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Food Science and Technology

Degree: BS

Campus: Columbus

College: Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Food scientists are “foodies” who use chemistry, biology, engineering and creativity to produce craveable food that is sustainable, safe and nutritious. Our graduates are entrepreneurs who start their own companies, scientists who work for the nation’s largest industry, and academics throughout the world. In the food industry, our graduates perform research, develop innovative new products and market to the world. We use food to promote health while finding sustainable solutions to feed the world’s growing population. 

Admitted students who indicate a major of food science and technology on their applications directly enroll into the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

The food science and technology curriculum produces graduates who are well prepared to work in the public or private sector. Students learn the chemistry, microbiology, engineering, safety and nutrition of food as it is processed, packaged, distributed, stored and consumed. 

Examples of core courses:

  • Organic chemistry  
  • Introduction to food processing   
  • Food chemistry and analysis    
  • Food microbiology    
  • Food additives
  • Food processing
  • Technical problem solving    
  • Product development   

Each student is required to complete an internship to gain hands-on, practical experience in the food industry. Juniors and seniors work part time or over the summer in industry jobs and earn credit for the learning experience. Students work with the industry coordinator to ensure they find the internship that is right for them. 

FoodS.U.R.E. — the Food Science Undergraduate Research Experience — connects undergraduate food science students with faculty advisors for a research project in an area of the student's choosing. The project culminates in a presentation at the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences' undergraduate research forum. Participants typically earn course credit and receive scholarship funding.

The Food Science and Technology ClubCitation Needed and Know Food Waste provide excellent opportunities for food science students to meet peers with common interests and to develop leadership, scientific communication and networking skills. Additionally, the Food Science Honorary Phi Tau Sigma Buckeye Chapter is an opportunity available to undergraduates that have completed many of their core classes. These clubs attract both undergraduate and graduate students; members gather to share employment experiences, connect with faculty and participate in social events.

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Food science and technology graduates feed the world. We work in the food industry, in academia and in government positions to produce safe, sustainably-produced, health-promoting food. Graduates are employed all over the world by companies of all sizes, and hold such titles as president, senior vice president for research, vice president for regulatory affairs and product safety, director of research and development, director of food microbiology and safety, product development manager, plant manager, product development scientist, food technologist, quality control supervisor, senior food process engineer, food safety inspector, and professor. 

Graduates have the option of joining the workforce, pursuing an advanced degree in a food-related area of study, or attending professional school, such as veterinary, medical, dental, pharmacy or optometry school. We place over 95% of our graduates within six months of graduation.

The median salary for a food scientist in 2019 was $95,000 ( Average salary breakdown for specific work settings:

Academia: $101,000
Government: $125,460
Industry: $100,000
Nonprofits: $122,000
Self-employed: $119,000