If you enjoy the sciences and enjoy working with people, a career in nutrition may be right for you. The UT Department of Nutrition offers a Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition with concentration options in Dietetics and in Basic Science. Ours is one of the largest programs in Tennessee and is academically strong so that our graduates are prepared for a successful career and many become leaders in the field. Please explore the Undergraduate Nutrition Handbook for program details.
The program curricula include:
- Nutrition science: How the body uses nutrients at the cellular level and in the whole body system plus food and nutrient needs throughout the life cycle in both health and disease states. Students have extensive coursework in the sciences to form a basis for understanding nutrient functions. Students in the Basic Science concentration take additional coursework in this area. A senior-level course culminates with learning how to read and interpret the latest nutrition research for practice.
- The influence of attitudes, knowledge and beliefs on food consumption patterns among individuals and groups: Coursework in psychology and community nutrition is included in the curriculum. Additionally, students in the Dietetics concentration take courses on diet and physical activity assessment and on development of nutrition counseling skills to learn how to help people make healthful changes in eating habits.
- Communication: Students have coursework in communication studies and many of the major courses include oral presentations and research papers. The ability to critically evaluate nutrition information and effectively communicate nutrition information to other healthcare professionals, administrators, and the general public is a necessary skill.
- Effective management of food service delivery: Students in the Dietetics concentration have coursework that includes food science, food safety, management, and foodservice operations.
- The roles of nutrition professionals in a variety of practice settings: All students have coursework on careers in nutrition and those in the Dietetics concentration have a course on professional issues in the practice of nutrition and dietetics.
Which concentration should I choose?
This Dietetics concentration program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association (ADA) as a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). Therefore, successful completion of the bachelor’s degree in the Nutrition-Dietetics concentration at UT qualifies students to compete for placement in ACEND-accredited supervised practice programs (most commonly dietetic internships), which are a required next step toward earning the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential. Following completion of a supervised practice program, students are eligible to take a national registration examination to earn the RDN credential. Effective January 1, 2024, a graduate degree (in any field) will be required for RDN exam eligibility. Many states additionally require credentialed individuals to be certified or licensed by the state prior to practicing in the profession. You may contact ACEND for additional information about accreditation and UT’s accreditation status:
Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190 Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995 Phone: 312-899-0040 ext. 5400 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.eatright.org/ACEND/
Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) apply the science of nutrition by utilizing nutrition knowledge to promote health and/or treat disease in hospitals, clinics, community settings, private consulting practices, sports nutrition and corporate wellness programs, newspapers and magazines, food and nutrition-related businesses and industry, pharmaceutical companies, and more. Most of these settings require completion of a supervised practice program and the RDN credential for employment. Supervised practice program entry is very competitive, so students interested in this route should begin to prepare early. For more detailed information on careers in dietetics, see the Academy’s website careers information. The Mission and Goals of UT’s accredited DPD aim to guide the program to continuously improve performance of our graduates. Program outcomes data are available upon request. Established Policies and Procedures guide day-to-day operations of the DPD.
As an alternative to completing the Dietetics concentration requirements and pursuing the RDN credential, the Nutrition-Basic Science concentration provides an outstanding foundation for pursuing careers in pharmacy, nursing, medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry and other biomedical sciences, as well as graduate study and research careers in nutrition and related areas. The Nutrition-Basic Science concentration includes courses such as biology and genetics, required for pre-health majors and for graduate study in the sciences, while excluding some applied nutrition courses in foods, foodservice management, and counseling. It will not meet DPD requirements and students who choose this option will not be eligible to apply for ACEND-accredited supervised practice programs without additional coursework.
Students interested in either concentration of the nutrition major are initially advised by staff in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences Student Services office (Bailey Education Complex 332). Once meeting minimum requirements and prerequisites for moving into upper division courses, typically by the end of the sophomore year, students should apply for faculty advisor assignment. Please see the current undergraduate catalog for milestones (both GPA and course completion) required by each concentration and course prerequisites as well as application instructions at http://cehhsadvising.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2017/07/Nutrition-Major-Application-2017.pdf. Applications are due in August after students have read the Undergraduate Nutrition Handbook and viewed the online orientation module (coming soon).
The Nutrition Minor requires completion of the following Nutrition courses with a grade of “C” or better. All prerequisites must also be completed in order to enroll in the respective course.
NTR 100: Introductory Nutrition
NTR 302: Life Span Nutrition (prerequisite: NTR 100)
NTR 311: Physiological Chemistry (prerequisites: CHEM 260 with a grade of “C-” or better and either Biol 150-160 or BCMB 230 with a grade of “C-” or better)
NTR 313: Vitamins & Minerals (prerequisites: CHEM 260 with a grade of “C-” or better , NUTR 311 or BCMB 401 with a grade of “C” or better)
NTR 314: Energy Metabolism & Metabolic Integration (prerequisites: CHEM 260 with a grade of “C-” or better , NUTR 311 or BCMB 401 with a grade of “C” or better)