Food Science, B.S.

Program Code: FDSC_BS

Program Description

Food science involves the application of science and technology to food product manufacture, storage, and distribution to consumers. Food scientists are especially concerned with food safety, nutritional values, managing food quality, food plant management, and development of new products and processes. They are employed by manufacturers and distributors of food products; by chemical, packaging, and other industries that supply goods and services; by colleges and universities in teaching and research; and by government agencies concerned with food regulations and the health and well-being of the general public.

What is Food Science?

Food science is the application of science and technology to the manufacture of safe, nutritious, and tasty food products.  Food scientists are especially concerned with food safety, nutritional value, managing food quality, food plant management, as well as the development of new products and processes. They are employed by the big food brands whose products you use every day, as well as by less well-known companies who make the ingredients that go into them. Other food scientists also work for colleges and universities in teaching and research and as well as for government agencies concerned with food regulations.

You Might Like this Program If...

  • You are interested in science and looking for somewhere to apply it
  • You want a major that involves doing as well thinking
  • You’re looking for a major with real career prospects
  • You value a “small college” atmosphere with real contact with the faculty

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT WHY STUDENTS CHOOSE TO STUDY FOOD SCIENCE

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:

  1. attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
  2. have third-semester classification.

READ SENATE POLICY 37-30: ENTRANCE TO AND CHANGES IN MAJOR PROGRAMS OF STUDY

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science, a minimum of 120 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 4
Requirements for the Major 89

18 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 9 credits of GN courses; 6 credits of GQ courses; 3 credits of GWS courses.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
BIOL 110Biology: Basic Concepts and Biodiversity Keystone/General Education Course4
BMB 211Elementary Biochemistry3
BMB 212Elementary Biochemistry Laboratory1
CHEM 110Chemical Principles I Keystone/General Education Course3
CHEM 111Experimental Chemistry I Keystone/General Education Course1
CHEM 113Experimental Chemistry II Keystone/General Education Course1
FDSC 400Food Chemistry4
FDSC 405Food Engineering Principles3
FDSC 406WPhysiology of Nutrition3
FDSC 408Food Microbiology3
FDSC 409Laboratory in Food Microbiology2
FDSC 410Chemical Methods of Food Analysis3
FDSC 411Managing Food Quality3
FDSC 413Science and Technology of Plant Foods3
FDSC 414Science and Technology of Dairy Foods3
FDSC 415Science and Technology of Muscle Foods3
MICRB 201Introductory Microbiology3
STAT 250Introduction to Biostatistics Keystone/General Education Course3
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
CHEM 112Chemical Principles II Keystone/General Education Course3
FDSC 200Introductory Food Science3
FDSC 201Introductory Food Science Practicum1
MICRB 202Introductory Microbiology Laboratory2
PHYS 250Introductory Physics I Keystone/General Education Course4
Additional Courses
ENGL 202CEffective Writing: Technical Writing Keystone/General Education Course3
or ENGL 202D Effective Writing: Business Writing Keystone/General Education Course
MATH 110Techniques of Calculus I Keystone/General Education Course4
or MATH 140 Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course
Select one of the following sequences: 16-8
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry I
and Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry II
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry II
and Laboratory in Organic Chemistry
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
To reflect the student's career interests, select 12-14 credits (depending on the organic chem series that they took, a total of 6 credits or 8 credits) from department list or in consultation with adviser12-14

Program Learning Objectives

  • Students will apply the fundamental principles of engineering and unit operations related to preservation, packaging, and cleaning and sanitation in order to manufacture safe and nutritious foods.
  • Students will be able to apply the fundamental concepts central to Food Science (e.g. engineering, microbiology, chemistry, etc) with consideration for the legal, economic, and ethical constraints surrounding food production and consumption.
  • Students will evaluate how people interact with food with respect to biology, behavior, and culture.
  • Students will be able to identify and characterize beneficial, pathogenic, and spoilage microorganisms in foods, and to use their knowledge of microbial growth, injury, and cell death to control the growth of microorganisms in foods and to solve applied food microbiology problems.
  • Students will be able to describe the chemical composition of foods, the properties and reactions of food components, and analyze the major and minor components of foods.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

