Why should I major in Food Science?

Food science prepares students for many interesting, rewarding and challenging professional career opportunities in industry, business, governmental and educational organizations associated with food and food-related products. Due to the diversity and abundance of opportunities available, students graduating with a B.S.A. in food science readily obtain employment or continue studies for graduate school. Additionally, requirements for several pre-professional programs can be fulfilled while meeting requirements for the food science degree.

What can I do with a degree in food science?

There are multiple career options for a food science graduate. Depending on the concentration area chosen, graduates can be employed in any facet of the food industry. 

  • Food Quality & Microbiology
  • Food Chemistry
  • Food Engineering
  • Product Development

What does a food science major study?

Courses of study for food science majors vary depending on the concentration area. Students should select a concentration that best matches their interests. 

Course requirements for Food Science concentrations can be found in the UA Course Catalog. There are also printable PDFs of the checksheets and semester-by-semester degree plans available in Box.

Food Science Concentration (FDSC):

The FDSC concentration at the University of Arkansas is one of only 38 programs in the United States and the only one in Arkansas that is approved by the Institute of Food Technologists. It provides students with a strong background in basic and applied sciences and food chemistry, microbiology, engineering and quality control.

Food Technology Concentration (FDTN):

The food we consume daily is the result of extensive food research, a systematic investigation into a variety of foods' properties and compositions. After the initial stages of research and development, food products are mass produced using the principles of food technology. The FDTN concentration provides students interested in food industry careers with a multidisciplinary education consisting of core food science requirements in combination with a minor chosen by the student to compliment the student's career goals.

Food and Culinary Sciences Concentration (FDCU):

Culinary sciences blend the artistic abilities of culinary arts with the scientific expertise of food science to shape the future of research and development in the food industry. The FDCU concentration provides students interested in product development careers with an interdisciplinary background in food science and culinary arts. This concentration is a partnership program with Northwest Arkansas Community College (NWACC). Students complete their culinary arts coursework at Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food (an academic division of NWACC located in Bentonville) and are eligible to receive a Certificate of Proficiency in Culinary Arts from NWACC with no additional coursework. Culinary coursework will be transferred to UA; it can be taken prior to admission to UA or taken while in residence at UA. The Food and Culinary Sciences concentration provides students with the course work necessary to be eligible to become a Certified Culinary Scientist through the Research Chef’s Association.

How can a food science student be involved?

The Department of Food Science and the University offer a variety of outlets for students to gain professional development experiences.

food science student posing with food and lab materials

Quick Facts

Food Science

Average Starting Salary:
*Based on most recent Career Development Center Outcomes Report

Graduate School & Employment Placement Rate:
100%* for graduates actively seeking employment
*Based on post-graduate data collected by the Department of Food Science

Internship Required:

Commonly Paired Minors:
Agribusiness, Business, Foreign Languages, Food, Nutrition and Health, Marketing

Professional Advisor:
Cathy Hamilton

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