are hallmarks of the food science and human nutrition PSM program. Explore career options in the food, pharmaceutical, and ingredient sectors, while putting your expertise in nutrition and food science combined with business skills.

Illinois PSM students work closely with faculty and other students, including those in the research-based M.S. and Ph.D. programs. Student events provide opportunities to meet people from business, industry, government, and other institutions to learn more about opportunities and challenges in the food science and human nutrition field.


Work with your advisor to create a customized set of courses that uniquely match your personal interests and individual career goals. A wide range of options are available in

  • biochemistry
  • sensory evaluation
  • physiology
  • nutrition
  • toxicology
  • and others
Food Science & Human Nutrition


Prepare for an ever-changing mix of careers options and some of tomorrow’s biggest opportunities in careers that don’t even exist today. IL PSM graduates have joined career positions as:

  • food safety experts
  • quality control analysts
  • food engineers
  • product and process developers
  • technical salespersons
  • marketing and advertising specialists
Dr. Nicki Engeseth
Meet your Advisor
Dr. Nicki Engeseth

Dr. Engeseth has been advising the Illinois FSHN students since its inception in Fall 2009, and she has been an integral member of the U of I for more than 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.


The food science and human nutrition faculty at Illinois are committed to delivering programs designed to provide a safe, nutritious, and affordable food supply that enhances human health. With world-class research and an internationally recognized faculty, food science and human nutrition degree programs at Illinois have produced some of the world’s leading food scientists and nutritionists. 

 You’ll learn from faculty and industry-relevant research in:

  • food and flavor chemistry
  • sensory evaluation
  • process and packaging engineering
  • microbiology
  • beverage science
  • supply management
  • and others

The integrated business courses, professional development seminars, and required internship make your Master’s program different than a traditional master's. See brochure for more details.

By the end of your program, you will be able to

  • design a comprehensive marketing strategy
  • manage the flow of products and services
  • execute project plans within time and budget
  • understand and discuss regulatory policies
  • assess financial risks, statements, valuation, and capital budgets
  • examine organizational behavior, structures, effectiveness, and more!

For additional information or to discuss your learning and career objectives, contact Food Science and Human Nutrition major advisor Dr. Nicki Engeseth at engeseth@illinois.edu; (217) 244-6788.

Food Science & Human Nutrition
Student Spotlight

Jaclyn “Jackie” Newell is a 2015 graduate of the Illinois PSM Food Science and Human Nutrition program.  She earned her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.  Jackie’s internship was with Schreiber Foods, where she worked as a research and development intern in the processed cheese group. She is now a research and development food product development technologist at Beachbody in El Segundo, California, where she works with their Shakeology line. She states, “the hardest part of my job as a product developer is working cross functionally with sourcing and manufacturing. The PSM business course work helped me prepare for these teams, because I have a foundational understanding of project management and supply chain processes.” She also credits the program for teaching her how to relate to people that come from different backgrounds, whether that be a difference of major or culture.

Jackyn Newell
Jaclyn “Jackie” Newell
Class of '15
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