10 Best Bachelor’s in Food Science and Nutrition Programs

10 Best Bachelor's in Food Science and Nutrition Programs

This is a ranking of the 10 Best Bachelor’s in Food Science and Nutrition Programs in the United States. Food Science and Nutrition programs prepare students for a multitude of careers in the public and private sector as they study chemistry, biology, physiology, and the psychology of food, and how it affects human health and behavior.

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Students studying Food Science and Nutrition will learn about designing, producing and regulating food for consumers. Students will study the science behind dietary needs and specific recipes alongside regulations and processing requirements, preparing them to enter the work force upon graduation.

A degree in Food Science or Nutrition can launch students into career paths, like being a Nutritionist (helping people understand the impact of foods on their health), or being Food Technologist (creating recipes with new and known ingredients), or even as a food quality manager or inspector.

Students have found jobs in federal agencies, restaurants, and food manufacturers. Whether you work directly in the field, or as an adviser for marketing teams or scientists, you’ll know that your work directly helps keep real people healthy.

10 Best Bachelor’s in Food Science and Nutrition Programs Ranking Guidelines


10 Best Bachelor’s in Food Science and Nutrition Programs: School Ranking

1
Michigan State University
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
East Lansing, MI
Michigan State University
School Type:
Number of Online Programs:
Types of Online Programs:
Public
57
Bachelor's, Master's
Degree Information:
Bachelor of Science in Food Science
School Type: Public
Number of Online Programs: 57
Types of Online Programs: Bachelor's, Master's
Degree Information: Bachelor of Science in Food Science

The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Michigan State University offers students three prominent bachelor degree options including Food Science, Dietetics, and Human Nutrition.

Food Science applies chemistry, microbiology, engineering and nutrition to develop new food products and design processes to improve the safety and quality of foods. Food science graduates can attend graduate school or work for a variety of companies, industries, government agencies and academic sectors.

Dietetics develops expertise in nutritional assessment and care, as well as food service management systems. Accredited through the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) in Nutrition and Dietetics as a didactic program in dietetics (DPD). A graduate school track to be a licensed dietitian.

Nutritional Science examines the biological and physical sciences of nutrition and its relationships to human health with concentrations in biomedical and molecular nutrition, global nutrition and health and public health nutrition. A pre-medical or pre-dental school track.

Though each program has its strengths and merits, this entry focuses on the Bachelor of Science in Food Science. The Institute of Food Technologist (IFT) recognizes and approves this program. The Food Product Development Team consistently places in the top tier for the IFT Product Development Competition. Concentrations available include Food Technology, Food Business and Industry, Food Packaging, and Basic Science. Students study the core areas of chemistry, engineering, processing technology, product development, sensory analysis, and safety and microbiology as they relate to food.

Credit requirements: 120 total credits

Selection of Food Science core courses:

  • Principles of Food Science
  • Fundamentals of Food Engineering
  • Sensory Assessment of Foods
  • Food Processing: Unit Operations
  • Food Chemistry
  • Food Microbiology
  • Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point Training and Certification
  • Food and Nutrition Laboratory
  • Integrated Approaches to Food Product Development
  • Introduction to Human Nutrition
  • Professional Development and Career Planning
  • Fruit and Vegetable, Cereals, Dairy, and Meat Processing

Program length: Average, four years

Admissions and transfer credit information: Freshman applicants must submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT results. Admissions takes into consideration academic performance, strength of curriculum, class rank, and diversity of high school experience. Admissions does not require letters of recommendation.

Admissions does accept transfer credits.

Accreditation: Michigan State University receives accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

2
The George Washington University
Milken Institute School of Public Health
Washington, D.C.
The George Washington University
School Type:
Number of Online Programs:
Types of Online Programs:
Private University
95+
Associate, Undergraduate Certificate, Bachelor, Master, Graduate Certificate, Educational Specialist, Doctorate
Degree Information:
Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Science
School Type: Private University
Number of Online Programs: 95+
Types of Online Programs: Associate, Undergraduate Certificate, Bachelor, Master, Graduate Certificate, Educational Specialist, Doctorate
Degree Information: Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Science

The Milken Institute School of Public Health holds scholarship, leadership, and scientific rigor in equal measure when training up the next generation public health professionals. Students studying Nutritional Science will find curriculum to include multidisciplinary aspects and hands on experience through research and workshops.

The Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Science degree delves into the chemistry, biology, physiology, and even psychology of food and its effects on health and human behavior. Students receive a broad, research-based understanding of the science behind nutrition which creates a solid foundation for future study or employment in the field. Graduates of the program work in areas such as nutrition advocacy groups, food industry positions, trade associations related to food and nutrition, and federal agencies such as the USDA.

