Food Science and Technology

Graduate Program Fact Sheet
Food Science and Technology

The Department of Food Science and Technology offers graduate programs leading toward the Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. A variety of research specializations are available covering the chemical, physical, microbiological, and sensory properties of foods.

Food Science and Technology | M.S. / PhD / Minor

Research Disciplines

Flavor Chemistry

Research areas include identification and measurement of aroma compounds and their chemical/biochemical formation in foods, and flavor retention and changes during food processing and storage. Additional studies include measurements of flavor interactions with food components and packaging materials, and flavor release in food systems.

Professors: Robert McGorrinMichael QianTom ShellhammerElizabeth Tomasino

Food Chemistry/Biochemistry

Areas of emphasis include processing and chemical reactivity, plant cell wall biochemistry, and enzyme technologies.

Professors: Christina DeWitt, Paul Hughes, Juyun Lim, Michael Qian

Food and Health

Research areas include impacts of whole foods, food components or supplements on human health, gut microbiome, gustatory detection of nutrients, and sensory mechanisms underlying cephalic phase insulin release.

Professors: David Dallas, Jung Kwon, Juyun Lim, Si Hong Park

Food Microbiology/Biotechnology

Areas of focus include; ecology of food and beverage production, impact of foods and beverages upon human gut microbiota, evolution of antimicrobial resistance, development of strategies to reduce contamination of foods and beverages with pathogenic or spoilage microbes, development of starter cultures for food and beverage fermentation. Research in these areas leverages expertise in microbial physiology, molecular genetics, whole genome sequencing, metagenomics (metabarcoding and shotgun sequencing), transcriptomics (RNAseq) and bioinformatics.

Professors: Chris Curtin, Jovana Kovacevic, James Osborne, Si Hong Park, Joy Waite-Cusic

Sensory Science

Research areas include sensory psychophysics, methodology development, and sensory evaluation of foods.

Professors: Juyun LimTom ShellhammerElizabeth Tomasino

Sustainable Food Manufacturing

Research is aimed to increase the sustainability of food processing and packaging through technology innovations by focusing on 1) creating edible, recyclable, and compostable packaging to eliminate single use plastics; 2) developing innovative food coatings to reduce food loss across food chain; 3) upcycling food processing byproducts for novel food and packaging applications; and 4) studying energy efficiency and eco-friendly food processing techniques.

Professors: Christina DeWittPaul HughesJung KwonTom ShellhammerYanyun Zhao

Special Research Topics


Research topics in this area include 1) the composition of raw ingredients and microbial ecology of production environments, 2) sustainable dairy processing systems, 3) the quality, safety, nutritional value of finished products, and 4) consumer behavior towards dairy products.

Professors: Chris CurtinDavid DallasJuyun LimSi Hong ParkMichael QianJoy Waite-Cusic


Studies focus on processing technologies, biochemistry, microbiology and chemistry of beer, wine, and distilling production. Experimental brewery, winery, and distilled spirits laboratory facilities are used for experimental production and research. The pilot research brewery also focuses on raw materials quality.

Professors: Chris CurtinPaul HughesJames OsborneTom ShellhammerElizabeth Tomasino


Research topics includes seafood quality, safety, value-added products, and seafood nutrition and human health. Research is conducted at the Seafood Research & Education Center in Astoria and Linus Pauling Science Center.

Professors: Christina DeWittJung Kwon


Graduate Students






Distinguished Faculty

Graduate Student Support

  • Most graduate students are supported as graduate research assistants on the research grants of their major advisors/ professors. Applicants should contact professors with shared research interests to inquire about the availability of such assistantships early in the admission process. Salary ranges from $1,449 - $2,154 per month for an incoming graduate level student, depending on the amount of effort expected each month.
  • The department and University also award several graduate fellowships and scholarships to outstanding students. For more information see the Graduate School’s Financing Your Education website at
  • The Coalition of Graduate Employees (CGE) represents the interests and rights of Oregon State University’s graduate employees through the bargaining and maintenance of a fair working contract. CGE strives to create a community of graduate employees empowered to advocate for collective issues.
  • The Food Science and Technology Department hosts an Annual Food Science Career Fair and students also have access to career resources through the OSU Career Center.
  • The Food and Fermentation Science club is comprised of undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in food production, and fermented food and beverages. The club hosts regular hands-on pilot plant experiences and invites guests from industry to campus.

How to Apply

The online application, a downloadable application form, and contact information are available from the Graduate School. You may also write to the Graduate School, Oregon State University, 2900 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, Oregon 97331; telephone them at 541-737-4881, or email at

A student wishing to be admitted to any graduate program at Oregon State University must complete an application form, pay the application fee, and submit photocopies of all official transcripts. International students must also submit recent TOEFL scores and certify sufficient funding to complete the required degree. The Office of Admissions provides a more complete listing of required documents and application steps. Detailed information for both domestic applicants and international applicants is also available.

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Program Requirements

  • To apply and be competitive to the OSU Food Science Graduate program, you must have a science background with basis in Chemistry, Biology, Math, Microbiology, or Physics.
  • Only students with a prior commitment by a professor to serve as major advisor are admitted as graduate students. Learn more about professors and their research areas here:
  • A Masters (MS) degree or equivalent is expected for students intending to pursue the PhD degree.
  • GRE Scores currently required: 150 verbal, 150 quantitative, 3.5 analytical
  • Minimum GPA required for admission: 3.0

Alumni Spotlight

Tyler Flaherty

Tyler Flaherty is a Sensory Scientist at General Mills supporting brands like Cheerios, Chex and Nature Valley. He collaborates with R&D and marketing to design and interpret consumer testing – allowing the organization to better understand and take action on customer preferences. Tyler’s work requires deep expertise in sensory science, effective communication, and quantitative/qualitative consumer research. Each of his projects offers unique challenges and crossfunctional team dynamics that keeps the work exciting.