Skip to main content
Search search
Mobile Search:

110 Chandlee Lab, 814-863-0772, Fax: 814-863-6103

Catharine Ross, Department Head, 110 Chandlee Lab, 814-865-4721,

Lynn Parker-Klees, Professor-In-Charge, Undergraduate Program, 110 Chandlee Lab, 814-863-0616,

Brenda Eissenstat, Undergraduate Adviser, 119C Chandlee Lab, 814-863-5826,

Cindy Adams, Undergraduate Adviser, 119D Chandlee Lab, 814-865-2783,

Scott Barbara, Undergraduate Staff Assistant, 814-863-0806,

Recommended Academic Plan(s)
Semester-by-semester academic plans recommend in table form the courses students might schedule each semester as they pursue a particular degree. These tables serve several University purposes and assist multiple constituencies: students, advisers, departments, deans, registrars, admissions officers, and family members. The plans:
  • Identify normal academic progress, course offerings, and recommended course sequencing;
  • Assist students and advisers in planning academic schedules, registrars and departments in planning course offerings, and registrars and deans in determining when students should change campus;
  • Help students to anticipate the academic workload and courses needed to earn a degree, and to schedule appropriate prerequisites;
  • Serve as tools to help advisers learn the curriculum.

Graduates of the Applied Sciences option integrate knowledge of social and behavioral sciences with human physiology and nutrition. Students learn to apply knowledge of nutrition to improve the health and well-being of individuals and populations by applying nutrition principles in different practice settings. Graduates of the applied sciences option are prepared for careers in public health and policy, business including the food industry, community and international agencies, schools, or continue to graduate study in nutrition or related fields.

The Basic Sciences option incorporates knowledge from biology, chemistry, physiology and physics with nutrition. It is recommended for students preparing for careers in medicine and other health related fields such as dentistry, optometry, physical therapy and chiropractic, including graduate school. Basic Sciences students are also prepared for careers in laboratory research in the pharmaceutical or food industries, government or academia.

The Dietetics option links nutrition and human behavior to improve the nutritional status of individuals and communities or to apply nutrition principles and counseling skills to medical problems in clinical dietetics. It also prepares students for management positions in nutrition and food systems. Graduates satisfy the current requirements for application to an accredited post-baccalaureate dietetic internship. Upon satisfactory completion of a Dietetic Internship, graduates are eligible to take the registration examination to become a Registered Dietitian.

"Supporting Courses and Related Areas" allow flexibility to meet the individual student's career goals and interests. Students may fulfill most of the requirements for a minor within the supporting course credit allotment. The summer nutrition study in Rome provides two supporting courses in an international setting.

There are numerous ways to gain practical experience related to nutrition at University Park. An active role in the Student Nutrition Association provides leadership opportunities. Students may complete "independent studies" under faculty supervision to gain practical experience. Contact an appropriate faculty member to develop a hands-on opportunity such as independent laboratory research. The Nutrition Education content area of HealthWorks provides experiential learning in normal nutrition counseling and in group presentations after a one-semester training program. Contact 237 Ritenour Health Center for a HealthWorks application, which is due in early March. Students who progress through the chemistry sequence in time to take NUTR 400 and 446 in their junior year may be selected to become student counselors in the Nutrition Clinic.

The four emphases offered by the Department of Nutritional Sciences include:

  • Public Health Nutrition and Policy;
  • Nutrition and Foods in Business;
  • Community Nutrition and Food Security; and
  • Nutrition Education and Communications

Career Opportunities Nutrition Emphasis Areas

Career Opportunities in Public Health Nutrition and Policy

Public health is a diverse field with opportunities to suit varied interests and skills. It encompasses several sub-disciplines: epidemiology, biostatistics, health policy and management, environmental health, and community health education. It is ideal for those who would like to work to improve the lives of others. Those who wish to go on to graduate school often choose public health, public policy, or nutrition as a discipline. Those who do not wish to pursue a higher degree can find employment with health organizations, government agencies, private health insurance companies and health research groups. Jobs available include food safety inspectors, health educators, policy analysts, epidemiologists, and researchers, to name a few. Employment opportunities exist in the following areas:

  • Health Services Administration
  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Education/Behavioral Science
  • Health Advocacy
  • Environmental health
  • International health
  • Nutrition
  • Public health practice
  • Biomedical laboratory
  • Pharmaceuticals

The Association of Schools of Public Health acknowledged that job opportunities in the field are plentiful when they released the following statement on Feb. 27, 2008: “More than 250,000 additional public health workers needed by 2020 to avert public health crisis. Shortage will leave nation vulnerable to disease, bioterror and health threats.”

