The following areas of specialization are offered: basic studies in physical, chemical, or biological changes in foods; chemistry of fats and oils; flavor chemistry, including isolation and identification of food flavors; chemistry of food proteins; nutritional aspects of food products; food enzymology and biochemistry; food microbiology; food toxicology; heat and mass transfer in foods, energy conservation in processing; food packaging, theoretical aspects, functionality, and properties; food colors; food emulsions; sensory attributes of foods; and biotechnology. The program is suitable for part-time study.
Applicants are expected to have completed one year each of calculus, physics, and organic chemistry, and to have some foundation in the biological sciences. Biochemistry, microbiology, and/or nutrition are recommended, as is statistics. Some undergraduate food science courses may be taken for graduate credit. The Graduate Record Examination must be taken.
Food science offers a master of science degree with options for a thesis or nonthesis program. In the thesis option, the student must take a minimum of 6 research credits and 24 course credits, and must carry out a research problem and write a thesis. For the nonthesis option, the student must have a minimum of 30 course credits and must present an essay. A nonthesis M.S. normally is considered a terminal degree. However, the student with the support of his or her major adviser may petition the faculty for permission to continue with the Ph.D. program.
The student should demonstrate proficiency in food science by the satisfactory completion of course work in the following areas: food science fundamentals, food science seminar (1 credit), food biochemistry, food engineering, nutrition, food analysis or quantitative analysis, and food microbiology. Any of the above requirements may be waived, except seminars, if the student has had courses that satisfy the core requirements.
Students must demonstrate proficiency in food biology, food chemistry, and food engineering early in their academic careers. They are required to complete with an average grade of B or better 16:400:507 Food Engineering Fundamentals and Processes and 16:400: 513,514 Food Science Fundamentals I,II.
The Ph.D. requires a minimum of 72 credits beyond the bachelor`s degree, of which 45 must be course credits. Candidates who have any deficiencies upon admission are required to make up these deficiencies before receiving the degree.
Qualifying examinations for the doctorate include both written and oral examinations. A student must take a written qualifying examination in one of the following areas: food biology, food chemistry, or food physics/engineering. After passing the written qualifying examination, the student takes the oral qualifying examination, which normally includes approval of the research proposal for the dissertation. A student who fails all or part of the written qualifying examination may, with the concurrence of the faculty and his or her adviser, retake one time those portions of the examination that he or she failed. Likewise, a student who does not pass the oral qualifying examination may retake the examination once, with the dissertation committee`s concurrence. After passing both the written and oral components of the qualifying examination, the student is recommended as a candidate for the Ph.D. There is no language or residence requirement for the Ph.D. degree.
The master of philosophy degree is an option for doctoral candidates. Graduate assistantships, teaching assistantships, and fellowships are available to qualified students.
Academic and research training in packaging science and engineering as applicable to food is possible in this program. For further information concerning this option, refer to the listing under Packaging Science and Engineering in this chapter.