MPS Dairy Products Technology

Program Description

The Master of Professional Studies in Dairy Products Technology is a 12-month innovative program designed to prepare students from technical disciplines for rewarding and lucrative careers in the large-scale industrial dairy foods manufacturing industry. The program recruits students with critical thinking and analytical skills they will have developed while obtaining degrees in physical sciences, certain life sciences, or other technical disciplines. Through the use of experience-based learning and project-based learning, students will develop the essential knowledge to succeed in the international dairy foods industry.

The program will be required to take a prescribed program of study that will give them the understanding of the industry structure, unit operations, sanitation, quality control, and regulatory requirements. In addition, graduates will have developed the leadership skills and experience that is necessary to control and guide teams in industrial dairy plant operations. Three quarters of on-campus course work will be followed by a culminating experience in a one-quarter internship related to industrial dairy foods manufacturing.

Learning Outcomes (Job Description Knowledge & Skills)

  • Mastery of the technical foundation knowledge necessary to enter a management role in large-scale global dairy foods manufacturing organizations, including:
    • Chemistry, biochemistry and the chemical changes that occur in dairy foods induced by processing
    • Analytical chemistry and instrumentation
    • Microbiology and its roles in both food processing and food safety
    • Dairy foods ingredient functionality
    • Food safety, quality assurance and control
    • Sanitary design and cleaning
    • Raw materials receiving and control
    • Food laws and regulations
    • Food sensory evaluation and process quality
    • Unit operations in dairy food processing
  • Can employ leadership principles and recognize leadership's role in management.
  • Are able to use critical thinking and analytical skills to solve problems, evaluate alternatives and predict outcomes in a large dairy food production environment.
  • Have developed a strong awareness of the dairy foods industry's place in society and can apply that awareness to formulate plans that benefit their company and society.
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Career Opportunities

The dairy foods industry has experienced rapid growth resulting in a shortage of skilled entry level managers. The Cal Poly Dairy Science's well-known and highly regarded undergraduate program in dairy foods has also grown in recent years. Our solution is to initiate the nation's first professional master degree in Dairy Products Technology. The target population of students for this program is those not trained specifically in dairy processing. The intent is to generate a new, expanded set of employees ready to enter positions in the dairy processing industry.

Successful completion of the MPS in Dairy Products Technology program will enable those with bachelor degrees in the life sciences or physical sciences to become well prepared for roles as managers and technical supervisors in large industrial dairy products manufacturing plants. In addition, the program will emphasize leadership training through special study and group/team collaboration.

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Units to Degree Completion 45
Culminating Event Exam
Letters of Recommendation 3
GRE Required
Program Website
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