What is the 4 + 1 option?
It’s a program designed to allow a well-qualified Purdue Food Science student to begin the Master’s requirements during senior year. It combines an honors-caliber undergraduate program with a traditional two-year M.S. program, i.e., the senior year and first year of the Master’s program are combined into one. 4 + 1 students can expect to take 1-3 graduate-level classes during both semesters of his or her senior year, in addition to meeting the remaining undergraduate requirements and starting a thesis research project.
Who is it for?
You must be a Purdue undergraduate with a strong academic record. Preferably, you will complete an internship or co-op in the food industry prior to your senior year. You should be interested and enthusiastic about expanding your Food Science knowledge. You must be a self-motivated person comfortable carrying a full and challenging load of classes while making progress on a research project.
What are the advantages of the 4 + 1 option?
You could be finished in five years, compared to a total of six years for a B.S and traditional M.S. degree. 4 + 1 students complete requirements that are identical to those a traditional M.S. student must complete. The only difference is the combination of the final year of undergraduate study with the first year of the graduate program. A wider variety of career options becomes available to you with a graduate degree. Many food companies will not consider a B.S. candidate for an R&D or product development position. With an M.S., you can pursue these positions, or continue on to obtain your Ph.D.
What are the disadvantages of the 4 + 1 option?
It can be stressful and frustrating at times and requires a lot of sacrifice of your time. Every graduate student has to work crazy hours at some point in the program, however, 4 + 1 students can expect to start working those long hours sooner. You will need to work long days during the week, a lot of weekends, and even sacrifice some holidays, e.g., you may not have time for a spring break.
Undergraduates interested in the 4+1 program should speak with Dr. Lisa Mauer.
4 + 1 Schedule
Summer after Year 3:
Have GRE completed
Apply to Graduate School
Take related Food Science graduate courses (minimum 3 credits)
Take required Responsible Conduct in Research course (1 credit)
Start research project
Complete B.S. degree
Summer after Year 4:
Continue graduate courses (3 cr.)
Continue research project
Take required Graduate Seminar Course (1 credit)
Take required Case Study Course (1 credit)
Take other graduate courses
Continue research project
Summer after year 5:
Complete research project
Write and defend thesis
Total 16-20 credits