- Offered as:
- Graduate program
Food Science is the scientific discipline that supports the food and beverage manufacturing industry. Food Science is a multidisciplinary science that applies biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, nutrition, and other sciences to improve the safety and quality of food products; develop new food products; and design new, safer, and more energy efficient food preservation methods.
Food scientists strive to improve the microbial and chemical safety of foods, and enhance the quality of foods through traditional and emerging technologies. Food scientists conduct research to improve food safety and quality, identify beneficial food ingredients and develop new food products, extend the shelf life of foods, and identify environmentally friendly food preservation technologies. The food processing industry is continually challenged to evaluate existing foods for quality and to develop new foods that meet consumer demands and the nutritional needs of the world.
Food science students learn to convert food commodities into high quality, safe and nutritious food products.
In the bachelor's degree program at WSU, students learn the science and the practical skills involved in production, processing, preservation, safety, evaluation, and distribution of foods.
- Gain practical processing and leadership skills in the state-of-the-art WSU Creamery, where world-renowned Cougar Gold Cheese is made.
- Students work on meaningful, real-world projects. For instance, a group of food science students developed and marketed a new sports drink that is now in stores in the Northwest.
- Engage in product development and food judging competitions--everything from dairy judging to developing new foods that will appear on store shelves.
- Participate in an internship, available in a number of food industries.
- Hone your professional and interpersonal skills such as the use of computers, speaking, writing, critical thinking, and teamwork.
- You can join a math, science, and engineering community residence hall at WSU Pullman—share classes with your neighbors, study together, get free tutoring, and use the hall’s computer lab.
To join the program
In the first two years, students will complete most of the general education requirements (GERs) and initiate studies of the sciences basic to food science. Those who have taken 24 credit hours and earned at least a 2.0 GPA should certify as food science students. Junior and senior years will emphasize food processing, food microbiology, and food chemistry—all related to cereal, dairy, fruit, vegetable, wine, meat, poultry, and seafood product development and processing.
The food science program awards a bachelor of science degree upon completion.
Food Safety and Quality
Food Microbiology and Lab
Sensory Evaluation of Food and Wine Lab
Food Engineering and Lab
Food Chemistry and Lab
Advanced Food Technology
Food Product Development
Business: Students can gain an emphasis in business by taking selected courses in accounting, finance, management, economics, writing, and others.
Science: Students wishing to eventually pursue a graduate degree in food science may want to take upper-division courses in chemistry, microbiology, biochemistry, agriculture (horticulture, crops, etc), statistics, or nutrition and writing.
Foreign Language: Coupling a food science degree with a foreign language can be an exciting combination for students seeking employment in the food industry.
The School of Food Science helps students find internships with food companies, processors and /or wineries to provide work experience in their areas of interest. Internships are generally three to six months.
NOTE: See the WSU Catalog for degree requirements and talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.
For food science students
Financial aid is available in loans, scholarships, and employment. The School of Food Science and the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences award more than $500,000 in scholarships to qualified undergraduate and graduate students. Part-time employment is available in departmental laboratories, from grant- or state-funded assistantships, the WSU Creamery, and areas outside the department. Summer and semester work experience in industry can be academically and financially rewarding.
For more information or to apply for scholarships, contact the School of Food Science.
For all students
A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with educational costs. Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.
Students should complete the Washington State University general scholarship application and the FAFSA to ensure their eligibility for the widest range of scholarships and need-based financial aid.
For information or to apply for financial aid and scholarships from WSU, see the Scholarships and Finances section of the WSU website.
• A background strong in chemistry, biological science, mathematics, and communication skills
Food scientists are employed around the world by large and small food processing companies, food ingredient suppliers, food quality assurance and testing labs, federal and state governmental agencies, and academia.
A degree from the WSU School of Food Science prepares you to meet the emerging challenges, needs, and opportunities of the food industry.
Here are some of the many job titles and positions available in food science:
Food quality assurance, Food Chemist, Food Microbiologist, Food Safety Microbiology, Food Safety Officer or Inspector, Food Product Development, Food Processing and Production, Food Engineer, Food Packaging, Food Inspector, Food Tester, Food Product Development, Foodservice, Food Production (food/beverage processor), Food Company manager, Food Scientist, Food Toxicologist, Food Technologist, Food Industry, Technical Sales, Production Management, Product Extension or Development, Regulatory Affairs, Research in the Food/Allied Industries or Federal Regulatory Agencies, Research and Development, R & D Scientist, Engineering, Quality Assurance, Quality Assurance Officer, Quality Control, Quality Assurance/Quality Control, Quality Assurance Officer, Manufacturing/Production, Nutrition, Sales & Marketing of Foods, Food Ingredient Sales, Technical Sales Representative, Sales Manager, Food Ingredient Sales, Sensory, Sensory Analysis, Sensory & Consumer Research Specialist, Teaching/Academic Research, Teacher, Culinary, Regulatory, Extension, Management, Government Inspector, Flavor Scientist, Flavor Chemist, Academic (technician, instructor or professor), Consultant, Business Management , Manufacturer/supplier (ingredients, packaging, or equipment), Laboratory Director, Manager or Supervisor, Consultant, Chemist, Microbiologist, Biochemist, Biotechnologist, Cereal Scientist, Meat Scientist, Dairy Products Scientist, Sensory Scientist, FDA/USDA Research Scientist, Product Developer, Natural Products Researcher, New Technologies Specialist, Packaging Specialist, Plant Manager/Supervisor, General Manager of Research, Technology Development Manager, Regulatory Public Health Official, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, Marketing Researcher, Public Health Official, Marketing, Market Researcher, Research Chef, Chef, Recipe tester, Wine Taster, Wine Maker