Foods and Nutrition

The Foods and Nutrition major offers a comprehensive study of the fundamental principles of food use and nutritional requirements of the individual. The diverse program includes the areas of food science, nutrition, biochemistry, physiology, psychology, management, and the behavioral and social sciences. Emphasis is placed upon food sources, food evaluation and selection, and a study of the relationship of food to nutrition and health.

The study of foods and nutrition helps people achieve and maintain good health. This is accomplished through the application of a variety of sciences. Students who like physical and biological sciences, are interested in good health and physical activity, enjoy working with people, and are concerned about the nutritional well-being of people, will find interesting and challenging career opportunities within health care fields or in the food industry. The study of foods and nutrition at San Diego State University develops these interests and prepares students for challenging opportunities after graduation.

Program Overview

Course work will allow students to examine properties of food ingredients; factors affecting food safety and quality; the physiological basis for diet therapy; how the body metabolizes food after it is consumed; how to prepare and serve large quantities of food; and how to organize, administer, and operate food facilities. Courses are also offered on the subjects of eating disorders and nutrition counseling.

Special Features

  • Well-equipped, contemporary laboratories that support course work in food science and nutrition are available.
  • Special endowed scholarships are available for foods and nutrition majors on a competitive application basis. Refer to the SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Web site.
  • The Student Nutrition Organization is open to all foods and nutrition majors and sponsors special projects, career planning activities, and professional guest speakers.
  • Student membership in national professional organizations, such as the American Dietetics Association and the Institute of Food Technologists, is encouraged.
  • Work Experience: field experience and part-time employment, which enables students to work in industrial, hospital, educational, or community settings, are available and encouraged. Special dietetics internship counseling is provided.
  • DPD Program accredited by the American Dietetics Association; counseling provided with regard to applying for an ADA-approved dietetic internship.

Career Opportunities

The Bachelor of Science degree provides graduates with a wide variety of career opportunities. They may take steps after graduation to become registered dietitians in hospitals where they can be responsible for the feeding of patients on special diets related to their illness or surgery, or be responsible for the operation of facilities preparing food for staff, patients and visitors. These professionals are part of the medical team with consultant or research responsibilities regarding patients' special food needs.

Foods and nutrition majors frequently work with athletes, weight control and fitness programs, or other special groups in community settings other than health care facilities.

Industries like hotels, airlines, universities, food service chains, and industrial cafeterias employ registered dietitians and food service managers. Many graduates have become food science technical specialists doing research, development and quality control of food products for food companies.

It is also possible to use foods and nutrition knowledge for jobs in advertising, marketing and in the mass media. Some students have become consultants to television programs and others have written articles on food for newspapers, co-authored books on nutrition, or further enhanced their education by completing an advanced degree that enabled them to be in the teaching profession.

To further explore career options in this field, visit the Career Services Web site for more information.

General Catalog

You can view more complete information regarding the Foods and Nutrition program in the General Catalog. All students are responsible for reading and knowing the information pertinent to their areas of study available in the General Catalog. It contains requirements for all academic majors, course descriptions, policies, and regulations governing progress at the university. Catalogs are distributed at all New Student Orientation programs. To order a General Catalog, call (619) 594-7535.