The department offers a graduate program leading to a Doctoral degree that is built around courses in food science and technology, supported by courses in chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, mathematics, statistics, engineering, and biology.  Individual graduate programs   (3 years) are planned with the advisor to prepare students for opportunities in industry, academia, and government.  On a limited basis, selected students can complete a Ph.D. program (4 years) without earning a Master's degree.

Areas of Dissertation Research

  • Food chemistry
  • Food safety and microbiology
  • Food processing and packaging
  • Food engineering
  • Aquaculture
  • Functional foods for health
  • Product development
  • Sensory evaluation

Program Coursework

The departmental course/credit requirements for the Ph.D. degree in Life Sciences (Food Science & Technology) include completion of at least 90 graduate credits, composed of the following: 

  • at least 30 (max. of 60) credits of Research and Dissertation (FST 7994) 
  • at least 27 credits of 5000 level courses 
  • at least 3 (maximum of 4) credits in Graduate Seminar (FST 5004) 
  • a maximum of 6 credits of 4000 level courses 
  • a maximum of 12 credits of Special Study or Independent Study

The 5000 level courses must include at least 9 credits of FST department courses.  Additionally a 5000 level biochemistry course (typically BCHM 5124) and two 5000 level statistics course (typically STAT 5605 & 5606, or 5615 & 5616) and our Graduate Professionalism in Food Science course (FST 5054) are required.  Also, Food Processing (FST 4405), Food Chemistry (FST 4504) and Advances in Food Microbiology (FST (5604) are required.  Students do not need to complete these three courses if they (or an equivalent course) were part of a previous degree program.