Why Nutritional Sciences?

Nutritional Sciences draws upon biology, chemistry and the social sciences to answer such questions as:

  • How do dietary patterns influence the health and well-being of individuals, communities and populations?
  • What are the biological mechanisms through which nutrients affect metabolism?
  • What are recommended dietary patterns for people of different activity levels and medical conditions?
  • How can people be encouraged to adopt and maintain healthy eating patterns?
  • What are the roles of government and business in providing accessible, healthy food supplies and in promoting healthy eating practices?

After completing undergraduate requirements, most students continue their studies in graduate school, dietetic internships or medical school.

If you’re enrolled in the College of Human Ecology, you will draw on your preparation in chemistry, biology and math to prepare for a career in many nutrition-related fields, including medicine and other health careers, research, fitness and sports nutrition, nutrition counseling, clinical nutrition, dietetics, nutritional biochemistry, community nutrition and nutrition education.

If you’re in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, your work in nutrition will be combined with coursework in food systems, agriculture and the life sciences. You likely will supplement the core nutrition curriculum with courses in such areas as food policy, food science, animal and plant sciences, business and economics, and environmental sciences to prepare for a career in a nutrition-related field.

During your first two years of undergraduate studies, you will explore the general field of Nutritional Studies, while completing a core curriculum of foundational courses in chemistry, biology and the social sciences.

You also may have opportunities to do undergraduate research and further your learning through field experience. 

Other opportunities exist for broadening your learning experience and putting classroom learning into practice. You might, for example, participate in the Practicing Medicine program or study abroad.

The Core Curriculum for Nutritional Sciences Majors 

Your core curriculum will include introductory courses in chemistry, biology, organic chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, math and the social sciences. You also will complete five core courses in nutritional sciences:

  • NS 1150: Nutrition, Health and Society
  • NS 2450: Social Science Perspectives on Food and Nutrition
  • NS 3450: Introduction to Physicochemical and Biological Aspects of Foods
  • NS 3310: Nutrient Metabolism
  • NS 3320: Methods in Nutritional Sciences

In addition, you will take at least three advanced level courses in nutritional sciences and courses to meet the general education requirements for your college. You may choose from a broad range of advanced courses including:

  • NS 3060: Nutrition and Global Health
  • NS 3150: Obesity and the Regulation of Body Weight
  • NS 3220: Maternal and Child Nutrition
  • NS 4250: Nutrition Communications and Counseling
  • NS 4410: Nutrition and Disease
  • NS 4450: Toward a Sustainable Global Food System: Food Policy for Developing Countries
  • NS 4500: Public Health Nutrition
  • NS 4570: Health, Poverty, and Inequality: A Global Perspective