Food Science

Two female students in lab coats and blue gloves take samples of food in lab

Food is a multi-billion dollar industry that is influenced by changing socio-economic conditions and evolving agricultural and industrial technologies. As a Food Science student, in the Bachelor of Science degree program, you will apply chemistry, microbiology and physics to study the processing and development of food products and processes. The program also covers aspects of law, health, nutrition, and security as they relate to food safety and quality.

You will obtain hands-on experience in the industrial processes such as pasteurization, sterilization, fermentation, and packaging and apply these to commodity groups such as dairy, meats, cereals and beverages. In addition, you will gain experience in sensory evaluation and in the development of new food products and effective food safety and quality assurance programs. Communication skills are also emphasized to help ensure success in your future career.

This program is offered and administered by the Department of Food Science. This program is offered at the Guelph campus.

Admission Requirements

Ontario students applying for the Bachelor of Science – Food Science program require 4U English; Advanced Functions; 2 courses from 4U Biology, Chemistry and Physics; 2 additional 4U or 4M courses. To be best prepared for semester one of the program, all applicants are advised to include 4U Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Full information on admission requirements can be found here.

How to Apply


A co-op option is available for students studying in the Food Science major. Students are required to complete three co-op work terms as part of this five-year degree. Working with Co-operative Education and Career Services, students receive support in applying for positions and completing work terms. The co-op experience improves students’ job search skills, work performance and networking abilities, while they explore career opportunities and make money.
Visit the admission website here, for national and transfer admission requirements as well as estimated admission averages.

Sample First Year Courses

  • Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology: This course will foster an understanding of key concepts in molecular and cell biology and genetics including evolution, relationship between structure and function, energy and regulation, interrelatedness of life, and the nature of science. By relating these concepts to their daily lives, through analysis of problems and tutorial discussions, students will develop an understanding of five central themes: 1) all living things share common properties, 2) the cell is the fundamental functional unit of life, 3) managing energy is central to success, 4) genes are the fundamental information unit of life, and 5) heredity.
  • General Chemistry I: This course introduces concepts of chemistry, the central link between the physical and biological sciences. Principles discussed include chemical bonding, simple reactions and stoichiometry, chemical equilibria and solution equilibria (acids, bases, and buffers), and introductory organic chemistry.
  • Elements of Calculus I: This course provides an introduction to the calculus of one variable with emphasis on mathematical modelling in the biological sciences. The topics covered include elementary functions, sequences and series, difference equations, differential calculus and integral calculus.
  • Physics for Life Sciences: This course discusses aspects of classical physics with particular emphasis on topics of importance in the biological and environmental sciences. Topics include mechanics and applications to anatomical problems, fluid statics and dynamics, molecular motion, diffusion, osmosis, and heat.
  • Elective.
  • Biological Concepts of Health: This course will define the physiology of the individual as the biological foundation of health and focus on selected studies of health and illness in the adult human. Students will derive an understanding of the biological foundation of their own health as an adult and will be encouraged to expand the concepts and processes of individual health to human populations, animals and the environment. Through lectures, laboratories, small group tutorials and an individual research project, students will gain an introduction to research in the health sciences.
  • General Chemistry II: This course provides an introductory study of the fundamental principles governing chemical transformations: thermodynamics (energy, enthalpy, and entropy); kinetics (the study of rates of reactions); and redox/electrochemistry.

  • Elements of Calculus II: This course will expand on integration techniques, and introduce students to difference and differential equations, vectors, vector functions, and elements of calculus of two or more variables such as partial differentiation and multiple integration. The course will emphasize content relevant to analyzing biological systems, and methods will be illustrated by application to biological systems.

  • Physics for Life Sciences II: This course discusses physics of matter and energy at the macroscopic and microscopic levels, with special emphasis on topics of importance to the biological sciences. Topics include properties of waves, acoustics and hearing, optical systems and vision, quantum nature of radiation and its interaction with biomolecules, electricity, high energy radiation and radioactivity.

  • Elective.

For full course descriptions and a listing of second, third and fourth year courses, check out the undergraduate calendar here.

Life as a Food Science Student

Sometimes the best way to learn about a program is through meeting a current student. Read about student experiences through the following student profiles:  

Head shot of Thomas.
Thomas Hache
Food Science
Head shot of Stephanie.
Stephanie Wong
Food Science (Co-op)
Profile shot of Simon.
Simon Bissonnette
Food Science (Co-op)

Career Opportunities

  • Food inspector 
  • Food safety research analyst
  • Food product developer/research scientist
  • Technical sales and food business entrepreneur 
  • Food scientist or technologist
  • Sensory evaluations specialist