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Nutritional Sciences

Department Overview

305 Raitt

The Nutritional Sciences Program embraces a holistic view of the study of foods and nutrition, inclusive of social, behavioral, and environmental sciences. The interdisciplinary perspective applied to studying foods and nutrients, dietary behaviors, food and policy environments, and food systems reveals complex problems spanning personal, public, and planetary health, and leads to novel and innovative solutions. The program offers an undergraduate major (BA) and minor; graduate degrees including the MS, MPH, and PhD; and graduate-level training leading to the Registered Dietition (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) professional credential.

Undergraduate Program

305 Raitt, Box 353410
(206) 221-8526

Nutritional Sciences offers the following undergraduate programs

  • A bachelor of arts in food systems, nutrition, and health
  • A minor in nutrition

Bachelor of Arts

Suggested First-and Second-Year Courses: anthropology, economics, environmental science, geography, nutrition, political science, public policy, sociology, sciences, statistics, composition or writing, distribution of general education courses as well as coursework that develops analytical, critical thinking, and communication skills.

Department Admission Requirements

  1. NUTR 200
  2. English composition (5 credits) with minimum 2.0 grade
  3. Minimum 45 credits
  4. Minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA
  5. Upon completion of the above, students may declare the major at any time.

Major Requirements

84-85 credits

  1. Science Literacy (10 credits)
    1. BIOL 118 (preferred), or BIOL 180, or BIOL 161/BIOL 162 (through AP credits) (5 credits)
    2. CHEM 120, or CHEM 142, or CHEM 145 (5 credits)
  2. Interdisciplinary Breadth (15 credits)
    1. ECON 200, or FISH 230/ECON 230, or ESRM 235/ECON 235/ENVIR 235 (5 credits)
    2. Approved courses representing areas that influence food systems. See adviser or website for current approved list. (10 credits)
  3. Research Methods and Technologies (9-10 credits)
    1. Statistics: BIOST 310, or QMETH 201, or Q SCI 381, or STAT 220, or STAT 221, or STAT 311 (4 or 5 credits)
    2. Methods: ANTH 403, or BIO A 420, or ENVIR 250, or GEOG 425, or SOC 300 (5 credits)
  4. Food Systems Core (30 credits with a minimum cumulative 2.00 GPA): NUTR 200, NUTR 302, NUTR 303, NUTR 402, NUTR 412, NUTR 493
  5. Upper-Division Electives (20 credits): Organized around concentration areas. See adviser or website for current approved list.

Satisfactory Progress and Continuation Policy

All students must make satisfactory academic progress in the major. Failure to do so results in probation, which can lead to dismissal from the major. For the complete continuation policy, contact the departmental adviser or refer to the department website.

Minor in Nutrition

Provides a foundation of knowledge in nutrition, food systems, and population health, Presents a multidisciplinary perspective on the broad field of nutritional sciences, including the interplay of food and nutrition, human behavior, business, culture, and the environment.

Minor Requirements: 25 credits

  1. Core (14-15 credits): NUTR 200; two courses from NUTR 302, NUTR 303, and NUTR 310; NUTR 400
  2. Electives (minimum 10-11 credits) selected from an approved list (may include additional core course not already applied toward the minor). See website for approved list.
  3. Minimum 13 credits from School of Public Health
  4. Minimum 15 credits upper-division courses
  5. Minimum 15 credits outside student's major requirements
  6. Minimum 15 credits in residence through the UW
  7. Minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA for courses applied toward the minor

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: Food Studies, Nutrition, and Health, an interdisciplinary liberal arts major, exposes students to a complex and comprehensive model of the intersections and relationships among food, policy, labor, social justice, economics, the environment, culture, and health to prepare them to address issues such as domestic and global food and nutrition security.
  • Instructional and Research Facilities: The School of Public Health includes over 30 research centers.
  • Honors Options Available: See adviser for details.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: Experiential learning is available through service-learning, hands-on laboratories, and real world problem-solving activities throughout the core courses. See adviser for details.
  • Department Scholarships: See adviser for details.
  • Student Organizations/Associations: See adviser for details.

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Coordinator
305 Raitt, Box 353410
(206) 543-1730

Nutritional Sciences, an interdisciplinary program in the School of Public Health, offers Master of Science (MS), Master of Public Health (MPH), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. The program is designed for students who wish to pursue (1) advanced training in nutritional science or clinical research, (2) nutritional epidemiology and diet-disease interactions, or (3) public health nutrition practice.

The Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics (GCPD) combines the MS, MPH, and PhD programs with a supervised practice experience (internship equivalent),which gives students eligibility to take the national registration examination to become a Registered Dietitian (RD). The GCPD includes additional coursework and a nine-month practice experience at regional community, clinical, and food service facilities.

Admission Requirements for All Graduate Programs

  1. Bachelor’s degree in any field. Most applicants to the PhD program hold a master’s degree in nutrition or a related discipline.
  2. Completion of the following courses before entering: nutrition (completed at time of application), general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry (two quarters or 1 semester), physiology
  3. Additional requirements for international applicants whose native language is not English: TOEFL scores: 580 paper or 92 iBT
  4. The following prerequisite courses, if taken more than 10 years before entering, must be retaken: nutrition, biochemistry, human physiology.
  5. Minimum 3.00 GPA for final 90 quarter credits (60 semester). Applicants with a GPA below 3.00 may be considered if their overall application has exceptional strengths.
  6. GRE (general examination) scores
  7. Additional requirements for the GCPD program: courses - psychology, microbiology, food science (with laboratory), management of nutrition services; courses that must be retaken if completed more than 10 years before entering – microbiology, management of nutrition services, food science with laboratory; other requirements – National Background Check, ServSafe Manager Certificate. For GCPD prerequisites, appropriate professional use of each course may suffice as meeting the requirement.

Master of Public Health

Prepares students for careers in governmental agencies, academic institutions, healthcare systems, non-profit organizations, and other community settings by providing interdisciplinary coursework and training in public health and nutritional sciences.

Degree Requirements

64 credits

  1. Public Health Core: BIOST 508, ENV H 511, EPI 511, HSERV 511, HSERV 579
  2. Nutritional Sciences Core: NUTR 500, NUTR 513, NUTR 520, NUTR 521, NUTR 522, NUTR 529, NUTR 531, NUTR 562
  3. Additional Requirements: NUTR 526, NUTR 532, NUTR 595
  4. Electives: courses numbered 500 and above with School of Public Health prefixes – BIOST, ENV H, EPI, G H, HIHIM, HSERV, HSMGMT, NUTR, PABIO, PHG, SPH (2 credits)
  5. Capstone or Thesis: NUTR 596 or NUTR 700 (9 credits)

Master of Science

Prepares students to use evidence-based approaches in contributing to the field of nutritional sciences and its application in healthcare delivery and community settings.

Degree Requirements

45 credits

  1. Public Health Core: BIOST 508, EPI 511, HSERV 579
  2. Nutritional Sciences Core: NUTR 500, NUTR 513, NUTR 520, NUTR 521, NUTR 522, NUTR 529, NUTR 531, NUTR 562
  3. Electives: courses numbered 500 and above with School of Public Health prefixes – BIOST, ENV H, EPI, G H, HIHIM, HSERV, HSMGMT, NUTR, PABIO, PHG, SPH (4 credits)
  4. Capstone or Thesis: NUTR 596 or NUTR 700 (9 credits)

Doctor of Philosophy

Prepares students to expand the base of knowledge in nutritional sciences and to apply this knowledge in public health and clinical healthcare settings through interdisciplinary training. Designed to assist students in (1) gaining an advanced understanding of nutrition and metabolism, and related biological, biochemical, molecular, and behavioral sciences; (2) acquiring skills in research methods; (3) developing timely and original hypotheses in nutritional sciences. Also, seeks to meet the substantial state, regional, and national need for doctorally prepared faculty in schools or departments of nutrition and health sciences and for leadership positions in agencies.

Degree Requirements

105 credits

  1. Nutritional Sciences Core: NUTR 500, NUTR 513, NUTR 520, NUTR 521, NUTR 522, NUTR 529, NUTR 531, NUTR 562, and 12 additional credits from NUTR courses numbered 500 and above
  2. Other Sciences: courses numbered 400, 500, and above from BIOC, BIOL, BIOST, GENOME, EPI, G H, HSERV, HUBIO, IMMUN, MICROM, NUTR, and PATH; or other courses approved by the faculty adviser. (22 credits)
  3. Epidemiology: EPI 511 or EPI 512, and EPI 513
  4. Biostatistics: BIOST-prefix courses numbered 500 and above (8 credits)
  5. Research Methods: 8 credits from among EPI 517, EPI 519, EPI 548, EPI 549; or other courses approved by the faculty adviser
  6. Public Health Core: HSERV 579
  7. Dissertation: NUTR 800 (27 credits)