School of Food Science

Master of Science in Food Science

The School of Food Science offers a program of study leading to the Master of Science degree in Food Science. The program shares teaching and research activities with the School of Food Science at the University of Idaho.

The following policies and procedures have been established as a guide to students and advisors. This document is intended to be a supplement to the Graduate School Academic Policies and Procedures established by the Graduate School at Washington State University. Faculty and students should be familiar with both documents. For more information on policies and procedures, visit Graduate School website.

NEW for Fall 2013 Students

*****  The information below is for current students (pre-Fall 2013).

Undergraduate Preparation:

A. Chemistry
  • Two semesters of general/inorganic chemistry
  • One semester of organic chemistry
  • One semester of biochemistry
B. Biological Science
  • Two semesters including general microbiology
C. Mathematics
  • One course in calculus
D. Nutrition
  • One course
E. Physics
  • One course

Courses listed above that are not taken, as part of the student’s undergraduate education will be considered deficiencies after admission for graduate education in Food Science. These deficiencies must be corrected early in the graduate program by enrollment for letter grade in the appropriate course(s). While the Graduate School requires a minimum TOEFL score of 550, 213 or 80 (depending on type of test taken) for non-English speaking applicants, the student may be required by their advisor or thesis committee to take additional English courses and/or arrange for tutoring, if needed.

Minimum Degree Requirements

Full list of graduate courses.   UI and WSU graduate level side-by-side course comparison.


General Requirements

Course(s) fulfilling requirements
500-level courses
Includes a minimum of 9 credits of food science listed courses.
Total graded courses
Of the 21 hours, up to 6 credits of 300- and 400-level courses may be used.
FS 700

Specific Courses

Course(s) fulfilling requirements
Food chemistry*
FS 460 and FS 461
Food microbiology*
FS 416 and FS 417
Food processing*
FS 303, 304, 433, 434, 489, 529, 530, 565, 570
Advanced food science
FS 501, 510, 511, 512, 513, 516, 519, 522, 564, 565, 570, 583
Seminar (written)
FS 517
Seminar (oral)
FS 518
400 level or above

*Equivalent courses taken as an undergraduate will satisfy these requirements.



  • Thesis seminar/defense. After completing the research and prior to the final thesis examination, the candidate will present a seminar describing the research and discuss the relevance of the results obtained. Faculty, staff, and students shall be invited to the seminar. The candidate will defend their thesis research at the final examination. Members of the student’s committee must be present at the examination and all must vote. The Graduate School Academic Policies and Procedures should be consulted for additional information regarding who may attend the examination and vote.

Thesis Committee

  • A minimum of three faculty members are required. The chair must be permanent tenure-track faculty and hold a degree of comparable level to the degree sought by the candidate, and the committee should include at least two other faculty members who hold a degree equivalent to the degree being sought. Students are required to have at least one committee meeting per academic year to provide guidance.
  • If co-chairs are desired for the committee, the student must consult with the Academic Coordinator for the procedures.

Transfer Credits

  • A maximum of 10.5 credits of courses at graduate level (grade B or better) may be transferred.

Teaching/Research Assistantships Information:

Assistantships in the School of Food Science are available from both grant and state funds. Grant funds are awarded at the discretion of individual faculty members. We award our assistantships on a competitive basis counting heavily on academic performance, the three letters of recommendation, and other information.

As a policy, we do not award state-funded assistantships to students for whom English is a second language during their first year of study. If you are not currently studying in the US, you should be prepared to finance your first year of graduate studies. After your first year at WSU, you can apply for state assistantship support, but this is not guaranteed. To apply for an assistantship, use the Graduate School On-line Application filling out pertinent assistantship questions.

(page last updated on 09/10/09)

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