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Food Science

Food Science degree information

Why Study Food Science?

The study of food science includes all types of foods, such as dairy products, fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, and further processed foods you find in grocery stores and restaurants.

Food scientists apply principles of biology, chemistry, microbiology, biochemistry, nutrition and engineering to create new food products, improve food-processing techniques and ensure quality, safety and nutritional value of the food supply. Food scientists play a central role in optimizing the safety and quality of foods from the point of production on the farm until products reach the consumer’s plate.

Why Oklahoma State University?

Everyone eats. Therefore, food science is a degree area that will always be in demand and will always be changing with new technology, new regulations and everything in between. Food science will be one area that always needs good people in the work force.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities
The Animal Science Undergraduate Research Scholars Program engages undergraduate students in research. Knowledgeable faculty members serve as mentors for undergraduate students while they gain valuable hands-on experience working on cutting-edge research projects side-by-side with faculty, graduate students, research technicians and research unit managers. The program engages promising undergraduates a solid foundation in research methods to better prepare them for industry and academic careers in animal or food sciences fields.

Scholarship Opportunities
The Animal Science Department awarded $348,000 in scholarships to students in the department this year. CASNR awarded an additional $460,000 to students within the college.

Other Highlights

  • Food Science Club
  • Meat Science Association
  • Student competition teams

Fast Fact

Food science students have access to the Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center (FAPC), known throughout the nation as a state-of-the-art research and teaching facility.

Degree Options

Within food science, you have the option to select a predefined emphasis area or work with your faculty advisor to customize your plan of study. These areas include:

  • Food Safety option (BSAG)
    Combines knowledge of food science with critical issues relating to food safety, government regulations and food safety programs being required by government and industry leaders.
  • Industry option (BSAG)
    Equips you with the training to advance rapidly in the various departments and divisions of food, processing plant and associated retail industries.
  • Meat Science option (BSAG)
    Training to enter all aspects of the meat industry including animal harvesting and fabrication techniques, processed meats, food microbiology and product development.
  • Science option (BSAG)
    Prepares you for the scientific and technical challenges of the modern food industry while also giving you the foundation to further your education by pursuing a graduate or postsecondary degree.

Visit the "Finish in 4" page for degree requirements and example plans for each degree option of how a student may successfully complete their degree requirements in four years.

Career Examples

  • Bakery quality auditor
  • Cereal scientist
  • Certified flavor chemist
  • Development chef
  • Fats and oil researcher
  • Food ingredients sales
  • Food microbiologist
  • Food technologist
  • Food toxicologist
  • Market researcher
  • Meat marketing specialist
  • Nutritionist
  • Plant manager
  • Quality assurance supervisor

Contact the Department

Department of Animal Science
101 Animal Science
Oklahoma State University

Want to schedule a campus visit or learn more about pursuing a major in food science? Visit our Future Students page.