University of Kentucky Department of Animal and Food Sciences

Department Chair: Dr. Robert J. Harmon

Contact: Youling Xiong, Professor of Animal Sciences, Coordinator of Food Science Section, University of Kentucky, Department of Animal Sciences, 206 W. P. Garrigus Building, Lexington, KY 40546-0215, Phone (859) 257-3822, Fax (859) 257-5318, e-mail:


Degrees Offered: M.S., Ph.D. (both in Animal Sciences)

Areas of Concentration: Dairy Technology, Food Chemistry, Food Microbiology, Food Safety, Meat Biochemistry, Meat Processing and Nutrition.


Program Description

Entrance Requirements: B.S. degree from an accredited institution, GPA 3.0/4.0 minimum; two official transcripts sent by each institution attended,; GRE required; TOEFL exam for international students (550 minimum); application (

Master's Degree Requirements*: M.S. thesis plan requires the development of a thesis under the direction of an advisor and 24 credits (500 level or higher) with a minimum of 12 credits in courses 600 or higher. At least one-half of the course work must be in the major area. Food science and non-food science courses are chosen on the basis of the student's area of interest and with the approval of an advisor. The non-thesis plan and requires 36 credits (500 level or higher) with a minimum of 18 credits in courses 600 or higher. Students selecting this option are required to have, either at the undergraduate or graduate level, FSC 434G Food Chemistry (No graduate credit), FSC 530 Food Microbiology, ASC 771 Seminar, and FSC 780 Special Problem. In addition, students will be required to write a paper or do a research project and present a seminar on their paper or research project.

Doctoral Degree Requirements*: Each student's program is guided by a Major Professor and a five member Advisory Committee. Each student must select a major area of study and one minor area of study with the approval of their Advisory Committee. Requirements for the doctorate may be completed in three years of full-time graduate work or the equivalent in combined full-time and part-time study, however, more time may be required. Students must complete two semesters of full-time resident requirement (dissertation study) immediately following satisfactory completion of their Qualifying Examinations. In addition, doctoral candidates must present a dissertation of a major research project and defend the dissertation as part of a final exam.

*NOTE: Students deficient in specific areas or course work may be required to make up deficiencies by taking undergraduate courses for non-graduate credit.

Current Costs: Tuition and fees for full-time graduate study at the University of Kentucky for the academic year 1998-99 is $1,638 per semester for Kentucky residents and $4,578 per semester for nonresidents. These figures are subject to change. Application fees are $30 for domestic students and $35 for international students. Non-resident fees are waived for students on assistantships.

Financial Aid: Research assistantships, fellowships and grants are available on a competitive basis.

Unique Aspects of Program: The Animal Science Department at the University of Kentucky is composed of forty-one outstanding faculty members with seven of these dedicated to the Food Science field. The facilities contain complete, modern laboratories for each of the primary research areas ( dairy technology, food chemistry, food microbiology, food safety, meat biochemistry and meat processing). The department houses pilot plants designed for processing dairy products and muscle foods.

Food Science Faculty and Research Interests

Boatright, Luke, Research/Instruction; identification and control of lipid-derived flavor compounds; lipid-protein interactions

Hennig, Bernhard, Research/Instruction; utilization of tissue culture model systems in the study of nutrition and atherosclerosis

Hicks, Clair, Research/Instruction; cheese yield and medium development; prevention of culture agglutination and inhibition of virus proliferation

Newman, Melissa., Research/Instruction; detection and control of food borne pathogens in the food chain

Mikel, Benjy.,Extension/Teaching, identification of methods to improve the value of low-quality raw materials; meats products safety

O'Leary, Joe., Extension/Research/Instruction, identification of methods for preventing food borne illness

Xiong, Youling., Research/Instruction, muscle proteins and meat tenderness; biochemical and functional properties of food proteins; protein oxidation