Department Chair:Jayne Byrne

Faculty: Jayne Byrne, Bernadette Elhard, Mark Glen, Amy Olson, Ramona Robinson-O'Brien, Linda Shepherd, Alexa Hanson

The study and practice of nutrition plays a vital role in the prevention and treatment of disease, maintenance of health and fitness, athletic performance, prevention and treatment of disease, public health policy development, foodservice management, food and product development, and consumer health education. Rapid advances in medical and genetics research, food studies, and health care reform coupled with increased consumer demand for food and nutrition information, have made this discipline increasingly diverse and complex. The need for food and nutrition experts, dietitians and nutrition scientists is greater than ever before. The Nutrition Department offers both a major and a minor in nutrition that prepare students for lifelong learning and the integration of basic food and nutrition concepts across many discipline areas. The required introductory sequence of courses in the Nutrition major provide a broad overview of ideas and information in the field. Additional course requirements in the Nutrition major allow for a more in-depth exploration of specific areas within this broad discipline. The Nutrition major offers a flexible curriculum that encourages students, in close consultation with an academic advisor in the department, to design a multidisciplinary, integrated plan of study that may include course work from areas such as: Exercise Science and Sports Studies, Psychology, Communication, Environmental Studies, Economics, Management, and Art. Students with a specific interest or goal may select one of three distinct concentrations within the Nutrition major: Dietetics, Food Studies, or Nutrition Science. Students with an interest in fitness and sports nutrition may integrate the Nutrition major with the Sports Medicine minor.

The Catholic Benedictine tradition and the strong liberal arts curriculum provided by the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University serve students in Nutrition well. It encourages the development of strong communication skills, critical thinking, ethical decision making skills, a commitment to service, and respect for all individuals. In addition, the Nutrition curriculum provides exceptional opportunities for active learning through laboratory experiences, service learning projects, professional practice experiences, and research. The Nutrition Department appreciates the value of experiential learning, and strongly encourages students majoring in nutrition to participate in internships, research, employment and/or volunteer experiences that will provide valuable, practical experience for future professional positions in foods and nutrition.


The Nutrition Department completes an annual assessment of student learning outcomes. Outcome assessments reflect the students’ abilities in written and oral communication, service learning, collaboration, leadership, and their knowledge-base in nutrition. The dietetics concentration within the major is accredited as a Didactic Program by the Commission on Accreditation for Dieteticz Education of The American Dietetic Association (120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 1-800-877-1600, ext 5400,

Nutrition Major 

Courses required of all students majoring in Nutrition: NUTR 125, 225, 323, and 395. Additional supporting work (20or more credits) and upper division nutrition courses will vary by concentration.

The nutrition major prepares students for a variety of career options or graduate study. The major can be designed to emphasize fitness and sports medicine, or specific areas in the natural or social sciences such as Food Science, Communication, or Psychology.

Basic requirements for the Nutrition Major (42-44 credits)

NUTR 125, 225, 323, and 395, plus a minimum of 12 additional credits in Nutrition (NUTR) courses. In addition, students must complete a minimum of 20credits of prerequisite courses from Biology (BIOL 121, 214), Chemistry (CHEM 125, 107), and Mathematics (MATH 124). Supporting coursework may vary within the areas of concentration.  Upper division (courses numbered 300 and above) in nutrition require specific pre-requisite courses in biology, chemistry, and/or mathematics in addition to lower division courses in foods and nutrition. Students should carefully consider pre-requisite requirements when planning their academic course work in the nutrition major.

Dietetics Concentration [DPD] (46-50 credits)

The DPD provides the academic preparation for a career in Dietetics. To earn the credential of Registered Dietitian (RD), students must have a bachelor's degree and: 1) successfully complete an accredited academic program in dietetics, 2) apply and be accepted to an accredited dietetic internship program, and 3) pass the national registration examination for dietitians. In addition to earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Nutrition and completing an accredited dietetics program, students in the DPD can pursue a minor or elective coursework, or study abroad. Students can also use this major without the internship to gain a nutrition background for other health care careers, jobs in food industry, or preparation for graduate study.

