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Schmid College of Science & Technology

Master of Science in Food Science

» Master of Science in Food Science

Student safety has been our top priority at Chapman University in this time of global crisis.  Our students are learning online from their homes, or from their rooms on campus.  Our faculty are creatively providing compelling online education to prepare our students for careers in the food industry which is hiring at unprecedented levels.

As a student of the Food Science program, you will apply scientific principles to study the properties of food and develop innovative ways to process and package foods resulting in safe, sustainable and nutritious food choices. Chapman University’s Master of Science in Food Science is the perfect graduate degree program to help turn your passion, knowledge and experience into a rewarding career.

The home of Food Science!

Food Science is thrilled to call home the beautiful Keck Center for Science and Engineering. Spacious food science teaching and research labs in food processing, food chemistry and food microbiology with state-of-the-art equipment provide vital hands-on experiences for our students.

  • Convenient evening classes for working adults
  • Excellent graduate and alumni career & internship placement rates
  • Chose an emphasis in Food Safety and Regulatory or Product Development and Sensory Evaluation
  • Student:Faculty Ratio is 10:1
  • The demand for food scientists is projected to increase 7% through 2026* and job prospects in Southern California especially continue to grow steadily.
  • The food industry is economically stable – people must eat!

*According to the 2017 Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Upcoming Events

Master of Science in Food Science Information Sessions

If you enjoy science and have a passion for food (or vice versa), explore a career in Food Science at our next info session!

RSVP to receive instructions for our Virtual Info Session on September 9th, 2020 6-7 p.m.
Can't make it? Future Information Sessions coming up on October 20th and December 2nd.

Career and Internship Opportunities

Today, food science represents one of the healthiest industries in the world, with the various food industries – from processing to sales – contributing close to $42.2 billion to our national economy. With over 1,500 food-processing companies within a 90-minute drive of campus, Orange County is the ideal location for food science careers and internship opportunities. Take a look at the recent Economic Impact of Food and Beverage Processing in California report prepared for the California League of Food Processors. For the latest industry employment information, view the IFT Employment and Salary Survey Report.

Most of our students obtain work experience via internships and our job placement rate is close to 100%. Graduates of our program have gone on to work for:

  • Baskin-Robbins corporate headquarters
  • Carl Karcher Enterprises, Inc.
  • Cheesecake Factory corporate headquarters
  • Con-Agra
  • Contessa Foods
  • Dean Foods
  • Disney Consumer Products
  • Dole
  • Dr Pepper/Seven-Up
  • Fresh Express
  • Hain Celestial
  • Jamba Juice corporate headquarters
  • Kellogg's
  • Masterfoods USA
  • Nestle, USA
  • Nutrilite
  • PepsiCo
  • Ready Pac Foods, Inc.
  • Senomyx
  • Starbucks corporate headquarters
  • Sunkist Growers, Inc.
  • Taco Bell corporate headquarters
  • The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf corporate headquarters
  • Unilever
  • Ventura Foods
  • And many more...

Graduate students also readily gain admission into graduate programs of their choice, including medical school. The program is also beneficial for students who are about to attain medical or dental degrees, as they can complete the food science coursework in the same year that they are applying to medical school and taking exams.

Admission Requirements

Prerequisite Courses

Recently admitted applicants hold degrees in chemistry, biology, pharmacy, business, chemical and mechanical engineering as well as food science and nutrition. We encourage applicants from a broad range of disciplinary interests. If you hold an undergraduate degree in anything other than food science, you must provide evidence of satisfactory coursework in the following areas:

  • General Chemistry with Laboratory (two semesters)
  • Organic Chemistry with Laboratory (two semesters or one semester organic and one semester biochemistry)
  • Microbiology with Laboratory (one semester)
  • Statistics (one semester)
  • Human Nutrition (one semester)

Any of these courses can be completed at other accredited institutions such as your local community college and/or other four-year colleges and universities. If you have not completed some of your prerequisite course/s prior to applying, it is possible to enroll in these courses at Chapman University. However, in order for your application to be considered for review, you are required to have successfully completed one year (two semesters) of General Chemistry with Laboratory. All other prerequisites must be met by the end of the first academic year. Please contact us for more information.

Application Deadlines

Priority review deadlines for fellowships and scholarships are:

  • November 1 for Spring admission
  • March 1 for Fall admission.

Applications received after this date will be considered on a rolling basis as space is available.

