University of Vermont

University of Vermont

A Closer Look at

Nutrition and Food Sciences

College of Agriculture
and Life Sciences
Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences


  • Basic Concepts of Food
  • Basic Concepts of Foods Lab
  • Fundamentals of Nutrition
  • Survey of the Field
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Management of Eating Disorders
  • Obesity, Weight Control and Fitness
  • Nutrition in the Lifecycle
  • Food Safety and Regulation
  • Food Service Systems
  • Advanced Nutrition
  • Nutritional Biochemistry
  • Diet and Disease
  • Community Nutrition
  • Food Technology
  • Food Microbiology
  • Nutritional Education and Counseling
  • Functional Foods
  • ServeSafe
  • Nutrition in Health and Disease Management
  • Beer: Tapping into Food Science
  • Cheese and Culture
  • Sensory Evaluation of Foods
  • There is a nutrition crisis in the U.S., and issues such as obesity, cancer, heart disease, food safety and food security are causing many Americans to alter their diet and activity patterns and learn more about the role of foods in health. The study of nutrition and food sciences is rooted in the physical, chemical and biological sciences. Comprehensive in scope, it also integrates knowledge of the psychological and social sciences.

    A Look at Our Program

    Our curriculum provides a solid background in basic science, food science and nutrition. Coursework, field experience and independent study prepares students for jobs in the food, health or wellness industries. The strong science background allows our students to be competitive applicants to medical, dental or graduate school.

    By combining the NFS major with a double major in dietetics, you’ll be prepared to fulfill internship and exam requirements to be a Registered Dietitian. NFS majors also have the option of completing all the course work and supervised practice hours to be eligible to take the National Athletic Trainers Association exam upon graduation. Additionally, students interested in becoming Physical Therapists can complete all of their NFS requirements in 3 years and apply to enter the Doctorate program in Physical Therapy. This “3+3” option enables students to complete their baccalaureate degree and their doctorate degree in 6 versus 7 years.

    What Will I Study?

    All students must complete the basic distribution requirements for a bachelor of science degree from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Departmental core courses focus on the physical, chemical, microbiological, nutritional and social properties of food and nutrition. Students with specific interests in various aspects of food and nutrition can choose from a broad range of electives.

    Exciting Field Experience

    Students have many opportunities to gain practical experience while at UVM. Dietetics majors can engage in laboratory or field research with a faculty member for academic credit, or, in some cases, as employees. One of our students is currently the 2003 Bickford Keystone Award winner and is doing independent research on the role of dairy foods in weight loss diets. Additionally, through a USDA grant, Dr. Stephen Pintauro will be able to offer undergraduate students a research and outreach experience working in middle schools on an Internet food safety project.

    Other students have been placed in clinical, community or industry field experiences for credit during the academic year or summer. Students have been placed in clinical positions in hospitals and nursing homes; in community public health or non-profit organization such as the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, Headstart and the Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger; or food industries including Ben & Jerry’s. Additionally, students can take advantage of an international development experience offered over the summer in Latin America or the Caribbean through the Community Development and Applied Economics Department.

    A Look at Your Future

    According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dietitians and nutritionists is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2010 as a result of increasing emphasis on disease prevention, a growing and aging population, and public interest in nutrition. Career opportunities include community or public health nutrition (WIC programs, public health departments, Headstart, education and research (worksite wellness, health clubs/spas, Cooperative Extension, research assistant), business and industry (pharmaceutical, food industry, food service, trade associations), media, international food organizations (US AID, Care, Peace Corps), and public policy/government organizations (USDA, NIH). Additionally, many of our students go on to graduate or professional schools to be physicians, physical therapists, physician’s assistants or dentists. The middle 50 percent of dietitians and nutritionists earn between $31,070 and $45,950 a year.

    Food scientists are needed in food quality management, processing, research and development, marketing and distribution. Employment can be found with companies that manufacture retail food products as well as companies supporting food manufacturers by supplying food ingredients, processing equipment and packaging materials, or providing services related to institutional feeding. Technical and administrative positions are also available in various government agencies and with independent testing laboratories. A recent survey by the Institute of Food Technologists found that the median starting salary for graduates of food science programs was $45,000.


    Faculty and Area of Expertise

    Monserrat Almena-Aliste, PhD University of Santiago de Compostela; food science, sensory evaluation of food
    Linda Berlin, MS Cornell University; Extension Nutrition Specialist
    Lyndon B. Carew, PhD Cornell University; fundamentals of nutrition
    Catherine W. Donnelly, PhD North Carolina State University; food microbiology
    Sylvia M. Geiger, MS, RD Oklahoma State University; quantity food production and service; food service systems management
    Mingruo Guo, PhD University College, Cork, IRELAND; functional foods
    Jean Harvey-Berino, PhD, RD University of Pittsburgh; obesity; community nutrition
    Rachel K. Johnson, PhD, RD Pennsylvania State University
    Paul S. Kindstedt, PhD Cornell University; fermented dairy foods
    Jiancai Li, PhD University of Vermont; food science
    Deborah Paradis, MS University of Vermont; lifecycle nutrition
    Stephen J. Pintauro, PhD University of Rhode Island; food safety and government regulation
    Candace Polzella, MSS, RD University of Colorado – Denver; nutrition counseling
    Todd J. Pritchard, PhD University of Vermont; food microbiology; food technology
    Jane K. Ross, PhD, RD Oregon State University; food science; survey of the field; eating disorders; diet and disease
    Robert S. Tyzbir, PhD University of Rhode Island; sports nutrition; nutritional biochemistry; advanced nutrition

    Last modified March 14 2005 09:25 AM

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