Nutrition Major Guide for 2011-2012

What is Nutrition

The Bachelor of Science degree offered by the Department of Nutrition teaches you about:

  • Nutrition science, from the cellular and physiological levels, to an understanding of food needs throughout the life cycle
  • Properties of human behavior in relation to food
  • How peoples’ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs influence their nutrition and health-related decision-making
  • Effective management of resources in delivering food and nutrition services
  • The role of nutrition in disease prevention and treatment

As a foundation for this specialization, you will study basic sciences, including chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, and physiology. You will also study psychology in order to better understand the factors that govern food choices and health behaviors, as well as management skills to help you deliver services effectively.

Career Opportunities in Nutrition

Nationwide, the long-term job outlook for nutrition graduates is excellent. The nutrition (dietetics) major is designed to meet the academic requirements for applying for a dietetic internship program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE). An internship completes the requirements for eligibility to take the registration exam to become certified as a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) and become an active member of the American Dietetic Association (ADA). Some career opportunities include:

  • Clinical nutritionist, providing nutrition services for patients suffering from diseases affected by nutrients and nutritional status.
  • Community/public health nutritionist, focusing on programming to meet the health and wellness needs of communities and populations.
  • Nutritionist in corporate and institutional environments.
  • Research scientist for government, food and pharmaceutical industries or universities providing wellness programming.

Salary Trends in Nutrition

If you have ability and mobility, you can expect to earn between $37,000 and $47,000 in an entry-level position. With experience and a graduate degree, salaries are higher and the responsibilities are more complex.

High School Preparation

The nutrition program at the University of Tennessee utilizes a science-based curriculum. To prepare for our curriculum it is recommended that high school students have an interest in the sciences and take courses in biology, chemistry, and mathematics (algebra, calculus, and geometry).

How to Major in Nutrition

Following acceptance to the university, students should contact the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences Office of Student Services (865) 974-8194. A student indicating an interest in Nutrition will be advised through the Office of Student Services regarding lower division curriculum requirements and sequence. Applications to the nutrition major are due in February of the sophomore year. Students accepted into the major areassigned to and work directly with a Department of Nutrition faculty member.

Requirements for Nutrition

The academic foundation for the major includes basic sciences, i.e. biochemistry, chemistry, microbiology, physiology and psychology, as well as food science, statistics, and medical terminology. Required nutrition courses include the following:

  • Introductory Nutrition
  • Careers in Nutrition
  • Lifespan Nutrition
  • Physiological Chemistry
  • Vitamins and Minerals
  • Integration of Metabolism
  • Food and Nutrition in the Community
  • Professional Issues in Dietetics
  • Foodservice Systems Management 
  • Clinical Nutrition I & II
  • Nutritional Counseling
  • Interpretation of Nutrition Research Literature

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

Co-ops and Internships
Graduates are prepared to enter accredited dietetic internships. An internship experience completes academic and practice requirements for eligibility as a member of the American Dietetic Association and qualifies the student to become a Registered Dietitian. Graduates also have the option of taking a national examination to become a Dietetic Technician, Registered, upon completion of the bachelor’s degree. 

Highlights of Nutrition

Interested students will have the opportunity to be involved in ongoing research projects under the direction of departmental faculty members. The Undergraduate Nutrition Student Association is an active group, which participates in health fairs, speaking engagements, and a variety of nutrition-related volunteer work in the community. 

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

The Ready for the World Initiative helps to bring the Department of Nutrition to the world and the world to our students. Faculty and staff members in Nutrition Department have promoted international/intercultural exchanges at university, college, and department levels. These educational and scholarly activities provide nutrition students with opportunities to obtain international and intercultural knowledge of this ever-changing and complex world. The success and continuation of this initiative is vital for our graduates to be successful in the globalization trend.

Learn more about UT’s Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world.

Sample Curriculum

Freshman Year Credit Hours
English 101, 102 6
Chemistry 120, 130 8
Math 125 or 141 3-4
Nutrition 100 3
Psychology 110 3
Social Science Elective 3
Electives 3
TOTAL 29-30
Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Bio & Cellular & Molecular Bio 230 5
Chemistry 350 3
Cultures & Civilization Electives 6
Arts & Humanities Elective 3
Microbiology 210 3
Nutrition 201, 302 4
Statistics 201 3
Electives 3
Junior Year Credit Hours
Hotel, Rest & Tourism 101, 210 6
Nutrition 310, 313, 314 10
Communications Studies 240 3
Accounting 200 3
Electives 9
Senior Year Credit Hours
Classics 273 3
Nutrition 303, 410, 412, 415, 416, 420, 422, 423 19
Arts & Humanities Electives 3
Electives 5
GRAND TOTAL 120 – 121

Critical courses: Chemistry 120 & 130 – freshman year, Nutrition 100 – freshman year; BCMB 230 & Chemistry 350 sophomore year; Nutrition 310 – fall of junior year.

For More Information

Department of Nutrition
1215 W. Cumberland Avenue
Room 229 Jessie Harris Bldg
Knoxville, TN 37996-1920
(865) 974-5445


The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.