Career Opportunities in Nutrition and Foods in Business

The Foods and Food Business Emphasis prepares nutrition majors to work in institutional food service, community kitchen education, supermarket chains and food product development. More specifically, a graduate with this emphasis and further training as specified could work as a school food service director, nursing home manager, as a recipe developer for grocery store chains, as a community foods and cooking educator, as well as a product development and tester for large and small food business ventures. As consumers express their growing interest in healthy food products and rebuilding kitchen skills, the demand for nutritionally trained graduates with a food emphasis is burgeoning. Graduates interested specifically in a culinary approach to foods could broaden their background by attending culinary schools; those with a business orientation should obtain further management skills through management courses or an MBA. Those interested in a community application would be advised to take adult education courses in other departments.

Career Opportunities in Community Nutrition and Food Security

Community Food Security is a rapidly growing field of study and practice, intersecting nutrition, agriculture, economics, community studies and food systems analysis, focusing on food production, processing, distribution and sustainability, and attending specifically to appropriate and sustainable food access at local, municipal, regional, national and global levels. A widening array of opportunities exists in the field of Community Food Security for undergraduates, M.S. and Ph.D. graduates. The food systems and food security areas have received large amounts of funding from the USDA. Those wishing to focus in Community Food Security can take various routes, as diverse as local nutrition education or international nutrition policy.

Undergraduate opportunities include numerous internships, such as through the Food Trust in Philadelphia or the Fellowship Program at the Congressional Hunger Center . These programs have excellent post-intern placement rates. The Food Trust hires many of its own interns. Volunteer options include the new Food Corps and Peace Corps (both with stipends); such volunteers are usually highly sought after for jobs and by graduate schools.

Tufts University offers an Agriculture, Food and the Environment masters in the Friedman School of Nutrition and Food Policy. Graduates have wide opportunities for placement at the local, national and international level. Other masters-programs exist at UC Davis, Cornell U., Michigan State, and Montana State. Options for masters level jobs are widely distributed, within government, at the Community Food Security Coalition, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, and at least 20 centers for sustainable food systems around the country, usually but not always connected with universities, such as the John Hopkins Bloomsburg School of Public Health Center for a Livable Future or the University of Minnesota’s Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute.

Career Opportunities Nutrition Education and Communications

The Nutrition Education and Communications emphasis prepares students to work with individuals, groups and communities in many settings, such as health promotion programs, voluntary health agencies, government and international agencies, businesses, and private practice. This academic focus may also prepare students to serve as resource specialists and curriculum developers in schools, businesses, and universities.

Students enrolled in the Nutrition Education and Communications emphasis have the option of electing courses that will especially prepare them to conduct individual and group counseling or to provide food and nutrition education in community, school, work site, health care, or mass media settings.


Students who want to be eligible for an ADA-accredited internship after graduation must complete the ADA Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). The courses are included in the applied sciences option and may be incorporated in the supporting courses and electives of the basic sciences option. The list of additional courses that a basic sciences nutrition major must take to complete the DPD are at the end of the Supporting Course list in this document. Substitutions are carefully evaluated on an individual basis.

Dietetic internships are very competitive. Successful applicants usually have:

  1. A high grade-point average (3.00 minimum suggested)
  2. Solid background of related work or volunteer experience
  3. Strong faculty and professional letters of recommendation
  4. Excellent letters of application

There are about 250 dietetic internships in the United States; see Although they all incorporate at least 900 hours of supervised experience in the areas of clinical dietetics, food service management and community nutrition, there is a great variety among them. Most last about a year, but vary from six months to two years. Most start in August or September, but some start in January or other times. Most charge tuition, some do not, and a few provide a stipend. Student loans may not have to be repaid during the internship. Read "How to Become an RD" on the Nutrition Department website. Information for early planning is presented in a spring 1-credit course, "Careers in Nutrition" (NUTR 170). Students take NUTR 370 in the fall before their application is due to learn more details about the profession of dietetics and to prepare a draft of an internship application.


The Nutrition Department has "pre-approved" some course substitutions. The pre-approved course substitutions include: BIOL 472 for BIOL 141, CHEM 106 for CHEM 110, MATH 110 for MATH 140, MICRB 201 for MICRB 106, MICRB 202 for MICRB 107, PHYS 211 for PHYS 250, PHYS 212 for PHYS 251 and STAT 250 for STAT 200.