Required Courses for the Didactic Program in Dietetics:
Prerequisites: CHEM 125, 107; BIOL 121, 214; MATH 124.
Nutrition Courses: 125, 220, 225, 230, 305, 323, 330, 331, 333, 337, 341, 342, 343, 345, and 395.

Food Studies Concentration (32 credits)

The Food Studies Concentration prepares students for a variety of positions related to food service management, food product development, food science research, culinary arts, and/or food marketing.

Required Courses for the Concentration in Food Studies:
Prerequisites and supporting courses: ACCT 113, 114; ART 118, 215 or 218; ECON 111, 320; MATH 122; MGMT 201, 321. Students are strongly encouraged to complete at least 4 credits in Chemistry.
Nutrition courses: 125, 225, 230, 323, 341, 343, 345 and 395.

Nutrition Science Concentration (26-28 credits)

Nutrition Science is excellent preparation for individuals pursuing a medical or health related career, or graduate programs in exercise physiology, food science or nutrition. This major builds on the basic sciences and provides opportunities to explore nutrition in depth through research. Students gain experience in designing and conducting research, laboratory methods, collecting data, writing proposals and presenting results. These skills are critical for students advancing to graduate programs or entering professions where staying on the cutting edge of practice requires the continual critical evaluation of published research.

Required Courses:
Prerequisites: CHEM 125, 234; BIOL 121, 221.
Supporting Courses: CHEM 235, 236; MATH 123, 124; PHYS 105, 106.
Nutrition Courses: 125, 225, 230, 323, 330, 331, 380, 381, 390 or 395.

Minor in Nutrition (20 credits)

Minors in nutrition are required to complete the following coursework, plus 8 additional credits in Nutrition: 125, 220, 230, 323. Students interested in the nutrition minor are encouraged to contact the Chair of the nutrition department to assist in the selection of the additional 8 credits in nutrition that will best meet their interests.

Courses (NUTR)

125 Concepts of Nutrition Science. (4)
Basic concepts of nutrition are introduced emphasizing the role of nutrition in health. Topics include: Dietary Guidelines, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals; energy balance and weight control, sports nutrition and fitness; and food safety. Students are provided the opportunity to assess their own nutritional status through computerized diet analysis, blood cholesterol and glucose screening, and to learn principles of diet planning and food selection to promote health through a variety of hands-on experiences in the lab setting. Laboratory. Fall and spring.

200 Managing Food Service Operations. (2)
Intended for students who are not majoring in dietetics, this course will focus on the food service system; management and leadership decisions are made with the understanding of their effect on the whole as well as the parts. Applications of the systems model will be utilized throughout the course as a means of understanding the structure of foodserviceoperations. Principles of management regarding menu planning, food safety, procurement, production, service, human resources, financial management and facility/equipment design are addressed throughout the course. Prerequisites: MGMT 201, ACCT 113. Spring.

212 Contemporary Topics in Foods and Nutrition. (2)
A comprehensive examination of contemporary issues that relate to consumer food choices and the impact of food choices on individual health, public health, and/or the environment. Class structure will include lecture and guided discussion. Topics vary, but may include areas such as organic and sustainable agriculture, bioengineering of food, security of the food and water supply, development of dietary guidelines, global hunger. Fall or Spring.

220 Exploring Weight Issues: Obesity and Eating Disorders. (2)
This course will examine the diagnostic criteria and current prevalence of obesity and eating disorders (ED) including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. The course will explore the multi-factorial causes and consequences of obesity and eating disorders, and the latest clinical treatment options, including an in-depth look at the theory and evidence behind many of the popular diets. The last section of the course will discuss prevention strategies for ED and obesity, and include novel public health approaches to the prevention of obesity. Prerequisite: 125. Fall and spring.

225 Experimental Food Science. (4)
A laboratory-based foods course which examines the underlying principles of chemistry, biology, and physics that influence food quality. Employing the scientific method, students observe the effects of modifying ratios and types of ingredients, as well as altering food preparation methods, on a variety of food products. Emphasis is placed on classic culinary techniques in the preparation of food, and sensory and objective evaluation of the results of food experiments. Issues in food safety, technology, and biotechnology are discussed throughout this course. Laboratory. Fall and spring.

