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The Department of Nutritional Sciences, along with other campus facilities and community organizations, offers a wide range of real-world learning opportunities for undergraduate students. These experiences are either volunteer or paid, and students may obtain additional credits toward their degree, depending on the experience. Students have the opportunity to become involved in student-led clubs, international travel, teaching assistantships, and applied and basic research.

Undergraduate Teaching Assistants

Students who earn a B+ or higher in their undergraduate courses and want to reinforce the information they learned in the course are encouraged to become an undergraduate teaching assistant (TA). Students can enroll in NUTR 496 to receive 1 credit that can go toward their 400-level supporting course requirement. This is a great way for the professor to get to know the student, and if the student does a good job, s/he can get a good letter of reference from the professor with whom they are working. Students interested in becoming a TA for a specific class should ask their professor toward the end of the semester about the opportunity.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Students who are seeking research experience have the opportunity to be exposed to applied research or basic research in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and affiliated research centers. Students can enroll in NUTR 496 to receive 1 credit that can go toward their 400-level supporting course requirement. On occasion, students will be paid for their work.

Information on departmental research is available on individual faculty webpages.

Once students have narrowed down their choices, they should contact their professors to determine if they are taking undergraduate students in their labs.

Volunteer Experiences

Undergraduate students have participated in these volunteer activities to gain experience. Contact information for these venues can be found by clicking the link, looking it up in the local phone book, or doing a search on the Internet.

  • Student Nutrition Association
  • HealthWorks
  • State College Area Food Bank
  • Penn State Cooperative Extension
  • Mount Nittany Medical Center - the Nutrition and Culinary Services department offers volunteer experience for students to work with dietitians and with patients by collecting dietary information, providing referrals to dietitians, and teaching basic nutrition education. Students must be able to commit one to two hours per week of their time, and it is recommended they have completed NUTR 251 and NUTR 358. These positions are limited and come on a first-come, first-serve basis. Contact the hospital volunteer services for an application. Indicate you want to work for the nutrition and culinary services department. Phone: 814-234-6170.

International Experiences

Global Leadership Initiative

The Global Leadership Initiative (GLI) in the College of Health and Human Development gives select undergraduate students the opportunity to hone their leadership skills in an international setting, build their global awareness, and prepare them for working with people worldwide through experiences abroad, through in-class learning, by communicating with alumni mentors, and by sharing experiences with other students. For more information, contact Stephen Kodish.

Global Health Minor

Students from across the university have the opportunity to complete a minor in Global Health, which was designed to provide undergraduate students with a multidisciplinary exposure to the theoretical and practical issues affecting the health of populations around the world.

Internships / Nutrition-Related Jobs

Contact the department's advisers for more information on internships and career opportunities.