Photo: Fruit.

About Nutritional Sciences

Nutrition emphasizes the metabolic aspects of how organisms use food. It includes knowledge of how food is digested, absorbed and used for energy and growth as well as how and why nutrient requirements change over the live span and under stress. The field of nutritional sciences encompasses all aspects of an organism's interaction with food. It includes biochemical, physiologic, molecular, psychological, and cultural aspects of food choice and nutrient metabolism.

The Nutritional Sciences major includes the following options:

  • Dietetics
  • Nutrition
  • Community Nutrition
  • Food Service Administration
  • Nutrition, Food & Business

All students complete the core requirements in biology and chemistry and then pursue the specific course work pertinent to the option they have chosen. The largest number of students is enrolled in the Dietetics Option which was accredited in October, 2013 at the baccalaureate level for a period of 10 years.

Program Goals

Through completion of the program in Nutritional Sciences, graduate will be prepared for supervised practice in dietetics, graduate school, or employment by mastering the biological, psychosocial, and community principles of food and nutrition coursework tailored to their option.

Depending on their program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Differentiate biology, chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, and physiology and how they apply to digestion, absorption, and metabolism of food and nutrients.
  2. Integrate biological, behavioral, and environmental factors and explain how nutrition impacts human health and disease.
  3. Evaluate the implications and limitations of nutrition research by using critical thinking and analytical skills.
  4. Describe how food and nutrition community programs are important in helping to improve public health across the lifespan.
  5. Use a range of current technologies to demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills.

Beyond these program goals, each option has specific goals as delineated below.

Dietetics Option

The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, located in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Department of Nutritional Sciences on the New Brunswick Campus are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, (312) 899-0040 ext. 5400. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

For further information on ACEND accreditation, contact:

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza Suite 2190
Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995
Phone (800)-877-1600 ext. 5400
E-mail: acend@eatright.org
www.eatright.org/ACEND


For more information on our ISPP graduate program please visit the program website.

After students have satisfied specific core requirements, they can proceed to the dietetics option. Upon completing the dietetics option and receiving a DPD Verification Statement, students are eligible to apply for a dietetic internship program to prepare for the CDR credentialing exam for a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Upon receiving the DPD Verification Statement, students are also eligible to take the CDR credentialing exam for Nutrition and Dietetic Technician, Registered. To learn more, students are encouraged to download the Student Manual for the Didactic Program in Dietetics (PDF), view the Course List for the Dietetics Option (PDF), and visit the Dietetics Option website.

Mission

Our mission is to provide a broad educational background incorporating the knowledge, and research and practice skills, needed to prepare students for supervised practice leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to become competent entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists who apply research skills and evidence-based practice to serve the public and promote health and prevent disease.

Goal 1

Through completion of the DPD program, graduates will be prepared for a supervised practice program or graduate school.

Objectives:

Goal 2

To prepare DPD program graduates to become competent entry-level RDNs servicing the needs of the public in promoting health and preventing disease.

Objectives:

Program outcomes data are available upon request from the Program Director, Dr. Virginia Quick via email at vquick@njaes.rutgers.edu.

Course List for the Dietetics Option (PDF)

Nutrition Option

The option in Nutrition provides sound training for those intending to go to graduate school in any of the life sciences, conduct biomedical research, or pursue preprofessional (medical, dental) studies. The nutrition option also prepares for entry-level jobs in biomedical research fields in industry and academia.

After completing the core requirements, students who choose the Nutrition option take advanced courses in molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, and physiology, in addition to nutrition courses (e.g., nutritional aspects of energy metabolism; nutritional aspects of protein, vitamin and mineral metabolism).

Learning Goals:

Upon completion of the Nutrition option, graduates will:

  • Have a foundational knowledge of digestion, absorption, and metabolism of food and nutrients.
  • Explain the role of macronutrients and micronutrients for energy, growth, and health.
  • Be able to evaluate studies in nutrition for scientific rigor

Course list for Nutrition Option (PDF)

Community Nutrition Option

This option addresses the growing need for nutrition professionals to work with youth in structured organizations at the local, state, and national level such as WIC, Head Start, 4-H, cooperative extension, after school care, day care, environmental education, and programs for homeless children and families.

Learning Goals:

Upon completion of the Community Nutrition option, graduates will:

  • Have a foundational knowledge of digestion, absorption, and metabolism of food and nutrients.
  • Be able to apply nutrition principles in diverse community settings using their knowledge of cultural foods and food assistance programs.
  • Be able to describe economic and health disparities at the local, state, and national levels.

Course list for Community Nutrition (PDF)

Food Service Administration Option

The option in Food Service Administration is for students who want careers in food service marketing or in managing food service in schools, hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, corporations, hospitals, and long-term care facilities. Students complete the basic core requirements and take advanced courses in quantity food production, managing food-service systems, and institutional organization and management. They supplement this concentration with elective courses in business, agribusiness, and food science.

Learning Goals:

Upon completion of the Food Service Administration option, graduates will:

  • Have a foundational knowledge of digestion, absorption, and metabolism of food and nutrients.
  • Be able to plan, organize, and supervise foodservice facilities in for-profit and nonprofit organizations.
  • Be able to use food product information and financial management principles when planning menus.

Course list for Food Service Administration Option (PDF)

Nutrition, Food and Business Option

This option prepares professionals to work in food and food related industries at the interface of nutrition, food, and business. The fundamentals of nutrition, the science of food, and business prepare students for positions in test kitchens of food companies, product development in the food industry, public relations, pharmaceutical companies, the supermarket industry, and in research.

Learning Goals:

Upon completion of the Nutrition, Food and Business option, graduates will:

  • Have a foundational knowledge of digestion, absorption, and metabolism of food and nutrients.
  • Apply their knowledge of food chemistry to food safety and cooking techniques
  • Create innovative recipes to improve nutrient density and palatability of new food products.

Course list for Nutrition, Food and Business (PDF)

Independent Study

All students are encouraged to pursue independent research projects with faculty members.