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Human Nutrition and Food (HNFD)

Human Nutrition and Food (HNFD)

Professors:  Edith J. Harris, Ph.D., RD, LDN; Bernestine B. McGee, Ph.D., RD, LDN; 
Cheryl Atkinson, Ph.D., RD, LDN

To advance the health and wellness of individuals through the education of professionals, provision of research based programs and generation and dissemination of knowledge.  The program prepares graduates to enter dietetic internships, assume careers in food & nutrition and related areas, and engage in graduate study.

An educational environment which embraces excellence in instruction, research and outreach.
Consistent with the mission of the University, College and Department, the Human Nutrition and
Food Program is committed to:

  • Prepare students with the professional competencies necessary for assuming entry-level careers in food & nutrition and related areas, and graduate study.
  • Generate, disseminate and apply knowledge in human nutrition and food to improve the quality of life for individuals, families and associated organizational systems.
  • Provide students with a learning environment which emphasizes the acquisition of competencies needed to understand the complex issues and problems related to achieving and maintaining optimal health of persons and groups.

Central to our goal is the development of communication and critical thinking skills and a commitment to lifelong learning in our students.

The goals of the Human Nutrition and Food Program are to:

1.    Prepare majors who, upon completion of their undergraduate training, will obtain a dietetic internship, pass the registration examination for dietitians and ultimately practice as competent entry-level professionals.
2.    Provide specialized training for students who wish to pursue professional careers in food and nutrition and related areas.
3.    Prepare students for graduate study in food and nutrition.
4.    Recruit, retain, and graduate highly motivated students.
5.    Provide a foundation for critical thinking, problem solving, and effective communication.
6.    Provide mentoring opportunities for students to engage in food and nutrition research aimed at improving the quality of life of individuals and families.  
7.    Instill in students a commitment to lifelong learning, professional involvement and professional development.

General Program Outcomes

Program outcomes can be grouped into six categories:

Upon completion of the Human Nutrition and Food Program, graduates will:
1.    Critical thinking
Reason abstractly and think critically and integrate new information with previously acquired information to solve novel complex problems and learn independently.
2.    Communication skills

  1. Communicate effectively to individuals, groups and the public and
  2. Identify, interpret, evaluate and use professional literature to make evidence-based decisions.  

3.    Cultural Literacy
Demonstrate knowledge of social, multicultural and environmental dimensions of issues facing food and nutrition professionals.  
4.    Ethical behavior and values
Identify and demonstrate understanding of ethical issues implicit in their personal behavior and those underlying the operation of social and political systems as well as in the field of research
5.    Information technology literacy
Demonstrate information technology skills that enable them to use computers, software applications, databases, and other technologies to achieve a wide variety of academic, work-related, and personal goals 
6.    Technical Skills
Demonstrate technical competence in the concentration area to perform successfully in a supervised practice program, graduate program or entry-level professional position.


Food and nutritional sciences is the 1) systematic study of the nutritional needs of individuals in both health and disease; 2) the provision of nutritious food to individuals or groups to promote or maintain health and prevent or treat illness; 3) the provision of nutritional care to individuals or groups through nutrition education and distribution of food; and 4) the provision of food to groups through the management of food service systems.  The Food and Nutritional Sciences emphasis in Family and Consumer Sciences translates the science of food and its relation to good health into exciting careers.