Graduate Admission Requirements

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Admission Terms and Deadlines

Admission Application:

The Food Science and Technology Graduate Program accepts new students three times a year.

Admission Term Fall (August) Summer (May) Spring (January)
Priority Deadline* December 15
Application Deadline February 15 February 15 September 15

*Top applicants who apply by December 15 for the following fall admission term will be considered for fellowships. If residing in the United States, up to two applicants may be invited for a paid campus visit to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to tour the Food Science and Technology Department and interview with faculty researchers.

Degree Options

  1. Masters of Science Degree (M.S.) in Food Science and Technology
  1. Thesis (Option I, research based)
  2. Project (Option II or Option III, non-research based)
  1. Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.) in Food Science and Technology (research based, dissertation required)

Specialization Option: Interdisciplinary Bioinformatics

Application Checklist


  • $50 non-refundable application fee
    • Reduced $25 feed for students currently enrolled at UNL
  • Application for Admission
    • One unofficial transcript from each college or university attended
    • For academic records that are in a language other than English, both the original-language documents and a word-for-word English translation must be sent to UNL Graduate Studies.
  • English Proficiency Verification for applicants whose native language is not English
  • Minimum Requirements
    TOEFL, internet-based 79 TOEFL, paper-based 550 IELTS 6.5
  • Official scores must be sent electronically to UNL Graduate Studies by Educational Testing Service (Institution Code 6877)
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores older than two years will not be accepted
  • Exemptions for the English proficiency requirement are granted for non-native speakers who have received a bachelor's or more advanced degree either from an accredited U.S. institution or from a university outside the U.S. at which English is the official language of instruction.


  • A bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 (B) or better
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal Statement
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae

*NEW* GRE scores are no longer required starting for Fall 2020

Creating a Strong and Competitive Application

Academic Background

Successful graduate applicants have a bachelor’s degree or higher degree with a background in food science, microbiology, biochemistry, engineering, nutrition, biology, chemistry, animal science or other related field. Transcripts are evaluated for course work and outstanding grades in organic chemistry, calculus and physics.

Although applicants having a bachelor’s degree or MS non-thesis degree can apply for the doctoral degree program, only exceptional applicants will be considered. It is expected that applicants for the doctoral degree program have prior research experience as well as outstanding GPA, grades and GRE scores.

Stong Letters of Recommendation

Choose three recommenders who are able to evaluate your academic and research experience, work ethic, initiative and critical thinking skills as it relates to graduate school. Recommenders will upload their letters and rank your ability to succeed in graduate school.

Personal Statement

Your statement of purpose should consist of 1-2 pages and include the following:

  1. Why are you interested in pursuing a graduate degree in Food Science and Technology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?
  2. Please describe your previous research and teaching experience. How would you contribute to the Food Science and Technology Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?
  3. Describe your long term professional goals. What do you hope to accomplish after finishing your graduate degree?
  4. Identify faculty member(s) with whom you are interested in working.
  5. It may be appropriate to describe how your past experience has led you to your current interests.

Research Experience

Since our master’s with thesis is research-based, a strong research and work background can enhance your application. Applicants for the doctoral degree program are expected to have prior research experience. 

While and/or After Completing Your Admission Application

You must have faculty willing to accept you and serve as your faculty mentor.

Identify a Faculty Advisor

Identifying faculty members with shared research interests help promote your application for further review. Sponsorship for a graduate assistantship is dependent on funding and availability of a position in a faculty member’s lab. You are encouraged to contact faculty members to learn about faculty research, how you would fit into the lab and if assistantship funding is available.

A current list of our faculty (including their research interests and contact information) can be found at (

Secure Graduate School Funding

UNL Graduate Assistantship Available
Our Food Science and Technology graduate research and teaching assistantships are awarded on a very competitive basis. With these assistantship awards come the expectation that you will be fully committed to completing your graduate academic program. Assistantship awards are renewable based on satisfactory performance. Assistantship awards are dependent on if a faculty member has funding available.

A tuition waiver for up to 12 credits per semester and a monthly stipend are included with assistantships. Graduate assistants receive health insurance and the University picks up the major portion of the cost as part of their assistantship ( Students are responsible for paying for student fees which run approximately $1000/semester. The fee amount will vary depending on which courses are taken. Student fees include access to the UNL library, campus recreation and student health center.

Additional Graduate School Funding Opportunities
You are encouraged to apply for educational, government, professional organization and other fellowships. International students are often supported through government scholarships or Fulbright fellowships. Domestic student have opportunities to apply for NIH Research Training or Development Programs and NSF Graduate Research Fellowship or Research Traineeship.

If you are currently employed in the food science and technology industry, check with your employer for professional

  • *NEW* Self-Funded -- Masters of Science (non-thesis, non-research based) DegreeThe Masters of Science (non-thesis) Degree is considered a terminal degree, meaning you do not intend to participate in research or go onto a Doctoral Degree. Student pursuing a non-thesis are not eligible for graduate assistantships. Once admitted, you may not change to a Master’s Degree with thesis option. Dr. Rossana Villa Rojas currently serves as our faculty mentor for the Masters of Science without thesis (option II or III).