Nutritional Sciences (B.S.)

The Nutritional Sciences program focuses on the science of nutrition and its relationships to human health. A foundation in biological and physical sciences serves as a basis for understanding human nutrition with expanded study in one of three concentrations.

The advanced nutrition courses provide a unique focus on preventive approaches and an understanding of how food impacts health, a valuable perspective when pursuing a career in health care or public health.

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Core areas of study include: 

  • Sustainable agriculture and food systems.
  • Food science.
  • Human nutrition.
  • Cellular and molecular biology.
  • Chemistry.

In addition to core areas, students select at least one concentration area to customize the program based on their individual interests.

Concentrations include:

  • Biomedical and Molecular Nutrition.
  • Global Nutrition and Health.
  • Public Health Nutrition.

The Nutritional Sciences degree at Michigan State University provides all or nearly all of the prerequisite courses needed for entry into health and medical schools.  The advanced nutrition courses provide a unique focus on preventive approaches and an understanding of how food impacts health, a valuable perspective when pursuing a career in healthcare or public health.

Learn more about requirements and courses in Nutritional Sciences.

Learn more about the Nutritional Sciences major as preparation for medical/dental schools or health profession schools.

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Nutritional Sciences Graduates

See career outcomes for MSU nutritional sciences graduates, including salaries, top employers and employment locations.

Career Opportunities

The Nutritional Sciences major prepares students to apply to graduate programs in fields such as nutrition, biostatistics, public health or health communications.

The major is a good fit for students who wish to continue into medical school or dental school in studies focused on physician assistant, accelerated nursing, dentistry and related pre-health professional options.

Nutritional Sciences prepares students for a variety of career paths:

  • Public health nutrition.
  • Corporate wellness/health promotion.
  • Extension educator.
  • Food industry communications.
  • Health communications.
  • Pharmaceutical sales.

Note: Students seeking a career as a practicing nutritionist are encouraged to choose the Dietetics major. Dietetics is a DPD (didactic program in dietetics), serving students who wish to earn the RDN credential to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.

Faculty members and advisors maintain close relationships with industry and public health organizations, which can help with internships, scholarships and employment in nutrition, nonprofits and food-related fields.

Learn more about Nutritional Sciences internships and work experience opportunities.

Headshot MSU postdoctoral researcher Alyssa Beavers

MSU Food Science and Human Nutrition postdoctoral researcher awarded USDA NIFA Fellowship

July 23, 2019

Alyssa Beavers has received funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a project investigating impact of gardening on the human gut microbiome and antibiotic resistance.

Girl with Elephant

Nutritional sciences senior studies foodborne illness during One Health study abroad program in Nepal

August 3, 2018

One Health program examines the interconnected nature of human, animal and environmental health, and the direct impact each system has on the others.

Nutritional Sciences Advisor

Schedule advising appointments online. (More details: MSU Student Information System resources.)

Student Life

In addition to student jobs and internships, there are education abroad, internship and undergraduate research opportunities.

There are also a variety of student clubs and organizations including:

  • Nutritional Sciences Student Organization.
  • Food and Nutrition Association.
  • Slow Food MSU.
  • Student Health Advisory Council.
  • Spartan Association for Public Health.
  • Health Occupation Students of American (HOSA) Future Health Professionals.
  • Pre-Medical Association.
  • Pre-Physician Assistant Club.
  • Pre-SOMA (School of Osteopathic Medicine).
  • Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences.

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Human Health Majors

  • Biosystems Engineering (B.S.)

    The Biosystems Engineering program combines biology with engineering to ensure there is safe and plentiful food, clean water, renewable energy and a healthy environment.

  • Dietetics (B.S.)

    The dietetics program helps students develop expertise in nutritional assessment and care, as well as food service management systems.

  • Food Industry Management (B.S.)

    The Food Industry Management program provides a system-wide perspective of managerial problems confronting firms in the food industry, recognizes the increasing interdependence among such firms and focuses on creating consumer value.

  • Food Science (B.S.)

    Food Science is a multidisciplinary field applying chemistry, microbiology, engineering and nutrition to develop new food products and design processes to improve the safety and quality of foods.

  • Nutritional Sciences (B.S.)

    Nutritional Sciences focuses on the biological and physical sciences of nutrition and its relationships to human health with concentrations in biomedical and molecular nutrition, global nutrition and health and public health nutrition.

  • Packaging (B.S.)

    Packaging is a multidisciplinary program focused on all aspects of the industry from materials and processes through systems development and testing.