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Food Science – Fermentation Science Option

The Food Science – Fermentation Science Option is for students interested in yeasts, bacteria and molds, the science behind fermented beverages and foods, and industrial-scale applications of fermentation. This provides students with a comprehensive understanding of chemistry, organic and biochemistry, microbiology, and cell biology. The program emphasizes the development and application of new technology to ensure a safe and abundant food and fiber supply. Hands-on opportunities are available for students to be involved in research in various labs.

Employment and Career Possibilities Within This Major

  • Production/quality control as part of breweries, ciders, creameries, wineries
  • By-product recovery from production waste streams (i.e., production of ethanol from food waste)
  • Technical supplier (isolation and characterization of new strains of fermentative microorganisms; culture maintenance; etc)
  • Brewer
  • Cereal Scientist
  • Meat Scientist
  • Cheesemaker
  • Cidermaker
  • Quality Control/Quality Analysis in a processing company with various fermented products (cider, vinegar, meat, dairy, etc. )
  • working in a laboratory where those products are analyzed for various attributes (chemical, microbiological, sensory, etc.).
  • Work for a company who wants to ferment waste materials (i.e., potato peelings, over-ripe fruit, etc.) and recover specific by-products from those fermentations.
  • Work at a company who wants to develop new and different products (new beverages, etc.).
  • Graduate school, post-graduate studies or advanced degrees

Examples of Required/Preferred Classes for First-Year Students

  • Vit_Enol 113: Introduction of Vines and Wines
  • Biology 107: Intro Biology: Cell/Genetics
  • Chem 105/106: Principles of Chemistry I and II
  • Math 140 or 171:  Calculus
  • One or two UCORE classes (English, Arts, Humanities, etc)

Required Math

  • Math 140 Calculus for Life Sciences or Math 171 Calculus I

Transfer Pathways

Many of our best students attend local community colleges prior to transferring to WSU. Below is a list of suggested WSU courses to take locally and transfer into WSU. You can find your institution’s equivalent courses with our Transfer Course Search Tool or submit a course for evaluation at our Course Evaluation Request.

  • BIOLOGY 107: Intro to Cell Biology and Genetics
  • BIOLOGY140: Introductory to Nutritional Science
  • CHEM 105: Principles of Chem I
  • CHEM 106: Principles of Chem II
  • MATH 106: College Algebra and MATH 108: Trigonometry (Prereq’s to MATH 140: Calculus for Life Scientists or Math 171 Calculus I)
  • ECONS 101: Fundamentals of Microeconomics (recommend for Social Science [SSCI])
  • ENGLISH 101: Introductory Writing
  • Com 102: Public Speaking of H_D 205 Communication for Human Relations
  • WSU UCORE [DIVR] course
  • WSU UCORE [ARTS] course
  • WSU UCORE [HUM] course
  • STAT 212: Introduction to Statistical Methods
  • PHYSICS 101: General Physics
  • MBIOS 101: Introductory Microbiology
  • MBIOS 303: Introductory biochemistry or CHEM 370 Chemical Biology

Check out our Transfer Student page for more information about the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) Transfer Student Experience!

Fermentation Science Advising Sheet PDF

Student Organizations/Clubs Associated with this Major

Information for New students

This is a Bachelor of Science (B.S) Degree in Food Science with a Fermentation Science Option. An internship is required for this option.  Students can also complete undergraduate research projects, experiential learning opportunities, work in the WSU Creamery or Wheat Quality Lab or do a Study Abroad experience. Students will work with their advisor to locate an appropriate internship. It is managed by the School of Food.

More Information

Contact Information

Jodi Anderson
Advisor II/Academic Coordinator
School of Food Science
Washington State University
509-335-4763 |

For information about advising visit the CAHNRS Academic Advising page.

From a Student’s Perspective…

WSU Student Sara H

‘Fermentation Science has allowed me to combine my love of food with the sciences. This major combines chemistry and microbiology to explore how fermentation creates the foods and drinks that I love. There are many opportunities to explore all sides of Food Science through on campus research labs, Ferdinand’s, and industry internships.’
Sarah Harkin is the Outstanding Senior in Food Science – Fermentation Science Option, Class of 2020.  Sarah is planning to continue to work in a research lab and open her own ‘farm to table’ fermentation business.

Read more about Fermentation!