University of Maine Graduate Program in Food Science and Human Nutrition

Graduate Program Director: Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Ph.D., School of  Food and  Agriculture, University of Maine, 5735 Hitchner Hall, Orono, ME 04469-5735, Phone: (207) 581-3124



Degrees Offered: M.S. in Food Science & Human Nutrition, Ph.D. in Food & Nutrition Sciences

Associated Fields and Departments: Animal & Veterinary Sciences, Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, Biological & Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Marine Science, Plant & Soil Science, Sustainable Agriculture


Program Description

Entrance Requirements: B.S. degree from an accredited institution, GPA 3.0/4.0; GRE >300 for verbal and quantitative scores combined required; analytical writing score of 3.5 or higher preferred; original copies of transcripts from all institutions attended; 3 letters of recommendation; TOEFL scores >88 for foreign applicants. Thesis-based M.S. required for admission into the Ph.D. program.  Application materials should be submitted by January 15 in order to be considered for funding.

Graduate Requirements: M.S. requires 30 credits (thesis) or 36 credits (non-thesis). Ph.D. requires an additional 42-60 credits  that may take another 3-4 years beyond the Masters to complete.

Statement of Costs: Tuition per semester is a $429/credit hour for residents; $1397/credit hour for non-residents; $686/credit hour for residents of Canada. Non-thesis residents of the New England states New Jersey and Pennsylvania are eligible for a Regional Graduate Scholarship of $686/credit hour.  The application fee is $65.00 online.

Financial Aid: Teaching and research assistantships are available on a competitive basis. Tuition waivers are awarded by the Graduate School.

Unique Capabilities: Facilities include the Matthew Highlands Pilot Plant and Sensory Evaluation Center.  Students have opportunities to obtain a Graduate Certificate in Innovation Engineering, work with Maine’s aquaculture industry, and conduct interdisciplinary work as part of the School of Food and Agriculture.


Faculty and Research Interests

Jason  Bolton, Ph.D., Cooperative Extension Food Safety Specialist,  Associate Extension Professor and Interim Academic Director of Innovation Engineering. Food safety, processing, sanitation, HACCP and FSMA and brewing sciences.

Beth Calder, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Food Science & Cooperative Extension Food Science Specialist.  Applied research and food testing to support Maine’s food industry; focus on food safety, food quality, and Maine value-added products; fermented foods.

Mary Ellen Camire, Ph.D., CFS, Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Sensory evaluation;  improving the nutritional status of older adults and disadvantaged individuals; processing changes nutrients and antioxidants in foods.

Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Nutrition. Nutritional physiology and biochemistry, nutrition and vascular function and metabolism, berry bioactives and their role in chronic disease (cardiovascular, hypertension, metabolic syndrome).

Robson Machado, Ph.D., Assistant Extension Professor. Food safety and regulations.

Angela Myracle, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Human Nutrition. Phytochemicals and health, bio-availability of plant bioactives, phytochemical composition differences between organic and conventional foods impact of phytochemicals on chronic disease and oxidative stress.

Balunkeswar (Balu) Nayak, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Food Processing. Thermal and non-thermal food processing, the effect of processing on food bioactives, food allergens, and toxins.

L. Brian Perkins, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor of Food Science. Analytical method development for bioactive compounds, naturally occurring toxins and pesticide residues in food and environmental matrices.

Jennifer J. Perry, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Food Microbiology. Advancing understanding of specific causes of microbial food spoilage, enhancing the safety of raw foods,  effects of probiotic supplementation and dietary modulation on the composition of the bacterial and fungal communities in the GI tract, evaluation of differences in genomic and transcriptomic profiles.

Denise Skonberg, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Food Science. Seafood by-product utilization; processing effects on seafood quality; value-added product development; aquaculture products.

Susan Sullivan, D.Sc., R.D., Associate Director of the School of Food and Agriculture. Clinical nutrition topics; calcium, vitamin D.

Mona Therrien,  D.C.N., R.D., L.D., Lecturer and Director of the Dietetic Internship Program. Nutrition in chronic kidney disease and diabetes.

Kate Yerxa, M.S., R.D., Associate Extension Professor, EFNEP Coordinator. Community nutrition; implementation and evaluation of educational programs designed for limited-income, food insecure populations; breastfeeding promotion and education.