Interesting College Majors Part 1: Food Sciences

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We meet many high school students who are not aware of the full range of options when it comes to a major. But deciding on a field of study helps narrow down your list of colleges, and provides cohesion to your overall app. This article is part of a series on unexpected majors you can pursue at a variety of different colleges. We hope these articles encourage you to explore your options and find a major that helps you achieve your goals. First up, let’s dive into the world of food sciences as a field of study in college!

Now, when most people think of career options within the food industry, they tend to think of the usual: service jobs, management, owning a restaurant, or becoming a chef. These are all viable career options, and there will always be work in the food industry. But owning a restaurant can be risky; and working in service is not for everyone, either as management or as a cook.

On the other hand, food sciences majors majors offer a path for those who love food, but also love to practice the broader discipline of science. People who earn degrees in these majors can explore a wide variety of interesting career options upon graduation that go beyond the status quo of food industry jobs.


Citrus

What is it: Offered by the Department of Horticultural Science, this major focuses on the science and business of citrus fruits. With a citrus grove on campus and internships for all students, this Bachelor of Science degree offers hands on experience in the field. Students are required to take classes such as Soil Science and Citrus Grove Management. A minor in Horticultural Science is also available to those majoring in Citrus.

Which schools offer it: Florida Southern College.

Fermentation Sciences

What is it: This degree focuses on the process of fermentation, which is the process that creates wine and beer, but it also applies to yogurts, cheese, pickles, and other foods. A B.S. in Fermentation Sciences can land you a job at any number of breweries or wineries in the country. It will also allow you to start your own business in the field. Students are required to take a number of science and math classes, and have the option to also take classes like Food Microbiology, Food Packaging, and Food Law.

Which schools offer it: Oregon State University, Colorado State University, and Southern Illinois University, amongst others.

Bakery Science and Management

What is it: This program at Kansas State University boasts a 100% job placement rate for graduates. Students participate in baking science lab courses, and also take classes such as Cereal Science, Flour and Dough Testing, and Bakery Layout. Interested participants can also minor in Bakery Science, Cereal Chemistry, or Pet Food Science.

Which schools offer it: Kansas State University

Viticulture and Enology

What is it: A major in Viticulture and Enology is a sort of fusion between the Fermentation Sciences and Citrus. Students study wine-grape growing and winemaking. The program gives special interest to the science, business, and management of creating wine. Sample classes include Wine Culture and Wine and Grape Flavor Chemistry.

Which schools offer it: Cornell University, UC Davis, and Washington State University, amongst others.

Finally…

To discover more about food sciences or other interesting majors, consider working with an experienced mentor. Alternatively, you can also browse the “majors” page of different college websites. Oftentimes when a college offers majors as specific as these, they also have more general versions of the same degree. This can help you explore a field of study if you’re not ready to choose such a specific major. Of course, you can also work with a college counselor to assess your interests, explore majors, and discover colleges you love.   

Find all three final installments of this series on the blog below:

Questions? Let us know!