Mississippi State University College of Agricultural and Life Sciences & Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion

Program Coordinator: Dr. Benjy Mikel, Dept. of Food Science Nutrition and Health Promotion, Box 9805, Mississippi State, Mississippi 39762; Phone: 662-325-3200; Fax: 662-325-8728; E-mail: wbm50@msstate.edu .

Departmental website: www.msstate.edu/dept/fsnhp/

Degrees offered:B.S. Food Science and Nutrition, Option: Science

Associate Fields and Departments: The Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion graduate program is an interdisciplinary curriculum whose research, teaching, and extension faculty are from the Departments of Animal and Dairy Sciences, Food Science and Technology, Human Sciences, Poultry Science, and the Coastal Research and Extension Center. Other disciplines such as Chemistry, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Engineering, and Statistics also support the program.


Program Description

Entrance Requirements: Any person admitted for graduate study in the program must hold a Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited institution. A B.S. in food technology, food science, or related areas will be considered to meet the prerequisites for study toward an advanced degree. Students from other disciplines will be required to take leveling courses generally not to exceed 15 semester hours.

Official copies of transcripts from all institutions attended must be submitted. A minimum of a 2.75 GPA (undergraduate work) is required for graduate work if accrued over a 4-year average. If accrued over a 2-year period, a 3.0 GPA is required. Applicants must have taken the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with an official score of 800 or higher combining verbal and quantitative. International students are required to submit an official TOEFL report with a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based test or 173 on the computer-based test. In addition to the application (if not applying electronically), the following items must be received: application fee, a 300-500 word statement of purpose, and three letters of recommendation. International students must also provide a bank letter or other document of financial support.

Program of Study: Both M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs are offered. Course work is tailored toward the needs of the individual student and his/her area of research through consultation with the student’s major professor and the graduate committee. Programs are designed to specialize in discipline areas such as food microbiology, food chemistry, food engineering, food processing, sensory science, and nutrition.

Graduate Requirements: The minimum number of course hours for a M.S. student is 30 hours with at least 24 hours of course work, half of which must be at the 8000 level or above. The program must also contain at least six (6) hours of thesis/research. If a minor is approved, at least nine (9) additional hours of course work are required. Master’s students are required to prepare and successfully defend their thesis. The department does not offer a non-thesis option.

The minimum number of course hours for a Ph.D. student varies according to the specific requirements of the department and the student’s needs. A minor in a doctoral program requires at least 12 additional hours of graduate course work. All doctoral students are required to pass written and oral preliminary exams that are designed to evaluate the student’s general knowledge and comprehension of food science. Additionally, Ph.D. candidates are required to prepare and successfully defend both a research proposal and their dissertation.

A degree candidate must be thoroughly familiar with the literature in the field of major interest, must show the relation of special subject to allied subjects, and the level of general knowledge and training, including the use of oral and written English. At the conclusion of their research, both M.S. and Ph.D. students will present their research work in the form of a seminar either during the regularly scheduled FST seminar or immediately prior to their defense. This is in addition to the FST seminar course(s) taken for credit.

Application fee: $25.00 (non-refundable)(non-residents of Mississippi)

Availability of Financial Aid: Teaching and research assistantships are available on a competitive basis.

Tuition and Fees: Tuition and required fees during the fall or spring semester for nine or more credit hours is $1,937 for residents, and $2,453 for non-residents. Tuition and required fees for part-time students (one who schedules not more than eight credit hours during a regular semester) is $215.25 per hour for residents, and $272.75 per hour for non-residents. The University reserves the right, subject to order of the Board of Trustees, to raise, lower, or modify these fees without notice.

Unique Capabilities: Two outstanding assets unique to the department are the Ammerman-Hearnsberger Food Processing Plant and the Dairy Manufacturing Plant. Dedicated in 1994, the food processing plant is a state-of-the-art 7,500-square-foot facility that is one of only a few like it in the country. University researchers and students can work with the food industry while performing the mission of the land-grant institution: teaching, research, and service. The Dairy Manufacturing Plant, which is self-supporting, is engaged in teaching, research, and service to dairy processing plants and related industries. This facility provides an excellent teaching and research laboratory for students who have a major interest in dairy foods.

Centers within the Department: The department is a member of the Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center (SDFRC) along with joint member North Carolina State University. The department is also responsible for the operation of the Food Safety Center sponsored by USDA/ARS.

Food Science Institute: Established at Mississippi State University in 1967 and recently revitalized, the Institute provides a means for university faculty and staff in food-related specializations to collaborate on research, education, and outreach efforts. It enhances the ability of university professionals to serve students, industry, and government agencies. Along with the Department of Food Science and Technology, the Institute provides education and training for students, promotes basic and applied research, and offers technical and scientific assistance to the food industry.

Faculty Research Interests

Althen, Thomas G.; Animal and Dairy Sciences Professor; Ph.D., University of Maryland; Meats/Muscle Physiology. Courtesy Appointment.

Andrews, Linda S.; Coastal Research and Extension Center Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Louisiana State University; Seafood Safety/Quality.

Bal’aa, Farid; USDA-ARS Research Microbiologist; Ph.D., American University of Beirut; Microbiology. Adjunct.

Coggins, Patti C.; Food Science and Technology Research Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Mississippi State University; Sensory Evaluation.

Chen, T. C.; Poultry Science Professor; Ph.D., University of Massachusetts; Poultry Products. Courtesy Appointment.

Chen, Yo-Shen; Food Science and Technology Assistant Professor; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison; Food/Dairy Molecular Microbiology.

Haque, Zahur Z.; Food Science and Technology Professor; Ph.D., Kyoto University, Japan; Food Protein Chemistry.

Marshall, Douglas L.; Food Science and Technology Professor; Ph.D., University of Florida; Food Microbiology/Safety.

Rogers, Robert W.; Food Science and Technology/Animal and Dairy Sciences Professor, Food Science Institute Director; Ph.D., University of Kentucky; Meat Processing.

Schilling, M. Wes; Food Science and Technology Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; Food Science/Statistics, Protein Functionality of Muscle Foods.

Silva, Juan L.; Food Science and Technology Professor; Ph.D., Mississippi State University; Food Processing and Engineering (Aquaculture and Fruits/Vegetables), Food Safety.

Thaxton, Yvonne V.; Poultry Science Professor; Ph.D., Auburn University; Poultry Science. Courtesy Appointment.

White, Charles H.; Food Science and Technology Professor, Department Head, and Graduate Coordinator; Ph.D, University of Missouri; Food Microbiology/Dairy Emphasis.