230 Food and Culture. (2)
The meaning and significance of food within cultures will be identified by exploring how climate, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status and religion influence food choices and preferences. Special emphasis will be placed on how food impacts the health of various populations. The experience of tasting foods and practicing food preparation techniques from a variety of traditions will be part of the class. Fall and spring.

260 Topics in Nutrition. (2)
A tightly focused class that provides in-depth inquiry into one aspect of nutrition. Structure of the class will vary depending upon the topic but will combine lecture, discussion, and readings specific to the topic. When appropriate, the course may also incorporate experiential, laboratory based projects or a research project. Topics vary but may include: sports nutrition, complementary and alternative medicine, historical perspectives on the development of the discipline of nutrition, culinary arts, prevention or management of a specific disease or condition through nutrition therapy. Prerequisites: vary by topic, either NUTR 125 or 225. Fall or spring. 


271 Individual Learning Project. (1-4)
Supervised reading or research at the lower-division level. Permission of department chair required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements. Not available to first-year students.

305 Leadership in Dietetics (2)
This course is focused on professional knowledge and skill development related to practice issues in dietetics, such as Standards of Practice, professional ethics, health care ethics, health care policy and reform, and legislative involvement.  Students will have the opportunity to develop a professional portfolio, and establish career goals.  Prerequisites:  NUTR 323, 330 and 343.  Dietetics majors only.

323 Public Health Nutrition: Infancy Through Aging. (4)
Study of nutrition and human growth and development including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence, adulthood, and aging. Physiological, psychological, and chronic degenerative conditions associated with aging and related nutritional implications are examined. An epidemiological approach is utilized to examine relationships between diet, disease, and health status; implications for public health policy; and existing federal, state, and community programs.  Prerequisite: 125. Fall and Spring.

330 Nutritional Biochemistry and Assessment (Macronutrients). (4)
The physiological functions and biochemical roles of carbohydrates, lipids and protein, and nutrient metabolism are addressed. The laboratory will emphasize research design and techniques for determining nutritional status. Students will learn how to formulate hypothesis, design experiments, collect data, measure and interpret nutritional assessment parameters, integrate and analyze information, answer research questions, and draw appropriate conclusions. Laboratory. Prerequisites: 125, CHEM 107 or concurrently with CHEM 235. Fall.

331 Exercise Nutrition and Supplements. (4)
The nutritional needs to support exercise performance, health and weight control, including the biochemical roles of vitamins, minerals, herbal products and ergogenicaids will be explored. Laboratory experiments provide students with the opportunity to be both subject and researcher as they design experiments, collect data and interpret results. Laboratory. Prerequisites: 125 and CHEM 107 or CHEM 235. Spring.

333 Nutrition Therapy - Chronic Disease. (4)
The course provides an overview of the role of the diet and nutrition in the management and treatment of selected diseases. Class theory will emphasize why diet is altered in response to certain pathologies. Topics: the Nutrition Care Process, nutrient/drug interactions, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, food allergy, nutritional anemias, special nutrition concerns of the geriatric and pediatric population, nutrition and neurological/psychiatric disorders, selected topics in alternative medicine. Prerequisites: 125, 323, 330, BIOL 214 or 221, or permission of instructor. Fall.

335 Clinical Applications of Nutrition. (4)
This course introduces the basic concepts of nutrition for students pursuing a non-dietetic or non-nutrition health care profession. The first half primarily provides an overview of the function of the major macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients, including the principles of how nutrients are absorbed, digested and metabolized. The second half of the course emphasizes the role of diet in the management and treatment of a variety of common clinical conditions. The aim is to provide the learner with an understanding of the principles of some of the common dietary interventions. Prerequisites: BIOL 214 and NRSG 207. Spring.

337 Nutrition Therapy - Critical Care. (4)
The course presents an overview of the role of diet and nutrition in the management and treatment of selected conditions and diseases. Class theory will emphasize how diet is altered in response to certain pathologies, and will cover the fundamentals of nutrition support. Topics: kidney diseases, nutrition and immunity, critical care nutrition, nutrition support, gastrointestinal diseases, pulmonary disease, ethical issues related to nutritional care. Prerequisites: 125, 323, 330, BIOL 214 or 221, or permission of instructor. Spring.

