Food Science and Technology, Ph.D. Program

Food Science and Technology, Ph.D.

The Food and Agricultural Sciences Ph.D. Program (FDAS) at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore is an academic program housed in the School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences. It is jointly administered through the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Human Ecology. This program is an essential component of the UMES effort to become a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University – Intensive classified institution.

The mission of the FDAS Doctoral program is to prepare students for successful careers and life-long learning experiences within the food industry, academia and government. Studying for an advanced degree in Food and Agricultural Sciences prepares graduates for employment as food scientists, food chemists, food microbiologists, processing engineers, research scientists, educator, and related positions. The goal of our teaching, research and outreach programs is to enhance the safety, quality and availability of foods. Emphasis is given to commodities of importance within our region, including poultry, seafood, produce, and small farm animals.

The FDAS courses cover a wide range of topics and are designed to give students an overview of basic principles of Food Science leading to discussion of advanced topics and novel technologies relevant to manufacture and distribution of processed foods. This includes the discussion of the composition of foods; reactions of components during the growing, harvesting, storage, transportation and processing phase; processes and technologies employed during the industrial manufacture of food; risks that threaten the wholesomeness of foods and management of those risks; development of new food products; regulatory issues important to the food industry; and more. Food safety research from farm to table is conducted in our program. Activities include the detection of pathogenic microorganisms and the development and evaluation of processes to control/eliminate them. Similarly, spoilage microorganisms that impede the quality of foods are being studied. Animal stress and its relationship to meat quality is being studied, as well as the effect of breeding and feeding practices on meat quality.

The Center for Food and Agricultural Sciences

The building was constructed to house the FDAS program. It features laboratories, offices, processing facilities, classrooms, a library, a computer room and a large Animal Exhibition Hall. Laboratories for Food Microbiology, Food Safety, Food Quality, Food Chemistry, Food Processing, Sensory Evaluation and others provide excellent infrastructure to do research related to the safety and quality of foods. Modern classrooms with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment support quality teaching and offers space for workshops and similar outreach activities.

The Application

Applicants must apply to the School of Graduate Studies at UMES to be accepted into the program. Online application forms are available. For more information see  Graduate Studies at UMES

Application Deadlines 

Fall Semester    – April 15

Spring Semester – October 30

Summer Sessions – April 15


Some scholarships are available to qualified students. Awards are given according to the guidelines for each scholarship.

Program Retention and Graduate Committee Role 

The program requires completion of a dissertation as partial fulfillment for the doctoral degree.  Each student is initially assigned a major advisor who is responsible for advising the student on all aspects of the student’s progress throughout the program. The major advisor must be a Regular member of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Graduate Faculty.

The student must have a major professor (Regular Graduate Faculty Status) and select a Graduate Committee no later than the end of the second semester of enrollment.  Before the end of the second semester of enrollment, each student’s program of study is planned in consort with the major professor (advisor) and the Graduate committee, including any transfer credits to be applied to the degree program.  The Graduate committee must have five members, three of whom must hold UMES Regular or Associate Graduate Faculty status membership, and a majority of the Committee must be UMES full-time faculty in academic departments. The major professor chairs the committee. Annual student progress reviews will be conducted by the committee to ensure satisfactory progress of students toward degree completion. All students must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA, pass a written and an oral comprehensive examination and complete degree requirements, including dissertation within seven years of initial enrollment if full-time, otherwise nine years if part-time.

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