Nutrition and Food Science with a concentration in Applied Nutrition
In 2008, more than half of all graduates in nutrition were employed in hospitals, nursing care facilities, or offices of physicians or other health practitioners. Today, roughly 63% of nutritionist positions are specifically situated in local and state health departments, schools, public or private health agencies, and other community-based organizations that provide nutrition education, monitoring, and other supportive health care services for their target audiences. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for graduates with a strong background in community health and nutrition education is expected to increase 20 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.
The B.S. in Nutrition with a concentration in Applied Nutrition is ideal for those individuals who are interested in working in the field of nutrition in non-clinical settings. The curriculum gives students the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills in nutritional assessment and support techniques that target groups of people within a community and not just individuals. Graduates are prepared to develop, manage and coordinate group-based nutrition education programs for a wide variety of federal-, state-, or privately-funded community-based services.
Students also have the unique opportunity to combine their coursework in nutrition with courses for other disciplines by building a minor into their major program. Minors such as Public Health, Communication Studies, Journalism, Political Science, Psychology or Sociology allow graduates to apply their knowledge of nutrition in a tangential but specialized field such as weight loss consulting, nutrition communication, public health policy and regulations, social services, elder care health services, or food retail, to name a few.
The specific objectives of the program are:
- To prepare practitioners with skills in performing group-level nutritional needs assessments in the community
- To prepare practitioners with skills in analyzing gaps in existing policies and planning appropriate population-based nutrition education initiatives
- To prepare practitioners who are committed to social justice and the elimination of health disparities in their communities using advanced-level critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- To prepare practitioners to contribute to a diverse workforce representing multiple cultural, educational and other professional backgrounds
- To prepare practitioners to collaborate with other professionals in the field and work together to advance the standing of the applied nutrition profession