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Courses for Food Science Majors

Food science universities offer a variety of degrees and programs for students who wish to study nutrition, dietetics, agribusiness, food product development and food business operations. Nutrition and food science experts work to create healthy menus and diet programs for various institutions and individuals, and also study the social impact of food, food psychology, and the role of food in different cultures.

Students interested in completing a food science degree need to take several specialized food science courses, as well as general health and nutrition courses. Many schools also offer online nutrition and food science degree programs, providing students with more options for completing their education in the field.

Attending Food Science University

A food science university offers several types of degree programs and courses. Students interested in a bachelors or a master's degree may be required to take several general education courses, such as arts and humanities, behavioral and economic science, chemistry and physics before they can take specialized courses.

Many schools offer the following concentrations or specializations with their programs:

  • Food Technology

  • Basic Food Science

  • Food Business and Industry

  • Nutritional Science and Dietetics

  • Food Packaging

Getting a Bachelors Degree in Food Science

Many universities offer at least two educational tracks for students who are interested in getting a bachelor degree in food science. Students may consider the general science option, or a food business operations and management option. General programs prepare the student for technical jobs and positions in the field of food product development. Food business operations and management degrees prepare students for positions in the field of agribusiness and managerial positions within the food industry.

Electives at this educational level include:

  • Poultry Management

  • Food and Feed Production

  • Livestock and Meat Evaluation

  • Clinical Nutrition

  • Nutrient Metabolism

  • Agricultural Policy

  • Agriculture Economics and Agribusiness

  • International Agriculture Trade

  • Consumer Behavior

  • Food Retailing

Getting a Food Science Masters Degree

Students who have successfully completed a bachelor's degree in food science at an accredited university can continue their education by completing a master's degree. These advanced programs include additional classroom training, research studies and applied research opportunities. Students who wish to enroll in a master's degree program may be required to take a test for admission. Those who wish to become registered dietitians typically need to complete a Dietetic Internship accredited by the Commission on Accreditation/Approval for Dietetics Education.

Types of Food Science Courses

Whether an individual is completing a program at the undergraduate or graduate level, they are typically required to complete several credits with a lab component. This is because the field of food science requires a lot of hands-on research and applications, and students must learn how to analyze food samples, test theories and formulas, and perform nutritional assessments.

Some of the most common types of courses required include:

  • Principles of Food Science

  • Fundamentals of Food Engineering

  • Food Processing Operations

  • Food Chemistry with Lab

  • Food Microbiology with Lab

  • Food Analysis

  • Food Product Development

  • Principles of Human Nutrition

  • Food Processing in the Body

  • Sensory Assessment of Foods

  • Statistical Methods

  • Food and Beverage Management

  • Experimental Approaches to Food

Career Options after Food Science University

Students who have successfully completed a degree can explore a number of career paths, including:

  • Agricultural Food Scientist

  • Food Scientist

  • Nutritional Counselor

  • Dietitian

  • Chef's Assistant

  • Food Quality Assurance Specialist

  • Food Product Development Scientist

  • Food Technologist

  • Operations Service Trainee

  • Assistant Dietetic Researcher

  • Flavor Chemist

  • Food Market Researcher

  • Food Analytical Chemist

  • Animal Scientist

  • Soil and Plant Scientist

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of food science is expected to grow faster than the average through 2018, at a rate of about 16 percent. In May 2008, the median annual wages of food scientists and technologists were $59,520. The average Federal salary in 2009 was $104,184 in animal science and $79,158 in soil science.

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Courses for Food Science Majors