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Frequently Asked Questions

About the UW-Madison Department of Food Science

We invite anyone to contact key personnel to respond to your questions and queries. First, however, please look at some of the common questions and answers to help you get started on the process of learning more about the Department of Food Science.

Which Food Sciences classes will I be taking as an Undergrad?

In concert with the definition of Food Science, our curriculum begins with foundation courses in the basic sciences of chemistry, biology, microbiology and physics. Student’s progress to advanced, food-focused courses including Food Chemistry, Food Analysis, and Food Microbiology. Finally, our integrated curriculum culminates with several applied courses that address food from an industry perspective. These courses include Food Engineering, Food Preservation and Food Functionality. Senior year includes a two-semester “capstone” where students work in teams to study a specific food-related problem and design a feasible solution. (See roadmap for a four-year sequence of courses).

What is Food Science?

Food Science is the scholarly and exciting study of all things food! More specifically, Food Science is the study and application of science to the analysis, processing, and manufacturing of foods. These sciences include chemistry, biology, microbiology, and physics. The goal of discovery in the realm of Food Science is to solve todays global-to-local food and health problems including hunger, food waste, food safety, and chronic disease, while providing a safe and nutritious food supply to all.

Can I study abroad and finish my degree within four years?

Yes! With timely and creative planning there are options to study abroad and complete the degree within four years. Opportunities include: France, The Netherlands and Australia. For more information on Study Abroad options: https://cals.Wisc.Edu/academics/undergraduate-students/studyabroad/

Where will I be qualified to work and what will I be doing?

Upon completion of our degree in Food Science, graduates are qualified to work as professional food scientists in a wide range of businesses and government agencies. The most common positions are in research, product development, production management and regulatory enforcement.

Check out this video by Abbey Thiel (PhD ’20) that highlights a few jobs available to people with Food Science degrees.

Does the department of food science offer scholarships?

Yes! Each year we award roughly $50,000 through numerous scholarships. For more information on Scholarships visit: https://cals.Wisc.Edu/academics/prospective-students/financing-your-education/calsscholarships/

The Food Industry is a fast-paced, competitive, and growing sector of the global economy. The Department of Food Science prepares graduates to contribute to a variety of areas in this exciting professional field. With nearly 100% job placement, our graduates are equipped to compete and succeed in a modern global economy.

WIll my credits transfer?

It depends! Some credits will and some won’t. You can check to see if your credits transfer by visiting

General & Undergrad FAQs

Can I submit my unofficial transcript during the application process?

For the initial application process, but you will need to send an official one before you are able to be admitted into our institution.

Do I need to secure/look for a faculty member before I can apply?

It’s not necessary to secure a faculty member before applying, but it is recommended. Faculty members can be found here.

Can I have an application fee waiver code?

We don’t have a waiver application for international students. You can either attempt to secure an advisor prior to applying and they could pay for your application, or you can view our Funding for International students here.

Am I exempt from the English proficiency exams if I am from Nigeria/took a year at an english speaking institution?

Countries that are exempt from the English Proficiency are: Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bhutan, Botswana, Canada (unless English is not the exclusive language of instruction at the degree granting institution), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Guam, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Monaco, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa (see Canada paranthesis), Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Kingdom, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

More information about your country (even if it’s not listed) can be found here.

Applicants are exempt if:

  • English is the exclusive language of instruction at the undergraduate institution
  • You have earned a degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university not more than 5 year prior to the anticipated semester of enrollment
  • You have completed at least two full-tim semesters of graded course work, exclusive of ESL courses, in a U.S. college or university, or at an institution outside of the U.S. where English is the exclusive language of instruction. Completion of graded course work cannot be more than 5 years prior to the anticipated semester of enrollment.

Additional Information for International Students can be Found here.

What are the TOEFL/IELTS requirements?

  • The Minimum TOEFL requirements is 92(iBT [ internet based test ]); 580 (PBT [ paper based test ])
  • Minimum IELTS requirement: 7.0
  • Under certain circumstances, with program approval, admission may be granted with the following scores (An English Assessment test (ESLAT) will be required upon arrival, and an English as a Second Language (ESL) course must be completed in your first semester):
    • TOEFL (iBT) 80-91; 550-570 (PBT)
    • IELTS: 6.5

Are GRE required?

Food Science no longer requires the Graduate Record Examinations. You can visit the Food Science Admission page here.

Which courses can I transfer?

Students can now transfer credits, but these credits do not count for the GPA, they still need a certain number of credits while they attend UWM.

How can I get in contact if I have additional questions?

You can contact the Food Science Graduate Program at

Graduate FAQs