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Washington State University Factsheets

Master of Science in Food Science

Program URL:
Faculty working with Students: 37
Students: 39
Students receiving assistantships or scholarships: 82.05%
Priority deadline:
  • Fall January 10
  • Spring July 1
  • Pullman: Yes
Tests required:
  • 1000 GRE (Combined) Minimum score

Degree Description:

The School of Food Science offers graduate programs leading to doctoral and master of science degrees. Washington State University (WSU) and University of Idaho (UI) merged faculty and programs to become the School of Food Science (SFS). This is the first program in the nation to share teaching, research, extension programs, faculty, and resources between two states and two universities. Food Science is a multidisciplinary science that applies biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, nutrition, and other sciences to improve the safety and quality of food products; develop new food products; and design new, safer, and more energy-efficient food preservation methods. Curriculum emphasizes courses in food processing, food chemistry, food microbiology, sensory evaluation, and other specialized areas. Examples include the processing and manufacturing of cereal, dairy, fruit, and vegetable products; including cheeses, wines, and potatoes. Departmental faculty and adjunct/affiliate faculty may all serve as student advisors. Faculty are housed at WSU and UI campuses, the WSU Tri-Cities campus, and the research station in Prosser, WA. Each student’s program of study is individualized based on their research interests, prior academic experience, and collaboration with their major advisor.

Admission Requirements:

Application materials due by the deadline: official transcripts, resume, statement of purpose, 3 letters of recommendation, GRE, and TOEFL if applicable. Complete undergraduate preparation courses in chemistry, biological science, and one course each in calculus, nutrition, and physics.

Student Learning Outcomes:

All graduates will be able to:

  1. Graduate students learn to conduct innovative and high quality research to solve emerging problems in food science by:
    • Demonstrating a fundamental understanding of food science knowledge and principles.
    • Applying scientific knowledge to assess and solve food science problems.
    • Exhibiting communication skills to convey technical information and defend scientific findings.
    • Designing and conducting research experiments and analyzing research findings.
  2. Graduate students gain professional and leadership skills for professional positions in food and allied industries, government, or academia by:
    • Presenting research to local, regional, and national audiences through publications and presentations.
    • Participating in professional organizations and related activities.
    • Obtaining successful placement in relevant industry, government, or academia positions.

Student Opportunities:

Students gain research experience and leadership skills at the SFS facilities housed on the WSU and UI campuses that includes: research level chemistry, microbiology, and engineering laboratories; the WSU Creamery where on-going research on ice cream and cheese occurs, including the world renowned ‘Cougar Gold’ cheese; a contemporary sensory evaluation facility where aroma, flavor and taste panels are conducted, and a processing pilot plant where small-scale equipment allows for applied research. Off-campus facilities include the Food Technology Center in Caldwell, ID., and the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (IAREC) in Prosser, WA., in the heart of the Northwest’s expanding wine and food processing industries.

Career Opportunities:

Food science graduates begin careers in food research and development, food quality assurance, food safety microbiology, production management, regulatory affairs, or research in the food/allied industries or federal/state regulatory agencies.

Career Placements:

Gallo Wines, ConAgra Foods, Givaudan Flavors, Leprino Foods, Heinz Foods USA, TIC Gums, General Mills, Safeway, McCain Foods USA, Bolthouse Farms, Michelson Laboratories, Ecolab, Weichuan USA, Schwann’s, Darigold, Wilcox Farms, Ventura Food, Trident Seafoods, Disney Consumer Products, Idaho Pacific Corp., Nestle Nutrition, Heinz North America, Cargill, and J.R. Simplot. Attend University for

Faculty Members:

Bledsoe, Gleyn

Bohlscheid, Jeff

Collins, Tom, Ph.D.

Research Interests

wine research

Du, Min, Ph.D.

Research Interests

Our research is focused on the development of skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. Specifically, we are interested in exploring epigenetic mechanisms regulating the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells into myocytes and adipocytes. Our studies have applications to both animal agriculture and human health.

Fellman, John

Ganjyal, Girish, Ph.D.

