Nutritional Sciences

Nutritional Sciences

Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition


Jennifer Ekstrom
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phone: 517-353-3317

Nutrition plays an important role in how we manage health issues like obesity, fight disease such as diabetes, and maintain overall wellness. Those interested in public health, medical careers, and international health care will benefit from understanding the science of nutrition and the relationships between nutrients and human health. 

Students who major in nutritional sciences are interested in health, science and physiology. The Nutritional Sciences program gives students a valuable understanding of the biological and physical science and research as a basis for understanding human nutrition. This perspective prepares graduates well for continued study in graduate programs and professional medical schools. Course requirements for nutritional sciences include the study of energy metabolism, proteins, vitamins, minerals, community nutrition and diet in the prevention and treatment of disease.

A minor in Nutritional Sciences is available to students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program at MSU who wish to broaden their understanding of the science of nutrition and the relationship between food and health.

Students who major in Nutritional Sciences are encouraged to continue their education in graduate school, medical school or other related health area. The undergraduate program is designed to help students meet admission requirements for most schools of medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, paramedical and other related graduate programs while working toward a bachelor’s degree.

Core areas of study

  • Energy metabolism
  • Proteins
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Community nutrition
  • Nutrition and the immune system
  • Nutrition and chronic disease
  • Nutritional guidelines and recommendations
  • Food and sustainability
  • Critical evaluation of nutritional lay claims

Supporting discipline courses

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Microbiology
  • Physics
  • Human Physiology

Student activities

  • Nutritional Sciences Club
  • Pre-professional Society for Health Careers
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Children, Youth and Family Programs internships through MSU Extension


The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition awards more than $300,000 in undergraduate scholarships each year, one third of that goes to students majoring in nutritional sciences. Visit the department website for more information:

Student profile

“Nutrition has always played a large role in my life. I have always been very active and involved in sports. When I came to MSU, I began working in a research lab in nutritional sciences and I realized my passion for the field. Nutrition is a growing field with so much still to be discovered, so it’s very exciting to me.”

Kelly Valentini, nutritional sciences student

Course listing

To read more about this major and the classes required for it, visit: