1. A nonrefundable application fee is required upon submission of the online Graduate School application.
  2. The language of instruction at Penn State is English. All international applicants must take and submit scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), with the exceptions noted below. The institution code is 2660, Penn State Univ., University Park, PA. The minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL is 550 for the paper-based test, 213 for the computer-based test, or a total score of 80 with a 19 on the speaking section for the Internet-based test (iBT). Applicants with iBT speaking scores between 15 and 18 may be considered for provisional admission, which requires an institutional test of English proficiency upon first enrollment and, if necessary, remedial course work. The minimum composite score for the IELTS is 6.5. Graduate programs may have more stringent requirements.

    International applicants are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement who have received a baccalaureate or a master's degree from a college/university/institution in any of the following: Australia, Belize, British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the United States, and Wales.

    Please note that specific graduate programs may require all international applicants to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score, regardless of their academic background and country of origin.

  3. As part of the online application process, applicants are required to electronically upload copies of transcripts (or equivalent documents for institutions outside the U.S., e.g., degree/study certificates, diplomas, etc.) from all post-secondary institutions attended, in the language of instruction (and copies of an official English translation if English is not the language of instruction). Applicants recommended for admission who accept an offer through the online graduate admission system will be notified by the Graduate School that official/original transcripts/documents must be sent from the originating institutions in the official language of the institution(s) attended (and if the language of instruction is not English, an official English translation must also be sent). The Graduate School will review all official documents to finalize the offer of admission. An offer of admission will be revoked if official/original documents are not received by the Graduate School within specified deadlines, or if official/original documents differ from the copies uploaded by the applicant prior to the offer of admission. For applicants whose degree conferral is in progress at the time of uploading copies, the deadline specified for receipt of official/original documents will allow for the passage of the reported date of degree conferral, and that conferral must be confirmed on the official/original documents received by the Graduate School, in order for the offer of admission to be finalized.

  4. Personal statement (2-3 pages maximum). Please include the following information:
  • Reasons for choosing food science as a career and your plans for the future.
  • Particular research interests and career goals.
  • Faculty member(s) with whom you are interested in working.
  • Hobbies or other special interests.
  • Any challenges you have had to overcome in your pursuit of higher education.
  • If applicable, previous graduate work or research experience.
  • If applicable, internship and/or co-op experience.
  • If applicable, previous experience in food industry or elsewhere.
  • External financial means (scholarships etc.) to support graduate work.

  • Three letters of recommendation. Preference is for reviewers to upload their letters directly to GRADS. Applicant will include references’ contact information in the application and after it is submitted references will receive an email with instructions on how to upload their letter. We will, however, accept letters in any manner convenient to the reviewer. Should they mail or email their letters directly to the department, they should be accompanied by our department form.