Nutrition Department

The need for nutrition experts, dietitians and nutrition scientists is greater than ever before.

Nutrition plays a vital role in:

  • the maintenance of health
  • prevention and treatment of disease
  • public health policy development
  • athletic performance

Food and nutrition knowledge and expertise have an important role in:

  • foodservice management
  • food production
  • product development
  • consumer health education

Rapid advances in medical research, health care reform, and consumer demand have made the discipline of nutrition increasingly complex. To prepare students to address these complexities, the CSB/SJU Nutrition Department offers both a major and a minor in Nutrition. Within the major, there are three areas of concentration.

Nutrition major, no area of concentration.

The Nutrition major integrates a liberal arts curriculum with a strong foundation in the natural sciences. The flexible curriculum allows students to blend a broad knowledge of food and nutrition with other areas of interest or inquiry.  The open curriculum plan allows for the completion of a second major, a minor, or a selection of a wide variety of courses across disciplines.  With careful planning, students may study abroad and complete the major in a total of 8 semesters.  The Nutrition major is a good option for students interested in the economics and/or politics of food and the impact of food and nutrition on health.  It is also a good choice for students with professional or pre-professional interests in areas such as physical therapy, fitness, exercise physiology, or general health education because it allows for the completion of all pre-requisite courses for post-graduate education programs while completing the major.  The general nutrition major will not qualify students for professional credentialing in the allied health professions (for example, dietetics). However, a major in Nutrition does provide a solid academic preparation for a variety of career and graduate study options related to food and nutrition.  Students seeking a major in Nutrition should seek academic guidance from a faculty advisor in the nutrition department as early as possible to assist in curriculum planning.

Concentration in Dietetics (Didactic Program in Dietetics, or DPD).

The DPD is designed specifically for students interested in completing the requirements to become credentialed as a Registered Dietitian (RD).  The DPD is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).  Required courses fulfill the academic coursework that is a necessary step for earning the credential of Registered Dietitian (RD).   Students who successfully complete the DPD curriculum and meet all graduation requirements at CSB/SJU receive a Bachelor of Arts in Nutrition, area of concentration in Dietetics, and a verification statement indicating that they are eligible to enroll in an accredited, post-graduate internship program.  The following process is required to obtain the credential of Registered Dietitian:

  1. Obtain a baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. college or university
  2. Completion of an accredited dietetics curriculum
  3. Completion of an accredited dietetic internship
  4. Passing the national Registration Examination for Dietitians

The DPD at CSB/SJU is not affiliated with any accredited, post-graduate dietetic internship programs and does not guarantee placement in an internship; however, the Nutrition Department will assist students with the application process. The DPD recommends that students maintain a GPA at CSB/SJU of 3.2 or higher to be competitive for selection to an accredited dietetic internship program after graduation. Nationally, the placement rate in dietetic internships is approximately 50%. Over the past five years, approximately 83% of DPD graduates at CSB/SJU have been placed in accredited dietetic internship programs.

With careful planning, students enrolled in the DPD may study abroad, and/or complete a second major or a minor within 8 semesters.  Students completing the DPD may also apply to graduate programs in nutrition or related fields.  Students interested in the DPD should attend all group advising sessions offered during their first academic year, and seek guidance from an academic advisor in the Nutrition Department prior to registration for spring semester of the first year.  

Requirements/Minimum Qualifications for Acceptance to the Didactic Program in Dietetics.

Concentration in Nutrtion Science.

The Nutrition Science Concentration combines a major in nutrition with coursework recommended for preparing for medical school or other post-graduate health profession programs. This area of  concentration also prepares students for graduate study in nutrition, food science, and related fields.  An independent research project is a unique required feature of this concentration.  Throughout junior and senior year students design and conduct a food or nutrition research project in consultation with a nutrition faculty member, or work collaboratively with faculty members in nutrition and another discipline.  Students present their research in the spring semester of senior year.  With careful planning, students may spend a semester abroad and complete the required coursework in Nutrition Science in 8 semesters.  This area of concentration will not qualify students for professional credentialing in dietetics, but may meet recommended academic preparation for other allied health professions.  Upon meeting all graduation requirements, students selecting this area of concentration receive a Bachelor of Arts in Nutrition, Nutrition Science concentration.  Students should consult early with an academic advisor in nutrition and the pre-professional area of interest to optimize curriculum planning and selection of additional elective courses.

Concentration in Food Studies.

The Food Studies concentration is designed for students interested in pursuing a career in food service/food industry.  Students complete basic courses in nutrition and food science and supporting course work in the social sciences.  Upper division course work is focused on managing the procurement and production of safe, nutritious food. With careful planning, students may study abroad, or complete a second major or a minor.  Students completing the required course work in the Food Studies concentration receive a Bachelor of Arts in Nutrition, area of concentration Food Studies.  This curriculum does not fulfill curriculum requirements for credentialing as a Registered Dietitian and does not fulfill pre-requisite undergraduate course work for graduate degrees in the health sciences.  Students would be prepared to enter graduate programs in the culinary arts, or business administration.

Overview of Program

Through the selection of an area of concentration, students will be prepared to pursue the credential of Registered Dietitian, to apply to a variety of graduate programs, or to seek a wide variety of career options.

Flexible curriculum makes it possible to study abroad, or complete a variety of different minors.

Program Highlights
  • Our program offers many unique learning opportunities in laboratory settings as well as classroom experiences.
  • Students may choose to do independent research projects.
  • All of our classes and labs are taught by qualified faculty members.
  • Students have a variety of service learning opportunities through courses offered in the nutrition department.
Hear what our students have to say:

The highlight of my time at CSB/SJU has been doing individual research...gave me the opportunity to improve on the aspects of nutrition that most interest me — to challenge myself to set my own deadlines and hold myself accountable. Hannah Maxbauer '14, Nutrition major

Read more from Hannah and several other of our majors.

Contact Us

Jayne Byrne MS, RD, LD
Associate Professor and Department Chair
Nutrition Department
College of Saint Benedict
37 College Avenue South
St. Joseph, MN 56374
(320) 363-5133
fax (320) 363-5582

jbyrne@csbsju.edu