Nutrition and Food Science

Nutrition B. S.

Do you enjoy food and nutrition? Do you want to help people live healthy lives? Want to make new discoveries about diet, disease, and health?

Then the nutrition baccalaureate program is for you.

A bachelor's degree in nutrition can lead to graduate school, and careers as a researcher or scientist, a teacher, consumer advocate, health coach, registered dietitian, healthcare professional, animal professional, or Peace Corps worker.

Jobs are available in the private sector at hospitals and wellness centers, food and pharmaceutical companies, nonprofits and universities, veterinary offices, zoos, and farms. The World Health Organization, USDA, FDA and other government agencies also offer jobs for graduates with nutrition backgrounds.

The nutrition program comes with the options:


Students who complete the Cal Poly Pomona Didactic Program in Dietetics can apply for post-baccalaureate dietetic internships to become registered dietitians (RD) or dietetic technicians, registered (DTR).

Dietitians and DTRs work in hospitals, outpatient and long-term care facilities; community and government agencies; schools; or the private sector. Administrative dietitians supervise food services in hospitals, extended care facilities, colleges, schools, restaurants, and businesses.

The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Accreditation is required because dietetics is a complex profession that pertains to the health of our nation and therefore requires that the training adheres to national standards. ACEND determines these national standards for both the registered dietitian (RD) and the dietetic technician, registered (DTR) credential.

The Cal Poly Pomona DPD program has a strong record in terms of producing high-quality students with a strong foundation in the sciences who are successful in both dietetic internship and graduate school.

Dietetics requires that individuals learn and apply both the science and the art of nutrition and food in order to meet the nutritional needs and improve the health of our nation.

Students with an aptitude for science, who derive satisfaction from being part of the healthcare or food service management team, and who enjoy working with and counseling people, will find a career in dietetics rewarding. Our state-of-the-art curriculum prepares students for applying to a dietetic internship, graduate school, a career in food service, food production, or public health.

Graduates of this major who complete the DPD receive a pre-professional verification statement which makes them eligible to apply to accredited dietetic internships. It is during the internship that the student gains practical training in diverse areas of dietetic practice.

Only after the satisfactory completion of all three: a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, DPD coursework, and an accredited dietetic internship is the student eligible to take the registered dietitian exam. The only way to earn the registered dietitian credential is to pass this national examination.

The DPD program is the first step in becoming credentialed as a registered dietitian, because it provides only the classroom education component. The student who has received their pre-professional verification statement may also apply to take the dietetic technician, registered, exam (see dietetic technician tab for more information).

More Dietetics Information:

As of Fall 2021, the director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics is:

Emily J. Kiresich, PhD, MPH, MS, RD, FAND
Building 2-120
Phone: (909) 869-2213


California State University programs for professions that require licensure or certification are intended to prepare the student to meet California licensure and certification requirements. Admission into programs for professions that require licensure and certification does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or certificate. Licensure and certification requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the California State University and licensure and certification requirements can change at any time.

The California State University has not determined whether its programs meet other states’ educational or professional requirements for licensure and certification. Students enrolled in a California State University program who are planning to pursue licensure or certification in other states are responsible for determining whether they will meet their state’s requirements for licensure or certification. This disclosure is made pursuant to 34 CFR §668.43(a)(5)(v)(C).

This option combines the core nutrition science courses with additional courses in laboratory and health sciences. It applies chemistry and biology to determine the effect of nutrients on the human body.

Students can pursue different emphases:

  • the pre-professional emphasis helps students explore the connections between diet, disease, health, DNA, cellular biology, and genetics and nutrition. It provides students the background to pursue an advanced degree in the healthcare field, such as medical, dental, and veterinary schools or PharmD. or other graduate programs;
  • the animal nutrition emphasis educates students on how to provide animals with optimal nutrition.

For more information, see the program description in the Cal Poly Pomona University Catalog.

The nutrition and health option offers the following emphases:

  • nutrition and health - students in this emphasis choose additional classes to specialize and learn more about disease prevention, mental and/or physical health, biology, public health, sports medicine or other areas.
  • health coach - student in this emphasis learn more about overall health, such as wellness and psychological aspects of health.

For more information, see the option description in the Cal Poly Pomona University Catalog.