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Food Science and Technology

Degree: BS

Campus: Columbus

College: Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Food scientists use chemistry, biology, engineering and other sciences to turn raw ingredients into safe, convenient and wholesome food products for the ever-increasing population. Food scientists solve problems involving food quality, safety, technology and abundance. Food technology is the nation’s largest industry, adding over $40 billion in value annually. The United States has the safest, most efficient food production and distribution system in the world as a direct result of thousands of skilled, creative scientists who focus on food.

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, structure, engineering, safety and nutrition of food as it is processed, packaged, distributed, stored and used. 

Examples of core courses:

  • Organic chemistry  
  • Introduction to food processing   
  • Food chemistry and analysis    
  • Food microbiology    
  • Qualitative properties of food    
  • 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. 

Undergraduate research projects are available to exceptional students; valuable experience may be gained in laboratory research or product development. Students interested in gaining research experience should discuss such opportunities with their advisors. 

The Food Science and Technology Club provides an excellent opportunity to meet others with common interests and develop leadership and networking skills. The club attracts over 80 undergraduate and graduate students who share experiences about employment (many have internships), interact with faculty and create social events.

Food science and technology graduates work in the food industry, in academia and in government positions. The program’s comprehensive curriculum and emphasis on problem solving skills produces graduates who are highly sought by the industry. They are employed all over the world by companies of all sizes, and hold such titles as associate scientist, director of research and development, director of food microbiology and safety, food technologist, product development manager, plant manager, president, product development scientist, professor, quality control supervisor, senior vice president for research, senior scientist, and senior food process engineer.

After earning a Bachelor of Science in Food Science, 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 virtually 100 percent of our graduates within six months of graduation.

The nation-wide beginning average salary for a person with a Bachelor of Science in Food Science is $50,000 (2015). Salaries vary depending on location, skill and previous job-related experiences.

Sheryl Barringer
Department Chair
Food Science and Technology 
110 Parker Food Science Building
2015 Fyffe Road 
Columbus, OH 43210

Students who pursue food science and technology benefit from a student-centered learning experience with one-on-one faculty advising. Students are encouraged to apply for the more than $75,000 in scholarships awarded by the department annually. 

Interested in a career in health care?

Check out the Health Care Pathway to discover the many majors Ohio State offers that can lead to a health care career.

Interested in a career in the STEM fields?

Check out the STEM Pathway to discover the many majors Ohio State offers that can lead to a career in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.