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Students in the M.S. degree program are expected to complete their degree requirements in two years but may be allowed up to four years to complete all requirements. Candidates for the M.S. degree are paired with a committee chair (major advisor) within the field and select one minor advisor. There are no general course requirements for the M.S. 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.
While we do accept MS students, it should be noted that most of our labs are Ph.D. training programs. You can see this reflected in our acceptance rates. If your ultimate goal is to obtain a Ph.D., please apply directly to the Ph.D. program and not the M.S. program.
Ph.D. Acceptance Rate: 17%
M.S. Acceptance Rate: 3%

M.S. candidates must meet the following field and Graduate School requirements:

  • Completion of a minimum of 2 academic semesters
  • Maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.7
  • Completion of the degree within four 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, one time 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 two exams:
    1. MS Q exam – completed before the start of the second semester
    2. MS exam – taken after completing all degree requirements
  • Satisfactory completion of a thesis under the supervision of the Special Committee
  • Students should consult the Graduate School website for specific information regarding the completion of degree and submission of the thesis

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)