Nutrition and Food Science

Nutrition and Food Science

The Department of Nutrition and Food Science's mission is supporting a creative and innovative environment to prepare baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate students through a learn-by-doing approach for careers in the health and food science professions to benefit society. The department's vision is to be a nationally recognized center of excellence in producing nutrition and food science leaders as well as creating and disseminating knowledge in collaboration with alumni, community, government, and industry.

Established in 1965 under the name Foods and Nutrition, today the Department of Nutrition and Food Science offers a bachelor's degree in nutrition (NTR) with options in Dietetics (Didactic Program in Dietetics), Nutrition Science with emphases in Pre-professional and Animal Nutrition and Nutrition and Health with emphases in both Nutrition and Health and Health Coach; as well as a bachelor's degree in Food Science and Technology (FST) with tracks or emphases in Business, Culinology ®, Science and Technology and Pre-professional. The post-baccalaureate Dietetic Internship Program is also offered as well as a Master's degree in Agriculture under the Nutrition and Food Science subplan. Combined enrollments in all the programs listed above account for more than 500 students. NFS also offers minors in Nutrition, Food Science and Technology, Food Safety, Plant-based Nutrition, and Culinology® as well as many general education courses open to all majors (online and face to face versions).


In addition to our regular programs, NFS offers an optional opportunity to learn important Dietetic skills in Spanish known as Estudiante de Dietética. The program consists of three activity courses on nutrition and medical terminology in Spanish, Hispanic foods and culture, nutrition counseling and educating skills in Spanish (NTR 3350A, NTR 3280A, and NTR 4440A).

Our Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and our Dietetics Internship Program are both accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), which is the accrediting agency of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), formerly known as the American Dietetic Association, for education programs that prepare students for careers as Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) or Dietetic Technicians, Registered (DTRs).

Our undergraduate programs prepare students for challenging and rewarding careers in the professional fields of Nutrition and Dietetics and Food Science and Technology, with opportunities both in the private sector as well as government agencies. Our programs also provide strong academic backgrounds for graduate study and research.

NFS has active student clubs that are a vital component of student and department life: The Foods and Nutrition Forum (FN Forum) and the Food Science Society (FSS). FSS is the local chapter of the Institute of Food Technologists Student Association (IFTSA). We also have local chapters of two honor societies: Phi Upsilon Omicron (Family and Consumer Sciences) and Phi Tau Sigma (Food Science). Students are encouraged to become members of the main professional societies in our fields: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (FN students), Institute of Food Technologists (FST students) and Research Chefs Association (Culinology emphasis students).

The department has several scholarship endowments: the Kellogg Company Scholarship Fund, The Ramiro Dutra Scholarship, The Cheryl Loggins Scholarship, and the Edison and Nenita Cabacungan Scholarship. Other scholarship opportunities are also available to students through the Huntley College of Agriculture as well as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Phi Upsilon Omicron, the Southern California Institute of Food Technologists Section (SCIFTS), the Research Chefs Association and other professional societies and trade associations. 

If you are a high school student who plans to major in foods and nutrition, you should build a background in chemistry, mathematics, and biology. Community college students should concentrate courses that articulate to CHM 1201, CHM 1220 with laboratories, CHM 2010, BIO 1150/1150L, Physiology (BIO 2350/2350L), foods (NTR 1210/1210L), nutrition (NTR 2350), statistics (STA 1200), communication (COM 2240), and general education course requirements. 

The curriculum, facilities, and faculty reflect the nutrition and food science department’s commitment to a strong, up-to-date, science-based undergraduate program that provides the types of skills and knowledge needed by graduates to meet professional goals. The nutrition major has three options: dietetics, nutrition science, and nutrition and health.