Department Chair: Jayne Byrne

Faculty: Jayne Byrne, Bernadette Elhard, Alexa Evenson, Mark Glen, Emily Heying, Amy Olson, Linda Shepherd

The study and practice of nutrition plays a vital role in the prevention and treatment of disease, maintenance of health and fitness, athletic performance, 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: Biology, Chemistry, 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 and Business, 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, 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 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, 1-800-877-1600, ext 5400,

Nutrition Major 

Courses required of all students majoring in Nutrition: NUTR 125, 225 or 223, 323, and 395. Additional supporting work (20 or 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 - no concentration (46 credits)

NUTR 125, 225, 301, 323, and 395, plus a minimum of 8 additional credits in Nutrition (NUTR) courses. In addition, students must complete a minimum of 20 credits of prerequisite courses from Biology (BIOL 101, and 216), Chemistry (CHEM 125 and 250), 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.
BIOL 201 (Intermediate Cell Biology and Genetics) may be substituted for BIOL 216 if indicated for the completion of a student's selected pre-professional program.

Dietetics Concentration [DPD] (68 credits)

The DPD provides the academic preparation for a career in Dietetics. To earn the credential of Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), students must have a bachelor's degree and: 1) successfully complete an accredited academic program in dietetics, 2) apply, be accepted to, and complete an accredited dietetic internship program, and 3) pass the national registration examination for dietitians. Participation in the accredited internship program take place after a bachelor's degree and accredited dietetics curriculum is completed. The national registration examination cannot be attempted until an accredited internship has been successfully completed. In addition to earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Nutrition and completing an accredited dietetics program, students in the DPD may pursue a minor or elective coursework, or study abroad.

Required Courses for the Didactic Program in Dietetics:
Prerequisites: CHEM 125, 250; BIOL 101, 216; MATH 124.
Nutrition Courses: 125, 220, 225, 230, 305, 323, 330, 331, 333, 337, 341, 342, 343, 345, and 395.
BIOL 201 (Intermediate Cell Biology and Genetics) may be substituted for BIOL 216 if indicated for the completion of a student's selected pre-professional program.

Food and Business Concentration (58 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: ACFN 113, 114; ART 118, 215 or 217 or 218; ECON 111, plus one of the following; ECON 315, 318, or 320; MATH 122; GBUS* 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.
*Students intending to double major or minor in GBUS should take GBUS 210 in place of GBUS 201.

Nutrition Science Concentration (66-71 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, 250 +201; BIOL 120, 221.
Supporting Courses: CHEM 251,255,201,202,205; MATH 123, 124; PHYS 105, 106.
Nutrition Courses: 125, 223, 230, 323, 330, 331, 380, 381, 396

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)