Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences: BS
A bachelor of science in nutrition, dietetics, and food sciences focuses on the scientific, economic, and social aspects of food production and consumption. 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 this field.
- Dietetics: A registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) is an expert in food and nutrition and an advocate for healthy eating. Registered dietitian nutritionists are employed in a variety of settings including clinical facilities, food service establishments and community programs. USU offers two programs in dietetics: the Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD) and the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). Admission into either program requires a formal application process during spring semester of the sophomore year. See the "What It Takes" section for details.
- Food Science: Food Science students study the chemical composition of food and food ingredients and preserve, process, package, and distribute foods that are nutritious, wholesome, affordable, desirable, and safe to eat. Since the food industry is the largest industry in the world, food scientists are in high demand.
- Nutrition Science: This emphasis provides students with a solid background in health and life sciences. Nutrition scientists study the molecular and cellular basis of human health and disease. They integrate principles of nutrition with related sciences, such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and medicine. This emphasis also prepares students to enter medical school by providing experiences and opportunities in laboratory research, epidemiology, and clinical nutrition.
With a degree in nutrition, dietetics, and food sciences, students may be qualified for the following careers:
Food Science Emphasis
Students who graduate with this emphasis find employment in the food industry (Nestle, Mead Johnson, Tyson, etc.), with government agencies (USDA, FDA, etc.), or in academia doing the following:
- Food scientist
- Food sales
- Food product development
- Sales and marketing
- Management and administration
Nutrition Science (Pre-med) Emphasis
- Premedical, predental, and pregraduate studies
- Nutrition specialist
- Biotechnology and nutrition research
- Work in secondary schools as a nutrition specialist
- Pharmaceutical sales
- Nutrition education
- Health promotion in private and nonprofit organizations
- Public health
- Registered Nutritionist
- Clinical nutrition (hospitals, long-term care facilities, health care, etc.)
- Community nutrition and education
- Public health
- Food service management: schools, clinical facilities
- Private consulting
- Sports nutrition
Career Services provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.
In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, this program has additional requirements:
Food Science and Nutrition Science (Pre-med) Emphases:
- Freshman: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to this major.
- Transfer Students: Transfer students from other institutions and students transferring from other USU majors need a 2.5 total GPA for admission to these emphases.
- Freshman: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to the pre-dietetics program.
- Transfer Students: Transfer students from other institutions and students transferring from other USU majors need a 3.0 total GPA to apply to this emphasis.
- Dietetics Program Requirements: In order to be formally admitted into the dietetics program, students must apply to either the CPD or DPD program.
- CPD: The CPD program is limited to 12 students per year. Students in this program complete a 1,200-hour internship while completing their junior- and senior-level coursework. After graduation, they are eligible to take the national registration exam, administered by the American Dietetic Association, to obtain their registered dietitian credential.
- DPD: Usually 12-18 students are admitted to this program each year. Students in the DPD program complete junior- and senior-level coursework, graduate, and then apply for an internship elsewhere. The internship is 1,200 hours and typically takes 7-12 months to complete. After the internship is complete, students are eligible to take the national registration exam, administered by the American Dietetic Association, to obtain their registered dietitian credential.
- Complete prerequisite coursework (see department for more information)
- Have a 3.0 GPA or higher
- Submit a cover letter and written application summarizing academic performance, goals, and dietetics-related experience
- Complete 200 hours of dietetic-related experience (see department for more information)
- Participate in a 20-minute interview and take a short math quiz
International students have additional admissions requirements.
Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs
Institute of Food Technologists: For more than 70 years, the Institute of Food Technologists has been unlocking the potential of the food science community by creating a dynamic global forum where members from more than 100 countries can share, learn, and grow. By serving as a leading advocate for food science and a catalyst for change around the world, they have educated the media and policy makers, and have worked with governments to shape regulations.
Phi Upsilon Omicron: This is a national honor society for majors in family and consumer sciences. The society recognizes and encourages academic excellence, develops qualities of professional and personal leadership, provide opportunities for service to the profession and encourage professional and personal commitment to the area of family and consumer sciences.
Food Science Club: The Food Science Club is a student chapter of the Institute of Food Technologists, a national organization, and consists of both undergraduate and graduate students. The purpose of this club is to assist the student's professional development. This is done through organized student activities designed to enhance knowledge of nutrition and food science, expose students to leadership roles, and meet professionals employed in their emphasis.
Dietetics Club: The Dietetics Club meets monthly to provide opportunities to interact with other dietetics students and participate in projects and activities related to nutrition.
Labs, Centers, Research
With the second oldest undergraduate research program in the nation, USU offers students a wide range of opportunities to gain hands-on research experience. USU’s Honors Program prepares students for excellent graduate programs by helping them build relationships with professors, participate in research projects, take smaller, more intensive classes, and develop leadership skills.
Center for Advanced Nutrition: The CAN provides a multi-disciplinary venue for the discussion, discovery, and dissemination of information about the biological, physiological, and psychological mechanisms of proper nutrition. The scope of discovery is broad and falls into four distinct but overlapping focus areas: bioactive foods, nutrition and the brain, ingestive behavior, and personalized nutrition.
Center for Human Nutrition Studies: The "Center for Human Nutrition Studies" at Utah State University provides the organizational structure and logistic support for research scientists with interests in conducting clinical studies with an emphasis on nutrition. The Center, with a core staff consisting of experienced clinical researchers, community interventionist, research dietitian, clinic coordinator, laboratory research associate and support staff, coupled with an outstanding clinical facility and research kitchen, is designed to serve as a resource to Utah State University researchers in efforts to secure extramural research funding and industry contracts and partnerships. The Center also provides opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to gain experience in the design and conduct of human nutrition clinical studies. The Center is managed by the USTAR Applied Nutrition Research Team in conjunction with the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science and under the administrative oversight of the College of Agriculture.
Center for Integrated BioSystems: The CIB leads a progressive, interdisciplinary effort in research, core services, and education serving agriculture and life sciences. The CIB is where the first hybrid animal, a mule, was cloned, and was named one of “30 Awesome College Labs” by Popular Science magazine. The CIB has a research program with several active projects in diverse areas of life science that encompass plant, animal, and microbe functional genomics.
Dairy Plant/Aggie Ice Cream: Famous Aggie Ice Cream is produced in the Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences Building. Ice Cream, cheese, yogurt, jerky, and other food products are available.
Kitchen/Taste Panel Roomand Sensory Laboratory: The Kitchen/Taste Panel Room and Sensory Laboratory is where students and community members often participate as members of a consumer panel to test food products and/or rate the taste of new foods developed by food science students.
Meat Processing Plant: In this facility, students learn how to identify and harvest different cuts of meat.
Utah Agricultural Experiment Station: The UAES is part of a network of researchers and facilities at the nation’s land-grant universities and is committed to improving agriculture and managing natural resources for the people of Utah. At research facilities on the USU campus and throughout the state, UAES supports hundreds of research projects that promote agriculture and human nutrition and enhance the quality of rural life.
Western Dairy Center: The Western Dairy Center conducts basic and applied research in dairy products and ingredients, and then transfers the results to the dairy industry. The center provides expert assistance in these important areas: fluid milk and ice cream, fermented products (cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, buttermilk), milk protein chemistry (coagulation, denaturation, separation), food engineering (membrane, extrusion and injection processing), genetics and bioengineering of lactic acid bacteria, ultra-high temperature and extended-shelf life products.