Appalachian State University

Boone, North Carolina

Spring_Campus Tank_Class Sensory_Evaluation Meeting_of-Class Kimchee_Fermentation Yogurt_Making
Appalachian State University Fermentation Sciences

The BS in Fermentation Sciences is an interdisciplinary degree offered in the A.R. Smith Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences, intended to provide students with a strong background in chemistry and biology as well as a considerable focus in business, marketing and entrepreneurial principles. Our goal is to prepare students to be competitive in the fields of Fermentation Sciences, Wine and Brewing Sciences, Food Science and Technology, Bioprocessing and Biotechnology, Chemistry, Biology (microbiology and plant biology), Agriculture Value Addition and Business.

Location and Facilities

Located in the beautiful southern Appalachian mountains, Appalachian State University Fermentation Sciences offers students access to state-of-the-art production and research facilities for brewing, wine production, distillation, bioprocessing and fermented food production. Students are able to gain hands-on experience as part of their coursework, through research opportunities with our faculty, in the service laboratory that provides analytical services for the fermented beverage industries, or through internships with our multiple industry collaborators.

Our facilities include a research and analytical service laboratory with instrumentation for analytical chemistry and microbiological applications, a 300-L column still and a 50-L pot still, a fully automated 3-bbl brewhouse and a 1-bbl brewhouse, temperature-controlled fermentation vessels for beer, wine and cider fermentations, a food preparation area, research laboratories, sensory booths, and classrooms for in-person instruction. Students will get hands-on experience with the production and analytical equipment through their coursework and are also encouraged to get additional experience through research opportunities and work in the service laboratory.

Internships and Careers

Additional opportunities are available to our students through internships with our industry partners. Students may do an internship for pay or for credit as their capstone course in the curriculum. Through our regular collaborations with industry partners in the beer, wine, cider and distillations industries, revenue is generated for the program to provide students with additional research opportunities and scholarships. One such scholarship, the Kathy Crutchfield Memorial scholarship, is intended to support women in fermentation sciences.

Our graduates are more competitive because they earn a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Fermentation Sciences, unique among most programs in this country, so their level of understanding of the science and processes underlying fermentation practices is greater, and employers know that. Fermentation Sciences core courses include Principles of Fermentation Sciences, Social Implications of Fermented Beverages, Reading and Writing in Fermentation Sciences, Facility Design and Operation, Sensory Analysis, Viticulture, Biofuels and Bioprocessing, Principles of Wine Production, Winery Operations and Analysis, Principles of Brewing Science, Brewing Production and Analysis, and Distillation Technology.

Following graduation, our students realize nearly 100% employment. Most students have jobs before they graduate. They find work all over the US and also in other countries. Graduate school is another popular option for our graduates. Those that go on to work in the industry have found jobs in the following areas: breweries, wineries, product suppliers (enzymes, instruments, yeast, etc.), cideries, distilleries, analytical laboratories, and biotechnology/bioprocessing companies. The main problem we have as a program is that there are more employers seeking our graduates than we have graduates to fill the positions!

  • BS in Chemistry with a Fermentation Sciences Concentration
  • BS in Fermentation Sciences
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