Class​ Size

The Food Science Department has approximately 150 undergraduate students and 90 graduate students. All of the Food Science courses are taught by faculty members. Teaching assistants may assist the professor with different parts of the course such as laboratory setup.  

*Excluding FS 470 – this class is open to the entire campus with an enrollment of 300 students. This is an elective course and is atypical of our classroom enrollments.


The Food Science Department offers many scholarships that are sponsored by both industry and private donations.  Food Science students can apply for scholarships by submitting the College of Agriculture's online application. For more details, visit the College of Agriculture Office of Academic Programs Scholarship webpage. 

Food Science upperclassmen also have many scholarship opportunities. Students are notified via e-mail when the department receives applications for scholarships from various organizations.

Family Atmo​sphere

The Food Science Department strives to meet the needs of the students. The main office is open 8am to 5pm to serves our students. Our faculty and staff maintain open door policies to better assist our students. The department helps our beginning freshmen get acclimated to college life through many activities including dinner at the Department Head’s home, special “chats” with our Academic Coordinator.

ACADEMICS – The Academic Coordinator will assist beginning freshmen and transfer students with registration and plans of study. Students are then assigned a faculty counselor who will not only help them select courses, but mentor them along the way.

Meet the Academic Coordinator

CAREERS – Our domestic graduates have enjoyed a 100% employment rate within six months after graduation since the formation of the department in 1983. The average starting salary in recent years has been over $47,500. The Food Science Career Services Coordinator will assist students with their job search for both full time and internship employment. The Department supports our students in several ways including bringing industry to our building to interview students, creating  opportunities for our students to network with industry professionals, and employing our own students to work within the department’s many laboratories. Almost 80% of our students secure full time employment through the Department.

Meet the Career Services Coordinator

Faculty Recognize​d as Experts in their Field

Members of the faculty from the Department of Food Science are recognized internationally as experts in their fields. They are invited to travel around the globe for their expertise. Further proof of their excellence is in the awards and leadership positions they, and their students, receive.

Food Science Departm​ent History

Our story includes everything from Purdue Ice Cream to aseptic processing and packaging. In 1998, the Department of Food Science moved into its 122,000-square foot Food Science Building, renamed in 2010 to the Philip E. Nelson Hall of Food Science (abbreviated NLSN). Built with $22 million from the state of Indiana along with an additional $7 million from private and corporate fund raising, the building maintains the idea of being formed around a discipline with each floor representing areas of expertise. As the Department has matured, we've recognized that our alumni are creating a legacy of excellence throughout the world. Their contributions to food science through their roles in government, academia, and industry are helping us achieve our mission of being recognized as the best food science program in the world.

Student Groups

Food Science Envoys 
Food Science Club


Department of Food Science, 745 Agriculture Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-8256

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