Food Science

What is Food Science and Technology? Food science is a degree program focused on food issues from the time crops leave the field until consumers buy the food products. Food scientists apply basic science (chemistry, biology, physics) to improve processing, preservation, and safety of food and to develop new food products.  There are two options in food science, and both options are approved by the Institute of Food Technologists:

  • Food science and technology option - designed for students who intend to go to graduate or professional school or who are interested in food science research and biotechnology.
  • Food science and industry option - combines food science and business courses to prepare students for food processing, sales, and management positions in the food industry.

Students in both options take coursework focused on food chemistry, food microbiology, food quality assurance, sensory evaluation of food, and food product development and pursue careers as food scientists in a variety of positions within food industry.  Learning outcomes for students in the program »

Students have the opportunity to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) concurrently with the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in food science. The program is designed so students can earn the BS in food science and MBA in five years, to meet the needs of students who are interested in management careers in the food industry. Students apply for admission to the MBA program in the spring of the third year. The program for concurrent BS in food science/MBA degrees is a rigorous 5-year program, and admission is very selective.  Read more about this concurrent program »

Course requirements

Food science and technology option

2015-2016 Catalog curriculum information

Course requirements (PDF)

Sample 4-year plan (PDF)

2014-2015 Catalog curriculum information

Course requirements (PDF)

Sample 4-year plan (PDF)

Course sequence flow sheet (PDF)

2013-2014 Catalog curriculum information

Course requirements (PDF)

Sample 4-year plan (PDF)

Course sequence flow sheet (PDF)

2012-2013 Catalog curriculum information

Course requirements (PDF)

Sample 4-year plan (PDF)

Course sequence flow sheet (PDF)

2011-2012 Catalog curriculum information

Course requirements (PDF)

Sample 4-year plan (PDF)

Course sequence flow sheet (PDF)

Food science and industry option

2015-2016 Catalog curriculum information

Course requirements (PDF)

Sample 4-year plan (PDF)

2014-2015 Catalog curriculum information

Course requirements (PDF)

Sample 4-year plan (PDF)

Course sequence flow sheet (PDF)

2013-2014 Catalog curriculum information

Course requirements (PDF)

Sample 4-year plan (PDF)

Course sequence flow sheet (PDF)

2012-2013 Catalog curriculum information

Course requirements (PDF)

Sample 4-year plan (PDF)

Course seuqence flow sheet (PDF)

2011-2012 Catalog curriculum information

Course requirements (PDF)

Sample 4-year plan (PDF)

Course sequence flow sheet (PDF)

Consumer food science option

2014-2015 Catalog curriculum information

Course requirements (PDF)

Sample 4-year plan (PDF)

Course sequence flow sheet (PDF)

2013-2014 Catalog curriculum information

Course requirements (PDF)

Sample 4-year plan (PDF)

Course sequence flow sheet (PDF)

2012-2013 Catalog curriculum information

Course requirements (PDF)

Sample 4-year plan (PDF)

Course sequence flow sheet (PDF)

2011-2012 Catalog curriculum information

Course requirements (PDF)

Sample 4-year plan (PDF)

Course sequence flow sheet (PDF)

Careers and internships

Careers

Food scientists work in food industry, academia, and non-profit and government institutions. A food science degree can lead to positions focused on:

  • Food quality and microbiology
  • Food engineering
  • Product development
  • Food chemistry
  • Sensory science
  • Food marketing and sales

For more information about careers in food science, view the following websites of the Institute of Food Technologists:

Become a Food Scientist

Institute of Food Technologists Career Center

Career services

Students and alumni of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University are eligible to use the career services in both the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Human Sciences.

Internships

To apply for internships and full-time work positions, use the ISU CyHire (formerly CMS), on-campus career fairs, and the college career services offices:

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Services

College of Human Sciences Career Services

Get involved

You can gain additional professional experiences outside of the classroom by getting involved in clubs and student organizations as wells as professional organizations.

Food Science Club

Dairy Products Evaluation Club

Product Development Team

Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)

IFT Student Association

IFT - Iowa Section

  • Food Product Development

    Students and instructors in the Product Development class share their experiences, including creating, scaling, packaging, and presenting their product to industry board members. Video »