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Prospective Student FAQs

Prospective Students FAQs

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Undergraduate Students

Dairy is a huge industry that helps feed the world. And the science behind it helps employ a lot of SDSU grads. All of the decisions that go into the products consumers pick up from their grocery aisle were meticulously made by professionals in the dairy and food science field. Majors in our department include Dairy Production, Dairy Manufacturing, and Food Science. With proper planning a double major between Dairy Production and Dairy Manufacturing can be completed in four years. Students also have the opportunity to add specializations to their major, such as Microbiology with Dairy Manufacturing and Pre-Vet with Dairy Production.

Job placement in Dairy and Food Science is 100% and the starting salaries are outstanding ($55,000 to $75,000). Graduates are placed all over the United States but a majority are in the upper Midwest. Dairy and Food Science are very diverse fields with numerous job opportunities in a wide range of specializations. The department invites employers to visit and interview students during the fall and spring semesters. We also help students look for summer internships. 

Click here to learn about the job outlook for Dairy Manufacturing B.S.

Click here to learn about the job outlook for Dairy Manufacturing B.S. - Microbiology Specialization

Click here to learn about the job outlook for Dairy Production B.S.

Click here to learn about the job outlook for Food Science B.S.

SDSU provides a world-class education at an affordable price to our students. For a better estimate of the cost to attend SDSU, visit admissions cost estimate.

The Dairy and Food Science Department is able to provide numerous scholarships to help alleviate the financial stress of our students. This past year we were fortunate enough to be able to provide over $175,000 to 58 of our outstanding students. Learn more about the scholarships we provide to our students and their sponsors.

The Dairy and Food Science Department offers 14 freshman scholarships ranging from $500 to $1100. The SDSU scholarship application form that you submit with your application for admission is also an application for Dairy and Food Science scholarships provided you declare Dairy Production, Dairy Manufacturing or Food Science as a major on the form. Because the scholarships are competitive you are advised to submit your application by February. If you are awarded a scholarship you will be invited to the Dairy and Food Science scholarship banquet in early April. In subsequent classes you will be eligible for one or more of many other Dairy and Food Science scholarships as well as scholarships from the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.

We have nine faculty members in various specialization areas. In addition, there is a dairy farm manager, dairy plant manager, and two extension specialists. Details of qualifications and expertise are provided under Our People.

Visit our admissions page to learn more about applying to be a Jackrabbit in the Dairy and Food Science Department.

Two clubs for students in the Dairy and Food Science Department include the Dairy Club and the Food Science Club. These club focus on giving students opportunities to enhance their education through gaining practical experience and networking with industry professionals. Learn more about student activities.

Graduates standing in front of the campanile

Graduate Students

The department routinely has approximately 30 graduate students working towards M.S. or Ph.D. degrees at any give time. Master's degrees usually take two years to complete and Ph.D. from 3 to 5 years. Options include M.S. and Ph.D. degrees of Biological Sciences with Dairy Science and Food Science Specializations. Visit the Explore Majors and Careers page to learn more. 

Cost varies depending on the field of study and length of program. Visit the Tuition and Fees page to learn more. 

A limited number of research assistantships are available. Once a student is admitted, the award of an assistantship will depend on the availability of funds at the time.

Please be aware that some programs have additional requirements or higher minimum requirements, consult the graduate catalog for program specific requirements. The Graduate School requires:

  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 to receive unconditional acceptance.
  • An official bachelor's degree transcript - If you are completing your bachelor's degree at the time of application, you may submit an incomplete transcript. If you are accepted, a complete transcript with completed degree will be required by the end of your first semester of coursework.

Visit the Graduate School Admission Requirements page to learn more.

To learn about the admission process for graduate school, visit Apply to Graduate School page.

To learn more about the process of application for international students, visit International Applicants. Because of additional time requirements in issuing an I-20, processing visas, etc international students are encouraged to complete the application process early.

Our faculty have research specializations across multiple areas of dairy and food science. To learn more, visit Our People.

There are various on-going research projects. Some are Agricultural Experiment Station projects, others are funded by the Midwest Dairy Foods Research Center (Dairy Manufacturing only) and there are several other externally funded projects. The Dairy and Food Science publications listing will also provide a perspective on dairy research in the department. Learn more about current research projects.