10 Best Food Science Colleges 2024 | Requirements, Cost

best food science programs

Food science is a rapidly growing field that encompasses everything from agriculture and nutrition to food safety and product development.

With the demand for healthy, sustainable, and delicious food on the rise, food scientists play an important role in shaping the industry’s future.

If you are considering pursuing a career in food science, finding the best program to suit your needs is essential. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to narrow down your choices.

In this article, we will explore some of the top food science programs around the world, helping you make an informed decision about your future education and career path.

What is Food Science?

Food science is the study of the physical, biological, and chemical makeup of food and how it is processed, preserved, and distributed.

It involves understanding the nutritional value of different foods, as well as how they interact with each other during cooking or storage. Food scientists work to ensure that food products are safe, high quality, and appealing to consumers.

In addition to studying the science behind food production, food scientists also explore ways to improve food safety, develop new products, and enhance the overall eating experience.

This field plays a crucial role in shaping the future of our food supply chain and in addressing global challenges such as food security and sustainability.

How do I Get Ready to Study in a Food Science College and become a Food Scientist?

Students interested in a career in food sciences must take advanced courses in math, chemistry, and biology during high school.

This is because Food science programs extensively emphasize these disciplines. You will have an advantage when studying in a food science college if you take courses like AP Biology, AP Chemistry, and AP Statistics.

An undergraduate degree in nutritional science, dietetics, food science, or any field with a strong emphasis on chemistry and biology can also be helpful if you wish to study food science at the graduate level.

Read Also: 17 Study Items For Students In 2024 | Best Uses

Here is the progression to becoming a food scientist  

#1. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

A Bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for becoming a food scientist. A 3-year degree in food science program is available to you.

In this course, you will learn about human nutrition, food biochemistry, food microbiology, food processing, food quality, etc. 

Read Also: 30 Dorm Room Food Ideas For College | 2024

#2. Increase your Knowledge

You do not need A PhD or Master’s degree to work as a food scientist. However, earning one can help you broaden your knowledge and abilities.

With research and a thesis, you will thoroughly study food science, nutrition, or biochemistry.

#3. Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

State-specific licensing requirements can differ, but they frequently include passing an exam, holding a bachelor’s degree in soil science with a specific amount of credit hours, and working for a specific period under the guidance of a licensed scientist.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in India handles all permits and registrations about food. It’s essential to get an excellent education from an approved university.

#4. Start your job or internship.

Begin applying for internships, and once you have gained suitable experience, you can transition to a career.

What are the Requirements to Apply for Food Science Programs?

A food science college may demand between 96 and 165 UCAS points for admission to the Food Science program. The following qualifications and requirements could be one of them: 

  • Level A: AAB-CCC 
  • D*DD-MMM for BTECs 
  • Highers in Scotland: AAABB-BBBC 
  • 35–28 for the International Baccalaureate 
  • Universities typically require A Level (or similar) coursework in biology, chemistry, physics, or home economics.

Read Also: Colleges with the Highest Graduation Rate in 2023

What Can I Do With a Degree in Food Science?

To ensure food safety, almost every business dealing with food employs food scientists. Along with food producers, these businesses also create processing equipment, packaging materials, and ingredient providers.

Food engineers, product developers, and quality assurance managers are some of the main positions in food science.

Food engineers use their education to create tastier or more shelf-stable foods. Product developers perform many of the same tasks as food engineers, but they emphasize things like marketing, consumer preferences, and economic aspects of food production.

Supervisors of quality assurance are responsible for ensuring the safety of food on behalf of both public and commercial organizations.

Food scientists frequently work in sales, R&D, and marketing in addition to their scientific roles.

Researchers and universities may hire food scientists who are interested in teaching. A PhD or master’s in food science, as well as a graduate degree in toxicology, nutrition, microbiology, or food chemistry, is necessary for a career in academia.

Your interests and career objectives will determine the field you will use your food science degree. However, since people will always have to eat, there will always be a need for food scientists.

Food scientists make, on average, $62,910 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Overall employment for food scientists may increase by roughly 7% during the following ten years (2020 – 2030).

Read Also: Top 25 Best Urban Colleges for Students | 2024 Ranking

How to Consider the Best College’s Food Science Programs for You.

Food science programs are not all equal. Make sure the college you select will help you achieve your long-term job objectives. For instance, seek universities in countries that offer you study abroad chances, that is, if you intend to work for a worldwide corporation or organization.

This will expose you to world-class food science experiences and nurture you in any of the best food science programs.

If a certain industry (such as cereal, soup, or produce) piques your interest, seek colleges that collaborate with businesses in that sector and offer the best food science programs.

Before you graduate, taking part in a job shadowing or internship program in food science might be a great way to obtain some real-world experience.

Last but not least, like with any other program of study, ensure the institution you select is within your financial and geographical comfort zones.

