Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions for Required Courses


Methods and techniques of nutritional screening and assessment in the pediatric and adult population. Discussions include, but are not limited to evaluation of dietary intake, anthropometric measurements, biochemical tests, and clinical assessment using the Nutrition-Focused Physical Exam.


Review of major food and nutrition programs serving local-global citizens, their goals and target populations. Survey of major US food and nutrition program evaluations. Review of nutrition related chronic health problems and targeted interventions by private voluntary organization, non-profit organizations, public health and other government entities.  Exploration of the social, political, economic, and environmental factors that affect the demand and delivery of nutrition services and health prevention/promotion.


This course lays the groundwork for medical nutrition therapy, implementing the nutrition care process, enteral and parenteral nutrition, fluid, electrolyte and acid-base balance, cellular immunity and selected disease conditions.


This course examines the pathophysiology, biochemical and behavioral abnormalities, medical management, nutrition care process, and medical nutrition therapy as they relate to the various diseases providing a theoretical and practical base for diet modification and nutritional therapy.  


Study of instructional methods to nutrition education with utilization of theories and principles of learning. Discussion of the interdisciplinary team approach to individual and group-centered nutrition counseling.  Application of skills and techniques of nutrition counseling based on current theories of behavior change.


This course integrates evidence-based practice in Medical Nutrition Therapy, culinary medicine and cultural foods, emphasizing sensory evaluation, nutrient quality, nutrition security, food safety, and disease prevention and modification. The laboratory training will empower the student to assist clients in developing lifestyles that reshape the course of their diseases within their cultural context and financial status. 


This course gives students a thorough scientific understanding of biochemistry and cell and molecular biology, and to apply this to the impact of nutrition on health. This includes a basic understanding of metabolism, physiology and molecular genetics. Knowledge of biochemistry is vital for understanding the growth and development of the animals and plants that make up our food chain. Biochemistry and nutrition are inextricably linked from the structure of the molecules in food to the processes by which nutrients are metabolized and digested.


Students will be able to design an experiment and carry out an appropriate statistical analysis of the data, and properly interpret and communicate the analyses. Students will learn the most important techniques of how to design an experiment and analyze data using examples drawn from a student’s experiment. Students will be required to use statistical computer software to complete many homework assignments and the project.


Develop critical reading skills, evaluate scientific literature and identify problems that can plague a research study, and be familiar with the methodology used in your field of research. Gather data or information from current journals and related publications, write reports, and prepare PowerPoint and oral presentation of thesis prospectus or capstone project.


An in-depth individualized investigation of a research problem conducted under close supervision of the thesis advisor. Includes training in experimental techniques, problem design, testing, data collection, data analysis, and preparation of thesis. University and departmental guidelines are to be followed in preparing and defending the thesis. It is expected that the research will be of sufficient quality to be published as a scholarly paper coauthored by the thesis advisor in an appropriate refereed journal. Credit, three to six hours.


Course Descriptions for Departmental Electives


Application of knowledge and competencies in supervised practice in community nutrition programs.


Fundamentals of Food Policy examines policy issues pertaining to the production, processing, marketing, and consumption of food. The course specifically reviews policy issues relevant to food production, food safety, international trade, sustainability of agricultural resources, food consumption and demographic changes, effects of renewable energy on food security, biotechnology, water supply, biodiversity, and effects of urbanization on food choice, nutrition and health. This course will also introduce students to the inherent risks associated with the food supply and the use of public policy (laws and regulations) and technology to reduce those risks. After taking this course, students should be able to develop innovative ideas on how to create a sustainable food system for the increasing world population.


The course provides and understanding of the relationship of environmental factors to occurrence, growth and survival of microorganisms in foods, food safety epidemiology, HACCP, sanitation, food safety education, and risk assessment. Risk Management in the context of food safety is the process of weighing policy alternatives to control risks as effectively as possible. 


The course covers the structure and properties of major and minor food components, including water, carbohydrates, protein, lipids, other nutrients and food additives, and the chemistry of changes occurring during food processing, storage and utilization.


Principles, methods and techniques used for quantitative physical and chemical analyses of food and food ingredients. Analytical techniques will include spectroscopy, chromatography, mass spectrometry, immunochemistry and atomic absorption. Physical measurements of food properties will cover color, pH, water activity, water holding capacity and textural characteristics. 


The course deals with all aspects of new food product development from concept to commercialization, including market screening; idea generation; prototype development; ingredient functionality and interactions; processing; packaging; safety and regulatory issues; labeling; physical, chemical, microbiological, and sensory evaluations; quality control procedures; and HACCP plans.