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.

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Food Science Major

  • APBI 311 Animal Physiology I
  • APBI 312 Animal Physiology II
  • APBI 314 Animals and Society
  • APBI 315 Animal Welfare and the Ethics of Animal Use
  • APBI 318 Applied Plant Breeding
  • APBI 324 Introduction to Seed Plant Taxonomy
  • APBI 327 Introduction to Entomology
  • APBI 328 Weed Science
  • APBI 342 Soil Biology
  • APBI 360 Food and Environment II
  • APBI 398 Research Methods in Applied Biology
  • APBI 401 Soil Processes
  • APBI 402 Sustainable Soil Management
  • APBI 403 Field and laboratory methods in soil science
  • APBI 418 Intensive Fish Production
  • APBI 419 Fish Diseases
  • APBI 426 Plant-Microbe Interactions
  • APBI 428 Integrated Pest Management
  • APBI 440 Plant Genomics
  • APBI 444 Agroforestry
  • APBI 460 Advanced Agroecology
  • APBI 495 Principles of Wildlife Management in Forests and Agricultural Environments
  • BIOC 402 Proteins: Structure and Function
  • BIOC 403 Enzymology
  • BIOC 410 Nucleic Acids-Structure and Function
  • BIOC 435 Molecular Biology Research on a Model Eukaryote.
  • BIOL 301 Biomathematics
  • BIOL 335 Molecular Genetics
  • BIOL 336 Evolutionary Genetics
  • BIOL 337 Introductory Genetics Laboratory
  • BIOL 347 Principles and Methodology in Biological Research
  • BIOL 351 Plant Physiology I
  • BIOL 352 Plant Physiology II: Plant Development
  • BIOL 361 Physiology of Sensory, Nervous and Muscular Systems
  • BIOL 362 Cellular Physiology
  • BIOL 431 Advanced Cell Biology
  • BIOL 454 Comparative Animal Physiology
  • BIOL 462 Ecological Plant Biochemistry
  • CAPS 301 Human Physiology
  • CHEM 211 Analytical Chemistry
  • CHEM 301 Aqueous Environmental Chemistry
  • CHEM 304 Fundamentals of Physical Chemistry
  • CHEM 305 Biophysical Chemistry
  • CHEM 311 Instrumental Analytical Chemistry
  • CHEM 312 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy
  • CHEM 313 Advanced Organic Chemistry for the Life Sciences
  • CHEM 320 Structure of Atoms and Molecules
  • CHEM 330 Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • CHEM 333 Spectroscopic Techniques in Organic Chemistry
  • CHEM 401 Principles of Spectroscopy
  • CHEM 411 Synthesis and Chemistry of Natural Products
  • ECON 221 Introduction to Strategic Thinking
  • ECON 226 Making Sense of Economic Data
  • ECON 234 Wealth and Poverty of Nations
  • ECON 255 Understanding Globalization
  • ECON 301 Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis I
  • ECON 302 Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis I
  • ECON 303 Intermediate Microeconomics II
  • ECON 320 Introduction to Mathematical Economics
  • ECON 325 Introduction to Empirical Economics
  • ECON 326 Methods of Empirical Research in Economics
  • FNH 330 Introduction to Wine Science I
  • FNH 335 Introduction to Wine Science II
  • FNH 342 Consumer Aspects of Food
  • FNH 350 Fundamentals of Nutrition
  • FNH 351 Vitamins, Minerals, and Health
  • FNH 355 World Problems in Nutrition
  • FNH 370 Nutrition Assessment
  • FNH 371 Human Nutrition Over the Life Span
  • FNH 398 Research Methods in Human Nutrition
  • FNH 402 Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals
  • FNH 405 Microbiology of Food and Beverage Fermentation
  • FNH 436 Integrated Functional Genomics
  • FNH 451 Nutrient Metabolism and Implications for Health
  • FNH 454 Fish Nutrition
  • FNH 472 Maternal and Fetal Nutrition
  • FNH 473 Nutrition Education in the Community
  • FNH 477 Nutrition and Disease Prevention
  • FNH 490 Topics in Food, Nutrition, and Health
  • FNH 497A Directed Studies in Food, Nutrition and Health – DST FOOD,NTR HLT
  • FNH 497B Directed Studies in Food, Nutrition and Health – DST FOOD,NTR HLT
  • FNH 497E Directed Studies in Food, Nutrition and Health – DST FOOD,NTR HLT
  • FNH 498 Undergraduate Essay
  • FRE 295 Managerial Economics
  • FRE 302 Small Business Management in Agri-food Industries
  • FRE 306 Introduction to Global Food Markets
  • FRE 340 International Agricultural Development
  • FRE 374 Land Economics
  • FRE 385 Quantitative Methods for Business and Resource Management
  • FRE 420 Trade and Domestic Policy in Global Food Markets
  • KIN 353 Human Body Composition
  • KIN 375 Exercise Physiology II
  • KIN 464 Health Promotion and Physical Activity
  • LFS 302A International Field Studies – INTERNL FLD STD
  • LFS 302B International Field Studies – INTERNL FLD STD
  • LFS 340 First Nations Health and the Traditional Role of Plants
  • LFS 400 Digital Communication and Topics in Agriculture
  • LFS 450 Land, Food, and Community III
  • LFS 496A Career Development Internship – CAREER INTERN
  • LFS 496B Career Development Internship – CAREER INTERN
  • MICB 300 Microbial Ecology
  • MICB 302 Immunology
  • MICB 306 Molecular Virology
  • MICB 324 The Molecular Basis of Bacterial Growth Regulation
  • MICB 402 Advanced Immunology
  • MICB 403 Molecular Bacterial Pathogenesis
  • MICB 404 Topics in Molecular Bacterial Pathogenesis
  • MICB 405 Bioinformatics
  • MICB 406 Topics in Molecular Virology
  • MICB 407 Viral Infections in Humans.
  • MICB 409 Microbial Genetics
  • MICB 412 Topics in Immunological Research
  • MICB 418 Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • PCTH 325 Rational Basis of Drug Therapy: Principles and Applications
  • SPPH 200 Understanding the Sociocultural Determinants of the Health of Populations
  • SPPH 300 Working in International Health
  • SPPH 302 Topics in Health Informatics for Health/Life Sciences Students
  • SPPH 381A Selected Topics - PUBLC HLTH ETHCS
  • SPPH 381C Selected Topics - ENVIRNMTL HLTH
  • SPPH 381D Selected Topics - CAN HLTH POLICY
  • SPPH 400 Statistics for Health Research
  • SPPH 410 Improving Public Health: An Interprofessional Approach to Designing and Implementing Effective Interventions



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, Commerce, Science, Fermentations, Sustainable Food Systems, or 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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