What are the Best Food Science Colleges?

Here is a list of the ten best food science colleges for the year 2024

#1. Cornell University

This institution’s food science programs intend to deepen knowledge of foods and drinks’ biological or microbiological, chemical, physical, sensory, nutritional, and engineering characteristics.

Extension and outreach programs disseminate research-based knowledge and technology to consumers, food and beverage businesses, and governmental organizations to improve the accessibility, quality, and safety of the food supply.

Cornell University, a private university established in 1865, is located in a rural area. Its total undergraduate enrolment was 15,503 (fall 2021), and its acceptance rate was 9%. Cornell has a 745-acre campus, and its academic calendar is based on semesters.

The National Universities section of the Best Colleges rating for 2022– 2024 places Cornell University at #17. The cost of tuition and fees is $63,200, while the cost of room and board is $17,088 

Visit School

#2. University of Florida

One of the largest combined academic programs in the world, the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department – FSHN houses the study of dietetics, nutritional sciences, and food science under one roof.

600 undergraduate students, eighty grad assistants, and around thirty full-time faculty members make up FSHN. The American Society for Nutrition, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) have all accredited and recognized their programs. 

The Public university, the University of Florida, was established in 1853. Its campus is 2,000 acres in size, and its total undergraduate enrolment was 34,881 (fall 2021), with an acceptance rate of 30%.

It is located in a suburban area, and the academic calendar is based on semesters. The University of Florida ranks #29 in National Universities in the 2022– 2024 edition of Best Colleges. $6,380 is the in-state tuition and fees, while $28,658 is the out-of-state tuition and fees.

Visit School

#3. University of California, Davis

The Department of Food Science and Technology, which is well-known worldwide makes food more nutritious, delicious, and safer for consumers.

Students finish a demanding science program that adequately prepares them for the many professional options in the food business and for graduate work in the physical, chemical, biological sciences, and medicine.  

The department offers the best food science programs. It aims to produce data regarding foods through research, use that knowledge via teaching and outreach, and spread that knowledge to ensure that everyone has access to healthy, enticing food that has no negative impact on the environment.

The Public university, University of California, Davis, was established in 1905. There are 31,657 undergraduate students (fall 2021) on the campus which is 5,300 acres in size.

It makes use of an academic calendar based on quarters. The University of California, Davis ranks #38 among National Universities in the 2022– 2024 edition of Best Colleges. Out-of-state tuition and fees total $44,494, while in-state tuition and fees are $14,740. It has an acceptance rate of 49%

Visit School

#4. University of Wisconsin–Madison

The University of Wisconsin’s food science program addresses the largest issues affecting the world’s food supply, such as environmental stewardship, food safety, and human health. It is rated among the best food science programs.

Their faculty applies core STEM principles to provide science-based solutions and discoveries, representing a worldwide profile of perspective and competence.

Their academic members have established themselves as leading authorities in their disciplines via research, instruction, and outreach initiatives. They are also honored for their assistance to regional and international professional groups.

The University of Wisconsin—Madison public university was established in 1848. It is located in a city with a total undergraduate enrolment of 35,474 (fall 2021) and has a 936-acre campus. The academic calendar is based on semesters.

The University of Wisconsin—Madison ranks #38 in National Universities in the 2022– 2024 edition of Best Colleges. $10,796 is the in-state tuition and fees, while $39,427 is the out-of-state tuition and fees. This college has an acceptance rate of 60%

Visit School

#5. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

They improve lives by improving the quality, safety, affordability, and sustainability of food. Over the years, they have sustained the best food science programs.

One of humanity’s biggest issues is providing nutrient-dense and easily available food for the growing global population. The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN) at this institution identifies issues, creates technology, and disseminates knowledge to advance food security, wellness, and health.

Founded in 1867, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is a public university located in a city with a 1,783-acre campus. Its total undergraduate enrollment is 34,779 students (fall 2021), and it uses a semester-based academic calendar.

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is ranked National Universities 41, in the 2022– 2024 edition of Best Colleges. The tuition and fees for in-state students are $17,138, while that for out-of-staters is $35,110. Its acceptance rate is 60%

Visit School

Read Also: What to Major in to Be a Dentist in 2024 | Full Guide

#6. The Ohio State University

OSU combines top-notch faculty, staff, and facilities to provide its students with the finest experience possible in both undergraduate and graduate programs. “Putting students first” is one of OSU’s primary objectives, and the staff at FST is dedicated to achieving this aim. From the students’ viewpoint, FST is one of the country’s biggest food science programs. 

There are about 120 undergraduate and 80 graduate students in this best food science program.

They provide a wide range of cutting-edge research programs specializing in food and health, unique emerging packaging and processing technologies, and food safety and quality initiatives. Their program also works with the food business and provides programs for it.

