Food Science

Offered as: major, minor, graduate degree

Food Science and Human Nutrition brochure (PDF)

Food Science and Human Nutrition course catalog

Food Science and Human Nutrition department site »

Food science students apply principles of biology, chemistry, and physics to improve the safety, nutrition, wholesomeness, and availability of national and world food sources. There are three primary options:

  • Food science and technology
  • Food science and industry
  • Consumer food science

Strengths of the program

  • Iowa State University offers the only IFT-approved program in food science in the state of Iowa, and it has been recognized by colleagues in the profession as a very well-respected and rigorous program.

  • The opportunities for food science majors with Bachelor of Science degrees are very strong and we see high job placement of our students upon graduation.

  • Food science majors have excellent job opportunities with above average starting salaries.

  • Undergraduate department courses are taught by world-class Ph.D.-level faculty who provide hands-on learning opportunities in state-of-the-art laboratories and who care about the success of each student.

  • The department offers four student-led clubs, including the Food Science Club and the Culinary Science Club, which provide volunteer opportunities, connections to the health and food industry, trips to professional conferences, and other applied and fun extensions of classroom learning.

  • Students in the department participate in regional and national competitions through the department Product Development Team, College Bowl Team, and Dairy Product Evaluation Team.

  • Food Science and Human Nutrition students have the opportunity to travel abroad with faculty members to communities in Peru, India, and other places around the world to learn first-hand about food and nutrition in those countries.

  • First year students can participate in the FSHN Learning Community and transfer students can participate in the FSHN Transfer Learning Community to connect to the university, college, and department through common courses, community volunteerism, social programs, and other professional experiences. U.S. News and World Report ranked Iowa State’s learning communities among its “Programs to Look For” – outstanding examples of academic programs commonly linked to student success (2010 “America’s Best Colleges”  rankings).

Read more about the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department from the department chair.

Curriculum requirements

4-year plans

Minors

Syllabi - current and past courses

Scholarships and financial aid

College of Human Sciences scholarships: Students complete one online form to apply for all college-level and department-level scholarships. The online form is generally available from November through February.

Food Science and Human Nutrition scholarships list »

Career possibilities

Students who earn a Food Science degree can find careers in the following areas:

  • Food chemistry
  • Food engineering
  • Food marketing and sales
  • Food microbiology
  • Food production and management
  • Food quality control and safety assurance
  • Food research
  • Biotechnology
  • Marketing
  • Foreign trade
  • Product development

To do now: ways to prepare for this program

To prepare for the undergraduate dietetics major, students should follow the admissions requirements for Iowa State University.

Freshmen students: In high school students may find that, in addition to meeting the Iowa State University admission requirements, taking additional courses that continue to build strength in math and science will assist in transitioning to the coursework for this major.

Transfer students: Transfer students should carefully plan their transfer using the information using the transfer student information page and contact the FSHN transfer academic adviser.

Transfer plans

Student organizations and learning communities

Related majors and minors

Faculty

Undergraduate department courses are taught by world-class Ph.D. level faculty who provide hands-on learning opportunities in state-of-the-art laboratories and who care about the success of each student.

Department faculty research »

Food Science and Human Nutrition Department news and events »

Facilities

In addition to state-of-the-art food laboratories used primarily for teaching purposes, the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department has three affiliated centers and corresponding facilities:

Center for Crops Utilization Research (CCUR)

Center for Research on Botanical Dietary Supplements

Nutrition and Wellness Research Center

Graduate degrees

Related graduate degree programs at Iowa State University:

Food Science and Technology Master of Science and Doctor of Philosopy

  • Graduates Find Rewarding Jobs

    In 2010-11, 91 percent of CHS graduates with bachelor’s degrees got a job (of those new jobs 91 percent were directly related to their majors) or gained acceptance to graduate or professional school within six months of graduation. Culinary Science, Nutritional Science, Diet and Exercise, Kinesiology, and Family and Consumer Sciences – had placement rates of 100 percent! Story »

  • Food Science Administration

    The Food Science program is offered by the Food Science and Human Nutrition department (FSHN). FSHN is jointly administered by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Human Sciences.