Application Requirements

  • Online application for admission (including $60 non-refundable application fee)
  • Official transcript from degree granting institution. If prerequisite courses have been taken at schools other than the degree granting institution, those transcripts must also be submitted.
  • Applicants must have earned a minimum grade point average of 3.00
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are required (GMAT scores may be accepted in lieu of GRE). GRE school code is 4047. Applicants must achieve the following minimum GRE scores which are listed respectively:
    • Verbal: 153
    • Quantitative: 153
    • Analytical Writing: 3.5
  • Letters of recommendation; two letters of recommendation are required which describe your professional and academic abilities
  • Statement of Intent; an essay addressing your reasons for wishing to attend Chapman University and the M.S. Food Science program
  • Resume; a resume or curriculum vitae is required
  • Language Test (International Students Only) – applicants who have completed their undergraduate degree outside of the United States are required to achieve the following minimum score on Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): 550 (paper-based), or 80 (internet-based), International English Language Testing System (IELTS): 6.5, Pearson Test of English (PTE):53 or Cambridge English Advanced Exam (CAE): 180 minimum.
  • Financial Certification Form (International students only)

Degrees and Emphases

Degrees offered

  • MS in Food Science (34 units)
  • MS in Food Science with emphasis in Food Safety and Regulatory (40 units)
  • MS in Food Science with emphasis in Product Development and Sensory Evaluation (40 units)
  • MS in Food Science/MBA Joint program (69 units)
  • 4 + 1 Integrated Undergraduate/Master of Science in Food Science

About Food Science with emphasis degrees

MS in Food Science with emphasis in Food Safety and Regulatory (40 units)

Following the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in 2011, there has been an increased focus on food safety and regulations within the food industry.

Learning outcomes of the emphasis

  • Identify specific hazards associated with a range of food matrices and assess how each hazard can be prevented, controlled, and/or mitigated in the food production system.
  • Apply knowledge of hazards to develop and audit food quality and safety assurance systems. Understand regulatory compliance of food product development, manufacturing, labeling, and marketing of food products and apply them to real-world situations.
  • See the Graduate Course Catalog for more information

MS in Food Science with emphasis in Product Development and Sensory Evaluation (40 units)

In order to develop new food products for consumers, companies rely on project teams that include experts in product development, sensory evaluation, and marketing.  Individuals working in these areas are also expected to have expertise in food ingredients and functional foods.

Learning outcomes of the emphasis

  • Apply core food science knowledge to develop new products and solve food industry problems.
  • Enable students to function as key members of multifunctional product development teams in the workplace.
  • Apply knowledge of sensory evaluation to the establishment and management of sensory evaluation panels, projects and programs.
  • See the Graduate Course Catalog for more information

Accelerated Undergraduate/Master Programs

The food science program offers an accelerated program that enables undergraduate students to begin taking M.S. coursework in their junior or senior year and receive a Master of Science in Food Science in as little as one year after finishing their undergraduate degree. The program is open to all undergraduate majors as long as they have satisfied the prerequisites for the program and meet admission requirements.

Chapman students can apply to a graduate program in their junior or senior year. Students will receive conditional admission to the program, pending completion of their bachelor's degree as stipulated in the graduate catalog (see explanation of conditional admission in the graduate catalog). If accepted into a graduate program, undergraduate students may take up to 15 graduate credits once they have completed 90 undergraduate credits. These 15 credits may also count towards their undergraduate degree credit requirement. Students would complete the remaining credit hours of graduate coursework beginning in the semester after receiving the undergraduate degree. The application process, prerequisites, GPA and graduate program requirements are as specified for the M.S. in Food Science; however GRE and letters of recommendation are waived requirements.

Nutrition Minor

Students in the Nutrition Minor learn about the evidence that informs dietary guidelines and clinical nutrition practice, recognize misconceptions regarding nutrition, identify gaps between current knowledge and marketing of food products, garner an appreciation for nutrition across the lifespan, examine contemporary international nutrition and food sustainability issues, and explore concepts in nutritional biochemistry relating to human metabolism and chronic disease states. Please contact Nutrition Minor advisor Dr. John Miklavcic for more information.

Please see the undergraduate course catalog for more information about declaring a minor.

Faculty Members

Headshot of Anu Prakash: faculty.
Anuradha Prakash, Ph.D.
Program Director

Anuradha Prakash (B.S., University of Mumbai; M.S., Ph.D., Ohio State University) is Professor and Director of the Food Science Program at Chapman University. She has expertise in the areas of food processing and preservation, specifically microwave processing and food irradiation. Her current research focus is on the use of various technologies to enhance the safety and shelf-life of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables and ready-to-eat meals. Anuradha has a keen interest in issues of food availability and security in developing countries and the incidence of hunger and malnutrition.