The most critical aspect of course selection for a nutrition major is progression through the sequence of courses starting with chemistry. Change of location to University Park will generally occur after completion of four full-time semesters or equivalent. Earlier relocation to University Park is possible if a student is unable to make progress toward the degree because the requisite courses are not available at the students' campus location. Students should request a change of location to University Park for the 4th semester if they can't complete organic chemistry prior to 5th semester. Be sure to check chemistry placement score before attempting CHEM 110. CHEM 101 may be needed first or CHEM 108 may be recommended as a concurrent course to provide extra help. Note that it takes a minimum of 6 semesters or sessions from start to graduation. The arrows (->) indicate that a course on the left is the prerequisite to the course on the right. The chemistry, based sequence for applied sciences is below:

CHEM 110 -> CHEM 202 -> B M B 211 -> NUTR 445 -> NUTR 446 -> NUTR 452

Only CHEM 110, CHEM 202, and B M B 211 are taught in the summer at University Park.

Courses usually taught fall only include: BIOL 110, 142, 230W; NUTR 370, 430, 456

Courses usually taught spring only include: CHEM 203; NUTR 170, 421

Courses also taught summers usually include: B M B 211; CHEM 110, 111, 112, 113, 202; HRIM 329, 330; NUTR 251.

Students completing the ADA Didactic Program in Dietetics, through the applied or basic sciences option should be aware of 2 new courses that have been developed to replace earlier requirements. NUTR 380, Leadership Principles in Nutrition Services, replaces MGMT 100 and H P A 332. The second course in the sequence HRIM 385, Application of Management Principles in Dietetics Services, replaces H P A 460, HRIM 365, MGMT 321 and PSY 231. During the 2007 program year, students can fulfill degree requirements by taking either the new or older course options, however, they will be better prepared for employment in Dietetics and for the Registered Dietitian exam by completing the new courses.
The prerequisite sequence for these classes:
NUTR 251 -> NUTR 380 -> HRIM 385
CHEM 202 -> NUTR 120 -> HRIM 330 -> (or concurrent) HRIM 385


"Supporting Courses and Related Areas" allow flexibility to meet career goals. Almost any course may, with adviser approval, be used as a supporting course. Nutrition majors are not required to have a minor but popular minors include Gerontology, H P A, HD FS, Movement Science (Kinesiology), Psychology and Spanish. Any NUTR course that is not required will show up as supporting on the degree audit. Key courses in a particular area are in bold. The following courses will appear on the degree audit as supporting without a special request being made. Check prerequisites for courses with "->" symbol before it. The "*" before a course indicates there may be a control that requires nutrition students to get permission from the instructor or department to enroll.

Additional Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry and Math in applied sciences option: BIOL 110 (GN), -> 230W (Cell Biol); CHEM 111 (GN), 112 (GN), 113 (GN), 202, 212 (Organic Lab), 213W; B M B 212 (Biochem Lab); MATH 140 (GQ)

Biological Sciences: B M B 221 (Applied Biochem), 251 (Mol/Cell Biol I), 252 (Mol/Cell Biol II), 401 (Gen Biochem), 402 (Gen Biochem); BIOL 222 (Genetics), 240W (GN) (Biol: Function & Development of Organisms), 409 (Biol of Aging), 416 (Biol Cancer), -> 472 (Mammalian Physiol), -> 473 (Physiology Lab)

Business Management: *ACCTG 211 (Financial & Managerial Acctg); *BA 241 (Legal Env Bus); *BA 242 (Soc Eth Env Bus); H P A 101 (Intro to Hlth Services Organization), -> 332 (Hlth Systems Mgmt), -> 433 (Adm of Hospital & Hlth Service Systms), -> 442 (Long-Trm Care Mgmt), -> 460 (Hum Resource Mgmt in Hlth Care Orgs), -> 455 (Strategic Plan & Mktg for Hlth Services), *-> HRIM 335 (Hosp Fin Acctg); PSCHY 484 (Work Attitudes and Motivation)

Communications: COMM 100 (GS) (Mass Media & Soc); ENGL 215 (Intro Article Writing), *AEE 440 (Communication Meth & Media); IST 110 (Intro to Info Sc & Tech)

Community Nutrition / Public Health: ANTH 045 (US; IL) (Cultural Anth); BB H/H P A 440 (Prin of Epidem); -> HD FS 410 (Community & Family); NURS 401 (Concepts of Hlth); NUTR/STS 430 (IL) (Global Food Strat), NUTR 421 (US; IL) (Cultural Aspects Food), 497C (Food Tech Culture)

