Food Science

FOOD SCIENCE

If your fascination with food reaches way beyond shopping and meal prep, you can level up with UBC’s Food Science program. Here, you’ll discover the chemistry and microbiology of food, as well as its nutritional and sensory properties, how it’s engineered, and how it’s processed for consumption. Dig deep into quality assurance, and learn about preservation and the safe development of food products. Explore concepts and controversies in nutrition, and examine how land, food and community fit together, all within the world’s most influential scientific research institution for food science and technology.

What You Need to Know

Food Science at UBC is a way to make your mark. In 2016, UBC was named the most influential scientific research institution in food science and technology in the world. Now that’s some great credibility. Add to that the fact that Food Science is taught by passionate, skilled researchers and teachers who are at the top of their game. You couldn’t be in a better place if you have a passion for sciences and want to parlay that into a career that explores the science of food — and UBC’s is the only Food Science Bachelor of Science offered in British Columbia.

In pursuing this major, you’ll be eligible to apply for IFT, or Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology (CIFST) scholarships, providing you’re a member of the association.

In Food Science, you will apply knowledge from the fields of chemistry, biology and engineering to foods. You will learn how foods change during processing, how food preservation works, and how to assess the sensory qualities of food. You will also learn about foodborne illness and how to prevent it, as well as other aspects of food safety and quality control. On top of this deep disciplinary foundation, you’ll build essential skills that will help you find excellent employment in the field: things like collaborative work, hands-on practical experience in the lab, written and oral communication skills, and research skills. Over the course of your studies, you will be involved in several industry projects and events, each of which will further hone your ability to collaborate and interact with industry professionals. Food Science is a small major within LFS, which means your instructors and mentors can support you in connecting with industry professionals in pursuit of your passions. The Food Science major is a professional program accredited by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). Widely recognized in the United States and increasingly here in Canada, IFT certification after graduation benefits your career by demonstrating your competency to potential employers. It is not, however, a requirement for employment in the field.

In Food Science, you will take a combination of degree requirements (required of all students) and restricted electives (courses selected from a curated list of approved electives). You will also take a limited number of unrestricted electives (courses you get to pick yourself).

Future food scientists will need a strong foundation in science-based courses, so you’ll be taking chemistry, biology, math and physics. Once you’ve developed that science base, you’ll explore courses like:

  • FNH 303: Food Product Development
  • FNH 330: Introduction to Wine Science I
  • FNH 403: Food Laws, Regulations and Quality Assurance
  • FNH 405: Microbiology of Food and Beverage Fermentation
  • FNH 415: Business Concepts in Food, Nutrition and Health

To see the complete list of required courses for this program, please consult the UBC Academic Calendar. Current students, please use the ‘Degree Navigator’ tool in your Student Service Centre (SSC) to track your progress.

Minors

You may choose to supplement your Food Science major with a minor program, which involves taking courses in a subject area outside of your specialization. As a student in the Food, Nutrition and Health program at UBC, you are eligible to apply for a Minor in Arts, a Minor in Commerce, a Minor in Science, a Minor in Fermentations or a Minor in Kinesiology. Read more about minors, including application timelines, right here.

Dual Degree with Master of Management

If you are interested in complementing your LFS degree with a strong foundation in management, consider applying for the Bachelor of Science (Applied Biology) – Master of Management Dual Degree. Please note: admission to this program is primarily available to students coming directly out of high school. Depending on enrolment, the UBC Sauder School of Business may release a limited number of spaces on a competitive basis to students who are going into their third year at UBC (or those who are transferring to UBC for their third year). For more details about this dual-degree program option and for information about how to apply, please see the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration section of the UBC Academic Calendar.

The Food Science major is competitive, which means you will need to apply if you wish to be considered. Both your academic performance and a letter of intent will be assessed when determining your fit for this major. You can find details about admission requirements and timelines in the UBC Academic Calendar.

If you are a high school, college or university student interested in pursuing this major at UBC, you should apply for the Bachelor of Science in Food, Nutrition and Health. You can learn more here.

Where Can a UBC Food Science Degree Take You?

Jobs in the food science sector are varied and fascinating. Graduates have gone on to careers such as:

  • food product development technician
  • food analysis technician
  • quality assurance technician or manager
  • HACCP coordinator
  • microbiology technician
  • chemistry technician
  • food processing specialist inspector
  • food laboratory manager
  • consumer product officer
  • How about a bio of alumnus Peter Higgins, whose degree in Food Science powered him on his path to becoming the president of Purdy’s?
  • Or career food scientist Jennifer Martin, whose Food Science degree opened doors at Heinz and Loblaws, and whose own line of botanical-based sodas now stock the shelves at Whole Foods!

Get a head start on your career-related work experience while you’re at UBC. Check out our job board for postings that relate to your field of study!

Got Questions?

If you are a prospective or current student with questions about planning for or choosing this major, or if you have questions about how your transfer credits apply, get in touch! One of our academic advisors in LFS Student Services will be glad to help you.

If you are already in the Food Science major and have specific questions about restricted electives and Directed Studies, please contact your program advisor, Vivien Measday.

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