The Certificate in Fermented Foods and Beverages is open to all UW-Madison undergraduates, providing the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge in the science, development, production, and marketing of fermented foods and beverages. The program introduces all students to the theoretical and practical aspects of food and beverage fermentation through required introductory coursework. Experiential learning courses emphasize an exciting, hands-on approach to learning. Beer, wine, spirits, sourdough, kimchi, sauerkraut, cheese, and yogurt are among the food products explored in required coursework. The certificate also allows students to engage with cutting-edge developments in the use of precision fermentation for food and non-food applications. Students interested in finding solutions to global environmental challenges can examine the role of fermentation in the development of sustainable feedstocks, renewable materials, and biofuels. 

While all students will receive a foundation in the science of fermentation, the certificate allows students to personalize their coursework to explore their own interests and advance individual career goals. Students can choose to deepen their scientific knowledge with a focus on chemistry, genetics, or microbiology or enhance their business acumen with a focus on marketing, supply chains, or management.

How to Get in

Undergraduate students in any major or college may earn this certificate. There are no prerequisites for declaring the certificate; however, there may be prerequisites for individual courses in the certificate. Students will be informed of these prerequisites through Guide and advised to fulfill those requirements. Students pursuing the program are encouraged to declare as early as possible so that they can best align the coursework with their interests and plan their field experience.

Students wishing to declare the Certificate in Fermented Food and Beverages should meet with one of the advisors (listed in the Contact Information box) to declare the certificate.


Certificate Requirements
Experiential Learning1-2
Total Credits12-13


Complete the following courses:

FOOD SCI 150 Fermented Food and Beverages: Science, Art and Health3
FOOD SCI 550 Fermented Foods and Beverages2

Experiential Learning

Complete one of the following courses:

FOOD SCI 551 Food Fermentation Laboratory1
FOOD SCI 378 Precision Fermentation for Sustainable Foods and Products2


Complete at least 6 credits from one of the following two thematic areas:

Business Theme

A A E 246 Climate Change Economics and Policy3
A A E/​C&E SOC/​SOC  340 Issues in Food Systems3-4
A A E/​ECON/​ENVIR ST  343 Environmental Economics3-4
A A E 335 Introduction to Data Analysis using Spreadsheets2
FOOD SCI/​AN SCI  321 Food Laws and Regulations1
SOC/​C&E SOC  222 Food, Culture, and Society3
A A E 101 Introduction to Agricultural and Applied Economics4
SOC/​C&E SOC  365 Data Management for Social Science Research3-4
A A E 320 Agricultural Systems Management3
A A E 322 Commodity Markets4
LSC 270 Marketing Communication for the Sciences3
LSC 435 Brand Strategy for the Sciences3
A A E 419 Agricultural Finance3
A A E 422 Food Systems and Supply Chains3
A A E/​ECON  421 Economic Decision Analysis4

Science Theme

FOOD SCI/​MICROBIO  325 Food Microbiology3
FOOD SCI 410 Food Chemistry3
FOOD SCI 301 Introduction to the Science and Technology of Food3
MICROBIO 101 General Microbiology3
MICROBIO 303 Biology of Microorganisms3
MICROBIO 450 Diversity, Ecology and Evolution of Microorganisms3
MICROBIO 526 Physiology of Microorganisms3
BIOCHEM 301 Survey of Biochemistry3
BIOCHEM 501 Introduction to Biochemistry3
BIOCHEM 507 General Biochemistry I3
BIOCHEM 508 General Biochemistry II3-4
BIOLOGY/​BOTANY/​ZOOLOGY  151 Introductory Biology5
ZOOLOGY/​BIOLOGY/​BOTANY  152 Introductory Biology5
ZOOLOGY 153 Introductory Biology3
HORT 330 Wines and Vines of the World2
HORT/​AGRONOMY/​BOTANY  340 Plant Cell Culture and Genetic Engineering3
SOIL SCI 211 Soils and Climate Change2
AGRONOMY 377 Global Food Production and Health3
AGRONOMY/​DY SCI  471 Food Production Systems and Sustainability3
MICROBIO/​AN SCI/​BOTANY  335 The Microbiome of Plants, Animals, and Humans3
AN SCI 366 Concepts in Genomics3
AN SCI 420 Microbiomes of Animal Systems3
DY SCI/​AGRONOMY  471 Food Production Systems and Sustainability3
BSE 249 Engineering Principles for Biological Systems3
BSE 460 Biorefining: Energy and Products from Renewable Resources3
M E 331 Computer-Aided Engineering3
M E 361 Thermodynamics3
M E 363 Fluid Dynamics3
M E 364 Elementary Heat Transfer3
CBE 250 Process Synthesis3
CBE 310 Chemical Process Thermodynamics3
CBE 426 Mass Transfer Operations3
COMP SCI 540 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence3
COMP SCI 571 Building User Interfaces3

