Nutrition program

Undergrad minor

Are you interested in learning about food and how it can influence your health?

A nutrition minor might be the right supplement for your major. You'll gain the knowledge and skills to improve your personal health and lifestyle choices, as well as experience for many food and health-related careers. 

The 18-credit nutrition minor is part of our award-winning Biology Department. It complements a variety of majors at UWL such as: biology, marketing, psychology, health education and health promotion, exercise and sport science, and many pre-health programs.

With TV shows, books and the internet filled with diet and nutrition information, nutrition education helps you cut through the clutter and make good health decisions that benefit yourself and others.

How will a nutrition minor help my career?

Although the UWL nutrition minor does not provide the coursework or the supervised practice requirements to be eligible for the registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) credential, the coursework is valuable for students pursuing careers in food and health-related fields. It is also a great foundation for food science and technology careers. Learn more about accredited dietetics programs.

The nutrition minor provides basic nutrition knowledge that is complementary to many health-related practitioners such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors, medical doctors, physician assistants, dentists and more. A variety of elective courses allows students to focus on specific topics within the nutrition field.

What distinguishes UWL's nutrition program?

Multidisciplinary program

The UWL nutrition minor is unique in that it provides coursework in a variety of academic disciplines taught by experts in those areas. For example, students could dig into topics such as "food and history" or "the anthropology of food."

Experience with professional tools

Gain hands-on experience using a variety of food and anthropometric analysis tools that are used by professionals in the food science and nutrition fields. 

Community experience

Students have the option of completing a field experience where skills and knowledge learned in coursework is applied in a variety of community settings such as grocery stores, schools, community gardens, local health departments or local businesses.

Hands-on experience

Students can join in collaborative research projects with faculty mentors. Courses also offer the opportunity to engage with the material, including practicing food preparation skills. 

Choose your area of focus

The nutrition minor requires nine credits of core coursework to provide a foundation of food and nutrition knowledge. The other nine required credits come from a variety of elective courses including: anthropology of food; medical anthropology; economic botany; philosophy of food; nutrition education; advanced nutrition for health professions; functional food, herbs, and supplements; nutrition and sport; food microbiology; nutrition research; nutrition teaching assistant; and biochemistry.

Bringing together diverse majors

Students have the opportunity to gain a broader view of the field by collaborating with peers from diverse fields. The 285 declared nutrition minors in the fall 2019 came from at least 15 different majors.

Sample courses

NUT 200 Human Nutrition Examination of the basic principles of the science of nutrition including understanding the basic sources of energy and the influences and effects of nutrition on one's overall health and fitness. Cultural and environmental factors that influence food availability and consumption will also be investigated. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

NUT 300 Lifecycle Nutrition Exploration of nutrition assessment and nutritional requirements/challenges during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adulthood and older adulthood, and community nutrition programs targeted for each life stage. Prerequisite: NUT 200. Offered Fall, Spring.

NUT 350 Functional Foods, Herbs, and Supplements Consumer interest in the relationship between diet and health has increased the demand for information about functional foods, herbals, and supplements. The purpose of this course is to explore current literature and research in these ever-growing and popular topics. Definitions, purpose, safety, efficacy, and risks of each topic will be covered. Additionally, topics of discussion will include specific functional components of food, herbals, and supplements. Prerequisite: NUT 200. Offered Annually.

NUT 400 Food Science and Safety This course examines the principles of food science including the functional role of carbohydrates, protein and fat. Emphasis will be placed on current topics of food science and safety in the national and local food industry including genetically modified and functional foods. Biological, chemical, and physical factors that affect the quality and safety of food products will be discussed in addition to the role of microorganisms in foodborne illness and food quality. Students in this course will also explore basic principles of food safety including food processing and food service as well as the role of government in food safety. Prerequisite: NUT 200; BIO 100 or BIO 105 or MIC 100 or MIC 230. Offered Fall, Spring.