Dr. Prakash was recently featured in Chapman Magazine, discussing food preservation in space and here on earth.

View Full Bio »


Headshot of Fred Caporaso: faculty.

Fredric Caporaso, Ph.D.

Fredric Caporaso, Ph.D. Professor Fredric Caporaso (B.S., M.S., Rutgers, State University of New Jersey; Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University) is a Professor of Food Science in the Schmid College of Science and Technology. He teaches a variety of courses including: Introduction to Food Science, Sensory Evaluation of Foods, Darwin and the Galápagos, Darwin’s Theory of Evolution: the Science and the Controversy (Honors), and Research Methodology. His professional memberships include The Institute of Food Technologists, International Union for the Conservation of Nature- Species Survival, Commission- Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle of Specialist Group, and The Turtle Survival Alliance.

View Full Bio »

Headshot of rosalee hellberg, faculty.








Rosalee Hellberg, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Rosalee Hellberg is an Assistant Professor in the Food Science Program at Chapman University.  She teaches courses on Food Fraud, Food Microbiology, and General Microbiology.  Dr. Hellberg received an M.S. and Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology at Oregon State University, where she studied seafood safety and fish mislabeling.  She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the FDA working on the development and optimization of DNA-based methods for the detection of food pathogens and food mislabeling.  Dr. Hellberg received the 2015-2017 Wang-Fradkin Assistant Professorship Award for exceptional merit in scholarly and creative activity at Chapman University.  In 2017, Dr. Hellberg was selected as a recipient of the Emerging Leaders Network Award by the Institute of Food Technologists. Most recently, Dr. Hellberg received the 2018-19 Award in Mentorship of Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity at Chapman University, and is currently Program Chair for the 2020 Pacific Fisheries Technologists Meeting to be held in Long Beach, CA (http://pftfish.net/). She has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. 
Visit her website for more information about her research.

View Full Bio »


headshot of Lillian Were: faculty.
Lilian Were, Ph.D.

Lilian Were (B.S., M.S., University of Arkansas at Fayetteville; Ph.D., Purdue University) teaches courses in Food Analysis, Food Chemistry, Food Ingredients, International Nutrition, and Research Methods. Dr. Were’s current research is focused on determining the preservative properties of phenolic and melanoidin coffee compounds, with the overall goal of enhancing the shelf life of food.

Dr. Were recently received the Outstanding Food Science Award from her alma mater, Purdue University.

John Miklavcic, Ph.D.

John Miklavcic, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Dr. Miklavcic has a translational research program in human nutrition that focuses on understanding the therapeutic applications of functional foods and nutraceuticals in human health. He is particularly interested in how dietary lipids interact with and regulate gene function in neonatal health & development and in chronic conditions. Dr. Miklavcic uses quantitative and qualitative methods as well as applied and implementation research in studies with clinical populations of infants, adolescents and older adults.

Dr. Miklavcic recently received the Mentor Award for Summer Undergraduate Research at Chapman University and the Health and Nutrition Division New Investigator Award from the American Oil Chemists Society.

Part-Time Faculty

Headshot of Troy Aykan: faculty.


Troy Aykan, J.D.

Troy Aykan (B.S., Hacettepe University; M.S., Chapman University; J.D., Chapman University School of Law) teaches Food Laws & Regulations. Attorney Troy Aykan, originally a food processing engineer, received his Master's Degree in Food Science and has worked in the food industry, specifically in the field of regulations. After graduating from Chapman University School of Law, he passed the bar exams in both California and Arizona. He continues to work in the industry and maintains some independent law practice.

Tatiana Miranda

Tatiana Miranda

Tatiana holds a Bachelor’s degree, Food Engineering, De La Salle Catholic University (Bogota, Colombia). Specialist, Food Processing and Biomaterials (UNAD Colombia-UNICAMP Brazil) and MS in Food Science (Chapman University, Orange CA) and teaches Food Safety and Quality Assurance.

Tatiana is a Principal Supplier Quality Engineer, NUTRILITE by Amway and audits, approves, manages and monitors specialty suppler for functional foods as well as dietary supplements. Additionally, she supports internal 2nd and third-party audits, supplier on boarding, analysis of root cause analysis and improvement plans, process capability and process improvement plans as well as setting up product specifications and approval process of incoming goods.

Headshot of Debra Topham: faculty.


