School of STEAM

Fermentation Chemistry, B.A.


Excel in a Growing Fermentation Field with a Bachelor's Degree in Fermentation Science

A bachelor of arts degree, with a built-in minor in Business, in fermentation science from Saint Francis University equips students for a future in this growing global industry.  Being one of only a handful of fermentation-focused degree programs on the East Coast, our program includes internships designed to build upon the fundamental skills acquired in the classroom. Students hone their skills with a required internship with our preferred partners. Our students graduate with a keen understanding of the science behind fermentation and the business acumen to support this growing industry.  


Offered: On-Campus

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one of only a few fermentation science bachelor-level programs on the East Coast


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applied learning experiences incorporated through local fermentation partners


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hands-on research with state of the art instrumentation starting in the first-year

The SFU Learning Experience

Fermentation the Saint Francis Way

Our students acquire the fundamental science background and laboratory skills, coupled with several hands-on learning opportunities.  Placing their earned knowledge to work in several internship opportunities helps graduates meet the demands of any food industry, not just fermentation. 

individual pouring beer from fermentaiton vat

The fermentation-focus program explores the many facets of international wine and cheese-making through designed internships.





lined up fermentation barrels

The Chemical Breakdown of Fermentation Science.

Using the Master Brewers Association of America (MBAA) and American Society of Brewing Chemists (ASBC) as a guide, the University has carefully blended coursework and hands-on learning opportunities to maximize readiness for the growing industry.   


Chemistry Core:  All chemistry students at Saint Francis are taught using the highly-regarded American Chemical Society standards.   The fundamentals of our chemistry offerings focus on the building blocks of organic chemistry, quantitative analysis, and physical inorganic chemistry.  Fermentation students will further their knowledge with courses in facilities, biofuels, and fermentation chemistry.      


Hands-on Learning: Our majors thrive on experiential learning.  This likely will occur with our myriad of regional partners (Levity Brewing, Woody Lodge Winery, Clover Creek Creamery, and more!) who are positioned to provide real-world opportunities in the fermentation industry.  


Internships: Apply your knowledge and skills through internship opportunities in various professional settings, including Levity Brewing and Woody Lodge Winery


What You’ll Learn in the Fermentation Chemistry Program

Students in the fermentation science program at Saint Francis benefit from a chemistry program driven by success.  Using the premier standards provided by the American Chemical Society, all chemistry students graduate prepared to evaluate and communicate chemical concepts effectively.  The curriculum engages students in research and activities that spark practical-based learning while also encouraging them to apply coursework in internships and other means. 


Within a liberal arts and sciences tradition, students complete their program with a bachelor's degree in chemistry and a minor in business administration, providing them with elements they will need to find success!  

  • Key Topics
  • Degree Paths
  • Learning Objectives
  • Key Topics of Study

    Fermentation Chemistry and lab explores the role of water in fermentation and the chemical reactions taking place during the fermentation process.  The chemistry of milling, mashing, and wort separation are studied.    


    Design & Operation Facilities studies the principles of operation of commercial facilities and the design of commercial reactors and systems.  Students will learn how to transition small-scale operations to business scale, lending great importance to this thriving industry.


    Biofuel Production emphasizes processes, source materials, purification, and the thermodynamics of the energy content.  The content addresses using natural resources, sustainability, and the ethics of outsourcing energy production.  

  • Degree Path
    Course Catalog
    Plan of Study
    Chemistry, B.A. with a Minor in Business Administration
    in-person bachelor of arts degree
    Course Catalog - 23/24
    Plan of Study
  • Program Learning Objectives of the Fermentation Chemistry include:


    • Learn the sciences necessary to create fermentation products (cheese, sauerkraut, wine, beer, etc) 
    • Build the business acumen to manage the financial aspects of the fermentation industries  
    • Prepare for careers through practical experience in fermentation including classes, laboratories, research, and internships


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Great Minds to Teach the Mind

Our chemistry teaching team, including seven Ph.D.-level members and two lab instructors, love to share their academic research and industry experience with each new class. This core group of educators allows us to offer students an outstanding education in the chemical sciences.  The collaborative partners (Levity Brewery, Woody Lodge Winery, etc) are integral members in delivering relevant content for the rapidly growing fermentation field.  


Program Lead:  Dr. Benjamin Smith,, 814-472-3954

Career Outlook in Fermentation Science

The study of fermentation science is fueled by a growing industry.  In 2020, the Craft beer market was valued at $22.2 Billion, while the total beer market was valued at $94.1 Billion.  Growth in the wine market is evidenced by over 11,000 wineries in the US in 2021, growing from 6,200 in 2009.  Graduates in fermentation chemistry are not limited to beer and wine alone.  Traditional food fermentation, including cheese, yogurt, tempah, and more is sought by many cultures.   


Frequently Asked Questions About Fermentation Science and Saint Francis University

  • What can I do with a bachelors degree in fermentation science?

    A degree in fermentation science prepares graduates with an excellent foundation for a career in the growing microbrew or wine industry, but also placement in: 

    • Distillation Technologies
    • Food & Beverage processing
    • Applied Biotechnology
    • Bio-manufacturing / Biopharmaceuticals
  • What makes the fermentation science program at SFU distinctive?

    As one of a very limited number of fermentation-focused bachelor's degree programs on the East Coast, our program stands out because of the following:

    • Guaranteed internships with thriving local breweries and wineries
    • Access to the most up-to-date equipment and facilities
    • Fundamental chemistry degree requirements meeting American Chemical Society national standards
  • Why should you pursue a program in the field of fermentation?

    As a fermentation science student, you likely have an interest in the growing industry of food, beer or winemaking.   Have you also thought about the positive global impact of fermentation?  According to the Good Food Institute 202 State of the Industry Report, "Fermentation presents an opportunity to fundamentally change the way the world eats and improve global human and environmental health and economy."  The study of fermentation science also builds a strong reverence for the appreciation for God's creations.  Those who study fermentation quickly learn that their success is dependent on a successful harvest of berries, grapes, honey, wheat, tea, or rice.