Fermentation Science is an option offered under the Food Science degree. Like Food Science, this option represents a multidisciplinary field that applies biology, chemistry, microbiology, physics, engineering, 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. An additional goal of this major will be to understand microbial and chemical transformations that yield foods, ingredients, and other by-products from various starting materials.
- Strengths of the program
· Gain practical technical and leadership skills in the state-of-the-art WSU Creamery, where world-renowned Cougar Gold Cheese® is made.
· Engage in product development and food judging competitions--everything from dairy product evaluation to developing new foods.
· Participate in an internship working with a range of fermented foods including beer, grape and fruit wines, ciders, cheeses, kefir, salami, pepperoni, and other foods and products.
· Hone professional and interpersonal skills scientific logic and thought (ability to trouble-shoot, solve technical problems) and communication (oral and written).
· 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.
- Requirements and sample courses
In the first two years, students will complete most of the University's common requirements (UCORE) 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 can certify as food science major.
Junior and senior years will emphasize a mixture of specific food science core courses (food processing, food chemistry etc.) with fermentation-oriented courses such as diary products, wines, ciders, beer, and others. Students will be able to select different laboratory experiences depending on individual desires.
The food science program awards a bachelor of science degree upon completion.
General science courses
- Organic Chemistry
Food/fermentation science courses
- FS 220 Food Safety and Quality
- FS 301 Food Mycology
- FS 302/303 Food Processing
- FS 304 Cereal Chemistry and Processing
- FS 402 Industrial Fermentations
- FS 405 Ciders and Other Fermented Foods
- FS 418 Oral Seminar in Food Science
- FS 422 Sensory Evaluation of Food and Wine
- FS 429 Diary Products
- FS 460 Food Chemistry
- FS 465 Wine Microbiology and Processing
- FS 495/496 Internship
- VE 113 Introduction to Vines and Wines
Students can choose elective courses according to their area of interest, such as courses in horticulture (viticulture), bioengineering, food engineering, food technology, hospitality (beverage management), and/or business management. In addition, laboratory courses which focus on different science (food microbiology, sensory evaluation, food chemistry) or commodities (dairy products, wine) provide additional experiences within areas of interest.
Students can select different laboratory courses food microbiology, sensory evaluation, dairy products, food chemistry, and/or wine microbiology/processing) depending on individual desires.
The School of Food Science helps students find internships with food companies (breweries, wineries, creameries, etc.) to provide work experience in their areas of interest. Internships last for various times but commonly three to six months.
Coupling a food science degree with a foreign language can be an exciting combination for students seeking employment in the global food industry or doing internships abroad. Students have had internships in such countries as Australia, Chile, France, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, and others.
- Graduation requirements
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.
- Scholarships and financial aid
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. Click here for more info about WSU scholarships and financial aid.
To be considered for financial assistance, complete the following two options:
Option 1: Fill-out the general scholarship application to be eligible for university scholarships.
Option 2: Fill-out Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA where students can be considered for additional aid based on financial need (specific scholarships, grants, loans, etc.).
Food science students
In addition to general university scholarships and other financial aid, WSU offers scholarships specifically for students in food science. http://sfs.wsu.edu/prospective-students/financial-options-scholarships/.
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 at the WSU Creamery, in university laboratories, and areas outside the School of Food Science. Summer and semester work experience in industry can be academically and financially rewarding.
For more information or to apply for jobs or departmental scholarships, contact the School of Food Science directly.
- Careers in food science
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. With additional emphasis in fermentation science, graduates will be involved in additional aspects involving microbial transformation of materials into new and different products, enzymes, and other substances.
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:
Biochemist, Biotechnologist, Brewer, Business Management, Cereal Scientist, Cheesemaker, Cidermaker, Consultant, Culture Curator, Dairy Products Scientist, Extension, FDA/USDA Research Scientist, Flavor Scientist, Food Chemist, Food Company Manager, Food Engineer, Food Industry, Food Ingredient Sales, Food Inspector, Food Microbiologist, Food Packaging, Food Processing and Production, Food Product Development, Food Quality Assurance, Food Safety Officer or Inspector, Food Technologist, Food Toxicologist, Laboratory Director, Manager or Supervisor, Manufacturer/supplier (ingredients, packaging, or equipment), Marketing Researcher, Meat Scientist, Natural Products Researcher, New Technologies Specialist, Plant Manager/Supervisor, Product Developer, Product Extension or Development, Production Management, Public Health Official, Quality Assurance Officer, Regulatory Public Health Official, Research and Development Scientist, Research Chef, Research Technician, Sales & Marketing of Foods/Ingredients, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, Sensory & Consumer Research Specialist, Sensory Scientist, Teacher (instructor, lecturer, or faculty), Technical Sales, Technology