Graduate Programs

Cal Poly has been one of the primary training campuses for people entering careers in the dairy foods industry in California.


Dairy processing facilities have become more sophisticated and more information on factors affecting the composition and quality of dairy foods is being discovered. To meet this challenge, Cal Poly’s graduate program in Dairy Products Technology helps to prepare students for careers in the dairy industry concerned with product procurement, processing and production, sales and distribution, research and development, and management, as well as positions with various government agencies. Our tradition of combining hands-on experience with scientific and technical training has made our graduates highly sought after by industry partners.

We offer two graduate programs: a Master of Science (MS) in Agriculture with a specialization in Dairy Products Technology and a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Dairy Products TechnologyPlease make sure that you apply to the correct program. The MS degree is by coursework and scientific research project published in a thesis. The MPS degree is a full fee paying program with coursework and practical industry training without a research project or thesis.


What makes Cal Poly such a great place to get your Master's Degree?

Our 21,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility is known as the Dairy Innovation Institute. This Institute is exclusively dedicated to dairy foods research, technology transfer and education. It is by far the most up-to-date dairy product technology facility at academic institutions in the U.S. It includes an 8,300 square foot area for pilot plant research and well-equipped analytical laboratories and a sensory evaluation area. A fully operational 220-cow dairy farm (Holstein and Jersey cows) is adjacent to the Institute and provides unique capabilities for Cal Poly to study dairy farm issues on processing properties on milk and milk products. 


Departments participating in the Dairy Science Graduate Program:

  • Dairy Science
  • Microbiology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Materials Engineering
  • Food Science and Nutrition
  • Chemistry
  • Ag-Engineering
  • Agri-Business


Application Information

Find out more about the graduate Master of Science degree and submit your application. Entry points into the MS program are September (Fall quarter) and January (Winter quarter).

It is strongly recommended that you contact a faculty member of the Dairy Products Technology program before submitting an application to see if your research interests are aligned with faculty expertise. Click on the name of the professor to find out more about research interests.

For additional information on MS application and admissions contact:
Dairy Innovation Institute
MS Graduate Studies Program
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0251
(805) 756-6102
or Dr. Haotian Zheng by e-mail at:

For additional information on MPS application and admissions contact:
Dairy Innovation Institute
MPS Graduate Studies Program
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0251
(805) 756-6148‬
or Thomas Johnson by e-mail at:

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