Our program prepares graduates for a wide range of career opportunities. Many are employed in food and related industries in the areas of product development, research, quality assurance, food safety, food biotechnology, regulatory aspects, packaging, and manufacturing. Additionally, some graduates accept academic positions.
There are many options open to individuals graduating with a food science degree, including specializations in the following areas:
- Product development involves creating new food products for the market, extending a current line of products (e.g., adding new flavors or shapes, or creating reduced fat or healthy versions of existing products), and improving product by evaluating the use of new ingredients, packaging, or reformulation.
- Quality assurance (QA) involves routine product analysis in addition to troubleshooting in food manufacturing, isolating and eliminating sources of consumer complaints, and occasionally providing technical assistance in legal cases.
- Regulatory work is commonly associated with assuring that a company’s products meet all legal requirements locally, nationally, and internationally. This position requires knowledge of all aspects of food formulation, stability, analysis, and the law.
- Packaging is a growing field in the food industry. While most liquid foods were once packaged in glass or tin, the advances in polymer science have created a myriad of new options. Packaging today may be used to heat or cool a food, absorb oxygen from the food, or simply be chosen to address shipping considerations. Each new application comes with problems that must be addressed through research.
- Every aspect of food science geared to local or national markets must be expanded to include the global market. This is true of market taste preferences, cultural and religious influences, ingredient availability, storage conditions, distribution structure, legal regulations, and language barriers. The global challenge extends to academics as well as industry. This has created a vast new and ever expanding role for the food science graduate.
M.S. and Ph.D. programs are offered in Food Science. The program receives over 80 applications per year and admits an average of 20 students.
Applicants to the program need a bachelor’s degree in any field or its international equivalent, prerequisite coursework, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores, and the TOEFL (for international students).
(at least one college level term completed)
- General chemistry with lab
- Organic chemistry with lab
- Physics with lab
- Biology with lab
- Calculus (college level or documented equivalent)