Master of Science in Food Science

Program Link:
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Priority Deadlines:

  • Fall January 10
  • Spring July 1


  • Pullman

International Student English Proficiency Exams

International students may need to surpass the Graduate School’s minimum English language proficiency exam scores for this program. If the graduate program has unique score requirements, they will be detailed below. Otherwise, please refer to the Graduate School’s minimum score guidelines.

Additional Degree Program Admission Requirements

  • GRE Optional

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. Each student’s program of study is individualized based on their research interests, prior academic experience, and collaboration with their major advisor

By enrolling in the graduate program in Food Science at Washington State University, you form part of a team of students, faculty, and staff dedicated to the scientific and intellectual pursuit of knowledge in food science.

Admission Requirements:

Students with undergraduate majors in the food sciences, including chemistry, microbiology, nutrition, biology and biochemistry, may be well prepared for graduate work in Food Science.  If your undergraduate degree is not directly related to food science, you may be eligible by strengthen your preparation through enrollment in additional courses before applying, or while pursuing your graduate degree. Undergraduate students who are pursuing studies not related to food science and who contemplate graduate work in food science should take as many courses in the basic physical and biological sciences as possible. Your graduate studies may be tailored for your individual background and needs.

The GRE is not required, but recommended/prioritized for students seeking assistantship funding.  

Please know that a completed application is an effective and essential tool for faculty consideration.  Applicants are not required to contact faculty prior to application.

A Master of Science (M.S. thesis) degree demonstrates the ability to conduct and report research and is generally required for admission into the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program in Food Science.

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:

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 like H.J. Heinz Co., J.R. Simplot Co., Lamb Weston, Kraft Foods, and Litehouse Foods. Many MS 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.

Contact Information: