Culinology and Food Science

Do you love food and have a head for science? Ever wonder who computes the calories and other nutritional information you see on your favorite fast-food restaurant menus? If both food and science interest you, then a career in culinology may be for you. Culinologists and food science technicians work in laboratory settings to assist food scientists in researching and developing new food products, and controlling the quality of individual foods and menus.

Culinologists can work in food manufacturing, chain restaurants, hotels, ingredient supply houses, consulting and academia, and new product development. If you’re excited about the idea of joining a new and growing field where food is your focus and the laboratory is your domain, let OCC Career Advantage prepare you for a career as a food science technician or a food scientist. We offer both basic and professional-level certificate programs, as well as an associate degree program. You could develop the next “big thing” in food, and help advance this new field of food science – read on to learn more.

A sampling of courses for these careers

Food Science
Cultural Foods
Cell and Molecular Biology

Menu Planning and Purchasing
General Chemistry

Did you know?

Projected employment for food science technicians in California is expected to increase by 19 percent through 2024, faster than average, according to O*Net Online.

Program Details

Complete our certificate program, and you’ll be well-prepared to enter a career in culinology, or earn an associate degree for even greater advancement opportunities.

See Evening, Weekend and Online Courses

In less than 2 years
you can earn:
Certificate of Achievement

Prepare for an entry-level position as a culinary and food science assistant in food research and development, product development, recipe development, product duplication, quality assurance, sensory or flavor chemistry. View program detail in course catalog.

Build on your certificate
of achievement with a:
Certificate of Specialization

Or earn your
associate degree
in under 4 years

Build on your Culinology knowledge and skills to earn an Associate in Science – and to continue earning credits that transfer to select colleges. This certificate option is articulated with the Food Science and Technology, Culinology track at Cal Poly Pomona, and all coursework is approved by the Research Chef’s Association. Students must meet the Associate in Science degree requirements for transfer. View program detail in course catalog.


To enroll in a Career Advantage program, you must first apply for admission to Orange Coast College. To apply, go to the Admissions Application Information webpage and review the information for admissions. Select the type of student you are and follow the steps listed to get started.

Classes cost $46 per unit for residents of California. Classes vary in their unit value, but an average 3-unit class costs $138. There are additional fees required to register and additional costs associated with each program. Click here to view the estimated total costs of the program in this career cluster.

View this chart for the length of the core program.

This program offers courses online. For details about offerings in this program, speak to a counselor or consult the class schedule. The class schedule tool searches through all Orange Coast College course offerings and includes a filter for online, evenings and weekend classes. For tips on how to navigate this tool click here.

You can make an appointment in person, online or by phone.  Click here for more information about Counseling Services and how to make an appointment.

For general questions about enrollment, availability of classes and other services for prospective and current OCC students, call The Answer Center at 714-432-5772. For answers to specific questions you can speak to a counselor or to the faculty member listed on this program page.

Other Programs That Might Interest You

Choose from three programs to get your start in the field of nutrition

Choose from a variety of programs to get your start in the field of nutrition

Baker smiles while holding a tray of bread loaves

Complete one of our certificate programs to launch a career in culinary arts or build on your skills

 Waiter carries tray through busy dining room

Explore our certificate programs that prepare you for careers in catering or restaurant supervision

Did you know?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people who have a certificate as
their highest level of education earned, on average, 20 percent more than
those whose highest education level is a high school diploma.

Our Team

Christina Anchondo, 

CTE Outreach Specialist

Katie Ottoson

Katie Ottoson, M.S.

Counselor, CTE and
Career Services

Andrea Lane

Counselor, Hospitality

Find Out

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