Additional Requirements:

  • 2.000 GPA in certificate courses.
  • At least 50% of certificate courses taken in-residence (i.e. at UW-Madison or through a UW-Madison sponsored study abroad program.)
  • Courses taken on a pass/fail (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) basis will not count toward the certificate.

Certificate Completion Requirement

This undergraduate certificate must be completed concurrently with the student’s undergraduate degree. Students cannot delay degree completion to complete the certificate.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Design and produce fermented foods and/or beverages that meet specified quality standards.
  2. Discuss the general characteristics of fermentative organisms and the role of metabolic engineering in precision fermentation.
  3. Describe the wider sustainability features of fermentation and its emerging role in decarbonizing the economy and addressing climate change
  4. Describe the concepts of branding, business management, and labeling that are relevant to marketing fermented foods and beverages.
  5. Identify the components and roles of information technology and computer interfaces in largescale traditional and precision fermentative processes.

Advising and Careers


Advising is essential for student success in the Fermented Foods and Beverages Certificate. There are many individual pathways through the certificate allowing students to explore their interests and individual educational goals. Students are encouraged to meet with a Certificate Advisor to ensure that they are enrolled in appropriate coursework to complete certificate requirements on time as well as to become aware of new opportunities and events within the certificate program.

Please contact the certificate advisor listed in the contact box with questions or to set up an advising appointment.


Careers that support the fermentation industry are numerous and varied in focus and discipline. The Certificate in Fermented Foods and Beverages prepares all students to have a foundational knowledge to enter the fermentation industry from a variety of career entry points. Students may seek business or marketing-oriented careers in the food and beverage industry or leverage their knowledge of fermentation to pursue a career in scientific research or product development. Others may go on to post-secondary work in the field.

An interest in fermentation can lead to many different careers. Students are encouraged to begin the career exploration process early in their UW-Madison journey by working with advisors, faculty, and CALS Career Services.  These resources can help students reflect on their values, identify career goals, and outline strategies to achieve them.



Bradley Bolling, Audrey Girard, Richard Hartel, Tu-Anh Huynh, Barbara Ingham, John Lucey, Gulustan Ozturk, Scott Rankin (chair), Victor Ujor, Jan Peter van Pijkeren


Beth Button, Arnoldo Lopez-Hernandez, Yaa Klu, Nick Smith


Food Science Major: Professor Brad Bolling, Professor Rich Hartel

Fermented Foods and Beverages Certificate: Victor Ujor

Full faculty and staff list


Wisconsin Experience

Opportunities to apply classroom learning to real-world experiences are integral to the Certificate in Fermented Foods and Beverages. Connections with local brewers, cheesemakers, winemakers, bakers, engineering firms, and entrepreneurs ranging from small to large-scale operations, allow students to learn from local experts and apply their knowledge to help industries solve problems. Students are able to benefit from the rich history of Wisconsin in the fermented food and beverage industry while exploring the latest developments in the field such as precision fermentation.

Our instructors as well as our industry and campus partners encourage curiosity and exploration by allowing students to experiment with ingredients such as wild yeasts and winter hardy grapes as well as future-focused biotechnological advancements. Students can see their work make an immediate contribution to food and beverage products that are launched into the Wisconsin marketplace and economy. These experiences and connections create a lasting impact on students in their post-graduate studies and/or careers.

Resources and Scholarships

Financial support such as scholarships, part-time employment, paid internships, and work-study programs is available to qualified undergraduate students enrolled in the certificate. We express our appreciation to Leinenkugel family in support of fermentation programming. Students with a primary major in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences receive more than $1.25 million in scholarships annually.