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Twin Cities Campus

Food Science Ph.D.

Food Science & Nutrition
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of Food Science and Nutrition, 225 Food Science and Nutrition Building, 1334 Eckles Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55108 (612-624-6753; fax: 612-625-5272)
  • Program Type: Doctorate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2019
  • Length of program in credits: 48
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
Food science applies scientific principles to the manufacture, distribution, marketing, and consumer aspects of food. Food scientists apply the basic principles and techniques of many disciplines, including chemistry, physics, microbiology, and nutrition, to food processing and preservation, new product development, and food marketing. Food scientists are concerned with the theoretical and practical aspects of the food chain, from the production of raw materials to the use of food products by consumers. Students may emphasize the chemistry, engineering, microbiology, nutrition, or technology of food products.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.00.
Applicants to the program need a bachelor's degree in any field or its international equivalent along with demonstrated research ability such as a MS degree or publications.
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
The minimum requirements are general chemistry with laboratory, organic chemistry with laboratory, physics with laboratory, biology with laboratory, and calculus. If preparation appears inadequate, certain additional courses may be required after admission. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores, and the TOEFL (for international students) are also required.
Applicants must submit their test score(s) from the following:
  • GRE
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
    • Total Score: 6.5
    • Final score: 80
The preferred English language test is Test of English as Foreign Language.
Key to test abbreviations (GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
24 credits are required in the major.
0 credits are required outside the major.
24 thesis credits are required.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required for students to remain in good standing.
At least 1 semesters must be completed before filing a Degree Program Form.
All students must participate as teaching assistants during their graduate career.
Required Courses
All students must take the following courses
FSCN 4112 - Food Chemistry and Functional Foods (3.0 cr)
FSCN 4121 - Food Microbiology (3.0 cr)
FSCN 4332 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
FSCN 8318 - Current Issues in Food Science (2.0 cr)
FSCN 5131 - Food Quality for Graduate Credit (3.0 cr)
Course Options
Students must choose one of the following courses.
FSCN 5122 - Food Fermentations and Biotechnology (2.0 cr)
FSCN 5312 - Food Analysis (4.0 cr)
General Elective
Students must take at least three (3) credits at the 5xxx or 8xxx level in addition to the courses listed above.
Elective Courses
Students complete additional 5xxx and 8xxx level FSCN courses, in consultation with their advisor, to total at least 24 credits.
FSCN 5xxx
FSCN 8xxx
Thesis Credits
Food Science PhD students must take 24 thesis credits.
FSCN 8888 - Thesis Credit: Doctoral (1.0-24.0 cr)
More program views..
View college catalog(s):
· College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

View future requirement(s):
· Fall 2023
· Fall 2022
· Fall 2020

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FSCN 4112 - Food Chemistry and Functional Foods
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Most-important food constituents, their occurrence, structures, functional properties, and health benefits. Proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, water. Vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytochemicals, food additives, contaminants. prereq: 3102, BIOC 3021
FSCN 4121 - Food Microbiology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Microorganisms involved in food-borne disease, food fermentations, and food spoilage. Methods for their control/detection. Food microbiology. Foodborne pathogens. Microbial food spoilage. Control of microorganisms in food. prereq: BIOC 3021, [2021 or VBS 2032 or MICB 3301]
FSCN 8318 - Current Issues in Food Science
Credits: 2.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Current issues in Food Science and how they impact the food industry.
FSCN 5131 - Food Quality for Graduate Credit
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Management systems, statistical procedures, regulatory requirements involved with producing quality food/ingredients. Risk assessment/management, good manufacturing practices, hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP), statistical methods for process control, total quality management, food/drug laws. Prereq: Food Science Grad Student Student may select grading basis if instructor approves. A-F registration is required for class to count toward degree.
FSCN 5122 - Food Fermentations and Biotechnology
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Major food fermentations important for today's food industry, with particular focus on microbiological components. Fermentations cover all major commodity food groups of dairy, cereal, meat, vegetables, fruits. prereq: MICB 3301, BIOL 4003
FSCN 5312 - Food Analysis
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Analytical tools needed for investigation in Food Science/Technology, whether by food industry, governmental agencies, or universities. Application of quantitative/ qualitative physical, chemical/instrumental methods used for analysis/examination of food constituents. Sensory evaluation techniques, evaluation of methods/interpretation of results. prereq: 4112, STAT 3011
FSCN 8888 - Thesis Credit: Doctoral
Credits: 1.0 -24.0 [max 100.0]
Grading Basis: No Grade
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
(No description) prereq: Max 18 cr per semester or summer; 24 cr required