BS in Food Science and Nutrition

Degree Program Description

From creating low-fat ice cream flavors that don’t taste low-fat, to developing packaging that protects food from E. coli and other pathogens, food scientists work to ensure the foods that fill your shopping cart are safe, nutritious and delicious. Food Science and Nutrition uses the latest in food manufacturing to turn agricultural commodities into products that consumers want to buy. A degree in food science and nutrition provides the skills needed to succeed in a variety of food science careers. The degree can be individualized by choosing between two degree tracks: Food Science and Food Business.  Some careers include Food technologist, product developers and quality assurance supervisors.  Food technologists are employed by some of the world’s largest and most respected private industry companies, including Del Monte Foods, General Mills, H.J. Heinz and Kellogg. They apply the principles of many scientific disciplines, such as biology, chemistry, engineering, physics, molecular biology, nutrition and microbiology to the challenges of food production. Product developers find employment with many of the same companies as food technologists. Their job, however, focuses more on other aspects of food manufacturing such as consumer acceptability, economics, production feasibility and marketing. Developers also explore new ways to enhance nutritional value and health benefits. Quality assurance supervisors work in private industry but also are employed by government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. They are responsible for reviewing safety and manufacturing protocol to ensure that the food you eat is safe and of the highest quality. The Food Science track is highly science-based and can be adapted for students seeking to enter a professional degree program such as Medicine, Veterinary, Dental or similar program as well as a step towards an M.S. or Ph.D. in Food Science or a related field.

Major Program Requirements

Students earning a Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Nutrition are required to complete all University general education, University graduation, and degree requirements, including foundational courses, which may fulfill some University general education requirements.

If you are planning to transfer courses (including AP credit) and would like to information on how they apply to a degree program(s), you can email for general recommendations.

Foundational Courses
MATH 1100College Algebra3
CHEM 1320College Chemistry I4
BIO_SC 1500Introduction to Biological Systems with Laboratory5
ABM 1041Applied Microeconomics3
or ECONOM 1014 Principles of Microeconomics
ABM or Business course at the 2000-level or higher3
AGSC_COM 2220Verbal Communication in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources3
or AGSC_COM 2220H Verbal Communication in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources - Honors
or COMMUN 1200 Public Speaking
ABM 3241WEthical Issues in Agriculture - Writing Intensive3
or PHIL 2400 Ethics and the Professions
or PHIL 2420 Ethical Issues in Business
or PHIL 2440 Medical Ethics
or PHIL 2600 Rational Decisions
or PHIL 2900 Environmental Ethics
Core Degree Requirements
F_S 1030Food Science and Nutrition3
F_S 2172Elements of Food Microbiology3
F_S 2199Seminar in Professional Development1
F_S 4199Food Industry Senior Seminar1
F_S 4310Food Chemistry and Analysis4
F_S 4370Food Microbiology3
F_S 4980Food Quality Assurance3
AG_S_TCH 1040Physical Principles for Agricultural Applications3
or PHYSCS 1210 College Physics I
CHEM 1330College Chemistry II4
CHEM 2030Survey of Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 2130Organic Laboratory I2
BIOCHM 3630General Biochemistry3
MATH 1400Calculus for Social and Life Sciences I3-5
or MATH 1500 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I
ABM 2123Quantitative Applications in Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences 3
or ABM 2225 Statistical Analysis
or STAT 1200 Introductory Statistical Reasoning
AFNR 2191International Agriculture and Natural Resources - Humanities3
or AFNR 2190 International Agriculture and Natural Resources
or F_S 4941 Internship in Food Science
F_S 4970WFood Product Development - Writing Intensive3

Food Science Track

(Note: Tracks are not listed on transcripts or diplomas.)

Food Science Track Core Courses (30 credits required)
NEP 2340Human Nutrition I3
F_S 4330Principles of Food Processing3
or F_S 4160 Food Process Engineering
F_S 4311Investigation of Food Properties3
F_S 4315WFood Chemistry and Analysis Laboratory - Writing Intensive3
F_S 4375Food Microbiology Laboratory2
F_S 4380Sensory Analysis of Food and Beverages3
Commodity Block
Choose two selections from the Commodity Block12
Professional Electives
Choose courses from the Professional Electives3

Food Business Track

(Note: Tracks are not listed on transcripts or diplomas.)

