Jul 13, 2024  
2020-2021 University Catalog 
2020-2021 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Food Science and Technology, B.S.: 120 units

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Offered by: College of Agriculture, Nutrition and Food Science Department

The curriculum matrix for the degree program may be found here. The curriculum matrix is the alignment of courses (curriculum) with the desired goals and student learning outcomes of the program. It shows what is taught and how these outcomes are achieved through the completion of the degree program.


The Food Science and Technology (FST) Bachelor of Science curriculum at Cal Poly Pomona is an interdisciplinary program that draws faculty and courses from Nutrition and Food Science, and other science, applied science, and business programs. Students have the option of choosing science and technology, business, Culinology®, or preprofessional (for students interested in pre-vet, pre-med or pre-dental academics) emphases while moving through a curriculum designed to meet the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) undergraduate standards and guidelines. Students will be able to tailor the program to their general interests and career goals by choosing one of the following career emphases.


This emphasis applies food science and technology knowledge to marketing and entrepreneurship. With a science and technology foundation and an emphasis in business, students can successfully compete for food industry jobs in project management, technical sales, marketing and advertising. This emphasis is designed for students interested in pursuing a Master of Business administration (MBA) program later on.


Culinology is a trademark of the Research Chefs Association (RCA). This emphasis is one of few programs approved by RCA in the U.S. The curriculum blends food science and culinary arts and will provide tools to successfully develop new foods for retail and food service consumption. This emphasis is particularly attractive to those interested in product development. Students will receive a bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Technology under the Institute of Food Technologists’ guidelines while taking a number of courses in Culinary Arts.


The Pre-professional emphasis prepares students for a degree in Food Science and Technology while preparing them to enter veterinary, medical, and other professional graduate programs.  With professional degree in veterinary sciences, an undergraduate degree in FST will prepare students to be successful in jobs related to inspection, safety, and processing of animal foods.

Science and Technology

This emphasis stresses learning scientific concepts with the application of technology. It provides the opportunity to expand beyond the background provided by the required courses of the major. This emphasis is for students interested in pursuing a master’s and/or a doctoral program in a science or technology field in the future. In addition, this emphasis provides additional background for research and development jobs in industry and the public sector and it will prepare one to become a food chemist, food microbiologist, or a food-processing technologist. By carefully selecting electives, students may also earn a minor in chemistry, microbiology, or nutrition.

The major was established in fall 1999 in response to increasing demands from the fast-growing Southern California food industry for food scientists and technologists. It allows students to apply knowledge from basic disciplines such as chemistry, microbiology, physics and engineering to different areas of Food Science and Technology such as food chemistry, food processing, sensory evaluation, food analysis, product development, packaging, and food safety among others. Competencies in these areas enable graduates to succeed in the food industry as well as in local and federal governmental agencies as they face challenges in food manufacturing, research and development, quality control, food regulations, and marketing.

The type of work performed by food scientists includes research, interpretation, and application of information regarding the basic composition, structure and properties of foods. They study the chemistry of changes occurring during processing and utilization of food products by consumers, process design for commercial food processing, selection and application of unit operations for the production of processed foods, optimization of processing parameters, selection and application of microbiological and chemical analyses for food products; establishment and implementation of Standard Sanitation Operating Procedures (SSOPs), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems in food processing facilities; monitoring for compliance with government, company and industry standards for quality or safety of food products; product development and improvement, product formulation, selection and application of ingredients; food packaging selection and testing; establishment of quality assurance systems in food processing facilities, training of plant employees in technical, quality and safety aspects.

Cal Poly Pomona is uniquely positioned for this program because of its 1) accessibility to a vast labor market for graduates, 2) diversified faculty, and 3) excellent agricultural and technological facilities and laboratories.

High school students planning to major in Food Science and Technology are advised to build a background in foods, chemistry, mathematics, physics and biology. Community college students should concentrate on chemistry (including organic), biology (including microbiology), math, statistics, communication skills and general education.

