Food Science

Major: Food Science
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 45.0
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 01.1001
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 19-1012

About the Program

Pushing the boundaries of food development through science is at the core of Drexel University's Master of Science in Food Science.  The program offers dynamic, multidisciplinary education grounded in the latest research techniques and technological applications for those interested in applying science to meet an ever-growing demand for healthy, safe and nutritious foods. The Master of Science (MS) in Food Science is a unique program because we are housed with Culinary Arts. Because of collaborative opportunities to work with faculty and students who are pursuing the art and taste of good food, our MSFS students work on current and novel product development for companies looking for sustainable and interesting new products. Our students gain a comprehensive overview of the food industry. The curriculum includes both theoretical and applied aspects of the science, technology, sustainability, and safety of food. Food scientists learn to integrate and apply knowledge from the disciplines of chemistry, physics, engineering, microbiology, nutrition and culinary arts in order to preserve, process, package, and distribute foods that are safe, nutritious, enjoyable, and affordable.

The program provides a science-based professional education that encompasses classroom theory, practical research, and application. Food science is concerned with foods, ingredients, and their physicochemical and biochemical interactions at the molecular and cellular levels. Students in the food science program participate in research by completing a research project. They also have the option of designing and executing a thesis under faculty direction. Current research in food science includes:

  • Food sustainability and reuse issues
  • Food product development
  • Food engineering
  • Sensory analysis of foods


The program is designed for students who:

  • are already working within the food industry and seeking professional advancement
  • have an undergraduate degree in a general science-related area such as biology or chemistry, and would like to change fields or move into the more specialized field of food science

The MS in Food Science program offers students numerous opportunities for hands-on, real-world careers in applied science and technology. Potential employers include food product manufacturers, along with other companies providing services related to institutional feeding or supplying ingredients, processing equipment, and packaging materials. Technical and administrative positions are also available in various government agencies and with independent testing laboratories.

Food scientists are needed in the areas of:

  • Food Product Development
  • Food quality assessment and management
  • Food processing and engineering
  • Food product research and development
  • Food sustainability and food waste reduction and practices
  • Technical sales and support
  • Sensory analysis

Additional Information

For additional information, view the Center for Hospitality and Sport Management's Master of Science in Food Science web page.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the program's admission requirements, students are expected to demonstrate competency in the coursework or its equivalent listed in the following table. The graduate committee evaluates each applicant’s transcripts at the time of application. In some cases, courses listed as prerequisites may be taken as co-requisites during the first year of graduate study if deemed appropriate by the graduate admissions committee.

  • General chemistry - One year to include organic chemistry
  • Biochemistry - One or two quarters or semesters to include structures and basic metabolism
  • Biological Science - Three courses to include general biology, genetics, and microbiology
  • Mathematics - One year to include calculus
  • Statistics - One course to include hypothesis testing, correlation, and regression
  • Physics - Two terms or one year (non-calculus based) to include mechanics, optics, electricity, and magnetism

For information about admission requirements and to apply to the MS in Food Science, please visit the Office of Graduate Admissions

Additional Information

For additional information, view the Center for Hospitality and Sport Management's Master of Science in Food Science web page.

Degree Requirements

Food Science Core Competency - Required
BIO 610Biochemistry of Metabolism3.0
or NFS 530 Macronutrient Metabolism
or NFS 531 Micronutrient Metabolism
FDSC 550Food Microbiology3.0
FDSC 551Food Microbiology Laboratory2.0
FDSC 556Food Preservation Processes3.0
FDSC 560Food Chemistry3.0
FDSC 577Food Engineering3.0
FDSC 662Sensory Evaluation of Food3.0
FDSC 890Seminar in Food Science1.0
Food Science Electives12.0
Select 12.0 credits from the following:
Advanced Co-op Guidance for Master’s Degree Students
Food Composition & Behavior
Microbiology & Chemistry of Food Safety I
Nutritional Impact of Food Processing Methods
Food Analysis
Functional Foods
Microbiology & Chemistry of Food Safety II
Readings in Food Science
Electives12.0
Select 12.0 credits from the following:
Biochemistry of Metabolism
Microbial Physiology
Chemical Instrumentation
Principles of Toxicology I
Principles of Toxicology II
Macronutrient Metabolism
Micronutrient Metabolism
Cognitive Psychology
Total Credits45.0

Food Science Faculty

Tali Gidalevitz, PhD (University of Chicago). Assistant Professor. Genetic and molecular pathways regulating protein folding homeostasis, and their role in protein conformation diseases, aging, and development.
Irene E. Olsen, PhD, RD, LDN (Tufts University) Courtesy Appointment. Visiting Research Professor.
Jennifer Quinlan, PhD (North Carolina State University). Associate Professor. Food microbiology; microbiological quality and safety of produce, dairy and meat products in markets in high vs. low socioeconomics areas, Bacillus and Clostridium spores in food processing.
Vicki Schwartz, MS (Drexel University) Nutrition and Foods. Assistant Clinical Professor. Advanced nutrition, clinical nutrition, nutrition support.

Emeritus Faculty

Donna H. Mueller, PhD (Temple University) Registered Dietitian, Nutrition and Foods. Associate Professor Emeritus. Clinical nutrition; pediatric nutrition; nutrition in pulmonary diseases, especially cystic fibrosis; nutrition in developmental delay; dental nutrition; dietetic education and professional development.
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