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Students in the Ph.D. degree program are expected to complete their degree requirements in three to four years but may be allowed up to seven years to complete requirements. Candidates for the Ph.D. degree are paired with a committee chair (major advisor) within the field and select two minor advisors.  There are no general course requirements for Ph.D. degree; instead, students select classes with the help of their special committee based on background and interests.

Students do not need to hold an M.S. degree to apply for the Ph.D. program, and can apply directly with a B.A./B.S. or equivalent Bachelor's degree.
Ph.D. Acceptance Rate: 17%
M.S. Acceptance Rate: 3%

Ph.D. candidates must meet the following field and Graduate School requirements:

  • Completion of a minimum of 6 academic semesters with at least two coming after the A exam
  • Maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0
  • Completion of the degree within seven years of admission
  • Enrollment in at least 12 credits per semester, not including audited classes.
  • Enrollment in FDSC 6000, Seminar, each semester
  • Enrollment in FDSC 6010, Principles and Applications of Food Science and Technology, during the first fall semester
  • Enrollment in FDSC 6950, Current Readings in Food Science, two times during program
  • Gain experience as a teaching assistant for at least one semester
  • Present a public seminar during FDSC 6000 or a special seminar
  • Yearly completion of Student Progress Review
  • Understanding of core competencies in food science
  • Successful completion of three exams
    1. Q exam – completed before the start of the second semester
    2. A exam – completed after completing two academic semesters but before starting the seventh semester
    3. B exam – taken after completing all degree requirements, but not earlier than one month before completing six academic semesters
  • Satisfactory completion of a dissertation under the supervision of the Special Committee. 
  • Students should consult the Graduate School web site for specific information regarding the completion of degree and submission of the dissertation


The Field of Food Science and Technology offers MS and PhD degrees in Food Science with the following concentrations. 

Field of Food Science & Technology Handbook

Food Science Graduate Handbook: Fall 2022 Edition

For questions regarding this handbook, please email fdscigrad [at] (fdscigrad[at]cornell[dot]edu)