For Students

Join a lab that puts industry-relevant training, critical thinking, and client interaction first.


Graduate school with NC State’s Sensory Service Center is a unique experience.

This is not just behind the scenes research work: in our lab, you work directly with industry clients and partners. Here you will design and report on experiments that give real clients actionable data.

While working on your Masters or PhD in Food Science, you will:

  • Get hands on experience with analytical chemistry and instrumentation
  • Draw powerful conclusions between work in sensory and instrumental analysis
  • Run consumer testing and market research surveys with real consumers and real impact for clients
  • Work in our pilot plant, learning skills such as cheese making, whey protein manufacturing, and beverage prototyping

This graduate degree program is run through the NC State Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences Department with Dr. Maryanne Drake as your professor and adviser – directing your research, guiding class choices, assisting with co-authoring papers, and signing off with a committee on your graduate research.



The work you do as an undergraduate student sets the foundation for your future career and graduate school opportunities. If you want hands on training to complement your academics and desire challenges that will truly prepare you for the post-graduate world, our lab is the place to be.

We hire on an hourly basis (offering flexible semester and summer hours) for assistance with consumer testing, sample preparation for sensory and instrumental analysis, and production-related activities in the pilot plant.

Undergraduate work at the Sensory Service Center gives you early experience working with clients, which will serve you well post graduation. Our undergraduate opportunities also support a smooth transition into a Masters program should that be your path.