Nutritional Sciences

The field of nutritional sciences offers promising careers in which individuals can function professionally as nutritionists and dietitians.

The Department of Nutritional Sciences was established in 1991 from the merger of the Department of Human Nutrition and Food in the then School of Human Ecology, and the Department of Clinical Nutrition in the then College of Allied Health Sciences.

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.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Nutritional Sciences is to prepare students for exemplary careers in the theoretical and applied aspects of human nutrition and food, as well as advanced study and research in these fields. 

Faculty/Staff Composition

The Interim Chairman of the Department is Dr. Allan Johnson.  Additionally, the Department has seven full-time faculty and three adjunct faculty, all of whom have terminal degrees.  Details on the educational backgrounds and research interests of the full-time faculty can be found here.

Undergraduate Degrees Offered

The Department of Nutritional Sciences offers the Bachelor of Science degree with emphases in Community Nutrition, Dietetics, and Pre-medicine/Pre-dentistry.  

The curricula allow 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 for the three emphases. Many students use this foundation at the baccalaureate level to prepare for further graduate or professional study in nutrition, medicine or  dentistry.  

The Community Nutrition emphasis prepares students for employment with federal, state, local and private agencies.  At these levels, graduates work as program managers, nutrition educators, providers of nutritional care, and advocates for community nutrition activities. 

The Dietetics emphasis prepares students to successfully complete the registration examination, and function as entry-level practitioners. Graduates find employment at hospitals, extended care facilities, food service establishments, community nutrition programs, private industry, and research settings. Learn more about the Dietetics program.

The Pre-Medicine/Pre-Dentistry emphasis prepares graduates for entry into medical and dental schools. 

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. 


Graduate Degrees Offered

As part of the Graduate School the Department offers Master of Science and Doctoral Degrees in Nutritional Sciences with emphases in Experimental Nutrition and Community Nutrition.  Details on the graduate program can be found here. Graduate Student Manual