Research Interests

Food processing, extrusion, frying, food ingredient technology, physico-chemical changes in food ingredients during processing, food structures, food product development and value-addition of food processing by-products.

Haggerty, Robert

Hanrahan, Ines, Ph.D.

Harbertson, James, Ph.D.

Research Interests

My laboratory works on grape (Vitis vinifera) and wine composition. We primarily focus on phenolic compounds in grapes and wine and their biochemical and chemical changes during ripening, winemaking and aging. Phenolic compounds are important to wine, for their influence on sensorial aspects including bitterness, astringency, color, and aroma. Phenolics are also important for their influence on the preservation of wine and health related aspects.

He, B. Brian, Ph.D., P.E.

Research Interests

Utilization of bio-based resources for value-added products and renewable energy through biological / biochemical / thermochemical processing.

Huber, Kerry

III, John Thorngate

Joyner, Helen, Ph.D.

Research Interests

Food rheology and tribology to evaluate mechanical and frictional properties of foods. Emphasis on developing links between rheological, tribological, and sensory behaviors of foods.

Kang, Dong-Hyun

Lee, Jungmin

Lin, Hui-Mei "Amy", Ph.D.

Research Interests

My research is in the area of starch chemistry and its health & wellness aspects.

McGeehan, Steve

Min, Sea Cheol

Minnich, Scott A., Ph.D.

Research Interests

The major focus of research in my laboratory is centered on bacterial pathogenesis of Yersinia enterocolitica and Y. pestis, etiologic agents of yersiniosis and bubonic plague respectively.

Moller, Greg, Ph.D.

Research Interests

Environmental toxicology and chemistry, biogeochemistry of As, Se, and P, water quality, food safety.

Powers, Joseph

Rasco, Barbara, Ph.D.

Research Interests

Food law, food analyses, seafood quality, development of analytical methods to predict the safety and quality of food products.

Ross, Carolyn, Ph.D.

Research Interests

1) the influence of agronomic and environmental conditions on the chemical and sensory profiles of foods and wines; 2) the application of innovative analytical and sensory techniques to increase understanding of fundamental physical and chemical properties of food and wine quality; and 3) the enhancement of food quality through studies of consumer perception.

Ryu, Dojin, Ph.D.

Research Interests

Chemical food safety with emphasis on naturally occurring toxicants including mycotoxins and their chemical/toxicological fate during food processing, integrated approach for food safety.

Sablani, Shyam

Sawnson, Barry, Ph.D.

Tang, Juming, Ph.D.

Research Interests

Food Engineering
Microwave and radio frequency heating and drying.
Heat and Mass Transfer in food processing.
Engineering properties of food materials.
Dehydration of fruits and vegetables.

Unlu, Gulhan, Ph.D.

Research Interests

Food microbiology, biotechnology, microbial food safety/food biopreservation, genomics of food borne bacteria, conversion of food and agricultural waste to value-added products.

Vixie, Kevin, Ph.D.

Research Interests

Geometric analysis and geometric measure theory, geometry and analysis in high dimensions, and data science. Examples include data driven advances in geometric measure theory, image analysis, regularity of minimizers, geometric analysis in metric measure spaces and graphs

Younce, Frank, M.S.

Research Interests

Senior Scientific Assistant in the WSU/UI School of Food Science

Zhu, Jeijun (Meijun), Ph.D.

Research Interests

Our research interests center on microbiological food safety and preventive effects of food and bioactive compounds on gut microbiota and chronic diseases: 1) Examine dietary factors such as high fat diet, plant origin foods and bioactive food components on gut health and related metabolic diseases. We use both in vivo mice models and in vitro cell culture and tissue culture to examine the intricate interaction among nutrients, microorganisms, and gut epithelial health. 2) Seek to inactivate, intervene and detect foodborne pathogens in foods and food production environments, and further explore their applications in the food industries; we also explore molecular mechanisms underlying stress responses in foodborne pathogens, and foodborne enteric pathogen and host interaction. We use analytic chemical, biochemical and molecular techniques as well as traditional microbiological techniques for our studies.

Contact Information:

Academic Coordinator
Johnson Hall Graduate Center
Pullman, WA 99164