Nutrition

Department Chair: Jayne Byrne

Faculty: Laura Bauer, Jayne Byrne, Bernadette Elhard, Alexa Evenson, Mark Glen, Emily Heying, Linda Shepherd

The study of Nutrition investigates the ways in which food promotes the health and well-being of individuals, communities, and the environment. Focused academic inquiry in food and nutrition is interdisciplinary and is complemented by and integrated with disciplines such as biology, chemistry, communication, economics, environmental studies, exercise science, psychology and sociology.  The Nutrition Department offers a major in Nutrition, a minor in Nutrition, and an area of concentration in Dietetics through the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). The DPD is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. All Nutrition majors complete a set of required foundation courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics and nutrition. Additional course work is selected based on the area of student interest, area of concentration, and/or pre-requisite guidelines for post-graduate education. The Nutrition major prepares students for a variety of career options or graduate study.  Examples of professional areas that Nutrition majors pursue post-graduation include: Dietetics, Public Health, Food Service Management in education, health care and private industry, Public Policy, Health Education and Wellness.  Graduate education often pursued by Nutrition majors includes professions such as Medicine, Physician’s Assistant, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Dentistry, Chiropractic medicine, Health Care Administration and Law, and graduate studies in Food Science, Food Studies, Nutrition, and Public Health.

Assessment

The Nutrition Department completes an annual assessment of student learning outcomes.  Assessment measures are imbedded into coursework and focus on evidence-based knowledge of nutrition and food science, the role of food and dietary patterns in the prevention of disease and promotion of health and wellness, food systems, food policy, and reading, interpreting and communicating food and nutrition information and research.  Students complete a capstone research experience in which written and verbal communication skills are assessed.  Seniors in the major are surveyed every three years to assess student perception of the department’s ability to meet specific learning outcomes. The Didactic Program in Dietetics, an area of concentration within the major, includes an assessment plan focused on accreditation standards, which includes specific knowledge competencies.  The DPD is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 1-800-877-1600 ext 5400, www.eatright.org ).  Accreditation review by ACEND is completed every seven years and includes a site visit and  review of curriculum and faculty credentials.

Acceptance to Major Requirements

Course Requirements:  Completion or concurrent enrollment in NUTR 125, 225 or 223, 323, CHEM 125, and BIOL 101
Minimum Grade for required courses:  Minimum grade of C in each prerequisite
Minimum Cumulative GPA:  2.0 for NUTN majors / 2.8 for DPD Dietetics program

Nutrition Major (46 credits)

Students majoring in Nutrition, including the DPD, are required to successfully complete the following courses:

Supporting Pre-requisite courses: BIOL 101, 216; CHEM 125, 250; MATH 124

Nutrition courses: NUTR 125, 223 or 225, 323, 301, 395 or 396 plus a minimum of 8 additional courses from the Nutrition Department.

Suggested course work in individual areas of interest (advising tracks) are planned in close consultation with an academic advisor and will include all required courses in addition to the 8 additional nutrition credits to complete the major.  Examples of advising tracks include: Pre-Medicine; Pre-Health (PA, PT, OT, Dentistry, etc.); Nutrition, Health and Wellness;, Food Science; Food and Business; and Public Health.

Dietetic Program in Dietetics [DPD] Area of Concentration (68 credits)

The DPD provides the foundational academic preparation for the profession of Dietetics.  Effective January 1, 2024, the following criteria must be met to qualify to take the registration examination required for the credential of Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN):

  • An earned master’s degree (post-graduate degree) from an accredited institution
  • Completion of an ACEND accredited academic program
  • Completion of an ACEND accredited supervised practice experience
  • Passing the national registration examination for dietitians

Successful completion of the DPD and all requirements for the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree leads to eligibility to enroll in an accredited supervised practice program in Dietetics and/or a graduate program of study, required for eligibility to take the registration examination.

Required courses for completion of the DPD:

Supporting Pre-requisite courses: BIOL 101, 216; CHEM 125, 250; MATH 124

Nutrition courses: NUTR 125, 220, 225, 230, 305, 312, 320, 323, 330, 333, 337, 341, 342, 343, 345, 395

Nutrition Minor (minimum 20 credits)

The following Nutrition courses are required for the completion of a minor in Nutrition:

NUTR 125, 223 or 225, and 323, plus a minimum of 8 additional credits in Nutrition. Contact the Department Chair for course planning related to a minor in Nutrition.

Courses (NUTR)