Master of Science in Food Science

Program Link:
Program Handbook:
Not available
Total Graduate Faculty in Program:
Graduate Students in Program:
Students receiving assistantships:
Priority deadline:

  • Fall January 10
  • Spring July 1


  • Pullman

International Student English Proficiency Exams

  • TOEFL, IELTS, DUOLINGO English Proficiency Requirements:
  • GRE not required, but recommended/prioritized for students seeking assistantship funding.

Degree Description:

The School of Food Science offers graduate programs leading to doctoral and master of science degrees. 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. The curriculum emphasizes courses in food processing, food chemistry, food microbiology, sensory evaluation, and other specialized areas.  Some of the coursework is in cooperation with nearby University of Idaho.  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 the WSU Pullman and Tri-Cities campuses, 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, and TOEFL if applicable. The GRE is not required, but recommended/prioritized for students seeking assistantship funding. 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 campus 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 Wine Science Center on the WSU on the WSU Tri-Cities regional campus and the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (IAREC) in Prosser, WA., both of which are 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.

Contact Information:

Academic Coordinator
CAHNRS Academic Programs, Graduate Center
Pullman, WA