University Park

Christopher Sigler
Instructor/Academic Adviser
203 Rodney A. Erickson Food Science Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-6358
cms578@psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2021-22 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Food Science, B.S. at University Park Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CHEM 1103CHEM 112*†3
CHEM 1111CHEM 1131
ENGL 15, 30H, or ESL 15‡†3MATH 110 or 140‡†4
First Year Seminar2General Education Course3
BIOL 1104General Education Course3
General Education Course3 
 16 14
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CHEM 202 or 210*3CHEM 203 or 212 and 2133-5
FDSC 200*3BMB 2113
FDSC 201*1PHYS 250*4
MICRB 2013STAT 250‡†3
MICRB 202*2General Education Course3
General Education Course3 
 15 16-18
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
FDSC 4004FDSC 4053
FDSC 4083FDSC 4103
FDSC 4092FDSC 406W3
BMB 2121Career Interest Course0-2
CAS 100A‡†3General Education Course3
General Education Course3 
 16 12-14
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
FDSC 4133FDSC 4143
FDSC 4113FDSC 4153
ENGL 202C or 202D‡†3Career Interest Course3
Career Interest Course3Career Interest Course3
Career Interest Course3Elective Course(s)4
 15 16
Total Credits 120-124

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Advising Notes:

  • Students should work with an academic adviser in the development of their plan as some courses are not taught every semester.
  • If completing CHEM 212, CHEM 213 must also be completed.
  • Students should consult with an academic adviser to select appropriate career interest courses.

Food Science, B.S. at Commonwealth Campuses

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CHEM 1103CHEM 112*†3
CHEM 1111CHEM 1131
ENGL 15, 30H, or ESL 15‡†3MATH 110 or 140‡†4
First Year Seminar1-3General Education Course or FDSC 200*3
BIOL 1104General Education Course3
General Education Course3 
 15-17 14
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CHEM 202 or 210*3CHEM 203 or 212 and 2133-5
FDSC 200 (or General Education Course)*3PHYS 250*4
MICRB 2013BMB 2113
MICRB 202*2STAT 2503
General Education Course3General Education Course3
 14 16-18
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
FDSC 4004FDSC 4053
FDSC 4083FDSC 4103
FDSC 4092FDSC 406W3
CAS 100A3Career Interest Course0-2
BMB 2121General Education Course3
FDSC 201*1 
General Education Course3 
 17 12-14
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
FDSC 4133FDSC 4143
FDSC 4113FDSC 4153
ENGL 202C or 202D‡†3Career Interest Course3
Career Interest Course3Career Interest Course3
Career Interest Course3Elective Course(s)4
 15 16
Total Credits 119-125

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Advising Notes:

  • Students should work with an academic adviser in the development of their plan as some courses are not taught every semester.
  • If completing CHEM 212, CHEM 213 must also be completed.
  • Students should consult with an academic adviser to select appropriate career interest courses.

Career Paths

Because of the heavy demand for food scientists in industry, government agencies, and research institutions, many Penn State Food Science graduates have job offers before graduation with excellent starting salaries.

Careers

Most of our graduates go on to careers in the food industry where they develop new products, supervise manufacturing operations, and work to ensure food quality and safety. Other graduates work in government agencies to enforce the regulations that keep our food supply safe.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS FOR GRADUATES OF THE FOOD SCIENCE PROGRAM

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

An M.S. or Ph.D. degree in food science can open doors to career in research and development in the food industry or academia.

Professional Resources

Accreditation

The undergraduate program in Food Science is approved by the Institute of Food Technologists, the professional body of food scientists.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE INSTITUTE OF FOOD TECHNOLOGISTS

Contact

University Park

DEPARTMENT OF FOOD SCIENCE
202 Rodney A. Erickson Food Science Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-5444
foodsci@psu.edu

http://foodscience.psu.edu