About the Department

The Department of Food Science at Penn State is one of the premier food science departments in the country.

The Department of Food Science is Penn State’s home for the emerging technologies and best practices required for producing, safe, delicious, nutritious food. Our small-school atmosphere facilitates a warm, welcoming, intellectually stimulating, and professional environment.

Our work is closely aligned with the demands of industry and the needs of the community. We boast state-of-the-art facilities and world-class faculty with years of working experience in their fields.

Student success drives the department. Our undergraduate Food Science major offers students hands-on science with real-world applications, strong internship experiences, wide-ranging  scholarship opportunities, and excellent job placement.

Our graduate program offers master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees. Graduate students receive in-depth training in the core disciplines of food chemistry, food microbiology, food engineering and processing, and sensory evaluation.

Research is facilitated through core disciplines as well as following collaborative multidisciplinary signature areas: Microbial Food Safety, Food Choice, Food-Based Solutions for Enhanced Health, and the Material Nature of Foods, as well as underlying cross-cutting research themes of Food Quality and Food Fermentation. Students can participate in meaningful research from the first semester of their first year.

Meet our faculty, staff, and students, and see why we are one of the premier food science departments in the country.

Latest News

March 3, 2021

Food science student honing leadership, public speaking skills as Ag Advocate

Madalyn Arthur, of Dallas, Pennsylvania, a junior majoring in food science in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, is elevating the image of agriculture and the college as an Ag Advocate.

Read More

February 22, 2021

Smell-check cards help call attention to common COVID-19 symptom

Students, faculty, staff and others visiting well-traveled areas of Penn State campuses may have noticed or received postcards with a "peel-and-sniff" area prompting them to detect and identify a particular aroma. If their olfactory senses fail them, they may be infected with COVID-19.

Read More

December 22, 2020

Course grows professional skills, networks for College of Ag Sciences students

A new pilot course, “Agricultural and Extension Education 597: Innovation and Critical Thinking Practicum,” offered by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, provides the opportunity for students to gain real-world experience and to cultivate relationships with professionals in their desired career field.

Read More

November 24, 2020

Penn State food scientist gets grant to study novel metal food can coatings

Gregory Ziegler, professor of food science in the College of Agricultural Sciences, recently received a grant of about $470,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to conduct a three-year study of alternative coatings for metal food cans.

Read More