Food Business Track Core Courses (30 credits required)
Business Courses
ABM 1042Applied Macroeconomics3
or ECONOM 1015 Principles of Macroeconomics
ACCTCY 2036Accounting I3
ACCTCY 2037Accounting II3
ABM 3224New Products Marketing3
ABM 3260General Farm Management3
ABM 3256Agribusiness and Biotechnology Law3
FINANC 2000Survey of Business Finance3
Ag Business Elective (choose one)3
ABM 3183The Economics of the Food, Fiber and Fuel Supply Chain3
ABM 3223Relationship Selling: Creating Value for Customers3
ABM 3230Agricultural and Rural Economic Policy3
ABM 3150International Agribusiness3
ABM 3271International Agricultural Development3
ABM 3272International Food Trade and Policy3
ABM 3286Economics of Managerial Decision Making3
ABM 3294Agricultural Marketing and Procurement3
Commodity Course
Choose one of the following3
F_S 4331Technology of Dairy Products and Ingredients3
F_S 4344Processing Muscle Foods3
F_S 4345Principles of Viticulture and Winemaking3
Professional Electives
Choose courses from the list of Professional Electives6

Commodity Blocks

Select two pairs of courses to fulfill science track requirements

F_S 3214
F_S 4344
Principles of Meat Science
and Processing Muscle Foods
F_S 3231
F_S 4331
Principles of Dairy Foods Science
and Technology of Dairy Products and Ingredients
F_S 2195
F_S 4345
Grapes and Wines of the World
and Principles of Viticulture and Winemaking

Professional Electives

Select courses from this list to fulfill specific track requirements

F_S 1020World Food and You3
F_S 2131Dairy Products Evaluation2
F_S 3210Kitchen Chemistry3
F_S 3385Problems in Food Science1-3
F_S 4301Topics in Food Science1-3
F_S 4354Physiology and Biochemistry of Muscle as Food3
F_S 4385Problems in Food Science1-3
F_S 4390Optimization and Management of Food and Agricultural Systems3


Electives to fulfill 120 credits with the following as suggested courses:

PSYCH 1000General Psychology3
SOCIOL 1000Introduction to Sociology3
GEOG 1600Climate Change: Science and Public Policy3

Accelerated BS to MS in Food and Hospitality Systems

The accelerated BS to MS in Food and Hospitality Systems allows students to complete a bachelors and masters degree within five years.  Students will need to select the Food Science and Nutrition track in the MS in Food and Hospitality Systems.  Eligible students will need to complete at least 90 credit hours, (including all general education and academic course requirements), with a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher (3.5 or higher in FSN-required courses).  Each student will be accepted by at least one graduate faculty advisor who will advise and mentor the student from when they are a Provisional Graduate Student (year 1) until completion of the MS program.  Once students complete 120 credit hours, they will be conferred the BS degree.   

Students accepted to the program may enroll in 12-15 credit hours of graduate level courses, (7000 or 8000 level), during their Provisional Graduate year that will count towards both their BS and MS degrees as shared credits.  18 credit hours of graduate credit will be completed during their Graduate Student year (year2) for a total of 30-33 graduate credit hours.  At least 15 credit hours must be at the 8000 level or higher.

Total credits required for graduation must be at least 138 total credit hours.

  • Total undergraduate credits: 120
  • Total dual credits: 12-15
  • Total graduate credits: 30
First Year (as Provisional Graduate Student)12-15
7000 level courses 112-15
Second Year (as Graduate Student)15-18
STAT 7070Statistical Methods for Research3
F_S 8402Research Methods in Food Science2
F_S 8087Seminar in Food Science1
F_S 8090Research in Food Science6
or AG_S_TCH 8090 Thesis Research in Agricultural Systems Technology
8000 level courses 16

According to course options of each track.

Requirements for Thesis/Non-Thesis

Students may choose the thesis or non-thesis option.  Students must take at least 6 credit hours of research credit (F_S 8090 or AG_S_TCH 8090) for either option.  

Thesis Option: Students conduct independent research on a topic approved by the students advisor and graduate committee.  Students present and defend their theses, and complete a manuscript on their research that is suitable for publication at the end of their program.

Non-Thesis Option: Students conduct independent research on a topic approved by the students advisor and graduate committee.  Students present their research and write a technical report on their research at the end of their program.    

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Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study for the Food Science Track, semester by semester.  A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available.

First Year
F_S 10303ENGLSH 10003 
MATH 11003CHEM 13204 
AGSC_COM 2220 or COMMUN 12003F_S 21991 
 12 13  
Second Year
CHEM 13304F_S 21723 
MATH 1400 or 15003AG_S_TCH 10403 
ABM 10413ABM 2225 or STAT 12003 
PHIL/ABM Ethics Course3Food Science Commodity Course3 
Humanities Elective3General Elective Writing Intensive3 
 16 15  
Third Year
CHEM 20303BIOCHM 36303F_S 4941 or AFNR 21911-6
CHEM 21302NEP 23403 
F_S 43303Food Science Commodity Course3 
Food Science Commodity Course3Food Science Professional Elective3 
ABM 2000+ Social/Behavior Course3General Elective3 
 14 15 1-6
Fourth Year
F_S 43104F_S 41991 
F_S 43703F_S 43113 
F_S 43752F_S 4315W3 
F_S 4970W3F_S 43803 
Food Science Commodity Course3F_S 49803 
 General Elective3 
 15 16  
Total Credits: 117-122

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree. 

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner. Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, click on the Academic Progress Tile, then select Request Degree Audit. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress. This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities. For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.

  • If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center. No Appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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