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Food Engineering Colleges and Degree Programs: How to Choose

Dec 13, 2019

Programs in food engineering can be attractive educational pathways for students interested in careers as agricultural or food scientists. Food engineering programs integrate principles of natural sciences, such as chemistry and genetics, with engineering advances, such as nanotechnology and biotechnology.

Food engineering programs come in many different formats, depending on career goals and intended length of study. Students may pursue a bachelor's degree in either food engineering or food science and technology while master's programs offer further avenues of study for those wanting to advance their career prospects.

Schools with Food Engineering Programs

The following schools offer undergraduate programs approved by the Institute of Food Technologists.

College/University Location Institution Type Degree Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*
Auburn University Auburn, AL 4-year, Public Bachelor, Master, Doctor $11,276 in state, $30,524 out of state
Brigham Young University Provo, UT 4-year, Private Bachelor, Master $5,620
Clemson University Clemson, SC 4-year, Public Bachelor, Master, Doctorate $15,374 in state, $37,128 out of state
Iowa State University Ames, IA 4-year, Public Bachelor, Master, Doctorate $8,988 in state, $23,392 out of state
Kansas State University Manhattan, KS 4-year, Public Bachelor, Master, Doctorate $10,383 in state, $25,887 out of state
Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, LA 4-year, Public Bachelor, Master, Doctorate $11,950 in state, $28,627 out of state
Ohio State University Wooster, OH 4-year, Public Bachelor, Master, Doctorate $7,707 in state, $26,811 out of state
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor, Master, Doctorate $14,460 in state, $39,766 out of state
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN 4-year, Public Bachelor, Master, Doctorate $14,760 in state, $30,438 out of state
University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI 4-year, Public Bachelor, Master, Doctorate $10,555 in state, $36,805 out of state

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

How to Select a Food Engineering Program

Considerations for the selection of food engineering programs:

  • The Institute of Food Technologists has standards for food science/engineering programs that may be pertinent if interested in applying for scholarships through them.
  • Some schools have food science clubs or pre-professional associations.
  • Many positions require a master's degree; knowing what graduate options are available is useful.

Bachelor of Science in Food Engineering

The BLS has reported that a bachelor's degree in an engineering specialty, such as food engineering, is the minimum educational requirement for many applied food science careers.

Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Technology

Food science and technology programs blend lab-intensive training with didactic coursework.

Master of Professional Studies in Food Science and Technology

Designed for individuals who already have work experience in the field.

Other Graduate Options

In Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy programs in food science and technology, students choose an area of concentration within food science and technology and a minor in an outside field. Research, teaching experience and an oral exam form parts of the curriculum.

Food engineering programs are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Specialized training and specific focus areas for research are components often incorporated into these programs.

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