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Food Science Degree

What is Food Science?

The food science industry specializes in the development of foods, particularly how they look, taste, how healthy they are and what methods may be employed to increase those traits.Individuals will work in government or the private sector, developing or reviewing foods that will enter the market. Food scientists utilize a variety of sciences in order to isolate and better understand the products being released, how to make them costs effective and meet national standards. Food science is responsible for a variety of innovations, particularly for prepackaged foods. 

Educational Requirements

To pursue a degree in food science a student must study several scientific disciplines. Food science requires an individual to understand food at the molecular level, its nutritional values, coloring, flavor, smell, and more in order to improve upon those values. A food science major will provide an individual the skill necessary to understand and affect the production of food, its packaging, processing and distribution. Degrees are available from the bachelor's level on, with masters or doctoral degrees usually required for research positions at universities as well as teaching positions.

Courses offered may include:

  • Introduction to Microbiology
  • Food Chemistry
  • Principles of Human Nutrition
  • Processing of Dairy Products
  • Chemistry
  • Biology

Various specializations are also available to food budding food scientists, often requiring additional education. Some examples include:

  • Food Technology
  • Food Business and Industry
  • Food Packaging
  • Basic Food Science

Job Growth, Employment Opportunities and Related Fields

The job growth for food scientists is expected to grow faster than average. This can be attributed to the needs of a growing population that must be fed more efficiently. Food scientists typically find work in the private sector for food companies, for various agencies in government, or for educational institutions. Food scientists will work with various products for the purposes of review or development, with educational institutions implementing programs and projects in conjunction with the public or private sector, as well as independently, to advance technology in the field. Individuals working for the review process may be responsible for the introduction or barring of new products or techniques into the national market. The job of a food scientist will vary greatly in those positions and wages can vary accordingly.

The average salary for a food scientist is approximately $59,500 per year, with the lowest 10% earning less than $34,000 per year.

Students interested in food science may also be interested in environmental science, agriculture or biology.

Top Colleges that Offer Food Science by Number of Graduates

Listed below are the most popular schools in the U.S. that have food science programs. Schools can be filtered by clicking the drop-down menu below and selecting a state.

Filter Schools by State:

C = Certificate or Award | A = Associate Degree | B = Bachelor's Degree | M = Master's Degree | D = Doctor Degree (Ph.D.,M.D.,...)

Showing 1-20 of 51 Schools
University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

The University of Florida is located in Gainsville, Florida and is one of the three largest single campus universities in the US.  It is one of three research flagship universities within the State University System of Florida and is the most prestigious school of...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $6,143
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (352) 392-3261

Programs Offered

  • Food Science (B,M,D)
  • Plant Sciences (B,M,D)
  • Agronomy and Crop Science (B,M,D)
  • Horticultural Science (B,M,D)

University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign

Champaign, IL

The University of Illinois at Urbana is the largest and oldest campus in the University of Illinois system and is a public research facility. History The University of Illinois at Urbana was...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $14,522
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (217) 333-1000

Programs Offered

  • Food Science (B,M,D)
  • Agronomy and Crop Science (B,M,D)
  • Horticultural Science (B,M,D)

Clemson University

Clemson, SC

About Clemson University, located in Clemson, South Carolina, was founded in 1889 through a donation of land and resources by Thomas Green Clemson upon his death. Mr. Clemson had desired to establish a...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $12,674
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: 10,000 to 19,999
  • Telephone: (864) 656-4636

Programs Offered

  • Food Science (B,D)
  • Food Science and Technology (B,D)
  • Plant Sciences (B,D)
  • Horticultural Science (B,D)

University of California - Davis

Davis, CA

University of California - Davis (UCD), located in the northern city of Davis, California, offers the largest variety of degree programs among the University of California campuses.  UC Davis's programs are nationally ranked, thanks in part to the universities...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $13,877
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (530) 752-1011

Programs Offered

  • Food Science (B,M,D)
  • Plant Sciences (B,M,D)
  • Agronomy and Crop Science (B,M,D)

University of Maine

Orono, ME

UMaine provides a variety of program options for students to guide them in their growth and development. The school is located in Orono, ME and publically funded. As a land grant institution this school is among larger public institutions in the state of Maine. Enrollment at University of Maine...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $10,594
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: 10,000 to 19,999
  • Telephone: (207) 581-1110

Programs Offered

  • Food Science (B,M,D)
  • Plant Sciences (B,M,D)
  • Soil Science and Agronomy (B,M,D)

Kansas State University

Manhattan, KS

Kansas State University (K-State) is a public research university. K-State has three campuses in Kansas: Manhattan Campus, Salina Campus and Olathe Campus, and offers more than 250 undergraduate majors. The K-State Graduate School at the Olathe Campus offers 65 master's...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $8,047
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (785) 532-6011

Programs Offered

  • Food Science (B,M,D)
  • Agronomy and Crop Science (B,M,D)
  • Horticultural Science (B,M,D)

Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN

Purdue University was established in 1869 and stands as the flagship campus of the Purdue University System. About 270 programs are offered at the main campus in West Lafayette together with regional campuses located in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Westville, and Hammond in Indiana....

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $9,900
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (765) 494-4600

Programs Offered

  • Food Science (B,M,D)
  • Agronomy and Crop Science (B,M,D)
  • Horticultural Science (B,M,D)

Ohio State University

Columbus, OH

Ohio State University is the largest single campus university in the US. It is located in Columbus, Ohio and is a public research university. History Ohio State University was established as a...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $10,037
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (614) 292-6446

Programs Offered

  • Food Science (B,M,D)
  • Agronomy and Crop Science (B,M,D)
  • Horticultural Science (B,M,D)
  • Soil Science and Agronomy (B,M,D)

University of Maryland - College Park

College Park, MD

UM's pride lies not only in being Maryland state's flagship university but also in having over a hundred of its academic programs consistently ranking among the best in the country. The University of Maryland boasts of several schools and colleges including those of the...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $8,908
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (301) 405-1000

Programs Offered

  • Food Science (B,M,D)

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Cornell University is one of the top, public research universities in the United States. Located in Ithaca, New York, Cornell is the State's Land Grant University. As such, it is dedicated to transferring and applying university-based knowledge for practical benefits and...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $43,413
  • Type: 4-Year Private College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (607) 255-2000

Programs Offered

  • Food Science (B,M,D)
  • Plant Sciences (B,M,D)
  • Agronomy and Crop Science (B,M,D)
  • Horticultural Science (B,M,D)

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI

Michigan State University, located in East Lansing, is a public research facility. It was a pioneer land grant institution when it was founded in 1855. Under the Morrill Act of 1862, Michigan State University served as a model for future land grant schools in the...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $12,622
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (517) 355-1855

Programs Offered

  • Food Science (B,M)
  • Plant Sciences (B,M)
  • Horticultural Science (B,M)
  • Soil Science and Agronomy (B,M)

Rutgers University - New Brunswick

New Brunswick, NJ

Rutgers University is the state university of New Jersey.  It is considered one of the top research universities in the nation with a history of scientific innovation. Based on its faculty's productivity, such as number of books published, grants awarded and cited...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $13,073
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (732) 932-1766

Programs Offered

  • Food Science (B,M,D)
  • Plant Sciences (B,M,D)

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Raleigh, NC

North Carolina State University at Raleigh (NC State) is ranked in the top 50 U.S. public universities, and number three in the U.S. among public universities that receive funding for research.  Research is a foundation of the academic culture at NC State, and 70...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $7,788
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (919) 515-2011

Programs Offered

  • Food Science (B,M,D)
  • Agronomy and Crop Science (B,M,D)
  • Horticultural Science (B,M,D)
  • Plant Protection and Integrated Pest Management (B,M,D)

Iowa State University

Ames, IA

Iowa State University (ISU) is a top ranking university in Ames, Iowa, which is considered one of the best places to live in America. The school's central campus is known for its beauty and historic landmarks, and is notable for its landscape...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $7,726
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (515) 294-5836

Programs Offered

  • Food Science (B,M,D)
  • Agronomy and Crop Science (B,M,D)
  • Horticultural Science (B,M,D)
  • Agricultural and Horticultural Plant Breeding (B,M,D)

University of Georgia

Athens, GA

The University of Georgia (UGA) is a highly diversified research university located in Athens, Georgia.  There are many international students at UGA, as well as nationals and locals from within the state of Georgia. The UGA offers...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $9,842
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (706) 542-3000

Programs Offered

  • Food Science (B,M,D)
  • Food Technology and Processing (B,M,D)
  • Agronomy and Crop Science (B,M,D)
  • Agricultural and Horticultural Plant Breeding (B,M,D)

Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA

Pennsylvania State University is located in University Park. It is a state-related, space grant, land grant public research facility. Also known as Penn State, the school has twenty-four campuses in Pennsylvania. University Park is the main and largest...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $16,444
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (814) 865-4700

Programs Offered

  • Food Science (B,M)
  • Agronomy and Crop Science (B,M)
  • Horticultural Science (B,M)
  • Plant Protection and Integrated Pest Management (B,M)

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, WI

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is the main campus of the University of Wisconsin (UW) System. Its founding in 1848 was the result of a Wisconsin constitutional provision, mandating the institution of a state university within the state...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $10,378
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (608) 262-1234

Programs Offered

  • Food Science (B,M,D)
  • Agronomy and Crop Science (B,M,D)
  • Horticultural Science (B,M,D)
  • Soil Science and Agronomy (B,M,D)

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Amherst, MA

University of Massachusetts - Amherst (UMass Amherst) is an institute of research and higher learning that is situated on a 1,450-acre campus in Western Massachusetts.  It is 90 miles from Boston. More than 80 areas of academic study are available, many of them in...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $13,415
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (413) 545-0111

Programs Offered

  • Food Science (B,M,D)
  • Plant Sciences (B,M,D)

Brigham Young University

Provo, UT

Brigham Young University (BYU) is an institute of higher learning located in the beautiful mountain region of Provo, Utah.  It is dedicated to academic excellence and the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The university offers...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $4,710
  • Type: 4-Year Private College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (801) 422-4636

Programs Offered

  • Food Science (B,M)
  • Food Technology and Processing (B,M)
  • Soil Sciences (B,M)

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Lincoln, NE

University of Nebraska - Lincoln (UNL), is a top public research university that has pioneered many "firsts." It was one of the first institutions of higher learning west of the Mississippi River to grant doctoral degrees (the first it awarded was in 1896). UNL was also the...

School Details

  • Tuition (In-State): $7,984
  • Type: 4-Year Public College
  • Students Enrolled: More Than 20,000
  • Telephone: (402) 472-7211

Programs Offered

  • Food Science (B,M,D)
  • Agronomy and Crop Science (B,M,D)
  • Horticultural Science (B,M,D)
  • Plant Protection and Integrated Pest Management (B,M,D)

Source: IPEDS Survey 2008-2011: Data obtained from the US Dept. of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Data may vary depending on school and academic year.