Counseling and Clinical Dietetics: BB H 101 (GHA) (Intro to Biobeh Hlth), 119 (GHA) (Hlth & Disease), 302 (US; IL) (Diversity & Hlth), 452 (Women Hlth Issues); H P A 057 (Consumer Choice Hlth Care), * 310 (Hlth Care & Medical Needs); HD FS 129 (GS) (Intro to HD FS), -> 311 (HD FS Intervention), -> 411 (Helping Relationshp); NUTR 170 (Careers in Nutr), PSYCH 100 (GS) (Intro Psych), 243 (GS) (Well-Being & Adjustmt), 270 (Abnormal Psych)

Food Industry: FD SC 200 (Intro Fd Sc), 201 (Intro Fd Sc Lab), -> 400 (Food Chemistry), -> 402 (Food Chem Lab), 404 (Food Evaluation), -> 407 (Food Toxins), 408 (Appl Food Micrb), -> 409W (Lab Appl Food Micrb), -> 410 (Chem Meth Food Anly), -> 411 (Mgmt Food Qual), 497A (Food Product Development)

Gerontology: ->BIOL 409 (Biol of Aging); -> H P A 442 (Long-Term Care Mgmt), HD FS 249 (GS) (Adult Dev. Aging), -> 445 (Adulthood); -> KINES 481W (Scientific Basis Exercise Older Adult); NURS 464 (Dying & Death); SOC 035 (Soc of Aging)

Immunology: -> MICRB 410 (Prin of Immunol)

International Nutrition: -> AEE 400 (Ag Ed in Developing Country); INTAG 100 (GS) (Intro Intl Ag); 481 (Agr in the Tropics); NUTR 421 (US; IL) (Cultural Aspects Food), NUTR/S T S 430 (IL) (Global Food Strategies)

Nutrition Education: EDPSY 014 (Learning Instruc); HD FS 229 (GS) (Infancy Childhood), 239 GS) (Adol Dev), -> 330 (Childern/Youth & Family); PSYCH 212 (GS) (Developmental Psych), 256 (GS) (Intro Cognit Psych), 412 (Adolescence)

Marketing and Sales: -> H P A 455 (Strategic Plan & Mktg for Hlth Services); -> HRIM 442 (Hospitality Mktg), -> 443 (Sales Plan & Adv); *MKTG 220 (Personal Selling), *-> 310 (Pub Relatn & Mktg), -> 330 (Buyer Behavior); -> RPTM 410 (Mktg Recr Serv)

Pre-medical, Pre-dental, Pre-optometry, Pre-PT (basic sciences option plus CHEM 036 meets most med-school admission requirements): Be sure to consult with adviser for your situation. The Health Professions Advising Office in 213 Whitmore Lab will assist students in any major.): MATH 141 (GQ) (Calc Anly Geom II); -> PHYS 213 (GN) (Fluids & Thermal Phys), -> 214 (GN) (Wave Motion & Quan)

Research Skills: AG 400 (Stat in Life Sci); BB H 310 (Research Strategies); HD FS 312W (Empirical Inquiry); PSYCH 301W (Basic Methods Psych)

Sports and Wellness: BB H 316 (Fund Prin Hlth Prom),-> 416 (Hlth Promotion II), -> 417 (Adv Hlth Prom); BIOL 129 (GN) (Mammalian Anatomy), 142 (Physiol Lab); *KINES 180 (Introduction to Kinesiology), -> 202 (App Human Anatomy), -> 350 (Exercise Physio), -> 456 (Physical Fitness Appr), -> 457 (Exercise Prescription), -> 492W (Fitness Program), NUTR 407 (Nutr Physical Activ Exer Hlth)

Students in the basic sciences option who want to fulfill the American Dietetic Association (ADA) Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), and therefore be eligible to apply for a Dietetic Internship need to complete the additional course requirements below:

(3) *NUTR 120 Food Preparation

(3) *NUTR 360 Disseminating Nutrition Information

(1) *NUTR 370 Profession of Dietetics

(3) *NUTR 386 Managing Quality in Food and Nutrition Services

(1) *NUTR 400 Introduction to Nutrition Counseling

(3) NUTR 453 Diet in Disease

(2) *NUTR 456 Community Nutrition

(3) *HRIM 329 Introduction to Food Production and Service

(2) *HRIM 330 Food Production and Service Management

(3) PSYCH 100 Introductory Psychology; or HD FS 129 Introduction to Human Development and Family Studies

(3) ECON 102, 104 Introductory Microeconomic/Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy or AG BM 101 Economic Principles of Agribusiness Decision Making

* Controls (placed by the department offering the course) may prevent nutrition majors from scheduling without special permission from the department.