A public university, The Ohio State University was established in 1870. It is located in an urban environment, with a 1,665-acre campus, with an overall undergraduate enrollment of 47,106 students (fall 2021). The academic calendar is based on semesters.

The Ohio State University ranks #49 among National Universities in the 2022– 2024 edition of Best Colleges. Out-of-state tuition and fees total $35,019, while in-state tuition and fees add up to $11,936. Its acceptance rate is 56%

Visit School

#7. University of Georgia

The University of Georgia provides the best food science programs that can be used to get a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree.

Students in the food science bachelor’s degree study courses in physics, mathematics, statistics, biochemistry, chemistry, and microbiology over the program’s first two years before finishing their coursework in food chemistry, microbiology, nutrition, and product development.

Faculty with backgrounds in basic sciences, food science, including food technology are well-versed in these fields. The University of Georgia was established as a public university in 1785. It is located in a city with a total undergraduate enrolment of 30,166 (fall 2021) and has a 767-acre campus.

The academic calendar is based on semesters. The University of Georgia is ranked #49 nationally in the 2022– 2024 edition of Best Colleges. In-state tuition and fees cost $11,180, while out-of-state costs are $30,220. Its acceptance rate is 40%

Visit School

#8. Purdue University–West Lafayette

Purdue University offers the best food science programs. In and out of the classroom, students at this institution take enormous strides.

These individuals have held numerous leadership roles, won competitive internships and employment, and formed lifelong connections while juggling the demanding school load of a food science student. Despite having a shared interest in food science, each student has had a different Purdue experience.

Public university Purdue University—West Lafayette was established in 1869. There are 37,101 undergraduate students enrolled (fall 2021), the campus is 2,468 acres in size, and the location is a city. The academic calendar is based on semesters.

The National Universities section of the Best Colleges rating for 2022– 2024 places Purdue University–West Lafayette at number 51. $9,992 is the in-state tuition and fees, whereas $28,794 is the out-of-state tuition and fees. Its acceptance rate is 69%

Visit School

#9. Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Thanks to the long-standing academic-industry connections, the Master of Business along with a Science degree, combines advanced, STEM-based courses with applicable business courses, experiential learning, and substantial networking possibilities to provide the best food science programs. 

Their courses can be full-time or part-time and are flexible enough to accommodate each student’s career aspirations. They are an element of the Professional Science Master’s network, including nearly 350 programs at over 150 academic institutions spread throughout 35 states and four other countries.

Founded in 1766, Rutgers University-New Brunswick is a public university. There are 36,152 undergraduate students in (fall 2021) on the 2,685-acre campus. The academic calendar is based on semesters.

In the National Universities category of the Best Colleges rating for 2022– 2024, Rutgers University-New Brunswick is ranked #55. The cost of tuition and fees is $16,263 for residents of the state and $33,963 for those who reside outside of it. Its acceptance rate is 68%

Visit School

#10. University of Maryland, College Park

Students who want to pursue challenging professions in the expanding field of food and nutrition can choose between two undergraduate majors offered by the Department of Nutrition and Food Science in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

For students interested in nutritional science, food science, or dietetics, the program provides a Bachelor of Science degree in Fermentation Science and Nutrition and Food Science with three choices.

The public university, University of Maryland, College Park, was established in 1856. The campus is 1,340 acres in size, has an overall undergraduate enrolment of 30,922 (fall 2021), and is located in a suburban area.

The academic calendar is based on semesters. The University of Maryland, College Park, is ranked #55 among National Universities in the 2022– 2024 edition of Best Colleges. In-state tuition and fees are $11,233, while out-of-state costs are $39,469 for this institution. Its acceptance rate is 52%

Visit School

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take a vocational course in food science?

Contact the providers for guidance, since some may accept T Levels for admittance. Food Science programs currently do not allow convocational courses. You may also require an interview as part of the application process.

Can a food scientist work in the hospital?

Food manufacturing businesses typically employ food scientists. Some, however, work for government organizations that oversee and control agricultural and food goods. Others work as nutritional therapists in food establishments, animal care facilities, agricultural research facilities, and hospitals.

What is the course food science all about?

Food science is a multidisciplinary subject of research (and practice) that applies chemistry, nutrition, microbiology, chemical engineering, and physics to food, food groups, and the food system.


Jobs in the food science sector will always remain available because, even if the world may alter in the future, people and animals will still require food to survive.

Particularly if you have a master’s degree in food science, there are job roles in every sector, from the lab to the desk, with Sales, Marketing, Manufacturing, and Teaching.

If you have an interest in food, nutrition, and biology, you could also develop new products, investigate novel combinations, and evaluate product quality. 

You’ve got a good dream in food science; all you need to do now is plan and take action toward the best food science programs offered in the food science college listed in this article. We hope the information provided here was helpful.



You May Also Like