University of Tennessee at Knoxville Graduate Program in Food Science and Technology

Program Director: Dr. Mark Morgan, Professor and Department Head

Dr. Qixin Zhong
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Food Science
The University of Tennessee
2510 River Drive
Knoxville, Tennessee 37996
Phone: 865-974-6196

e-mail or


Degrees Offered: B.S./M.S., M.S., Ph.D.

Areas of Concentration: Food Microbiology, Food chemistry, Food Processing, and Sensory Science


Program Description


Entrance Requirements: B.S. (or M.S. for Ph.D.) degree in Food Science or related scientific discipline. Application, transcripts, GRE general scores, three letters of reference, and a written statement of educational and career goals are required. Minimum TOEFL score of 213 (computer-based) or 550 (paper test) is required for international students whose native language is not English. For more details, see website above.

Program of Study: Programs of study leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Food Science are offered. Areas of specialization are offered in various fields of interest, including bioactive compounds, chemistry, engineering, flavor chemistry, food safety, microbiology, nanotechnology, sensory evaluation. A non-thesis M.S. degree option, and a Food Safety Certificate program (from Dept. of Public Health) is also available.

Costs/Financial Aid: Application fee is $35. Tuition per semester for the 2018-2019 Academic year is $624/credit hour for residents and $1637/credit hour for non-residents. Tuition for residents and non-residents is waived for graduate students on teaching or research assistantships. Applicants are considered for a limited number of teaching and research assistantships that are awarded on a competitive basis.

Faculty Research Interests

J. Chen, Ph.D. University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Food engineering; multiphysics and multiscale modeling of food processing; microwave heating and radio frequency heating technology

D. D’Souza, Professor, Ph.D. University of Georgia; Food microbiology, molecular biology, food virology

T. Denes, Assistant Professor, Ph.D. Cornell University; Bacteriophage-pathogen interaction mechanisms; Effects of environmental stress on foodborne pathogens; Bacteriophage control of AMR pathogens

V. Dia, Assistant Professor, Ph.D. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties of bioactive peptides and phenolic compounds; Mechanism of cancer chemoresistance; Extraction and purification of bioactive compounds in plants

F. Hollis, Assistant Professor, Ph.D. Cornell University, Human perceptions to foods; Olfactory and trigeminal responses to vapor-phase stimuli; Correlations of perceptual food quality degradation with food safety

S. Lenaghan, Assistant Professor, Ph.D. Synthetic biology; Cell and Molecular Parasitology; Advanced Crop Development; High-throughput Assay Development

C. Luckett, Assistant Professor, Ph.D. University of Arkansas; Characterization of the impact of novel food and agricultural technologies on consumer acceptability; Understanding the physiological connection (mastication, salivary output, and oral sensitivity) with texture perception; Understanding how multisensory processing can affect sensory judgements; Understanding the relationship between objective measures and sensory perception

M. Morgan, Professor, Ph.D. The Ohio State University; Food engineering, hygienic equipment design, thermal and nonthermal processing methods

J. Munafo, Assistant Professor, Ph.D. Food chemistry, flavor chemistry, and bioactive compounds

T. Wang, Professor, Ph.D. Iowa State University; Processing and value-added utilization of soybeans, corn, egg, and other agricultural products or by-products, primarily for their lipid components; smart lipid materials; egg and dairy product quality and value enhancement.

T. Wu, Assistant Professor, Ph.D. University of Tennessee; Carbohydrate-related interactions and resulting nanoscale phenomena in food processing that are relevant to food quality; Physical functionalities of carbohydrates; Interactions between carbohydrates and food/cell components in food digestion and biological processes of food safety importance; Fabrication of glyco-nanomaterials for food and non-food applications

Q. Zhong, Assistant Professor, Ph.D. North Carolina State University; Antimicrobial delivery systems as intervention strategies; Bioactive delivery systems as functional foods ingredients; Novel colloidal systems; Nanoparticles and nanomaterials; Structure and function of food biopolymers and food products