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Mediterranean Diet and Food Science: Florence & Madrid

Study Abroad Program Overview

Based in two remarkable cities known for their rich food culture, UCEAP's Mediterranean Diet and Food Science Program explores the science that supports the healthful claims of the Mediterranean Diet as well as the basis of food quality and the sensory preferences of consumers.

An incredible opportunity for students in nutrition, biochemistry, molecular biology, and food science, the program offers lab work in both Florence and Madrid, team-taught courses by European experts, the urban culture of both famous cities and additional travel to explore agricultural practice and industrial food production in such locations as Parma and Naples in Italy, as well as Burgos and Andalucia in Spain.


Students attend classes with UC students only.

Language of Instruction


Language Study



Spring Quarter :  
Late March to mid-June









In each location, students will be housed in pre-arranged, shared student apartments.

Extracurricular Activities

The program includes a variety of academic excursions that include Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort, a visit to Parma and another to Naples. During the time in Spain, you will travel to Burgos in the north and on to the northern coast and Bilbao, as well as to Sevilla and Cordoba in Andalucía. There is also a week-long break during which time you can explore on your own.

On-site Support

​UCEAP students are supported by UC's network of study abroad offices at every UC campus and partnerships with UCEAP host universities throughout the world. UCEAP partners with ACCENT International in Florence and Madrid, and local ACCENT staff help you integrate into local life and provide assistance with housing, safety, and local information.

Course Opportunities

​The Mediterranean Diet and Food Science Program comprises classes and lab sessions that are offered continuously across both cities. Students spend five weeks in Florence and five weeks in Madrid. All courses are taught in English at the upper-division level.

All students take four courses on this program:

  • Food Properties
    cross-listed as Biochemistry and Health Science, 5.0 UC quarter units
    Designed to give students an understanding of the chemical aspects of food composition, the course emphasizes the functional properties and chemical reactions of the major components of foods: carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and water.

  • Food Properties Lab
    listed as Biochemistry, 2.0 UC quarter units
    Demonstrates and amplifies the Food Properties course, providing laboratory experience and applications in food systems.

  • Mediterranean Diet
    listed as Health Science, 4.5 UC quarter units
    Provides students with a hands-on understanding of one of the world's most well-known diets, including its history, nutritional profile and health benefits.

  • Food Sensory Analysis​
    cross-listed as Health Science and European Studies, 4.5 UC quarter units
    Offers an investigation of local food cultures and food production with particular attention to olive oil and wine production in both Spain and Italy, supplemented by investigations of other typical foods such as cheese and ham.


You are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad. 16 quarter/10.7 semester UC units are required; four courses.​

Internships, Research, and Independent Study

Opportunities for internships and independent research for academic credit are not available on this program.​

UC Centers in Florence and Madrid

This program is specially designed for UC students and taught by faculty from local universities at each location. The UCEAP Study Centers in Florence and Madrid oversee the academic aspects of this program. ACCENT, the International Consortium for Academic Programs Abroad, arranges classroom space at each program location and coordinates all logistical services of the Mediterranean Diet and Food Science program.​

The UC Center in Florence is located on the second floor of Palazzo Guadagni, situated in the Piazza Santo Spritio of the Oltramo neighborhood. The neighborhood, just five minutes from the Ponte Vecchio, is very much at the heart of Florence.

The UC Center in Madrid shares space with ACCENT International in the friendly and centrally located neighborhood of Chamberrí.  The Center features modern classrooms and a computer lab with both broadband and wireless internet access.​

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Application Information and Deadlines

Important: If you are planning to participate in back to back study abroad programs (with UCEAP or any other organization), you must notify your campus study abroad office. There are important things to consider when participating in consecutive programs, such as program dates and visa requirements. Not all program combinations are possible.

Application deadlines and information on the application process are available through your Campus EAP Office. Supplemental pre-departure materials will be required for many programs, including, but not limited to, host institution applications, visa and housing applications, medical clearances, etc.

For participation in the program, you must meet all deadlines and submit complete application materials.

These are minimum requirements. Your Campus EAP Office determines selection and final admission.  

Visit your Campus Study Abroad website for program-specific deadlines: