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.
When declaring food science as your major at the University of Minnesota, you will have two tracks to choose from to best fit your educational and career path needs.
Below is a description of each track, and a sample plan to help guide you in your decision-making process.
Track A- IFT Accredited
Food Science Track 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. Track 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 with Track A are competitive to secure food industry jobs. Freshman and transfer students default into the Track A sub-plan. Students must meet with an adviser in order to declare the Track B sub-plan.
Degree requirements can be found on the University Catalog.
Food Science Track B offers a plan of study with over 21 free electives. Students may use the free credits to minor in a different field, such as Chemistry, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Economics, Business management, or any other field of interest based on future career choices. Food Science Track B is not an approved program by IFT.
See the Food Science Program requirements in the University of Minnesota Course Catalog. Sample plans are available in the upper right hand corner of the course catalog listing for the Food Science Program. Contact your adviser or the Food Science Major Coordinator with questions.
Food Science Minor
The Department of Food Science and Nutrition offers an Undergraduate Minor in Food Science. The requirements are as follows:
- Program Type: Undergraduate minor related to major
- Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2014
- Required credits in this minor: 17+
Please contact the minor coordinator, Baraem (Pam) Ismail at [email protected], with any questions or concerns.
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 4311 - Chemical Reactions in Food Systems (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 4291 - 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.