The Ohio State University has the only approved Food Science program in Ohio, an approval process performed by the Institute of Food Technologists. Winner of the University Departmental Teaching Excellence Award, this program builds connections among its students and faculty, establishing a network for graduates to carry forward into their professional careers. Our faculty members collectively have over 68 patents and include seven IFT fellows, two endowed chairs and two endowed professorships. Our talented faculty brings in millions of dollars in grant money annually. Alumni of the food science graduate program have gone on to have careers in academia, industry and government. Are you interested in becoming a future alum?
The department offers both M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs in Food Science. Students may study food chemistry, food safety and microbiology, sensory science, functional foods for health, food safety engineering, advanced food processing technologies and food packaging. Our facilities consist of well-equipped laboratories and three pilot plants for meat, dairy, and fruit and vegetable processing. We also offer students the opportunity to have a graduate minor. Information about a graduate minor can be found on our graduate minor page.
Both the university and college offer a variety of competitive opportunities for graduate students. Most students are supported by fellowships or associateships. Tuition is paid for all students on these types of appointments. Department associateships are also available with many graduate students receiving support on research associateships provided by individual faculty members. Our faculty have a wide range of diverse areas of research expertise and can be communicated with directly.
Students in the department come from very diverse backgrounds including international students, students with food science backgrounds and students from other disciplines. To enter the graduate program, students should have at least one semester of college level calculus, biology, microbiology, physics, chemistry through organic chemistry, and biochemistry, or have obtained the equivalent through training or experience. Coursework is tailored to the needs of the individual student on consultation with faculty advisors.
How To Apply
To apply, fill out the on-line application form at OSU Graduate Admissions and have your TOEFL scores (if applicable) sent directly to the OSU Graduate Admissions Office. As part of that application, you need to upload three letters of recommendation, your personal statement, a resume/CV, and a copy of your transcripts from all university-level schools attended. The letters of recommendation should be on company letterhead. The personal statement should describe the area of research you would like to pursue, as well as any relevant internships or research experience you have had. Official copies of your transcripts will be required only upon admission to the university. Do not send any documents directly to the department. The deadline to be considered for fellowship nomination by the Department of Food Science and Technology is December 1st.
For additional information about the graduate program contact Dr. Monica Giusti, Graduate Studies Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information related to the graduate program application process contact Alexandra Mobley, Academic Program Coordinator, email@example.com.
Q: What are the admission requirements for your program?
A: To apply for a graduate program at Ohio State, students must meet the general minimum criteria established by the Graduate School. As part of the criteria, students must have a minimum undergraduate/graduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants are also required to submit an application including TOEFL scores, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a CV. All students need to submit official scores in order to be considered for admission. The average TOEFL score was a 97.6.
Q: Are there any required prerequisites for the Food Science and Technology graduate programs?
A: The basic requirements for admission to the Graduate School is the completion of the equivalent to a four year U.S. bachelor's degree. In addition, there are five course prerequisites that you must have for our program: Physics, Calculus, Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry and Organic Chemistry.
Q: What if my university doesn’t offer some of the required prerequisites?
A: In regards to the prerequisites, our handbook states: “To enter the graduate program, students must have at least one semester of college level calculus, biology, microbiology, physics, chemistry though organic chemistry, and biochemistry, or have obtained the equivalent through training or experience.” If a student is accepted, he/she would need to complete all the prerequisite courses by the start of the admission term. In some cases, a student can be admitted by the Graduate Studies Committee on a conditional basis with the requirement that the student takes the course during the first year. This execption is usually only used in the case where there is one missing course.
Q: Can I apply to the program if my GPA is below 3.0?
A: The Graduate School requires that students applying to a graduate program have at least a 3.0 GPA. In rare cases, a student with a GPA below 3.0 can be admitted, although this is only done in the case of a student who has a prospective advisor who is willing to write a petition on his/her behalf and has a compelling reason for improved future performance. Then, the petition is up to the discretion of the Graduate School. Any student who applies to the program, regardless of GPA, is considered by our faculty and Graduate Studies Committee.
Q: Can I apply directly into the PhD program with a bachelor’s degree?
A: As long as a student has completed the required prerequisites, they are welcome to apply for either the MS or PhD program. The FST Graduate Student Handbook provides details about the MS and PhD degree requirements. If a student is directly admitted into the PhD program with no MS degree, he/she would be required to complete the total coursework for the MS and PhD degree.
How To Apply
Q: How can I apply for the MS or PhD program?
A: In order to apply, please log into the Ohio State Graduate Admissions System. All application materials, including letters of recommendation and transcripts, should be submitted electronically through this site.
Q: Is the process for transfer students the same?
A: For students transferring from a different institution, the process is the same as applying as a new student. When a student is a current graduate student at Ohio State, the student will need to contact the Department of Food Science and Technology directly.
Q: Can I apply for spring or summer admission?
A: Students are welcome to apply for off-terms (Spring and Summer); however, we accept the majority of students in the Autumn due to lab openings and advisor and funding availability.
Admission Statistics and Chances of Admission
Q: How many MS and PhD students will you admit each year? What is the percentage of international students?
A: For autumn admission, we generally receive 110-160 applications. In Autumn 2018, our incoming class was 26 students. The class sizes vary depending on advisor availability and student qualifications, although the typical number of students admitted ranges from 25-35. This figure includes both MS and PhD students. Approximately half of the students in our graduate programs are domestic students and half are international students.
Q: What are my chances of admission?
A: Admission to the Food Science and Technology graduate programs is highly competitive. Our department considers a variety of criteria for admission including: past performance in basic science courses (math, chemistry, and physics), personal statement, and recommendations from previous instructors or advisors. Overall, admission decisions for students are based on qualifications and advisory match/availability. A strong GPA can certainly help an application. As a reference, we typically receive 110-160 applications each autumn semester and approximately 25-35 students are admitted.
Q: What is the application deadline?
A: Applications should be completed by the following deadlines:
- Autumn: Domestic and International - April 30th (We strongly recommend that you submit your application no later than March 1st)
- Summer: Domestic - April 5th, International - March 1st
- Spring: Domestic - Dec. 15th, International - Oct. 25th
We encourage students to submit their applications early. For Autumn 2021, applications received and completed early (before December 1st for international applicants, and before December 15th for domestic applicants) will be considered for university fellowship nomination from our department. Although the official deadline for autumn admission is not until April, our class is usually full by that time. For reference, you can also find our deadlines on Graduate Admissions Food Science and Technology page.
Q: What are all the documents needed for my application?
A: Students are required to submit: an application, a personal statement, a resume/CV, three letters of recommendation, transcripts of all post-secondary coursework completed (scanned and uploaded), and TOEFL scores (if applicable). These items will be submitted electronically through the application system.
Q: Is there an essay required?
A: Students are required to submit a personal statement. The statement should describe the area of research you would like to pursue, as well as any relevant internships or research experience you have had. Many students use the statement to describe how they became interested in food science, although you are welcome to formulate it based on your preference. Generally, these personal statements are 1-2 pages long. Lastly, if you are interested in working with a particular advisor, we encourage you to include this in your statement.
Letters of Recommendation
Q: Who should write my reference letters?
A: You are welcome to choose letter writers who you feel will highlight your qualifications for our graduate program. In general, we suggest that at least two of these letters of recommendation come from academic sources. Please note that students are required to submit three letters of recommendation.
Q: Can I submit my reference letters electronically?
A: Yes! We prefer that all letters of recommendation are submitted electronically. This allows the letters to be processed and marked as “complete” quickly. After you complete the general online application, your recommenders will automatically receive an email from Ohio State requesting the letter of recommendation. From this link, your letter writer can complete the required Ohio State form, upload the letter and submit it instantaneously. We ask that you do not send hard-copies in the mail in addition to the electronic copies. If you submit duplicates there may be some confusion regarding which copy to use, which could delay your application.
Q: I have a question regarding letters of recommendation and the online system. Who do I contact?
A: After you complete the general online application, your letters writers will receive an email from Ohio State requesting the letter of recommendation. From this link, your letter writer can complete the required Ohio State form, upload the letter and submit it instantaneously. You can track the status of the recommendation requests you have submitted, resend an invitation, or add a new recommender in the onlne applicant system. The Graduate and Professional Admissions webpage includes Frequently Asked Questions for applicants and recommenders regarding letters of recommendation, including instructions for accessing the Application References Summary page. We encourage you to visit this page first to help troubleshoot any problems. If the answer to your question is not provided there, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: What are the minimum TOEFL requirements?
A: The minimum TOEFL requirement for Ohio State is 79. Although the minimum TOEFL score is 79, the average score for students admitted to our program is 98.
Q: Do you waive TOEFL?
A: If a student has obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher from an institution in the United State, the TOEFL requirement can be waived. Also the TOEFL can be waived for students from specific countries. The Graduate and Professional Admissions website provides information regarding full TOEFL requirements.
Q: I did not participate in TOEFL, but I did pass IELTS. Will you still accept my scores?
A: Yes, the Graduate Admissions Office accepts scores on the IELTS exam. For more information, please visit the Graduate and Professional Admissions page on English Proficiency.
Q: What is the code for sending my test scores?
A: The institutional code for Ohio State is 1592. Please use this code for sending TOEFL scores. The Graduate School requests that all scores be sent to their office (and not to individual departments). If you are required to select a department, please chose “Department Not Listed” or enter 0000.
Q: Can I submit my application before my scores have been sent?
A: Yes, you can submit your application without the scores. Once the Graduate Admissions Office receives your TOEFL scores, they will be automatically added to your application. Please monitor your Applicant Center to make sure they are received in time. If it has been several weeks since the request and they are still showing as incomplete, please contact the main Graduate Admissions Office to see if they can help locate the exam scores (email@example.com). In general, students should allow 5-6 weeks for the scores to be received. Please note that your application can not be reviewed until all materials are received, including test scores.