Credit requirements: 124 total credits

Selection of Nutritional Science core courses:

  • Professional Foundations in Nutrition Science
  • Nutrition Science I and II
  • Nutrition Science Research Methods
  • Introduction to Public Health
  • Assessment of Nutritional Status
  • Nutrition and Chronic Disease
  • Life-cycle Nutrition

Program length: Average, four years

Admissions and transfer credit information: Freshman applicants must submit official high school transcripts and at least one letter of recommendation. A writing sample and test scores are optional.

Admissions does accept transfer credit.

Accreditation: George Washington University receives accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Admission Requirements for Undergraduate Students
SAT or ACT requirement: No
Admission Requirements for Graduate Students
GRE or GMAT requirement: Yes, for most programs
3
University of Idaho
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Moscow, Idaho
University of Idaho
School Type:
Number of Online Programs:
Types of Online Programs:
Public University
102
Bachelors, Masters, Certification
Degree Information:
Bachelor of Science in Food Science
School Type: Public University
Number of Online Programs: 102
Types of Online Programs: Bachelors, Masters, Certification
Degree Information: Bachelor of Science in Food Science

The University of Idaho works in a unique partnership with Washington State University to provide top tier education in the area of Food Science. The joint programs allow students access to food laboratories on both University campuses. The University of Idaho offers a Bachelor of Science in Food Science with three specialization options: Food Science, Fermentation, or Dairy Management.

The Bachelor of Science in Food Science is a comprehensive, interactive program that encourages students to intern with major food industry companies and take opportunities to study food science abroad. Students graduating from the program are prepared for further study or for careers such as Quality Control Systems Manager, Food Scientist and Technologist, Health Educator, or Agriculture Sciences Teacher.

Credit requirements: 125 total credits

Selection of required core course:

  • Food Analysis
  • Advanced Food Technology
  • Food Toxicology
  • Food Product Development
  • Food Science

Program length: Average, four years

Admissions and transfer credit information: Freshman applicants must submit official high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores.

Admissions does accept transfer credit.

Accreditation: The University of Idaho receives accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Admission Requirements for Undergraduate Students
An application for admission.
Application fee (nonrefundable). No application fee required for Idaho residents!
ACT or SAT test scores.
Official high school transcript showing graduation date.
Official transcripts from any colleges or universities attended.
Admission Requirements for Graduate Students
A minimum overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 on a 4.00 grade scale equivalent to U.S. bachelor’s degree
TOEFL/IELTS Test Scores
3 Letters of Recommendation
4
Iowa State University
Ames, IA
Iowa State University
School Type:
Number of Online Programs:
Types of Online Programs:
Public
75
Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorates, Certificates
Degree Information:
Bachelor of Science in Food Science
School Type: Public
Number of Online Programs: 75
Types of Online Programs: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorates, Certificates
Degree Information: Bachelor of Science in Food Science

Iowa State University offers several relevant undergraduate degrees in the area of Food Science including Culinary Food Science, Dietetics, Diet and Exercise, and Nutritional Science.

The Bachelor of Science in Food Science program offers two further areas of specialization, Food Science and Technology which prepares students for further study; or Food Science and Industry which prepares students for managerial positions within the industry. The Institute of Food Technologists approves and recognizes both undergraduate tracks. Successful graduates of the program have found careers in Food Quality and Microbiology, Sensory Science, Food Engineering, Food Marketing and Sales, and more.

Students also have the option to pursue a dual BS/MBA five-year program

Credit requirements: 120 total credit

Selection of required core courses

  • Food and the Consumer
  • Contemporary Issues in FSHN
  • Processing of Foods: Basic Principles
  • Food Laws and Regulations
  • Sensory Evaluation of Food
  • Food Product Development
  • Food Microbiology

Program length: Average, four years

Admissions and transfer credit information: Admissions uses a Regent Admission Index (RAI) score to evaluate incoming freshman applicants. This score is a combination of class rank, ACT or SAT score, cumulative GPA, and number of years of high school core courses.

Admissions does accept undergraduate transfer credit.

Accreditation: Iowa State University receives accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

5
Ohio State University
College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences
Columbus, OH
Ohio State University
School Type:
Number of Online Programs:
Types of Online Programs:
Public University
20+
Certificate, Associate, Bachelor, Master, Doctorate
Degree Information:
Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Technology
School Type: Public University
Number of Online Programs: 20+
Types of Online Programs: Certificate, Associate, Bachelor, Master, Doctorate
Degree Information: Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Technology

As one of the largest Food Science programs in the nation, Ohio State strives to keep students in the forefront of education with cutting-edge research, specialized degree programs, and collaborative networking partnerships with local and national food industries. The Institute of Food Technologists approves and recognizes the Food Science programs at Ohio State.

The Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Technology is truly a diverse and multidisciplinary program to the point that students have some flexibility with their curriculum plans and work with faculty advisers to fit the courses to their personality. In general, students will cover chemistry, microbiology, safety, nutrition, processing, and engineering as part of the curriculum.

Credit requirements: Students need 121 semester hours to graduate with 36 hours required in the major and 22 hours of specific foundational classes.

Selection of possible courses:

  • Introduction to Food Processing
  • Food Quality Assurance
  • Food Process Engineering
  • Food Chemistry
  • Food Additives
  • Food Product Development
  • Technical Problem Solving

Program length: Most students finish within four years

Start dates: Spring or Fall

Admissions and transfer credit information: Incoming freshman students must submit high school transcripts and official SAT or ACT scores. Admissions does not require letters of recommendation but takes into consideration any that students submit.

Admissions does accept undergraduate transfer credits.

Accreditation: Ohio State University receives accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Admission Requirements for Undergraduate Students
SAT or ACT requirement: Yes
Minimum GPA of transfer credit: 2.0
Admission Requirements for Graduate Students
Graduate applicants must hold a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
6
University of Missouri, Columbia
College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources
Columbia, MO
University of Missouri, Columbia
School Type:
Number of Online Programs:
Types of Online Programs:
Public University
100+
Bachelor, Master, Doctorate, Education Specialist, Certificate
Degree Information:
Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Nutrition
School Type: Public University
Number of Online Programs: 100+
Types of Online Programs: Bachelor, Master, Doctorate, Education Specialist, Certificate
Degree Information: Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Nutrition

The Department of Food Science offers undergraduate students the chance to earn a Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Nutrition. Students may select between three concentrations: Food Science, Food Business, or Culinary Science. The comprehensive curriculum gives students a solid foundation in areas such as the chemical changes that occur during food processing, how to keep food products safe and microbially stable, experimenting with food and ingredients, and how to develop new sustainable food products.

Graduates of the program are prepared for further study or for careers such as Food Engineers, Product Developers, or Quality Assurance Supervisors.

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) recognizes and approves this program.

Credit requirements: 120 total credits minimum; 36 – 38 core credits

Selection of core courses:

  • Food Science and Nutrition
  • Elements of Food Microbiology
  • Food Chemistry and Analysis
  • Food Microbiology

Program length: Most students complete the degree within four years

Admissions and transfer credit information: Freshman applicants must submit high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores.

Accreditation: The University of Missouri receives accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Admission Requirements for Undergraduate Students
SAT or ACT requirement: Yes
Minimum GPA requirement: 2.75
Minimum GPA of transfer credit: 2.75
Admission Requirements for Graduate Students
In general, graduate students must show a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 credit hours of course work.
GRE or GMAT requirement: Varies based on the department

7
University of California – Davis
Davis, CA
University of California – Davis
School Type:
Number of Online Programs:
Types of Online Programs:
Public University
12
Certfications, Professional Concentrations
Degree Information:
Bachelor of Science
School Type: Public University
Number of Online Programs: 12
Types of Online Programs: Certfications, Professional Concentrations
Degree Information: Bachelor of Science

The scientific-based curriculum at the Department of Food Science and Technology allows students to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in the field. After a comprehensive study of chemistry, biology, physiology, and more, students are able to move into leadership careers in the food industry or continue on for further studies in the sciences or in medicine.

In addition to the Food Science core curriculum students have the option to specialize in Brewing science as well. Students must complete an additional 18 credits for the specialization. Advisers encourage students to pursue independent study options or research opportunities to gain more personalized experience in the field.

Credit requirements: 180 total credits

Selection of core courses:

  • Food Composition
  • Food Properties
  • Food Analysis
  • Food Microbiology
  • Food Sensory Science

Program length: Most students complete the program within four years

Admissions and transfer credit information: Freshman applicants must submit high school transcripts and standardized testing scores.

Accreditation: UC Davis receives accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

8
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Champaign, IL
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
School Type:
Number of Online Programs:
Types of Online Programs:
Public, Research
93
Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorates, Certificates
Degree Information:
Bachelor of Science in Food Science
School Type: Public, Research
Number of Online Programs: 93
Types of Online Programs: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorates, Certificates
Degree Information: Bachelor of Science in Food Science

The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition offers several relevant undergraduate degrees in the areas of Dietetics, Hospitality Management, Human Nutrition, and Food Science. Undergraduate students in the Bachelor of Science in Food Science program study biology, chemistry, and engineering as they relate to food in an effort to enhance food safety, improve food supply chains, and create and market new foods. Students from the program have moved on to become efficient leaders in the pharmaceutical industry, food industry, government research institutions, and more.