Debra Topham

Ms. Debra K.W. Topham teaches courses in nutrition as well as food regulations. Her consulting business specializes in food and supplement label compliance. In addition to being a Certified Nutrition Specialist, she has professional memberships with IFT, Food Consultants Group, and Phi Upsilon Omicron. Her publications address the topics of phytochemicals and health.


Headshot of Donna Williams-Hill: faculty.

Donna Williams-Hill, Ph.D.

Dr. Donna Williams-Hill is the Director of the Microbiology Section of the FDA's Pacific Regional Laboratory Southwest, Principal Investigator of the BSL-3 at PRLSW, a member of the FDA Foreign Inspection Cadre as well as numerous FDA working groups focusing on the detection of high-risk pathogens in foods.

Headshot of Denise Canellos: faculty.

Denise Canellos

Denise teaches courses in Human Nutrition, Medical Nutrition Therapy and Life Cycle Nutrition. She holds a Master of Science in Human Nutrition from University of Bridegeport. Denise is a Certified Nutrition Specialist as well as a passionate, devoted nutritionist devoted to teaching practical ways to achieve better health and healing through nutrition. Denise is the author of the book "Calm Your Inflammation".

Headshot of Cristina Hall: Faculty.

Christina Hall

Christina teaches International Nutrition, and holds a Master of Arts in Urban Sustainability from Antioch University. In addition, she is the Executive Director of the Orange County Food Access Coalition; a non-profit whose mission is to develop food system and food access policy and advocacy activities in Orange County, Ca.


Ranney Processing and Preservation Lab

Students in Ranney Food Processing Lab

Chapman food science faculty invite you to visit the beautiful new Keck Center for Science and Engineering and their new food science labs.  In addition to our general food science, food chemistry, food microbiology teaching laboratories, and dedicated research labs, the Keck Center also houses the Ranney Food Processing Laboratory. With drop down utilities and epoxy floors, the laboratory houses a Microthermics UHT/HTST system with homogenizer, a spray dryer, and coffee roaster among other equipment, and is available for industry use. Contact Anuradha Prakash (prakash@chapman.edu) to schedule a visit.

Ranney Lab equipment list (with photos) (PDF)

Ranney Lab equipment list (PDF)

Learning Outcomes

  1. Knowledge of core food science concepts.
    • Identify core concepts in food chemistry and analysis, food safety and microbiology, and food processing and engineering.
    • Demonstrate a clear understanding of the factors that impact the safety, quality, and nutritional value of foods.
  2. Critical thinking.
    • Through individual research projects, students will apply the scientific method to solve problems in food science.
    • Students will be able to effectively evaluate and critique professional papers and reports in the field of food science and nutrition.
  3. Communication.
    • Students will be able to communicate scientific and technical knowledge in food science to professional audiences using written, visual, and oral means.
  4. Problem Solving.
    • Students will function effectively in the food and allied industries to solve practical, real world problems.

Food Science Students in Action

Short Courses and Workshops

Chapman University's Better Process Control School (BPCS)

Provides low acid and acidified food processing classes for food science professionals. The acidified foods course is a two-day workshop, and the low-acid food course is a four-day workshop. Participants who earn a passing grade on each chapter exam will be awarded a Certificate of Completion that indicates satisfactory completion of FDA and USDA-FSIS training requirements.

Learn More about BPCS »

Chapman University's Annual Phytosanitary Irradiation Forum

Organized by Chapman University and the International Irradiation Association, in cooperation with the Joint FAO/IAEA Program of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the objective of the Phytosanitary Irradiation Forum is to increase understanding and use of irradiation as a phytosanitary treatment to enhance global trade and prevent invasive pests, and to enhance communication and collaboration.

Learn More about the Phytosanitary Irradiation Forum »

Alumni & Friends

Food Science Alumni NewsletterWelcome to the Chapman Food Science Alumni & Friends page

Here you'll find links to areas of interest and as well as happenings in our program and Chapman at large. We love our alumni, and hope you'll keep in touch. If you're not receiving the tri-annual Food Science Alumni Newsletter, please take a moment to update your contact information, and let us know if you'd like to mentor a current student. We promise that this information will never be shared! Check out what our current students are up to by taking a look at the FSNSA website & Blogspot.

Upcoming Events!

