The Texas State University Nutrition and Foods program mission is to:
- Involve students in research, instruction, and service;
- Advise students to achieve optimal education and career direction;
- Prepare graduates for post graduate education;
- Prepare graduates for careers in industry, dietetics, government, private advocacy programs, research, and/or academia;
- Facilitate attainment of the post-graduate Registered Dietitian credential by qualified students; and
- Promote life-long learning and pursuit of excellence for faculty and students.
The Nutrition and Foods program at Texas State provides a current, dynamic education. Students learn the scientific basis for optimizing diets, which should be based primarily on whole foods, and learn how to practically apply sound principles of nutrition. The program offers a variety of courses including food systems, food systems production management, food science, advanced food science, nutritional science, nutritional assessment, medical nutrition therapy, nutritional counseling and education, nutrition in the lifespan, wellness, functional foods and nutraceuticals, nutrition and genetics, and biochemical nutrition. Many of the courses require supporting coursework as pre- or co-requisites in chemistry and biology.
The Nutrition and Foods program offers 3 tracks that prepare students for a variety of careers and/or graduate education. Students should carefully review the tracks and consult with their academic advisor to determine the best fit for their career goals. If you are not sure which track to choose, it is suggested that you select the Dietetics Program.
OVERVIEW OF TRACKS
This major is for students who may wish to pursue the Registered Dietitian (RD) credential. The RD credential is required for many job opportunities, including positions in hospitals, and significantly improves qualification for employment in many nutrition-related jobs. Graduates from this track are also well prepared for graduate school.
The first step in pursuing the RD credential is obtaining a degree from an accredited Dietetics Program (DP). The Dietetics Program at Texas State is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). An accredited program is approved under the ACEND Accreditation Standards for Didactic Programs in Nutrition & Dietetics, meeting Core Knowledge for Registered Dietitians. In order to pursue, continue in, and graduate with this major, you must maintain a GPA of at least 2.75. There is no minor for this major. A graduate of an accredited Dietetics Program earns a Verification Statement issued by the DP Director.
The second step in pursuing the RD credential is to apply for, gain acceptance into, and successfully complete a post-graduate Dietetic Internship (DI). The application process is competitive. DI programs evaluate and rank applications by considering GPA, relevant work and volunteer experiences, and letters of recommendation by faculty and work supervisers. There are many DI programs throughout the US. Texas State University has a post-graduate DI, and graduates from the Texas State undergraduate program, graduate students enrolled in the Texas State MS in Human Nutrition program, and graduates from didactic programs across the nation compete to fill 9 slots per year. Upon successful completion of a post-graduate DI, graduates are qualified to complete the final step in the credentialling process. Each year, approximately 50% of graduates from DPs across the nation who apply for post-graduate DIs are accepted. Graduates who are not accepted into DI programs pursue one of the many career opportunities in food-related or hospitality businesses, education, research, health agencies, sales, or media communications. Often work-related experience strengthens applications submitted in subsequent years.
The third and final step for becoming an RD is to pass the national Registration Examination for Dietitians. This exam draws on undergraduate coursework and experience gained through completion of the DI.
Texas State recommends that you maintain an overall GPA of at least a 3.0 in your undergraduate DP major. The GPA cut-off for post-graduate dietetic internships varies, and may be higher than 3.0. Dietetics majors can learn more about this major by visiting the Texas State Dietetics Program page.
Major in Nutrition and Foods with Minor
This degree is for students who are interested in studying nutrition but who do not plan to seek the RD credential. This major allows you to choose from a variety of minors. Graduates with this degree may pursue one of the many career opportunities in food-related or hospitality businesses, education, research, health agencies, sales, or media communications.
Major in Nutrition with Hospitality, Nutrition and Food Science Teacher Certification
This degree option is for those who wish to teach in high school programs. The program includes many courses in Nutrition and Foods, and prepares graduates for careers in education.