Department of Food Science
745 Agriculture Mall Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907
Food Science graduates are fully prepared for positions in quality assurance, product development, research, and technical services. The department offers our students many services to help in securing employment. Discover more about our placement, salary, and industry options. The field of Food Science applies science, such as microbiology and biochemistry, to discover ways to improve the taste, nutrition, and value of the world's food supply.
A Food Scientist possesses the skills necessary to convert raw food products into safe, attractive foods and beverages.
Food Manufacturing Operations (FMO) combines the study of science and management to learn how industry converts raw products into safe, edible foods and beverages.
At Purdue, some of the research facilities available include: the Center for Food Safety Engineering, the Center for Enhancing Foods to Protect Health, and the Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research, as well as the Computer Integrated Food Manufacturing Center.
The Food Science graduate programs will lead to M.S. and Ph.D.degrees in Food Science. We offer three major areas of specialization: Food Chemistry, Food Microbiology and Food Processing. An undergraduate degree in Food Science is not a prerequisite to do graduate study. A solid background in science or engineering, together with enthusiasm for applying these skills to practical cutting-edge problems, is the most important attribute. A strong B.S. degree usually satisfies the admission requirements.
Students come to our graduate program with a variety of backgrounds, not necessarily in food science. An innovative series of six mini-courses are completed in the first year of graduate study which bring all the entering graduate students "up to speed" in Food Science. Five of these mini-courses cover food chemistry, analysis, microbiology, processing, and nutrition. The sixth is on "case-study" in which students work in teams to solve a real-life problem presented by a scientist from the food industry. Additional courses are taken during (and after) the mini-course series depending on the individual student's educational background, research topic, and professional objectives.