The Institute of Food Technologists has recognized and approved the Food Science program at the University of Illinois through 2020.

Credit requirements: 130 credits total

Selection of required core courses:

  • Math for Food Science
  • Science of Food Preparation
  • Sensory Evaluation of Foods
  • Food Ingredient Technology
  • Food Processing Engineering
  • Applied Food Microbiology

Program length: Average, four years

Admissions and transfer credit information: Students must submit high school transcripts, answers to two essay questions, and SAT or ACT scores. Admissions also considers extracurricular activities and any related experiences.

Accreditation: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign receives accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA)

9
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Blacksburg, Virginia
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
School Type:
Number of Online Programs:
Types of Online Programs:
Public University
9
Master's
Degree Information:
Bachelor of Science in Food Science Technology
School Type: Public University
Number of Online Programs: 9
Types of Online Programs: Master's
Degree Information: Bachelor of Science in Food Science Technology

In 1968 Virginia Tech formed the Department of Food Science and Technology. This comprehensive department offers both undergraduate and graduate studies as well as access to several research facilities.

Undergraduate students interested in the Bachelor of Science in Food Science Technology may select from four areas of specialization: Science, Food Business, Food and Health, or Food and Beverage Fermentation. Students receive a solid foundation in the application of science and engineering principles to food and its related areas of study. Students may also use their undergraduate studies to pursue graduate education in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, research, and more.

The Institute of Food Technologists recognizes this program.

Credit requirements: 120 total credits

Selection of required courses:

  • Econ., Food, and Fiber
  • Food Processing
  • Principles Sensory
  • Food Analysis
  • Food Microbiology
  • Functional Foods
  • Food Chemistry
  • Food Product Development

Program length: Average, four years

Admissions and transfer credit information: Potential freshman must submit high school transcripts and standardized test scores. Admissions considers a variety of factors including academic rigor, final grades, leadership and service experience, personal statements, and any relevant research.

Admissions does accept transfer students.

Accreditation: Virginia Tech receives accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Admission Requirements for Graduate Students
A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.

Should have a 3.0 GPA (4 point scale), unless there are documented extenuating circumstances.
10
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
Twin Cities, MN
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
School Type:
Number of Online Programs:
Types of Online Programs:
Public University
65+
Undergraduate Certificate, Bachelor, Master, Doctorate, Graduate Certificate, Licensing programs
Degree Information:
Bachelor of Science in Food Science
School Type: Public University
Number of Online Programs: 65+
Types of Online Programs: Undergraduate Certificate, Bachelor, Master, Doctorate, Graduate Certificate, Licensing programs
Degree Information: Bachelor of Science in Food Science

The Department of Food Science and Nutrition offers all undergraduate students numerous excellent opportunities for advancement. In addition to traditional bachelor’s degrees the department also offers an integrated BS/MS Nutrition degree, a post-graduate culinary certificate, and study abroad options.

The Bachelor of Science in Food Science degree offers two tracks. The first track, approved by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), follows a more regimented curriculum similar to other IFT approved programs across the nation. The second track allows students to take more free elective classes, allowing for more program flexibility and personalization. The IFT, however, does not recognize the second track.

Credit requirements: 120

Selection of professional courses:

  • Introduction to Food Science
  • Food Microbiology
  • Food Quality
  • Food Analysis
  • Chemical Reactions in Food Systems
  • Sensory Evaluation of Food Quality

Program length: Average, four years

Admissions and transfer credit information: Interested freshman students must submit high school transcripts and standardized test scores.

Admissions does accept transfer students

Accreditation: The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities receives accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Admission Requirements for Undergraduate Students
SAT or ACT requirement: Yes
Admission Requirements for Graduate Students
GRE or GMAT requirement: Yes, for most programs

10 Best Bachelor’s in Food Science and Nutrition Programs: End of Schools


Best Bachelor’s in Food Science and Nutrition Programs Ranking Guidelines:

SuccessfulStudent.org helps current and future students make sense of education options. For this ranking, we looked at our sister site AcademicInfluence.com*, to see which schools have had the largest academic influence in Food Science and Nutrition. From this we looked at each schools’ individual programs, and ranked schools using factors that would be most beneficial to students, such as variety of programs and courses, hands-on instruction, and academic reputation.

*AcademicInfluence.com: ranking methodology.