Ph.D. in Food Science
The Department offers graduate programs leading to a Ph.D. degree in Food Science. Students apply a fundamental understanding of biological, chemical, physical, and behavioral sciences to the processing, preservation, quality evaluation, nutrition and health aspects, and utilization of foods. Our research and education programs integrate the disciplines of chemistry, microbiology, biotechnology, processing, engineering, toxicology, sensory science, product development, animal health, biochemistry and nutrition to prepare qualified graduates for food-related careers in industry, government, and academia. The graduate programs in Food Science provide students with a deeper understanding and knowledge base of the various areas of the field and also give students the opportunity to conduct hands-on research; an essential part of this applied science. Students learn theory in a classroom setting, and apply the knowledge gained in a laboratory setting. Students earning a Ph.D. in Food Science will be thoroughly prepared to begin work in any area of Food Science, including Nutritional/Food Biochemistry, Food Engineering/Processing, Food Chemistry, Food Toxicology, Food Biotechnology, Food Microbiology/Safety, Animal Health and Sensory Science.
To better prepare students for the various areas of the field, 6 graduate degree concentrations have been introduced to the M.S. and Ph.D. programs-Molecular/Nutritional Biochemistry/Toxicology, Food Chemistry/Biochemistry, Product Development, Food Safety and Processing, Molecular Food Biotechnology and Animal Health. Choosing an advisor to guide research is a very important decision for new graduate students. This choice affects not only the research topic, but also the mentoring received.
Demand for food scientists with graduate degrees is high. Graduates are employed in the food industry in research and development, food process development, food safety, quality assurance, analytical sciences and managerial positions. Recent graduates have found employment with major food companies such as General Mills, Kellogg’s, Nestle, Land-O-Lakes, Ingredion, Wayne Farms and others. Many M.S. graduates continue on for a Ph.D. in preparation for a career in academia. Students also find employment with the federal agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture.