A photo of the entrance to the Food Science building.

About Us

Our Story

The School of Food Science (SFS) offers teaching, research, and extension programs in the areas of Food Science, Food Safety, Dairy Microbiology, and Sensory Science. The SFS is administered by the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS). The School of Food Science maintains strong undergraduate and graduate programs in food science (B.S., MS, and Ph.D.). SFS also maintains a strong presence online with two programs: Master of Science in Agricultural Science with an emphasis on Food Science and Certificate of Proficiency in Food Science and Food Safety.

The academic programs are offered with a unique co-operative program established with the Department of Animal, Veterinary, and Food Sciences administered by the University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS).

The administrative office is located on the main campus in Pullman, WA. Members of the faculty are located at the Pullman campus, the WSU Irrigated Agricultural Research and Extension Center  (Prosser, WA), and at the WSU Tri-Cities campus (Richland, WA). The SFS oversaw Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe and the WSU Creamery until July 2019. Then the Creamery was briefly overseen, administratively, by the Dean of CAHNRS until 2022, when it returned back to the SFS umbrella. The SFS faculty and students work with the Creamery on various levels and are integral to each other.

SFS faculty also collaborate with cereal scientists at the USDA Western Wheat Quality Laboratory  (Pullman). Facilities include pilot plants, a food preparation laboratory, sensory evaluation laboratories, and numerous research laboratories.  A dairy processing plant, research pilot plant, traditional food processing pilot plant, and an experimental/teaching winery are available for student projects.

Our History

School of Food Science

Photo of the SFS Building

The original food science program was established in the 1960’s as an interdepartmental program. This program became the Department of Food Science and Technology in 1970. The College of Agriculture and Home Economics was established in 1982 by the merger of the two parent colleges (College of Agriculture and the College of Home Economics). In 1983, the departments of Human Nutrition and Foods and Food Science and Technology combined to create the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN). In 2007, the Department of FSHN began a significant organizational restructuring. The human nutrition and dietetics faculty and programs in FSHN moved to WSU’s new Division of Health Sciences under the College of Pharmacy, paving the way for the School of Food Science (SFS). The food science faculty and programs from the former University of Idaho (UI) Department of Food Science & Toxicology and the previous WSU Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition merged in 2008 to form the School of Food Science.  In the summer of 2020, WSU and UI became separate units again to focus on the strengths of each university. However, the instruction will be offered on both campuses with the established co-operative degree programs so that the students can complete the degree requirements with classes from both departments.

External Advisory Board

Each fall, the School of Food Science hosts our annual External Advisory Board meeting. The two-day meeting gives us a chance to collaborate with this team of professionals who are experienced in the industry and academia and have a continued interest in our program. This advisory board formally meets once a year, but will communicate throughout the year to work toward improving the school as well as the food industry. The members will serve on the board for two or three years, and new members will rotate into the group each year.