University of Vermont

The Nutrition and Food Sciences Majors

Offered by: Nutrition and Food Sciences Department


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 nutrition and food science major with a double major in dietetics, you'll be prepared to fulfill internship and exam requirements to be a Registered Dietitian.  Students interested in becoming Physical Therapists can complete all of their nutrition and food science requirements in 3 years and apply to enter the Master's 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.  NFS majors can engage in laboratory or field research with a faculty member for academic credit, or, in some cases, as employees.  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 and 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.

Core Courses
  • 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 Service Systems Management
  • Advanced Nutrition
  • Nutritional Biochemistry
  • Diet and Disease
  • Community Nutrition
  • Food Technology
  • Food Microbiology
  • Nutritional Education and Counseling
  • Functional Foods
  • ServeSafe
  • Sensory Evaluation of Foods
  • Nutrition in Health and Disease Prevention
  • Beer: Tapping into Food Science
  • Cheese and Culture
  • From Farm to Table: Our Contemporary Food/System
  • Food and Culture

Faculty and Area of Expertise
Monserrat Almena-Aliste. Sensory Evaluation of Foods
Ph.D. University of Santiago, Spain
Linda Berlin
Extension Nutrition Specialist; Food & Agriculture Policy
PhD Tufts University
Lyndon Carew Fundamentals of Nutrition
Ph.D. Cornell University
Catherine Donnelly Food Microbiology
Ph.D. North Carolina State University
Sylvia Geiger, R.D. Quantity Food Production and Service / Food Service Systems Management
M.S. Oklahoma State University
Mingruo Guo Functional Foods
Ph.D. University College - Cork, Ireland
Jean Harvey-Berino, R.D. Obesity
Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh
Rachel Johnson, R.D. Pediatric Nutrition/Dietary Reporting/
Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University
Paul Kindstedt Fermented Dairy Foods
Ph.D. Cornell University
Deborah Paradis Basic & Lifecycle Nutrition
M.S. University of Vermont
Stephen Pintauro Computer Mediated Nutrition Education
Ph.D. University of Rhode Island
Candace Polzella, R.D. Nutrition Counseling
M.S.S. University of Colorado, Denver
Todd Pritchard Food Microbiology / Food Technology
Ph.D. University of Vermont
Jane Ross Clinical Dietetics
Ph.D. Oregon State University
Amy Trubek Cultural Food Systems
Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania
Robert Tyzbir Sports Nutrition / Nutritional Biochemistry /
Ph.D. University of Rhode Island

Last modified September 10 2007 04:11 PM

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