The objective of the study of nutrition involves the improvement of the health and well-being of individuals and societies through better diet. It encompasses the roles that molecules, cells and genes play in biological processes, as well as behavior, education, culture, and economics. Nutrition is an expanding field and, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, applicants with proper certifications or an advanced degree enjoy the best job opportunities. Many Texas colleges and universities offer degrees in nutrition.
University of Texas--Austin
The University of Texas at Austin's School of Human Ecology offers four options for its Bachelor of Science in Nutrition degree program: dietetics, nutritional sciences, nutrition and health, and teaching certification. They require a common core of science and nutrition courses with coursework in the one particular area of specialization. Students who complete the Diatetics program are eligible for accreditation by the American Dietetic Association (ADA) to become registered dieticians (RD). The Nutritional Sciences program prepares students for advanced study in graduate school. The teaching track gives students the state certification requirements to teach science in secondary or middle grades. Those studying Nutrition and Health combine the study of nutrition with another discipline such as business, communications, computer science, exercise and fitness or nutritional science and behavior. They also offer an M.A. in Nutrition and a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences. Graduate programs focus on nutrient functions and the role of nutrients in pathophysiologies such as cancer, obesity and diabetes.
Baylor University's Family and Consumer Sciences department aims to prepare students for professions in medical nutrition therapy, sports nutrition, pharmaceutical sales, weight management, culinary arts, eating-disorder counseling, community nutrition and food systems management, and enables students to become RDs. The disciplines are divided between BA and BS degrees with both requiring forty-six semester hours, with courses in subjects such as family development, meal management, experimental foods, food science and life cycle nutrition as well as in biology, chemistry, math, psychology and social sciences.
Texas A&M University
Students in the Texas A&M University Department of Nutrition and Food Science undergraduate program study Dietetics designed for students to become RDs and it is also accredited by the ADA. Both offer opportunities for internships which, while not required to graduate, are mandatory for becoming a licensed RD. Students can also study nutrition at the graduate level at Texas A&M and obtain accreditation to become a licensed RD.
Texas State University--San Marcos
The Texas State Nutrition and Foods program aims to prepare graduates for careers in dietetics, nutrition-related government programs, advocacy programs and research and academia. The major courses of study include dietetics and nutritional science and can be paired with hospitality and food science teacher certification for the Texas schools system. Courses also work toward providing the necessary accreditation to become an RD, but students not wishing to become an RD can add a minor to their degree in another discipline.
Carmen Russell is a career journalist who began writing in 1995. His articles have appeared in the "Chicago Tribune," "Orlando Sentinel," "Washington Times" and "asia! Magazine." His video work has been featured on "20/20," PBS and MSNBC.com. Russell has a Master of Studies in law from Georgetown University and a Master of Science in journalism from Columbia University.