Dec 04, 2023  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog This is not the most recent catalog version; be sure you are viewing the appropriate catalog year.

Fermentation Science [BS]

Fermentation, the use of microorganisms to produce desirable compounds, is vital to producing beverages, foods, and pharmaceuticals. A Bachelor of Science in Fermentation Science provides the technical background and practical skills necessary for a career in fermentation-related fields, including beer, wine, or cheese manufacturing.

This is a designated STEM program (see OPT Extension).


Graduates of this program will have a strong background in the relevant chemistry and biology involved in fermentation. They will learn to apply that background to practical fermentation in the production of food, beverages, and fine chemicals. They will develop practical laboratory and instrumental skills to analyze fermented products. In addition, electives in business and restaurant management will focus students’ skills on their desired careers.


In addition to taking both lecture and hands-on laboratory courses, Fermentation Science majors participate in either individual mentored research with a faculty member or cooperative experiences with partners in fermentation-related companies. As a result, students apply their knowledge and skills to solve real-world problems and gain experience to make them highly competitive for scientific positions in the food, beverage, chemical synthesis, and pharmaceutical industries.

Career opportunities include the following: QA/QC technician, brewing laboratory technician, wine laboratory technician, analytical chemist, biomedical researcher, brewer lab assistant, sales representative, chemical safety officer, laboratory consultant, brewmaster, winemaker, microbiology lab technician, laboratory consultant, medicinal chemist, quality control technician, research chemist/biologist, cicerone.

Additional Information


Department Information

Chemistry 541 Science Complex, 734.487.0106

Deborah Heyl-Clegg, PhD, Department Head

Advisor Information

Cory Emal, PhD, 541 Science Complex, 734.487.0106

Gregg Wilmes, PhD, 541 Science Complex, 734.487.0106

General Education Requirements:

For specific requirements, see General Education  or view the General Education Worksheet [PDF] .  

Major Requirements: 73-80 hours

Math and Science Requirements: 46-53 hours

Additional prerequisite requirements may apply, see course description for details.

Restricted Electives: 12 hours

Choose 12 hours from the following.

Any “FERM” course not elected above may be used to satisfy this requirement (1-3 hrs). With program coordinator approval, other courses may be used to fulfill this requirement (3 hrs). 

Prerequisite requirements may apply, see course description for details. Courses used to satisfy requirements above may not also be used to fulfill restricted elective requirements.

Minor Requirement:

This major does not require a minor.

Program Total:

Students must earn a minimum total of 120 credits at the 100-level or above.

Critical Graduation Information

Each undergraduate student will be responsible for fulfilling the requirements (or their equivalents) of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration at a college or university or a subsequent catalog, including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.

In the event an undergraduate student does not complete the degree requirements within seven years of the date of their original registration at a college or university, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their major/minor in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.

Minimum requirements for all bachelor’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University

Some majors and minors require more than the minimum in one or more of the areas below; students are urged to consult this catalog for the requirements of their particular programs.

  • Earn a minimum total of 120 credit hours at the 100-level and above.
    • Courses numbered below 100 are not counted toward this degree requirement.
    • At most, eight credit hours of physical education (PEGN) activity courses are counted toward this requirement.
  • Meet the requirements of the General Education program (see information below), including completing a Writing Intensive (GEWI) course in the student’s major.
  • Earn a minimum of 60 credits from a four-year college or university; courses taken at community colleges cannot be used to meet this requirement (Some formal program-to-program articulation agreements modify this requirement. See specific agreements for details).
  • Earn a minimum of 30 credits from courses taken at EMU.
  • Complete 10 of the last 30 hours for the degree from courses taken at EMU.
  • Have a minimum of 30 unique credit hours in their major and 20 unique credit hours in their minor for a total of at least 50 unique credit hours between them. Some majors that require 50 or more hours themselves do not require a minor. A double major automatically satisfies the need for a minor unless one of the two majors requires a specific minor. Students should check the requirements of the selected major in the undergraduate catalog to see if a minor is required. 
  • Earn no more than 60 credit hours in one subject area (prefix). Credits over the 60 maximum will not be counted toward the minimum of 120 credits required for a bachelor’s degree.
  • Earn the minimum number of credits in 300-level and above courses in each major and minor as specified below - these credits must be earned in distinct courses; that is, no course can be used to fulfill this requirement in more than one major or minor.
    • Earn a minimum of 6 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each minor
    • Earn a minimum of 9 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that requires a minor.
    • Earn a minimum of 15 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that does not require a minor
  • Transfer credit will be awarded for courses taken at colleges and universities that are accredited by one of the recognized regional accrediting bodies only if the courses are college-level (equated to 100-level or above at EMU) and the student earned a “C” (or 2.0 on a 4 point scale) or better. Transfer credit may be awarded on a case-by-case basis for college-level courses in which a “C” (2.0) or better was earned at institutions outside the U.S. or at non-accredited U.S. institutions; individual departments/schools conduct the internal review of such courses within EMU, and additional documentation may be required. Please note: EMU awards only credit for transferred courses; grades are not used to calculate an EMU GPA.
  • Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in courses taken at EMU to graduate. In addition, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 must be reached in each major and minor. Only courses a student takes at EMU and those applied to their major or minor are used to calculate their major and minor cumulative GPAs. (Note: some programs may require a higher GPA - check with your program advisor.)

General Education Requirements - EMU’s General Education Program requires students to choose from a menu of approved courses in several different areas; do not assume that other courses in the same department or similar names will fulfill these requirements. A detailed description of General Education requirements is available in the General Education  section of the catalog.

Students who transferred to EMU may have modified general education requirements based on Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) or articulation agreements; consult your academic advisor for additional information.