Because the food industry serves a basic human need, a career in food science is a wise choice, as it does not generally experience the economic fluctuations of other industries. The growing industry needs to improve the quality, quantity, variety, and safety of foods, coupled with the growing public demand for healthier, more convenient foods, virtually ensures the stability of employment for food scientists.

Students completing the Food Science and Technology program will be prepared for careers in a variety of areas: 1) Food industry: quality control, product development, food marketing, food processing, food microbiology, food engineering and food analysis; 2) University and private laboratories: research, extension, consulting; 3) Government agencies: Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), State and local health departments and other agencies; 4) International agencies: World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Bank and nonprofit organizations, international research centers; and 5) Graduate school: food science and technology with specialization in food engineering, food chemistry or food microbiology; dairy science, post-harvest physiology and technology, cereal science, meat science, enology, agricultural and biological engineering, biotechnology, public health, packaging, and toxicology.

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is the main professional group for food scientists with more than 28,000 members. The Institute also has an active Student Association (IFTSA) with a chapter in Cal Poly Pomona. The Southern California Section of IFT (SCIFTS) provides many opportunities for scholarships and professional networking at the local level through regular activities.

Major Required: 80-81 units

Major Required courses include food chemistry, food analysis, food microbiology, unit operations in food processing, food engineering, and food laws and regulations.

Major Electives: 15-16 units

Any combination of courses listed below will satisfy the required 15-16 units. Emphases are listed to provide guidance for helping students to choose courses of interest that best fit your career goals, but there is no requirement for choosing a specific emphasis for fulfilling these units.

General Education Requirements: 48 units

Students should consult the Academic Programs website https://www.cpp.edu/~academic-programs/general-education-course-listings.shtml for current information regarding this requirement. Unless specific courses are required, please refer to the list of approved courses under General Education Requirements, Areas A through E.

  Course Term Taken Grade
Area A. English Language Communication and Critical Thinking (9 units)
At least 3 units from each sub-area
1. Oral Communication      
2. Written Communication      
3. Critical Thinking      
Area B. Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning (12 units)
At least 3 units from each sub-area
1. Physical Sciences      
2. Life Sciences      
3. Laboratory Activity      
4. Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning      
5. Science and Technology Synthesis      
Area C. Arts and Humanities (12 units)
At least 3 units from each sub-area and 3 additional units from sub-areas 1 and/or 2
1. Visual and Performing Arts      
2. Literature, Modern Languages, Philosophy and Civilization      
3. Arts and Humanities Synthesis      
Area D. Social Sciences (12 units)
At least 3 units from each sub-area
1. U.S. History and American Ideals      
2. U.S. Constitution and California Government      
3. Social Sciences: Principles, Methodologies, Value Systems, and Ethics      
4. Social Science Synthesis      
Area E. Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (3 units)      

For an alternative and interdisciplinary way to complete some of their GE requirements, students may choose the Interdisciplinary General Education program, see below. 

Interdisciplinary General Education: 21 units

An alternate pattern for partial fulfillment of GE Areas A, C, and D available for students is the Interdisciplinary General Education (IGE) program.  Students should see an advisor for specific GE coursework required by their major.  Please refer to the University Catalog General Education Program section for additional information.

How IGE fulfills General Education Requirements:

Year Completion of IGE Courses Satisfies GE Requirements
Freshman IGE 1100 , IGE 1200   A2 and C2
Sophomore IGE 2100 , IGE 2200   C1 and C2
Junior IGE 2300 , IGE 2400   D1 and D3
Senior IGE 3100   C3 or D4

American Institutions: 6 units

Courses that satisfy this requirement may also satisfy GE Areas D1 and D2.

American Cultural Perspectives Requirement: 3 units

Refer to the University Catalog General Education Program section for a list of courses that satisfy this requirement.  Course may also satisfy major, minor, GE, or unrestricted elective requirements.

Graduation Writing Test

All persons who receive undergraduate degrees from Cal Poly Pomona must pass the Graduation Writing Test (GWT).  The test must be taken by the semester following completion of 60 units for undergraduates.

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