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Food Science - MAg, MS, PhD

A graduate degree option in Food Science is offered through the Department of Poultry Science. Students pursuing graduate studies in Food Science can earn Master of Agriculture, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. These degrees are designed to prepare outstanding students for careers in the food industry, government, and academia. Research training and experience can be acquired in the specialized areas of food safety/microbiology, food quality, food chemistry, or processing and product technology.

Applicants apply through the Department of Poultry Science and must indicate their desire to pursue graduate studies in Food Science. All applications are reviewed by the departmental Graduate Committee. Application materials include: official copies of all college transcripts, GRE scores, TOEFL scores (for international students), 3 letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of purpose. Transcripts and test scores are sent directly to the Graduate School. The letters of recommendation may either be submitted online (preferred) or mailed to the graduate program officer. The resume and statement of purpose are sent to the graduate program officer at the departmental address or via email attachment. To pursue MS or MAg degrees in food science, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in food science, nutrition, chemistry, biology, food engineering, or allied sciences from a recognized institution. A MS degree in a relevant field is required to be considered for admission into the PhD program. The course of study, developed by the student and the advisory committee, may include additional courses to address specific needs or course work deficiencies.

Additional information about requirements, policies, and availability of financial support can be obtained from the graduate program officer for the Food Science Option in Poultry Science (bellleo@auburn.edu).

MS/MAg Degree Requirements

  1. The Master of Science (MS degree) requires a research project with a formal written thesis while the Master of Agriculture (MAg) requires a research project with written report. The MS degree requires a minimum of 30 semester credit hours. The MAg degree requires 33 semester credit hours. Both MS and MAg degrees require a comprehensive final oral examination.
  2. The Food Science Core Curriculum –
    FDSC 6430Food Chemistry4
    POUL 6160Advanced Principles of Food Safety3
    STAT 7000Experimental Statistics I4
    FDSC 7950Graduate Seminar1
    FDSC 7980Nonthesis Research (4 cr)1-4
    or FDSC 7990 Research And Thesis
  3. Food Science Electives – MS students must take 4 food science electives chosen in consultation with the major professor and advisory committee. MAg students must take 5 food science electives. Free electives may be used to acquire the required 30 semester hours (MS) or 33 semester hours (MAg).

PhD Degree Requirements

  1. For the PhD degree, a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate coursework beyond the MS (60 hours beyond the bachelor’s degree) is required.
  2. The Food Science Core Curriculum –
    FDSC 6430Food Chemistry4
    POUL 6160Advanced Principles of Food Safety3
    FDSC 7950Graduate Seminar (taken twice for 2 total credits)1
    STAT 7000Experimental Statistics I4
    STAT 7010Experimental Statistics II3
    FDSC 8990Research and Dissertation (10 hours)1-10
  3. Food Science Electives – PhD students must take 5 food science electives chosen in consultation with the major professor and advisory committee. Free electives may be used to acquire the required 60 semester hours.
  4. Examinations – Upon completion of course work, students must pass general written examinations administered by the advisory committee, followed by a comprehensive preliminary oral examination. After satisfactory completion of these exams, the student advances to candidacy. A dissertation based on an independent research project is required to earn a PhD degree. After completion of the dissertation, the student must pass a final Doctoral oral examination defending the dissertation.