Nutrition Science

Students work in kitchen lab

St. Kate's nutrition science major focuses on the workings of the human body, of which nutrition is a key element. This major prepares you for graduate school, medical school, dental school and physician assistant programs. St. Kate's curriculum combines courses in nutrition and food science with an exceptionally strong science and mathematics base, including classes in calculus, chemistry, biochemistry and physics.

Different approach to pre-med

St. Kate's nutrition science major is a departure from traditional pre-med coursework that focuses on plant biology, taking a big-picture, physiology-based, systems approach to the inner workings of the body. The curriculum also gets down to the cellular level, providing important context if you're considering a career in many allied health professions.

Flexible ma​jor

You may modify coursework to focus on the sociological and psychological aspects of nutrition if you want a career related to eating habits, public health, food assistance programs and serving underrepresented groups.

St. Kate's nutrition science majors have combined their studies with minors in psychology, chemistry, Spanish or exercise science. They've also paired it with another major such as English or international relations.

Competitive research advantage

St. Kate's students frequently partner with professors to conduct original research projects and learn to analyze scientific literature and share data. Recent research topics include gluten-free diet modifications, omega-3 fatty acids, depression, maternal diet and offspring bone density, and the effects of fat and carbohydrates on exercise performance.

In the "Research in Food and Nutrition" course, you work on an independent project in which you collect data, complete a statistical analysis and write a research paper. Then you share your findings through academic/research posters at a professional meeting. The course also involves reviewing journal articles and scientific presentations.

Emphasis on writing

St. Kate's advanced nutrition course is writing intensive. You learn to write clearly about food and nutrition, and understand how to craft messages for all types of audiences. Opportunities to publish include St. Kate's news website, the department newsletter and professional poster presentations.

Food science lab

St. Kate's modern food lab is similar to a large commercial kitchen. It's outfitted with a variety of cooktops with both gas and electric ovens — and has an overhead demonstration mirror to give you a clear view of a professor's food preparation or description.

Community outreach

Service learning is important at St. Kate's. In "Community Lifespan Nutrition," for example, you study topics such as food justice and legislation and the health disparities and are required to volunteer in local food and nutrition programs. Past locations include Minnesota Internship Center, Crossroads Elementary School, Lifeworks and Simpson Housing Services.

In "Medical Nutrition Therapy II," you head to local hospitals, long-term care facilities or clinics to share your knowledge — and, in return, learn from experts in the field.