• Food Science Pattern

Program Overview

Food Science LabThe Food Science program at CSUN applies a combination of the physical, biological and social science to create a comprehensive curriculum. Students in Food Science have a strong foundation in chemistry and biology, and a passion for food. Lower-division courses include Food Product Development, Food Safety, Food Chemistry and Analysis, Food Service, and other. 

Food Science is the discipline in which biology, chemistry, and the physical sciences are applied to study the nature of food and the principles underlying food production. A food scientist studies the physical, microbiological and chemical makeup of food and examines how it is grown and/or manufactured, processed, preserved, packaged, transported, and otherwise prepared according to industry and government specifications and regulations. Professional options fro graduates include a variety of positions in quality assurance and control, food safety, research and product development, sensory evaluation and food marketing and distribution. The program has a strong network support from local food industry through its involvement with the local section of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). 

There is a high demand for food scientists in industry, research institutions and government. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for employment for food scientists is projects to grow 9 percent from 2012 to 2022.


The Food Science program is accredited by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS). 

Mentorship & Advising

All students in the Food Science program are mentored and guided by our faculty advisers. Our courses integrate the educational experience that will help students attain promising careers in food science. Our faculty members are experience educators and active professionals in the food and nutrition community. Opportunities for leadership, internships, networking, and potential lifelong professional relationships abound in the program.

Professional Organizations

Students have opportunities to participate in department activities and develop leadership skills through the CSUN Food Science Association (FSA), which is a recognized IFT student chapter. Students are encourages to participate in a variety of professional societies such as:

  • The Institute of Food Techonologists (IFT)
  • Southern California Institute of Food Technologists (SCIFTS)


A crucial component to the Food Science program is the academic internship in the food industry. The department has internship agreements with about 30 companies in the Los Angeles, Orange, and Venture Counties. 

Internships are available in a variety of industry settings, including:

  • Quality assurance
  • Research and product development
  • Flavor companies
  • Bakeries
  • Food service operations
  • Wineries and breweries
  • Analytical laboratories
  • Nonprofits in areas related to food production

Some campus internships are available through the Marilyn Magaram Center (MMC) for Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics. Students can also volunteer with the Food Recovery Network and the Food Pantry on campus. 


Our graduates have found rewarding careers as:

  • Food Scientists and Technologies
  • Quality Control Specialists
  • Researchers
  • Food Service Managers
  • Culinary Specialists
  • Restaurateurs
  • Food Product Representatives

Updated February 24, 2021