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Majors & Minor

The major and minor degrees offered by the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Sciences focus on the scientific, economic, and social aspects of food production, consumption and relationships to nutrtion and health. Due to increased public awareness of the impact of food choices on short-term and long-term health, there is a greater demand for professionals in these fields.

Nutrition Science Major

The Nutrition Science emphasis is for students who are interested in studying the molecular and cellular aspects of human health and disease. This is a multi-disciplinary program in which students learn to apply techniques from the fields of molecular and cellular biology, physiology, genetics, and biochemistry to issues in nutrition. Students will gain experience in laboratory, clinical, and epidemiological methods, and may have the opportunity to gain laboratory research experience in nutrition studies being conducted by faculty members. The undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree qualifies a student with the Nutrition Science emphasis to find employment in industry or academic laboratories, as well as in government agencies. It can also be used as preparation for medical or graduate school.

The Nutrition Science option may also apply to students planning to pursue medical school, dental school, or another professional degree. The curriculum is based on undergraduate admission requirements for the University of Utah Medical School and meets most medical school admission requirements. Because nutrition is an applied science and offers research opportunities, completing the Nutrition emphasis may give students an advantage for admission to medical school, over applicants representing other science major.

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Dietetics Major

USU offers two undergraduate programs in Dietetics -- the Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD) and the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). Both programs have been granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.

These programs typically lead to licensure and were designed to meet licensing qualifications in the state of Utah. If students wish to work in another state within the United States, they should review the qualifications for that state per the information provided by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

According to the most recent information from the sponsoring department, this program:

  • Meets licensure requirements in the following states: OR, WA, CA, ID, NV, AZ, UT, AK, MT, WY, CO, HI, ND, SD, NE, KS, OK, TX, MN, IO, MS, AR, MS, TN, KY, OH, WV, PA, NH, VT,MA, RI, CT, NJ, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL
  • Does not meet licensure requirements in: ME
  • Has not determined if the program meets licensure requirements in the remaining states. A detailed spreadsheet on states and requirements can be found on this spreadsheet.

Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN please click here.

To learn more about the application process for this major, click the button below.

Dietetics Program Application Process

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Food Science Major and Minor

Passionate about food. Passionate about science.

Food Science integrates a broad range of core scientific disciplines (including chemistry, biology, biochemistry, microbiology, nutrition and health, and engineering) to solve real problems associated with the many facets of the food system.  Food Science graduates find rewarding careers in food engineering and processing, food quality control and assurance, food sustainability and policy, food product formulation and new product development, and food microbiology and safety.

We feed the minds to feed a hungry world. 

Food Science students study the chemical and physical composition of food and food ingredients to understand how best to preserve, process, package, and distribute foods that are nutritious, wholesome, affordable, desirable, sustainable and safe to eat. Because the food industry is the largest industry in the world, food scientists are in high demand.

Hunger and Food Security Minor

The Hunger and Food Security Studies minor requires a minimum of 15 credits and focuses on the complexity of hunger and food insecurity as it pertains to nutrition, public health, climate and the environment, sustainability, mental/physical health, and more. This minor provides students with a broader understanding of the complexity of hunger and the various programs, policies, and environmental changes that can reduce this significant social issue. There are very few hunger and food security-related minors across the country. As a result, this is a very unique opportunity for undergraduate students at USU.

The curriculum for this minor is strategically designed to give students a broader understanding of the issue of hunger and food security, expanding upon hunger-related content they may already learn about in their major field of study. All courses in the curriculum are included to provide students with knowledge and skills that are important when working with organizations involved in hunger-relief programming and policy making. Courses from several departments across campus are included in the curriculum. Students will be required to take NDFS 5010 Hunger Issues and Solutions which has been developed to show the complexity of hunger and the importance of understanding the wide variety of fields that influence hunger and food security at a local and global level. Students will also need to take at least 3 credits from each of the following sections: Food, Nutrition, and Health; History, Sociology, and Anthropology; Resources, Climate, and Sustainability; and Geography and the Environment.

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