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.
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 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
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
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!
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.