Master's program 


The School of Nutrition and Food Sciences offers advanced studies in food chemistry, food quality, product development, byproduct utilization, food safety, foods for health and combating effects of obesity, food microbiology, sensory analysis and consumer research, and nutrition and food biotechnology. Students may also study specific foods such as seafood, rice, dairy products, sweet potato, peppers, meat, or others. Training and research in the basic sciences of biology, physics, and chemistry, and the natural sciences of biochemistry, microbiology, toxicology, and engineering are incorporated into graduate studies which allow specialization in specific areas of student interest.

The department is well equipped with research laboratories for food chemistry, food microbiology, food analysis, tissue culture/hybridoma, food engineering, nutrition and processing, and computerized sensory analysis. Pilot food processing facilities have freezing, mixing, forming, mince recovery, batter and breading, packaging, and other processing equipment. Other LSU units such as the Schools of Animal Sciences; Human Ecology; Plant, Environmental & Soil Sciences; Veterinary Medicine; and Renewable Natural Resources; the Departments of Biological & Agricultural Engineering and Oceanography & Coastal Sciences; Audubon Sugar Institute; and Pennington Biomedical Research Center also provide faculty expertise and laboratories for analysis and pilot processing activities for food.

Nutrition and Food Sciences, M.S.

The school-level academic course plan for each student will be developed in consultation with the student’s graduate advisory committee. The committee will include the student’s major advisor and at least two additional members of the graduate faculty such that the LSU Graduate School’s requirements for graduate committees are satisfied.

The MS degree is a research degree requiring a thesis. A minimum of 30 hours of credit at the graduate level must be earned including at least six hours of credit for the thesis (NFS 8000). The curricular requirements include:

The minimum requirement for the M.S. degree in Nutrition and Food Sciences is 24 semester hours of graduate credit (exclusive of credits in NFS 8000) plus 6 credits for thesis research (NFS 8000). The following courses or evidence of their equivalency determined by the full advisory committee must be completed for the master’s degree in Nutrition and Food Sciences:

Core Courses (to be taken by all M.S. students):

  • NFS 7022 Current Controversies in Food and Nutrition (3)
  • NFS 7071 Seminar in Nutrition and Food Sciences (1) 2 hours
  • EXST 7003, EXST 7004, or EXST 7005  4 hours
  • NFS 8000 6 hours
  • Concentration Courses or Electives 15 hours
  • 30 hours

Other degree requirements are submission of an oral and written research proposal to the advisory committee. The advisory committee must be chosen and approved by the school head and graduate coordinator within one year of enrollment in the graduate program. The first graduate seminar for credit should be an oral presentation that gives an introduction and brief literature review on the proposed research area and an outline of the proposed research to be conducted for the MS.

Students must have submitted one manuscript to a scientific journal and presented their research at one national meeting before graduation. Students are expected to attend all school seminars (graduate, faculty, and invited speakers) whether enrolled for credit or not.

Students must present a public oral seminar on the thesis research before the final exam. A student must pass a comprehensive final oral examination by the student’s advisory committee on food science topics and the completed research area.


Applications and supporting materials for all graduate study must be submitted through the online application site for the LSU Graduate School. Official transcripts, official test scores, and other materials that come from third-party sources must be mailed to: LSU Office of Graduate Admissions, 114 West David Boyd Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. These paper documents are stored electronically and departments have access to all materials submitted by and/or on behalf of a student applying to graduate study.

Applications for admission are received and evaluated by the school for each semester (fall, spring, summer). Applicants must adhere to the application deadlines established by the Graduate School.

Students seeking admission must submit satisfactory credentials from previous study, have a minimum of 150 verbal GRE score and 150 quantitative GRE score, three letters of recommendation that describe the student’s ability to pursue graduate studies in food or nutrition science, and a statement of purpose or interest in the desired specific area of food or nutrition science. The statement of purpose satisfies the writing sample requirement for admission. International students whose native language is not English must also submit TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores that meet the Graduate School minimum requirements.

When all admission requirements are met and documents have been submitted, full admission will be considered by the school’s graduate faculty members. Final admittance to the program must be supported by a member of the school’s graduate faculty, who serves as the student’s major advisor. If a student does not meet all requirements, he or she may be admitted provisionally (e.g., on probation if the GPA is not 3.0 or higher or if the GRE is not 1000 or higher). Students are admitted for fall, spring, and summer semesters, but admission depends upon the availability of space in the program of each individual professor. The lack of space in a program is sufficient justification to deny admission of an applicant.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance may be available for students. Support may be available through the school or other units in the form of research or teaching assistantships. Financial assistance is on a competitive basis so early applications are encouraged. Each professor determines the availability of space and financial assistance for the graduate students in his/her program. Students on assistantship receive full tuition waivers but are responsible for university fees, insurance, and other costs. To ensure consideration for financial aid, all application materials should be submitted as early as possible before the actual admitting semester. The deadlines for admission are in March for the fall semester and in October of the previous year for the spring and summer semesters.


LSU awards numerous scholarships each academic year through the fundraising efforts of the LSU Foundation and the generosity of private donors. Scholarship award amounts vary and are often awarded based on several factors including, but not limited to, demonstrated academic success, financial need, and donor-specific criteria.

Check out scholarships on LSU Academic Works


Graduate Catalog

LSU Graduate School

LSU College of Agriculture


Erin McKinley, PhD, RD, LD, CLC, CHES
​Assistant Professor 
​Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics
​Graduate Studies Advisor
​285 Knapp Hall

Graduate Faculty

Adhikari, Achyut
Food Safety

Aryana, Kayanush
Functional Foods, Probiotics

Gollub, Elizabeth
Food/Eating Behaviors, Nutrition Education, Program Evaluation

Holston, Denise
Rural food access, Food security and Qualitative research

Keenan, Michael
Molecular nutrition, resistant starch, rodent models

King, Joan
Ingredient testing and product development, food chemistry

Losso, Jack
Protein Biotechnology, Chronic Disease Prevention.

McKinley, Erin
Breastfeeding, Survey design/testing,

Prinyawiwatkul, Witoon                          Sensory sciences, Consumer research, Product innovation

Subramaniam, Sathivel
Food & Bioprocessing,  Unit Operations, Thermal & non-thermal processing 

Tuuri, Georgianna
Behavioral change and food literacy

Watts, Evelyn
Seafood Technology Education and Outreach

Wise, James
Environmental health and Lung cancer

Xu, Zhimin (Jimmy)
chromatography, antioxidants, phytochemicals, flavor, and colorants