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Graduate Programs

Prospective Student

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 M.S. 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.

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.

Depending on your career goals, your studies may concentrate on such basic sciences as chemistry, biochemistry, and microbiology, as well as food science. You may explore a variety of subjects, such as food chemistry, food safety, food microbiology, fermentation, wine science, sensory science to complement your graduate education. Keeping your interests and goals in mind, your research project, course requirements, teaching and/or Extension experiences for your graduate work will be individualized and determined with your faculty advisor and graduate committee.

Program Requirements for Degrees:

CAHNRS Academic Programs Graduate Center

Food Science Graduate Inquiries

Jill Staab

Hulbert Hall Rm 213/215
PO Box 646243
Pullman, WA 99164-6420 USA
Questions, please email:

Apply Visit Grad School Food Science Fact Sheet

Application Deadlines

Fall semester: January 10
Spring semester: July 1

  • Materials must be complete by these dates for admission and/or assistantship considerations.
  • Graduate applications are very competitive. It is beneficial to submit all materials before the deadlines.

Who should apply?

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.

Application Materials

For a complete application, the following materials are required. All materials should be received by the deadlines outlined below for priority consideration – including TOEFL and GRE.  Applications are most competitive when these priority deadlines are met.

  1. An online completed Application for Admission to the Graduate School, on which the student should indicate food science as the major.
  2. A $75.00 non-refundable application fee.
  3. One complete set of official transcripts of all previously earned credits to be sent directly to the Graduate School (copies of official transcripts are acceptable for the application review process and may be uploaded with your application). See WSU Graduate School for more details.
  4. Three letters of recommendation from professors or employers. Once you submit your application, your references will be contacted automatically through the online application system and asked to submit an electronic recommendation form.
  5. A Statement of Purpose, which also describes what area of research you are interested in or the Faculty member you want to work with.
  6. International applicants must also submit TOEFL or IELTS scores to meet minimum English proficiency requirements of the WSU Graduate School, sent directly from the testing agency to University 4705.  Scores must be less than two years old at the time of admission.  Some exceptions are noted at the link.
  7. Submit The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score.  Take the General Test, submit it to University code 4705.
  8. If you are a resident of one of the States/territories listed on the WICHE website, then make this known in your Statement of Purpose, so you qualify to pay for reduced tuition.  Also, identify yourself as WICHE WRPG on the Graduate School Application.

Admission Considerations

The basis of the above data, the Graduate School and the department evaluate the prospective student’s qualifications. Recommendations for admission are made provided that:

  •  The student meets the Graduate School’s criteria (see Graduate School Admission):
  •  The student meets departmental criteria;
  • A member of the departmental faculty agrees to serve as that student’s major advisor, and
  • There is a committed source of funding to support the student (an assistantship or a commitment that the student will be self-supporting).

Departmental criteria includes a G.P.A. of 3.0 or better, as stipulated by the Graduate School, supportive letters of recommendation, and a clear “statement of purpose” by the prospective student explaining explaining their research interest/s at the WSU School of Food Science (SFS). Within SFS, the decision for admission and recommendation to the Graduate School is made by the Graduate Admissions Committee, and approved by the School’s Director. Although SFS sends an unofficial notice of acceptance, formal notice of acceptance into the graduate program will come from the Graduate School.

Transfer Credits

Students can use post baccalaureate graded credits with a B grade or above to count towards your degree. The maximum number of transfer course credits is limited to half the total graded credits with the approval of your major advisor and graduate committee.

Graduate Student Resource Links

*Under revision