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

April 13, 2021

Dietary cocoa improves health of obese mice; likely has implications for humans

Supplementation of cocoa powder in the diet of high-fat-fed mice with liver disease markedly reduced the severity of their condition, according to a new study by Penn State researchers, who suggest the results have implications for people.

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April 6, 2021

Registration is open for 'Food Science in Action' virtual symposium

The Department of Food Science in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and the honor society Phi Tau Sigma are hosting “Food Science in Action,” a one-day virtual symposium to be held via Zoom from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 23.

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March 25, 2021

Nutritional journal highlights research on micronutrient's disease-fighting role

The Journal of Nutritional Science designated a Penn State research paper on how a dietary antioxidant may fight chronic disease and aging as its “Paper of the Month” in February. The article suggested that incorporating more of the dietary amino acid ergothioneine into one’s diet may help stave off long-term health problems.

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March 17, 2021

New master's fellowship to train food microbiologists in big-dataset analyses

A new fellowship for underrepresented graduate students offered by the Department of Food Science in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences will prepare four master’s degree candidates interested in food microbiology to analyze large-scale datasets.

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