341 Nutrition Education. (2)
This course examines the principles and theories of effective nutrition education. Using the principles and theories, students  do some of the following:  develop nutrition education presentations for adults and children, create public displays, write nutrition articles and materials, and use and evaluate media. Prerequisites: 125, 323. Fall and spring.

342 Interviewing and Counseling Skills. (2)
The course examines the principles and theories that provide a framework for successfully influencing behavior and motivating behavior change. Basic concepts of counseling theory, methods, and interviewing strategies are addressed.  Prerequisites: 125, 323. Fall and spring. S/U grading only.

343 Food Production and Procurement. (4)
The principles of food planning and production, menu planning, procurement, service and distribution, sanitation and safety, facility management including layout and design and equipment selection are addressed using a system approach to food service operations. Significant hands-on quantity food production laboratory experiences will take place in the large-scale kitchens of CSB/SJU and the surrounding community. A final class catering project will reflect a culmination of the theory discussed throughout the course and the experience gained in supervised practice. Laboratory. Prerequisite: 225. Fall.

345 Entrepreneurship and Management in Food Industry.  (4)
The course will provide a forum for studying the process of management, which provides the framework for discussion of leadership in the profession. Emphasis will be placed on the foodservices system; management and leadership decisions are made with the understanding of their effect on the whole as well as the parts. The course begins with a review of important background information: paradigms and societal transformations; systems theory; ethics and social responsibility. Then, the major management functions of: 1) planning, decision-making, communication and marketing, 2)organizing structures, 3) leadership and organizational change, 4)human resources management, and 5) controls and financial management will provide the guiding structure for review of the fundamental principles and responsibilities of the modern leader in food and nutrition services. Students will engage in a unique hands-on experience building on their prerequisite knowledge of Experimental Food Science (NUTR 225) and Food Production and Procurement (NUTR 343) as they develop and operate a small company.  Students will develop a business plan and examine the managerial functions of planning, organizing, human resource management, leadership, and controlling the financial and quality factors within the structure of their system. In the process, students will market their company to potential clients and ultimately produce and serve foods designed to meet client expectations. The course consists of lecture, research and development labs (12) and outside catered events. Prerequisites: NUTR 225, 343. Spring.

371 Individual Learning Project. (2-8)
Supervised reading or research at the upper-division level. Permission of department chair and completion and/or concurrent registration of 12 credits within the department required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements.

380 Nutrition Research Seminar 1. (1)
This course is the first in a two semester seminar sequence intended to introduce students to the process of conducting research. In this seminar course, students will: develop a research question; conduct a literature search; learn about types of research designs and their appropriate use; write a research proposal; learn about the institutional review process (IRB) and informed consent. Prerequisite: 330. Spring.

381 Nutrition Research Seminar 2. (1)
This course is the second in a two semester sequence intended to introduce students to the process of conducting research. In this second seminar course, students will: learn how to develop research budgets and seek funding; review and apply basic statistical methods to analyze data; practice data analysis and graphic presentation; write abstracts; develop a poster presentation and a formal oral presentation. Prerequisites: 330 and 380; MATH 124.

390 Independent Nutrition Research. (1-4)
Students, working with a research advisor, engage in independent research. Students are expected to meet regularly with the research advisor(s) and follow a jointly agreed upon schedule of planned meetings or stages or work. Students will be required to present the outcome of the research project to a public audience. Number of credits assigned will vary by project. (1 credit = 4 hours/week of work.) Permission of the Chair required for registration.

395  Nutrition Capstone (2)
A discussion based course that will focus on contemporary issues in food and nutrition.  Students will prepare and present a major paper to participants in the course.  Emphasis will be placed on analysis, interpretation, and application of evidence from major sources in the discipline.  Prerequisites:  NURT 125, 225, 323, and 12 additional credits in nutrition, or permission of instructor.  Spring. 

398 Honors Senior Essay, Research or Creative Project. (4)
Required for graduation with "Distinction in Nutrition." Prerequisite: HONR 396 and approval of the department chair and director of the Honors Thesis Program. For further information see HONR 398.