Bachelor of Science Degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition
Food Science is the study of the chemistry, microbiology, and processing of foods. The Food Science concentration is a challenging program and requires a strong background in mathematics, and science. The curriculum also meets entrance requirements for medical, dental, and veterinary schools if an additional semester of physics is taken as an elective.
Program Learning Outcomes
The undergraduate course requirements in Food Science are designed to meet the Core Standards identified by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and our program is an Approved Food Science degree program from IFT. Major content areas for learning outcomes include:
By the completion of this program students will be able to:
- Achieve a broad understanding of food microbiology, food preservation, and fermentation processes.
- Demonstrate proficiency in food chemistry through food analysis laboratory techniques, and safe, high-quality food engineering and processing.
- Create and implement effective sensory evaluation tools and processes in a variety of settings.
- Apply principles of quality assurance and control, develop standards and specifications for food products, and understand food law.
- Demonstrate critical thinking and problem-solving skills for food science in practical real-world situations and problems.
- Become involved as undergraduates in a variety of food science-related research projects.
Students in the Food Science concentration with a grade point average of 3.0 or above may apply for the Food Science Five-Year Combined BS/MS degree program in their junior year. For this accelerated program, nine credits of graduate courses are taken as part of the undergraduate degree (first four years), and the remainder of the graduate courses can be completed in about one additional year. Students are encouraged to discuss the accelerated graduate program with their advisors. See the Plan of Study for more information about the suggested plan of study.
Food Science majors are eligible for $500-$2500 scholarships from IFT and major food companies. Several Food Science scholarships are available from the School of Food and Agriculture and the College. University of Maine students have also received scholarships worth approximately $1000 from the Northeast Section of IFT (NEIFT). These scholarships are based on scholastic ability, extracurricular activities, and interests.
Why should you choose the University of Maine to study food science? Our program is small enough to provide a sense of community and encourage interactions among students and faculty. Food science classes typically have fifteen or fewer students, allowing for many hands-on opportunities. Most students work in a professor’s laboratory during their first two years of college in order to gain experience. Students are encouraged to seek industry or government internships and the background working with faculty is often key to successful internship applications. In the past few years, our students have interned with NASA, Jeanie Marshal Foods, World Harbors, Cabot Creamery, and McCormick’s. The Food Science Club is a chapter of the IFT Student Association, and is open to all students, providing a social as well as a professional network. The College Bowl team competes against other food science programs at regional events. Other club activities include factory tours, barbecues, and trips to NEIFT meetings.
Graduates of the Food Science program will be prepared to find jobs not only in Maine but nationally and internationally. Nationally, the average starting salary for B.S. food science graduates is $40,000, depending upon the student’s experience and the company location. The average salary of food scientists nationally is $64,000. We have had 100% job placement for graduates. Barber Foods, Hannaford Brothers, and FMC Marine Colloids are among the local companies that have hired our graduates. Many undergraduate food scientists choose to pursue graduate degrees, and we have successfully placed students at the University of Georgia, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Illinois as well as our own graduate program. Graduates of the UMaine food science graduate program are employed by Kellogg’s, McCormick’s, Campbell Soup, Givaudan Flavors, Kerry Foods, and many other companies.
Transfers from other programs at the University of Maine or other colleges and universities should consult the program coordinator prior to applying for more information about an efficient transfer and course progression.