M.S. in Cosmetic Science

To serve the needs of the large population of cosmetic science professionals in the New York metropolitan area, Fairleigh Dickinson University's School of Natural Sciences offers a Master of Science in Cosmetic Science.

The first of its kind in New Jersey, the MS in Cosmetic Science, introduced in 1982, continues to fulfill the needs of those responsible for creating commercial products in the cosmetics, toiletries, and fragrance industries. It enables practitioners to learn the latest advances in their field and helps students to develop the skills necessary for senior assignments in the cosmetics industry. It is also geared to technologists aspiring to supervisory roles in the laboratory or plant. For those without industrial experience, the degree can launch a career in the cosmetic industry.

The majority of students entering this program have already completed an undergraduate BS degree in an allied science; preferably Chemistry or Biology. We have a diverse mixture of part-time, full-time domestic, and full-time international students.

Admission requirements

The credentials required for admission to the Master of Science degree program in Cosmetic Science as a matriculated student include the following:

  • A graduate application for admission.
  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a degree in Allied Science — Biology, Chemistry, Bio-Chemistry, or Pharmacy — including a two-semester sequence of Organic Chemistry.
  • Submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing scores. The Advanced Chemistry GRE is not required.
  • Three letters of recommendation (i.e. current or former professors, work supervisors, or industry professionals).
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended. Applicants who are unable to provide official documents at the time of enrollment may register as non-matriculated students with a graduate faculty advisor.

Applications for this program are processed on a rolling admissions basis.

For applicants whose native language is not English, a minimum of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or equivalent is required.

Degree requirements, total credits: 32 credits

Required courses, 20 credits

  • COSC6547 Skin Care Raw Materials & Formulations
  • COSC6543 Hair Care Raw Materials & Formulations
  • COSC6548 Cosmetic Science Laboratory
  • PHYS6753 Applied Colloid & Surface Science
  • CHEM6526 Product Development
  • CHEM6529 Microtoxicity and Biochemistry
  • BIOL6756 Dermal Pharmacology & Immunology

Cosmetic science electives, minimum 6 credits

Free electives, maximum six credits

Take six additional credits from a 5000 level or higher CHEM, BIOL, MKTG, PHAR, MGMT, COMM, COSC, or CCOM course. Free electives are subject to the completion of the prerequisites or instructor approval.

Cosmetic science courses and cosmetic science electives are generally not offered during the summer.

Learning outcomes

Students completing a Master's degree in Cosmetic Science at the Metropolitan campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University shall acquire the ability to:

  1. Demonstrate solid foundation in Cosmetic Sciences, including: vocabulary, concepts, methods, and procedures.
  2. Develop skills to work independently and with others.
  3. Develop skills in oral and written modes of communication (including mathematical and graphical).
  4. Develop a solid foundation for future independent study (lifelong learning).
  5. Demonstrate qualitative and quantitative critical reasoning skills.
  6. Exhibit the ability to use information resources including primary and secondary literature in the field, including web-based resources.


FDU's MS in Cosmetic Science program is unique in that it includes a diversified and talented pool of full time and adjunct faculty with industrial experience; many are actively employed within the cosmetic science industries. Because of this expertise, our program is industry-focused and remains current.

Four Plus One options in Cosmetic Science

Enrolled or enrolling as an undergraduate? Students can complete both the Bachelor of Science and Master of Cosmetic Science in five years if they meet the Cosmetic Science admission requirements by their junior year.