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Schmid College of Science and Technology

» Master of Science in Food Science

As a student of the Food Science program, you will apply scientific principles to study the properties of food and to develop innovative ways to process and package foods resulting in safe, sustainable and nutritious food choices. The demand for food scientists is projected to increase 10% until 2020* and job prospects in Southern California especially continue to grow steadily. 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.

  • Earn your degree in as little as 18 months
  • Convenient evening classes for working adults
  • Excellent graduate and alumni career placement rates
  • Plentiful internships provide valuable experience
  • The food industry is economically stable – people must eat!

*According to the 2012 Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

+ - 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 salary information, view the IFT Employment and Salary Survey Findings.

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.

+ - Food Science Students in Action

Alumni Spotlight: Nicole Law '12 journeys from China to Chapman and shares her experience about her education.

Alumni Spotlight:  Rhondi Shigemura ’90 now works at Jenny Craig as the Director of Research and Development. 

Event Photos

Network Night Photo Gallery 2016

Irradiation Forum 2016

Food Science Awards Night 2016

Food Industry Tour

+ - Bridge and 4+1 Undergraduate/Master Programs

The food science program offers a 4 + 1 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 within one year of 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 12 graduate credits once they have completed 90 undergraduate credits. These 12 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.

4+1 BS Biology/M.S. Food Science

4+1 BS Chemistry/M.S. Food Science

5 Year Plan BS Biochemistry/M.S. Food Science

Bridge BS Health Sciences/M.S. Food Science

+ - 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 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); Applicants must achieve the following minimum GRE scores which are listed as previous version test scores and new version comparative test scores, respectively:

                                 Verbal: 500/153
                                 Quantitative:  680/153
                                 Analytical Writing: 3.5/3.5

  • 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)

+ - 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.

+ - 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 » 

Chapman University's Annual Phytosanitary Irradiation Forum

Organized in cooperation with the USDA and the Joint programme of the FAO/IAEA, 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.

Learn More »

+ - Faculty Members

anu prakash
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.

fred caporaso
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.
rosalee hellberg
Rosalee Hellberg, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Dr. Rosalee Hellberg is an Assistant Professor in the Food Science Program at Chapman University. Prior to Chapman University, Dr. Hellberg completed a fellowship program at the U.S. FDA, where she contributed to the development of rapid, DNA-based test methods for organisms such as norovirus, Salmonella, and Listeria. Dr. Hellberg completed an M.S. and Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology at Oregon State University, studying seafood safety and fish species misbranding. She has published 20 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and given 25 professional presentations.
lillian were
Lilian Were, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

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. Her research involves Investigating functional properties of agricultural industrial residues with the objective of enhancing their commercial value.
Part-Time Faculty
troy aykan

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.

janice dada

Janice Dada, M.P.H.
Janice Dada (B.S., University of California-Davis; M.P.H, University of California-Los Angeles) teaches courses in nutrition. She is a Registered Dietitian and also holds advanced certifications in sports nutrition, diabetes, and health education. In addition to teaching at Chapman, Janice owns a private practice where she works with individuals, groups, and corporations to promote overall wellness and to manage a wide range of nutrition-related diseases/disorders.

debra topham

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.

donna williams-hill
Donna Williams-Hill
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.

+ - FAQs

Application questions:
  • 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. It is required for           the Food Science Program – you can access GRE information here: http://www.ets.org/gre/.
  • 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, resume.
  • 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.

Student Life:

  • Are there any student clubs/organizations?

           Food Science students are members the Food Science Student Association. Check out the Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/Chapman.fsnsa           and FSA blogspot at : http://chapmanfsnsa.blogspot.com/ for all the latest Food Science Student Association happenings.

  • What are the housing options?

           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     

  • 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.   

Scholarships & Internships/Research Opportunities:

  • 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
    FinancialAid 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.

Additional Information for International Students:

  • 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 Susan Sams, at sams@chapman.edu or (714) 997-6829.

  • What is OPT?

          Optional Practical Training, or OPT, allows international students to work in the United States for one year, 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

Monica Chen
Graduate Admission Counselor
(714) 289-3590
Anuradha Prakash, Ph.D.
Professor and Program Director
(714) 744-7826
Hashinger 212

Robyne Kelly
Administrative Assistant
(714) 289-2040
Hashinger 224

Susan Sams
International Student & Scholar Services
(714) 997-6829