Overview of Fermentation Science Degree Programs
A degree in fermentation can expose you to more than just alcohol. A wide variety of foods and beverages, from cheese and wine to yogurt and tea, involve the process of fermenting. Even biodegradable food packaging takes this process into account. Bachelor's degrees in fermentation science involve many chemistry and biology courses, with some program-specific classes in focus areas like wine production and brewing science. Research projects and internships are included as well.
Admission Requirements for Fermentation Science Degree
As is normally the case with college degree programs, studying fermentation science at a university or college requires the submission of high school transcripts or GED scores. If you are seeking financial aid, a FAFSA form must be completed before you begin your courses. Letters of recommendation from high school teachers may be necessary for freshmen. Admission guidelines typically state requirements for standardized test scores, such as the SAT or ACT.
Fermentation Science Coursework
Once you begin your fermentation science degree, expect to study material from the courses listed below.
Introduction to Food Science
Students will begin their studies with this introductory course. Fermentation majors will study the chemistry and microbiology of different food products. Concepts of marketing, as well as packaging, are covered. There may be an experience outside the classroom involving field work. Issues of food around the world are discussed.
Food Safety and Quality
In this course, students learn the essentials of regulation and risks involved with handling food. Management principles and safety with food handling will be covered. Students can also learn about the analysis of sensory qualities when analyzing food products.
Dairy Food Composition and Quality
The qualities in dairy products are the main topics of this upper-level course. Fermentation majors will study the chemical changes that take place in dairy foods while they are in storage. Students can also expect to learn about different government levels of regulation as they apply to dairy products.
For this class, students discover the process of detecting and identifying microorganisms found inside food. The behavior of these organisms, along with their means of growth and survival, is also discussed. Physical, biological, and chemical factors of microorganisms are studied. This course may be paired with a lab, which acts as a separate registration.
Principles of Sustainability
In this upper level course, students discover ways to manage resources and increase sustainability. Case studies are analyzed in areas such as waste management and waste generation. Students can also study industrial approaches to the concept of sustainability.
Wine Microbiology and Processing
Accompanied by a lab, this course teaches students how to ferment wine. With a microbiological emphasis, students learn the technical processes involved in the production of wine. The lab portion of this course will involve hands-on winemaking and a trip in which field work will be involved.
How to Choose a Fermentation Science Degree Program
You should consider some important factors before making a decision on a fermentation science degree program. As this is a science-heavy curriculum, a school equipped with modern lab equipment is essential. Make sure that your school choice is one that excels at all aspects of fermentation -- you might realize that you enjoy working with dairy products instead of alcohol, for example. Furthermore, ensure that plenty of field opportunities exist around you; the more real-world locations where you can gain experience, the better.
Career Options for a Fermentation Science Degree
Understanding the process of fermentation and earning a degree can open many opportunities in food service management. You might operate the front- or back-end of a brewery or winery, where restaurants serve exclusive beers and wines. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job growth for food service managers, who earn median salaries of $50,820, is projected at 9% through 2026, which is on par with the rest of U.S. occupations. Listed below are some other potential careers for fermentation science graduates: