Frequently Asked Questions

What is Food Science?

Food Science is the study of the physical, biological, (including microbiological), and chemical makeup of food. Food scientists and technologists apply many scientific disciplines, including chemistry, engineering, microbiology, epidemiology, nutrition, and molecular biology to the study of food to improve the safety, nutrition, wholesomeness, and availability of food. Depending on their area of specialization, food scientists may develop ways to process, preserve, package, and /or store food, according to industry and government specifications and regulations. Consumers seldom think of the vast array of foods and the research and development that has resulted in the means to deliver tasty, nutritious, safe, and convenient foods.

What Food Science is Not

Food Science is Not Nutrition: While some food scientists may focus on making foods more nutritious or determining what components of food provide health benefits, nutrition and food science are actually very different.

Food Science is Not Cooking: Although food scientists play a large part in making sure food tastes good, they are not chefs. They do, however, share a common objective: to prepare and present food that will deliver satisfaction to the consumer, and to do it in a safe, healthy, and cost-effective way.

Food Science is Not Food Service: Most of the employees we see on the front-lines of a restaurant are in the food service industry. The directors of food safety and those developing new food products for chain restaurants, however, are most likely food scientists.

Which Major Will You Choose?

The Department of Food Science at the University of Arkansas offers three concentrations in our undergraduate program:

Food Science

This concentration provides students with a strong background in basic and applied sciences as well as food chemistry, food microbiology, food analysis, food quality and food engineering.

Food and Culinary Sciences

This concentration provides students interested in product development careers with an interdisciplinary background in food science and culinary arts.

Food Technology

This concentration provides students interested in food industry careers with an integrated background in food science and business or nutrition.

Food Science Courses

Undergraduate Courses

Graduate Courses

A typical undergraduate student will probably take most, if not all, of the following courses:


Food Law Nutrition
Chemistry Food Chemistry Social Science
Physics Food Engineering Economics
Organic Chemistry Food Microbiology Statistics
Math/Calculus Food Analysis English
Biochemistry Food Processing Communications
Quantitative Analysis Product Development  
Physical Chemistry Sensory Analysis  

Who Is Your Advisor?

Cathy Hamilton is the Department of Food Science's undergraduate academic advisor. She will be your contact person for questions about classes to take to complete your Food Science degree.

Cathy Hamilton
Undergraduate Academic Advisor
(479) 575-5299

Are Scholarships Available?

Scholarships are available to incoming freshman, transfer students and current students who plan to study or are studying Food Science. Scholarships are available through the University of Arkansas, the Bumpers College, the Department of Food Science and other outside sources.

What Are Your Career Options?

Click here to visit our Careers page for more information.