Requirements, exam and thesis defense information, committee information, and more for the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program

In addition to the expectations described for our M.S. students, a student in the Ph.D. degree program will develop the ability to determine and conceptualize a research problem, design the scientific approaches and experiments to address it, and bring his or her work to a satisfactory conclusion in the form of a Ph.D. dissertation.

We further expect that upon graduation, the Ph.D. student will be an expert in the area of the thesis problem and will be well versed on related issues.

Finally, it is expected that the dissertation research will be of publishable quality and, as a minimum, will be communicated through an oral presentation or poster session at a regional or national scientific meeting and through publication in at least one peer-reviewed journal.

Checklist of Action Items

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Ph.D. checklist of action items to guide a student through the program.


Except in special cases, a M.S. degree in Food Science is earned before pursuing a Ph.D. degree.

Examination Committee

The Ph.D. Qualifying Examination Committee will be composed of four Food Science faculty members representing the fields of food chemistry, food microbiology, food engineering, and nutrition.

Qualifying Examination
Doctoral Supervisory Committee

After a student has been admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree, the student's adviser in consultation with the candidate will recommend a doctoral supervisory committee to the Department Head.

Comprehensive Examination

The Ph.D. comprehensive exam is a thorough test of the student's knowledge and intellectual capability.

Final Oral Exam and Thesis Defense
Communications Requirements

For International Students