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The graduate program in the Department of Nutritional Sciences has been in existence since 1974 and is one of many programs in the Graduate School. Since its inception the Department has produced Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy graduates who are making meaningful contributions to the nutrition profession locally, nationally and internationally.
The Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences has three major objectives:
- To foster a program of excellence with specialized expertise in the study of human nutritional issues with particular emphasis on the needs of the underserved poor, ethnic minorities, and disadvantaged populations
- To prepare competent graduate professionals in the field of human nutrition, with the skills and abilities to improve the nutritional wellbeing and the quality of life for individuals and families
- To conduct disciplinary and interdisciplinary research in order to improve the nutritional wellbeing and the quality of life of ethnic minorities and the underserved.
With increasing recognition of the association between diet and disease and the importance of diet in health promotion, nutritionists and dietitians are needed to participate in research, to educate the public on ways to promote health through diet, and to educate individuals suffering from chronic diseases on ways to incorporate dietary modifications into their lifestyles. Additionally, a degree in nutrition or dietetics can be used as a foundation to prepare for graduate school as well as entry into professional schools such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, or other advanced degrees in business and education.
The Department of Nutritional Sciences offers the Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Doctoral Degrees in Nutritional Sciences. The Bachelor of Science degree is offered with emphases in Dietetics, Community Nutrition and/or Pre-medicine/Pre-dentistry. The curriculum allows students to complete the general education and basic science courses in the first two years. During the last two years, students, along with their advisers, select courses, which prepare them to become dietitians or nutritionist. Many students use this foundation at the Bachelor's level to prepare for further graduate / professional study in nutrition, medicine and dentistry. Many of our graduates are employed as health care providers, researchers, educators, policy makers and administrators locally, nationally and internationally.
The Department also offers a three-semester verification program for individuals to complete the practicum requirement for dietetics registration. More than three semesters may be needed to complete the verification program if the student needs to take additional courses.