  • Better Process Control School:  August 10-13, 2020. Chapman University's Better Process Control School (BPCS) provides low acid and acidified food processing classes for food science professionals. The acidified foods course is a two and one-half-day workshop, and the low-acid food course is a four-day workshop. Participants who earn a passing grade on each chapter exam will be awarded a Certificate of Completion that indicates satisfactory completion of FDA and USDA-FSIS training requirements. Register now!
  • Save the Date! Chapman Food Science's 10th Annual Networking Night is March 12, 2021. More information soon!

Connect to other alumni & current students!

Join the "closed" Chapman Student & Alumni Facebook page to connect with other alumni, get information about events, post or look for jobs, and more!

Register your thesis in the Leatherby Libraries!

Share your research with current students by registering it on the Leatherby Libraries Digital Commons. It's easy and will contribute to the Food Science archives.


Alumni working at Trader Joe's



What is the GRE and is it required?

The GRE is a general, standard exam for graduate-level admissions testing verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing (note: GRE school code for Chapman is 4047). It is required for the Food Science Program – you can access GRE information here.

Who should my letters of recommendation come from? May I submit additional letters?

Letters of recommendation should come from former faculty members or those you've worked with in the Food industry who can attest to your academic and professional abilities.

What are the application deadlines?

Generally, 5/1 for Fall admission & 11/1 for Spring admission; however we will consider applications after these deadlines for qualified students.

What factors are included in the application evaluation?

GPA from the undergraduate career, GRE scores,(language tests for International students), letters of recommendation, statement of intent, resumes.

Can I submit my application before I have all the necessary documents??

Yes! Admissions will hold your application and notify us as your documents become available. You will not receive an admissions decision, however, until all
documents have been received.


Are there any student clubs/organizations?

Food Science students are members the Food Science Student Association. Check out the Facebook page and FSA blogspot for all the latest Food Science Student Association happenings.

What are the housing options?

Panther Village (a Chapman owned, off-campus property) has rooms set aside for graduate students. On-campus housing is extremely limited and graduate students are encouraged to research alternative living arrangements off-campus by visiting our Introduction to Off-Campus Living page. You can also connect to our community through our Facebook Off Campus Housing and Roommate Corner page.

How accessible are the professors at Chapman?

With a small student to professor ratio (most classes have less than 20 students), Food Science students have incredible access in this highly personalized program.

Does Chapman offer part-time enrollment and evening classes?

Because many of our Food Science students work or hold internships in the industry, most of our classes are offered in the late afternoons & evenings. Many students attend part-time.


Does your program offer scholarships or financial aid?
Scholarships are awarded by the Food Science program based on GPA/GRE scores. Students are evaluated at the time of application (no separate application is necessary). We recommend completing the FAFSA for Financial Aid. Check out the Financial Aid website for more information.

What research opportunities are there? Students have amazing opportunities for collaboration with Faculty in many compelling areas. Check out the Faculty Members section in the drop-down above for more information!

What internship opportunities are there?

Because the Chapman Food Science program & faculty have close ties with the industry, students often receive excellent internship opportunities.


Are Chapman's Food Science students eligible for STEM benefits?

Yes, students in our program are eligible to apply for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) benefits. See the International Student & Scholar Services page for more information, or contact Junko Takada, at takada@chapman.edu or (714) 744-2110.

What is OPT?

Optional Practical Training, or OPT, allows international students to work in the United States for three years (for STEM fields), following graduation, in a job related to one's major field of study. See the International Student & Scholar Services page for more information.

What is CPT?

Curricular Practical Training allows one to participate in an off-campus paid internship that is related to the student's major or field of study. More information
can be found at International Student & Scholar Services.

Contact Us and Supplementary Information

Sharnique Dow
Graduate Admission Counselor
(714) 628-6770

Robyne Kelly
Graduate Program Coordinator
(714) 289-2040
Keck Center Room 174

Monica Chen
Associate Director of International Initiatives, DSO
(714) 289-3590

Graduate Financial Aid
(714) 628-2730

students having a mediterranean lunch in Greece outdoors

2019 Food Science Travel Course

Food Science and Nutrition students traveled to Athens & Crete in May 2019 for the latest Food Industry Travel Course: Exploring the Mediterranean Diet. Students & faculty visited an apiary, an olive grove & olive oil production facility, a goat farm & cheesemaking facility-as well as some of the ancient wonders of the world.
Where to next? Parla Italiana?

Student Demographics

The average scores of students (n=16) admitted in 2019-20 were : GPA- 3.29, GRE- 150 Verbal, 155 Quantitative and 4 Analytical Writing.

Female: 56%
Male: 44%

Average age: 26
Age range: 21-44

U.S. Citizens: 88%
International Students: 12%