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Cornell University    
  Jan 21, 2018
Courses of Study 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Food Science

In the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences .

Course Offerings  

The food science program prepares students for careers in the food industry, government, academia, and for graduate study in food science or related disciplines. Food scientists enjoy satisfying careers that help ensure the sustainable availability of a safe, nutritious, affordable, and high-quality food supply for people throughout New York State, the nation, and the world.

Undergraduate students in the food science program can choose from one of three specialization options in the major: (1) food science, (2) food operations and management, and (3) food safety. The first option meets the curriculum standards set by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the premier professional society for food scientists, allowing students to compete for IFT scholarships and awards. Students choose an option based on their individual interests and career goals.

The first two years of the undergraduate food science program are intended to establish a solid background in math, chemistry, and physical and biological sciences. Required courses include chemistry (introductory and organic), biology, microbiology, calculus, physics, first-year seminar, introductory food science courses, and nutrition. The last two years emphasize the application of these basic sciences and technology to the manufacturing, sensory evaluation, storage, distribution, and safety of foods and food ingredients. Examples of food science core courses include Food Engineering Principles, Physical Principles of Food Manufacturing, Food Safety Assurance, Food Chemistry, Sensory Evaluation of Foods, and Food Microbiology; many elective courses are offered as well. Students choose electives to satisfy both college distribution requirements and their individual interests within the major and beyond.

Students are also strongly encouraged to participate in undergraduate research supervised by a faculty member and/or complete an internship in a food company during their program of study. Most teaching faculty in the department also have active research programs and welcome participation by undergraduate students. Students may receive academic credit or wages for faculty-directed undergraduate research. A modern food processing and development pilot plant, an operational dairy plant, and well-equipped laboratory facilities are available to support the teaching and research needs of undergraduates.

Several food companies recruit on campus for their internship programs. These internships provide an excellent opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in their chosen field of interest and to establish contacts for future employment.


O. Padilla-Zakour, chair (251 Stocking Hall, (607) 255-7900); T. E. Acree, K. J. Arnink, D. M. Barbano, C. A. Batt, D. Bershaw, K. J. Boor, J. W. Brady, R. Dando, R. B. Gravani, C. Y. Lee, R. H. Liu, A. M. Mansfield, D. D. Miller, C. I. Moraru, M. Mukai, Orta–Ramirez, S. S. H. Rizvi, G. Sacks, M. Wiedmann, R. Worobo