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About the Program

Culinology® is the next evolution of culinary arts. It is the blending of the culinary arts and the science of food. Culinologists incorporate their knowledge of taste and texture with their knowledge of food science to produce nutritious, “ready made” foods that closely resemble their “from scratch” originals. Our task is to support our students in their pursuit of the gold standard in Culinology®. We will train graduates for success in food product development and provide guidance and balance from a culinary perspective within a scientific setting. The culinologist is a trained culinarian, dedicated to producing the finest possible combination of ingredients to achieve palate-pleasing results. The culinologist is also a researcher who uses scientific methods and knowledge to insure their creativity can be enjoyed far beyond the confines of their kitchen or laboratory.

Culinology Students

Majors & Minors

Activities & Associations

The Research Chefs Association is the leading professional community for food research and development. Its members are the pioneers of the discipline of Culinology®. Formed in 1996 by a group of food professionals with a common interest in the challenges facing the profession, the Research Chefs Association (RCA) has rapidly grown to over 2,500 members. RCA has become the premier source of culinary and technical information for the food industry. RCA membership is comprised of chefs and food scientists working in food manufacturing, chain restaurants, hotels, ingredient supply houses, consulting and academia. Students majoring in Culinology® will be student members of the RCA and be eligible to attend the RCA’s annual conference at a discount. They will also be able to participate in actual product development projects through the RCA, present at the RCA’s Poster Competition, and enter the RCA’s Student Culinology® Competition. All Culinology® students are members of the Student Hospitality Organization and the Culinology® Club. 

Culinary Vs. Culinology® Comparison

Culinary Vs. Culinology Comparison
Traditional Culinary Culinology at SMSU
Years 2 Years 4 Years
Job Opportunities
  • Line Cook
  • Sous Chef
  • Chef
  • Product development scientist
  • Associate food scientist
  • Research & Development chef
  • R&D technologist / technician
  • Quality assurance tech/manager
  • Quality Engineer
Workplace Location
  • Restaurants
  • Food Service Organizations
  • Ingredient companies
    (Cargill, Givaudan, Ingredion, Griffith Foods)
  • Food manufacturers
    (Schwan’s Company, Land O’Lakes, General Mills, Pepsico, Nestle, Coca-Cola)
  • Retailers / distributors
    (Target, 7-Eleven, HyVee, Sodexo, Walmart)
Estimated Entry-level Salary $20-35K/year Benefits not guaranteed $40-60K/year Benefits included
Promotion Opportunities Relatively slow Faster with higher potential to explore more opportunities throughout your career


Culinology® students need to complete two internships prior to graduation. The first internship is culinary focused, and commences at the end of their second year of studies. The second internship will be in a food product development lab. Internships in culinary arts and also product development are available locally and nationally. We have placed students successfully at General Mills, Schwan's Company, Wells Dairy, Bellisio Foods, Frito Lay, Double B Foods, Michael Foods, Burley Foods, Land O'Lakes, Griffith Foods and Kerry Ingredients. Students are encouraged to broaden their experiences and secure internships outside of Minnesota.

Culinology Quote - The First, the Original, and the Leader. Bachelor of Science in Culinology

Career Opportunities

  • Research & development Chef
  • Product Development Scientist
  • Corporate Chef
  • Product Formulation Chef
  • Development Manager
  • Culinary Research Director
  • Food Technologist
  • Associate Chef

Contact Information

Culinology Program - Office

CH 129, Southwest Minnesota State University
1501 State St.
Marshall, MN 56258


The Culinology® program is housed in the Individualized Learning Center (IL)  in Southwest Minnesota State University’s campus. This facility was recently renovated into a state-of-the-art facility, which includes a demonstration & baking kitchen, restaurant kitchen, public dining room, Culinology® laboratory, an Ecolab Skills Kitchen, and a new sensory evaluation lab. Students will also gain hands-on experience by participating in the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) lipids and meat laboratory on the SMSU campus.


  • Complete Application
  • $20 Non-refundable Application Fee
  • Official High School Transcript(s)
  • ACT or SAT Test Scores

Schedule Your Visit Today!


  • Rank in the upper half of graduating class
  • or
  • Score a composite of 21 or above on the ACT or 990 on the SAT

Last Modified: 6/17/22 11:24 AM | Website Feedback