Food Science

Food science is a multidisciplinary program field that applies chemistry, microbiology, engineering and nutrition to develop new food products and processes to improve the safety and quality of food.

The food science degree is internationally recognized and is approved by the Institute of Food Technologists.

Many students participate in internships at food companies and related industries. Students can receive course credits for internships while gaining invaluable professional experience. The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition also has many scholarships available.


Core areas of study include:

  • Food chemistry
  • Food safety and microbiology
  • Food engineering
  • Food processing technologies
  • Product development
  • Sensory analysis

In addition to the core areas, students select at least one concentration or interdisciplinary emphasis area to customize the program based on individual interests.

Concentrations include:

  • Food technology
  • Food business and industry
  • Food packaging
  • Basic science

Learn more about requirements and courses in Food Science.

Food Science Graduates


Average starting salary


Job placement rate


Top of starting salary range

Data from the 2018 MSU Destination Survey. Starting salaries do not reflect bonuses some graduates receive and not all work is full time.

Career Opportunities

The food industry offers a network of careers pertaining to supply, consumption, production, research and development, processing, safety and packaging. Food science graduates work for a variety of companies, industries, government agencies and academic sectors.

Food Science prepares students for a variety of career paths:

  • Food scientist
  • Food or production technologist
  • Research and development
  • Marketing
  • Packaging
  • Food product or process engineer
  • Quality assurance/control

Faculty members and advisors maintain close relationships with partners in the food industry, which can help with internships, scholarships and employment in food-related fields.

There are also a number of professional associations and organizations in the food sector for further networking and career growth.

2018 Food Product Development Team

Food science students take 3rd place in IFT food product development competition

July 20, 2018

MSU's Food Product Development Team was awarded a bronze metal in this year's competition sponsored by the IFTSA and M&M Mars.

Jeff Swada

Jeff Swada

Assistant Professor, Director of Food Science Program, Food Science Undergraduate Academic Advisor
Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

Student Life

In addition to student jobs and internships, there are study abroad and undergraduate research opportunities.

There are also a variety of student clubs and organizations including:

  • Food Science Club
  • Institute of Food Technologists
  • Product Development Team
  • Dairy Products Evaluation Team
  • Food and Nutrition Association
  • Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences

Human Health Majors

  • Biosystems Engineering

    Combining biology with engineering, biosystems engineers make sure we have our daily essentials: safe and plentiful food to eat, pure water, clean energy sources, and a safe environment to live in.

  • Dietetics

    The dietetics program helps students develop expertise in nutritional assessment and care, as well as food service management systems.

  • Food Industry Management

    The Food Industry Management program provides a system-wide perspective of managerial problems confronting firms in the food industry, recognizes the increasing interdependence among such firms and focuses on creating consumer value.

  • Food Science

    Food Science is a multidisciplinary field applying chemistry, microbiology, engineering and nutrition to develop new food products and design processes to improve the safety and quality of foods.

  • Nutritional Sciences

    Nutritional Sciences focuses on the biological and physical sciences of nutrition and its relationships to human health with concentrations in biomedical and molecular nutrition, global nutrition and health and public health nutrition.

  • Packaging

    Packaging is a multidisciplinary program focused on all aspects of the industry from materials and processes through systems development and testing.

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