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.

CURRENT STUDENTS: Connect with your academic advisor for advising appointments or to change your major/minor.

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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. IFT provides career outcomes for Food Science graduates nationally, which you can see here

Food Science grad salary 2022

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.

Student Stories

Food science student connects studies with human health and safety

November 22, 2021

MSU undergraduate Rajsri Raghunath wants to shape food policy and help make food labels accessible for everyone.

Michigan State University postdoc honored for lupus research

May 4, 2021

Lichchavi Dan Rajasinghe, a postdoctoral researcher in the MSU Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, has received multiple accolades for identifying a safe, effective way to treat lupus.

Food Science Advisor

  • Jeff Swada

    Associate Professor, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Director of Undergraduate Food Science Program, Food Science Undergraduate Academic Advisor, Food Processing Complex Manager and Mobile Lab Liaison

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