Departmental Requirements

Food Science PhD Departmental Requirements


PhD students in the Department of Food Science are expected to have basic knowledge in the area of food science. Therefore, before undertaking their qualifying exam (as outlined in the Graduate Calendar on the University website), all PhD students must have passed a minimum of 7 of 12 assignments provided by members of our faculty. For this, each faculty has the option to deliver or provide.

For the Departmental Requirement, each faculty has the option to deliver or provide a pre-recording of a 1h lecture on the general subject area (for example, foodborne pathogens) then provide the students with book chapters (2-3) or papers (5-10) on the subject area. In the event that the faculty do not wish to provide a lecture then the learning material should be sent to students with a guide to highlight what the students should focus on in preparing for the end of the month evaluation.

Towards the end of the month, the faculty will set an assignment, take home exam or a critique relating to the provided papers. The student is then deemed to have passed or failed the assignment/exam/critique. Regardless, of the result the student will then go on to the next faculty and so forth.

Proposed Structure

A rolling calendar will be put in place starting in October with the students entering at any point but all 12 sections being completed before the fifth semester. The faculty are free to choose the area and depth of the subject matter that the student will be assessed on. The materials provided can be in the form of book chapters or papers with an expectation that it will take the student no more than 10h to go through the material. As a guide, it would be reasonable to provide the student 2-3 book chapters or 5- 10 papers to review. Before providing the students with the reading material the faculty has the option deliver a 1h lecture to introduce the selected subject area. This can be delivered within a class-room or pre-recorded.

Two weeks after providing the reading material the faculty will then select the form of assessment. The assessment can be in the form of questions that the student requires to answer, critique of the provided material or essay. The expectation is that the assignment will take no longer than 4 h to complete. The completed assignment will be returned to the faculty by a stated deadline then marked. If the student has deemed to have scored at least 75% on the assignment they have passed but failed if the mark is not achieved. Note that the mark will not appear on the student’s transcript or a credit assigned.

Week 1 - Lecture and provision of reading material

Week 2 & 3 - Review of reading material by the student

Week 4 - Assignment provided and graded

At the end of the 12 sections the student will be graded on their performance, although this will not be used for credit but can be noted in the course of deliberations at their Oral Qualifying Examination.

In the event that the student fails to meet the requirement of 7 sections they can roll onto the next offering until they attain a pass. However, 7 sections must be passed before the start of the 5th semester when the student is expected to complete the written and oral portions of the University’s Qualifying Examination.  

Please speak to the Academic Programs Assistant, Tricia Townsend, before you prepare your proposal (written examination). She will provide you details regarding the expectations for your proposal and the process of scheduling your Oral Qualifying Examination.