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College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Nutrition is the study of food, nutrients and their impact on health and well-being. Nutritionists focus on food from the chemistry to the cooking — from eating for wellness to prescribing diets for health and disease.

San Luis Obispo, California

The program offers a broad preparation in nutrition science. In addition to preparatory science courses such as chemistry and biology, the program offers coursework in nutrient metabolism, clinical nutrition, culinary, food systems management, and sports, community and lifecycle nutrition.

Nutrition Curriculum

Chemistry Lab

Capability to perform chemical analysis of food ingredients and products.

Culinary Science / Product Development Lab

With full culinary capabilities, we have everything that is necessary to produce any culinary creation. Equipment includes pilot scale proofers, convection ovens, refrigeration units, and batch mixers.

Foods Safety Lab

Test and monitor bacterial and viral activity in food products/processes and analyze food products to determine potential food safety concerns.

Nutrition and Health Assessment Lab

Analyze body composition with the use of Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA). The facility also includes a tissue culture lab, as well as infrastructure for anthropometric measurements and indirect calorimetry.

Quality Control Lab

Determine water activity, moisture content, true color, viscosity, pH, percent soluble solids, as well as other quality related tests.

Sensory Evaluation Lab

Perform objective and subjective tests to evaluate flavor, texture and appearance of foods.

Applied Nutrition

The concentration is a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic. This concentration makes you eligible to apply for admission to an accredited dietetic internship and complete the Commission on Dietetic Registration national examination to qualify as a registered dietitian. This concentration will also prepare you to pursue advanced degrees in food and nutrition, public health and food systems management.

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Nutrition Science

The nutrition science concentration provides a strong background in basic sciences and human nutrition if you are planning further study in graduate school or a health-related profession such as medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy or physical therapy.

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About the Program

A bachelor’s degree in nutrition includes a comprehensive education in nutrition and the study of how foods impact health, wellness and disease prevention.

The program places emphasis on both theory and practice, and allows you to spend time in real-world labs learning about nutrition, health, foods, food system management and more. There are opportunities for service, outreach and research in the community and you are also encouraged to gain valuable experience through summer jobs and internships.

You will choose between three concentrations based on your end-career goals. All concentrations culminate in a senior project that allows you to put what you have learned into practice.

Learn by Doing

The on-campus food plant and cutting-edge laboratories provide learning opportunities and promote safe, sustainable and nutritious foods through partnerships with the food industry. You will design projects that simulate industry and business practices, including manufacturing and marketing your own food products. Human nutrition labs will allow you to perform health assessments, test your chronic disease risk analysis skills and provide nutrition counseling to a variety of people. This ensures you are industry ready when you graduate with the expertise to nourish California and the world.

Student in test kitchen

Teach Healthy Habits

Work with local communities to promote and teach healthy lifestyle habits.

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Our Graduates

Nutrition graduates enjoy rewarding careers in dietetics and clinical nutrition, healthcare (medicine, dentistry, nursing, physician assistant, and chiropractic), public health, the food industry, food systems management and education.

Opportunities for private consulting and entrepreneurship are also available. Many nutrition majors pursue a graduate degree for a more specialized field of interest or to work in academics. Alumni have gone on to work as registered dieticians, dietetic technicians, physician’s assistants, nurses, food technologists, and student service counselor at places such as the Central Coast Treatment Center, Continental Mills, Cottage Health System, Dignity Health System, Naturebox, Oracle, Pacific Heights Medical Group, and the Public Health Foundation.