A major goal of the U.S. is to provide a sufficient variety of foods throughout the year to meet the energy and nutrient needs of its citizens, promote health, and export value-added food products that improve our international competitiveness and trade balance and create jobs. Our food supply must be safe and properly preserved to maintain high quality, yet must be low enough in cost for all to have access to a nutritionally adequate diet, irrespective of income. This responsibility is in the hands of the food scientist.

At the international level, food scientists play a key role in the never-ending quest for wholesome, plentiful, inexpensive food for the world's growing population. As the United States strives to remain the world's leading food supplier, food science will continue to be vital to the food industry. Technology is the answer, and it will be up to the food scientist to provide this technology.


If you’re interested in graduate work or a career that would benefit from an understanding of the science of food and food systems, the food science minor will be a great supplement to your undergraduate major.

The minor in food science at UMass Amherst will give you the critical thinking skills you need to solve complex problems in the field. When you begin your work, you’ll choose one of a range of introductory course options. Then you’ll select four electives depending on your particular interests.

Bachelor of Science in Food Science

At the completion of a BS degree in Food Science, the graduates of our program will have obtained:

  1. A strong understanding of the basic science, including math, chemistry, physics, and biology
  2. A thorough knowledge of food processing, food microbiology, and food chemistry principles and techniques
  3. An appreciation of the need for an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to Food Science
  4. The following critical thinking skills to solve complex problems in Food Science:
    1. The ability to identify and characterize problems
    2. The ability to develop rational and systematic approach to solve problems
    3. The skills to identify, collect, and analyze relevant data
    4. The ability to utilize the above skills and abilities (a–c) and apply them for creative solutions to complex problems
    5. The ability to identify and critically evaluate appropriate resources to guide scientific and regulatory decisions
    6. The competence and confidence to generate conclusions, implement solutions, and evaluate new outcomes
    7. Strong verbal and written communication skills
    8. The ability to work independently and in teams
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