Food Science (B.S.)

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.

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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.

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Food Science Graduates

See career outcomes for MSU food science graduates, including salaries, top employers and employment locations.

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.

In April 2019, Gary McDowell, director of Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, visited Michigan State University for an update on the mobile food processing labs development and the on-campus fruit and vegetable lab renovations. McDowell (center) reviewed the mobile lab design concepts plans with students Lauren Kitada (left) and Katie Church at the meeting.

Michigan State University students design plans for mobile food labs

June 3, 2019

Mobile food labs designed by MSU students will travel to different locations in Michigan as part of a new food processing certificate program developed to meet the state’s workforce needs.

Louanges Ndayishimiye and Fleur Mushumba with faculty sponsors Drs. Dave and Lorraine Weatherspoon.

FSHN students win competitions at 2019 MANRRS conference

April 12, 2019

Two FSHN undergraduate students received first place awards in competitions at the 2019 MANRRS conference.

Food Science Advisor

  • Jeff Swada

    Associate Professor, Director of Undergraduate Food Science Program, Food Science Undergraduate Academic Advisor

Schedule advising appointments online. (More details: MSU Student Information System resources.)

Student Life

In addition to student jobs and internships, there are education 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.

Apply to Michigan State University!

Human Health Majors

  • Biosystems Engineering (B.S.)

    The Biosystems Engineering program combines biology with engineering to ensure there is safe and plentiful food, clean water, renewable energy and a healthy environment.

  • Dietetics (B.S.)

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

  • Food Industry Management (B.S.)

    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 (B.S.)

    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 (B.S.)

    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 (B.S.)

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