If you’re interested in studying the process of food from the time it leaves the farm until consumers buy the food products, then the food science major may be your perfect fit. Food scientists apply basic science (chemistry, biology, physics) to improve food quality, safety, and nutrition 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.
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 »
View Class Syllabi
Accelerated degree option
An accelerated degree option is available for the food science program.
Clubs and organizations
Careers and internships
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:
Prepare for your next job with Career Services, where staff and peers help you with job searches, interview preparation, and resume/cover letter editing. As a student in both the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Human Sciences, both career services offices are open to you.
To apply for internships and full-time work positions, use the ISU CyHire, on-campus career fairs, and the college career services offices: