Graduate Catalog
2019-2020
 
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Food Science and Technology
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
The Department of Food Science and Technology is housed in a separate 34,000 square-foot building, and is well-equipped with a variety of analytical instrumentation, equipment, and research-scale pilot plant facilities for use by students. Virginia Tech faculty and staff are extremely willing to work with students from departments other than their own by lending equipment as well as offering their time and expertise.
360 Duckpond Drive (0418) Blacksburg VA 24061
Food Science and Technology Building
Degree(s) Offered:
• PhD
PhD Degree in Food Science and Technology
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
Blacksburg
• MSLFS
MSLFS Degree in Food Science and Technology
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
Blacksburg
Email Contact(s):
Web Resource(s):
Phone Number(s):
540/231-6806
Application Deadlines:
Fall: Apr 01
Spring: Sep 01
Directions
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Food Science and Technology Building

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Department Head : Joseph Marcy
Graduate Program Director : Joseph Eifert (Graduate Program Director)
Professors: Renee Boyer; Susan Duncan; Joseph Eifert; Joseph Marcy; Sean O'Keefe; Susan Sumner; Robert Williams
Associate Professors: David Kuhn; Monica Ponder
Assistant Professors: Cristina Fernandez-Fraguas; Haibo Huang; Jacob Lahne; Mahmoudreza Ovissipour (Seafood AREC, Hampton); Amanda Stewart; Laura Strawn (Eastern Shore AREC)
Research Faculty: Elizabeth Chang; Melissa Chase; Joell Eifert; Brian Wiersema
Adjunct Professors: Herbert Bruce

Food Science and Technology Introduction

Food science and technology is a fusion of chemistry, microbiology and engineering. Our researchers explore innovation in the areas of creating new, healthful food products, and ensuring a safe and tasty food supply. Specific research emphases include: improving food nutrition, quality and flavor, developing novel functional food ingredients and products for promoting human health, packaging design and use of advanced technologies to identify and control food-borne disease causing organisms.

Individual graduate programs are customized with the advisor to emphasize food safety/microbiology, biochemistry, food chemistry, or packaging. Student graduate programs are built around courses in microbiology, chemistry, biochemistry, biology, engineering, and statistics. This diverse curriculum prepares students for opportunities in industry, universities or government. Students who earn graduate degrees in Food Science and Technology at Virginia Tech have pursued careers with large food companies (Nestle, Campbell, Kroger, ConAgra, Hershey, etc.) and public health agencies (USDA, FDA, State Health and Agriculture Departments).
Offered In (Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
  • TOEFL
    • Paper
      • 550.0
    • Computer
      • 213.0
    • iBT
      • 90.0
  • GRE
    • General Test
      • Verbal - preferred score : 151.0
      • Quantitative - preferred score : 153.0
      • Writing - preferred score : 3.5
A Masters degree is expected for students applying to the doctoral program.  In exceptional cases, some students with only a Bachelors degree may be considered for a doctoral program.  Students who do not have academic training equivalent to that required for a B.S. degree in Food Science and Technology at Virginia Tech will complete selected core courses before graduation. Students without a background in a science related field may be required to complete supplemental courses before being admitted to a regular student status. Any supplemental course work recommended by the Graduate Committee will be communicated to the applicant in a letter.
Offered In (Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
  • TOEFL
    • Paper
      • 550.0
    • iBT
      • 90.0
    • Computer
      • 213.0
  • GRE
    • General
      • Verbal - preferred score : 151.0
      • Quantitative - preferred score : 153.0
      • Writing - preferred score : 3.5
Students who do not have academic training equivalent to that required for a B.S. degree in Food Science and Technology at Virginia Tech will complete selected core courses before graduation. Students without a background in a science related field may be required to complete supplemental courses before being admitted to a regular student status. Any supplemental course work recommended by the Graduate Committee will be communicated to the applicant in a letter.

Department Research Facilities

 The Department has research activity both on the Blacksburg campus and at two Agricultural Research and Extension Centers (AREC): the Seafood AREC in Hampton, Virginia and the Eastern Shore AREC (vegetable production, produce food safety) in Painter, Virginia.  

Research and teaching facilities on the Blacksburg campus are located in the Food Science and Technology Building and the Human & Agricultural Biosciences Building.  These are further described below.

Food Science and Technology Building

The Department of Food Science and Technology is based in a separate 34,000 square-foot building which includes a 68-seat classroom and a variety of analytical instrumentation, equipment, and research-scale pilot plant facilities including:

Food Analysis Laboratories, Microbiology Laboratories, Packaging and Processing Pilot Plant, Research Winery and Enology Laboratory, Sensory Evaluation Laboratory, Analytical Support Laboratory, and High Hydrostatic Pressure Processing Laboratory.

Human and Agricultural Biosciences Building Phase 1 (HABB1):

In 2014, the Department expanded into the new Human and Agricultural Biosciences Building 1 which houses research facilities for both the Food Science and Technology and the Biological Systems Engineering departments. The 93,860-square-foot building incorporates laboratory and support facilities, focusing on a wide range of microbiological and biochemical research. Researchers benefit from the expanded space which houses research programs on food safety, food packaging and processing, environmental quality analysis, bioenergy and biomaterials, systems biology, and nanotechnology, among other areas.   This building includes the following:

  • open workspaces and communal areas for faculty, students and industry to work collaboratively
  • new research laboratories with shared equipment and laboratory support spaces consolidated in the core of the building
  • a 7,100 square foot food processing pilot plant.
  • a 2,200 square foot food safety pilot plant certified for use with biosafety level 2 human pathogens
  • sensory evaluation laboratory complete with sensory data collection software, observational cameras and multi-option booth lighting, individual panelist booths, prep kitchens, and group debriefing and discussion rooms.
  • offices for researchers and work spaces for graduate students.
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