Food Science Major

Food science is an exciting career that involves creating new food products and making current products more stable, nutritious, convenient, reliable and safe. The discipline begins with an understanding of the plants and animals that will become food, and ends with an understanding of why people choose to eat certain foods. They can change corn into cola, seaweed to salad dressing, and milk from a cow to whipping cream from a carton. 

Food science is the application of science-chemistry, microbiology, physics, and engineering-to the study of food.


The University of Minnesota has a long-standing tradition of educating outstanding students from Minnesota and around the world, and providing them with Honors opportunities within the colleges. These opportunities and programs are brought together in the University Honors Program.

Still curious? Hear first-hand accounts from current and aspiring food scientists about their own backgrounds and careers, courtesy of the Institute of Food Technologists.

What is Food Science?

A World Without Food Science

FAQs about Food Science from high school students


UMN offers an IFT accredited subplan for Food Science Majors as well as a Food Science Minor. Learn more below

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IFT Accredited Food Science Major Subplan

IFT Certification Badge 2021-2026

Food Science Subplan A is an approved program by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the professional organization for Food Science, and thus complies with the core competencies and student learning outcomes of IFT. Subplan A is comparable to other Food Science programs across the nation that have IFT approval. FScN joins a list of just over 60 universities worldwide that have been approved by IFT. Departments on the list offer curricula the IFT Higher Education Review Board has determined to meet the IFT Undergraduate Education Standards for degrees in food science. Students graduating from this degree program are competitive to secure food industry jobs.

Degree requirements can be found on the University Catalog

Food Science Minor

The Department of Food Science and Nutrition offers an Undergraduate Minor in Food Science. The requirements are as follows and can be found in the catalog here

  • Program Type: Undergraduate minor related to major
  • Required credits in this minor: 17+

Please contact the minor coordinator, Zata Vickers at [email protected], with any questions or concerns. 

Minor Courses

The following courses are required (15 cr)
  • FSCN 1102 - Food: Safety, Risks, and Technology [CIV] (3.0 cr)
  • FSCN 3102 - Introduction to Food Science (3.0 cr)
  • FSCN 4112 - Food Chemistry and Functional Foods (3.0 cr)
  • FSCN 4121 - Food Microbiology (3.0 cr)
  • FSCN 4332 - Food Processing Operations (3.0 cr)
Choose one of the following courses (2-4 cr)
  • FSCN 4122 - Food Fermentations and Biotechnology (2.0 cr)
  • FSCN 4131 - Food Quality (3.0 cr)
  • FSCN 4113 - Food Ingredient Functionality (2.0 cr)
  • FSCN 4312W - Food Analysis [WI] (4.0 cr)
Additional options (only with instructor and minor coordinator approval)
  • FSCN 4096 - Professional Experience Program: Internship (1.0 - 4.0 cr)
  • FSCN 3993 - Independent Study (1.0 - 3.0 cr)
  • Other 5000 level FSCN course (2.0+ cr)

Please Note: some courses may have prerequisites that do not count towards the 17 credits.

Declare a CFANS Minor here.

Major Coordinator

Zata Vickers
[email protected]

Academic Advisor

Robin Perez
[email protected]

Sarah Lindholm
[email protected]