Q: Should I contact a faculty member in the program during the application process?
A: We encourage you to visit our Faculty Expertise page to see if there are any faculty members whose research and interests match your own. If you are interested in working with a particular faculty advisor, it is recommended to contact them regarding your application and research interests. However, we suggest that students wait to do this until after they have submitted their complete application.
Q: Can I be admitted without an advisor?
A: You are not required to identify an advisor to apply to the program, however you are required to have an advisor in order to be admitted. In addition to the completed application and academic credentials, one of the requirements for our program is that students have an assigned advisor upon being admitted to that program. This requirement is to ensure that students receive the proper guidance throughout their program. If you are interested in working with a particular faculty member, you may wish to contact them regarding your application and research interests. Admission to the program is competitive due to limited space and advisor availability. We sometimes have to deny admission when a suitable advisor is not identified.
Costs and Funding
Q: What are the costs for the MS or PhD program?
A: The costs for the program (tuition/fees) can be found on the Graduate Admissions Food Science and Technology page. Additional information regarding costs and fees by semester is provided on the University Registrar website.
Q: Do you have any funding / scholarship opportunities?
A: Approximately 80% of our students receive funding through graduate associate positions or fellowships. These positions are offered on a competitive basis, and graduate associate positions are also based on advisor funding and interest. Students who apply early for autumn will be considered for fellowship nomination (before December 1st for international applicants, and before December 15th for domestic applicants).
Q: How do I apply for a graduate associate (GA) position or fellowship?
A: There is a question on the general application that asks which funding opportunities you would like to be considered for. Based on the response to this question, all applications received by the fellowship deadline are automatically considered for both GRA and fellowship opportunities. You do not need to submit a supplemental application to be considered for funding. Please note that most fellowship opportunities are only available for the autumn semester.
Q: If I am an international student, do I need to submit financial documents with my application?
A: Students do not need to submit financial documents during the application process. If an international student is recommended for admission, the Graduate and Professional Admissions Office will request information regarding finances. For more information regarding the financial review process, please visit the International: Additional requirements after you are admitted page.
Q: What are the requirements for fellowship consideration?
A: Merit-based fellowships are offered on a competitive basis through a university-wide competition. Applications must be completed by the university set deadline, typically in December. This year the requirement for fellowship applicants was a GPA of 3.6 or higher. This requirement is not mandatory to be admitted into the department; however, it does give students more opportunities to access funding sources.
Q: When is the fellowship application deadline?
A: For Autumn admission, applications received and completed early will be evaluated and considered for university fellowship nomination from our Department. The deadlines are Dec. 1st for international applicants and Dec. 15th for domestic applicants.
Q: What is the “Program Options/Plan Information” portion on the application and what should I include in it?
A: This section mainly applies when a student is applying for a non-thesis Master’s. The vast majority of our students complete the thesis Master’s degree. However, there is an option to complete a Master’s degree with more course work and no thesis (the non-thesis option). Later in the application there are a series of program questions regarding your area of interest and potential faculty members with whom you would like to work. If you are interested in particular research area, this section would be the best place to put the information.
Q: If my GPA is on an international scale (i.e. not a 4.0 scale), what should I enter on the application?
A: Please provide the closest estimate for your GPA on a 4.0 scale. It does not need to be exact, since the Graduate Admissions office will do an official GPA calculation prior to any student being admitted.
Q: Do I have to submit official copies of my transcripts during the application process?
A: During the application process you will just need to upload a scanned copy of your official transcript to the Application Center. Please do not send hard copies of the transcript. If you submit duplicates there may be some confusion regarding which copy to use, which could delay your application. If you have additional questions regarding transcripts, please see the Graduate Admissions Additional Resources:Transcripts. If you are admitted, you will be required to submit official copies of your transcript to the university.
Q: How do I upload a new item to my application?
A: If you forgot to upload an item to your application, or you have a new item to be added to your application, you can use the Document Uploader feature. If you are trying to upload a transcript or other restricted document, please send your request with the attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. This email goes to the main Graduate and Professional Admissions office, and they have access to add documents to your application.
Q: How can I check the status of my application?
A: In order to check the status of your application, please visit your Applicant Center. This website will list all the items that have been received and which items are incomplete. Once you log into the Applicant Center, click “Show more information on status” and “Show status of required items.” When a final decision is made on an application, the status will also be updated automatically.
Q: Who can I contact if I am having trouble with the application system?
A: The Graduate and Professional Admissions Office manages the graduate application; therefore, we ask that students contact them directly with all technical questions. Please click on the link above to access their contact information.
Q: Where can I go if I have additional application questions?
A: The Graduate and Professional Admissions webpage provides helpful information and answers to many common application questions. We encourage you to check their Steps to apply if you have further questions regarding the application!