Bachelor of Science in Nutrition–Courses

Questions? Contact the Office of Admissions: 503.552.1660 or 877.669.8737; admissions@nunm.edu

Course Descriptions

Introduction to Nutrition (4 lecture credits)

In this course, students will cover basic principles of nutrition sciences such as macro- and micronutrients, digestion, absorption, transport, and metabolism. Dietary guidelines for prevention of chronic disease are stressed. Participants will also conduct an analysis of personal dietary habits.

Advanced Nutrition (4 lecture credits)

This course covers a detailed analysis of the role of vitamins and minerals in human metabolism and health. The integration of cellular physiology, biochemistry, and nutrition will be emphasized. We will examine the biochemical and medical background of a variety of clinical conditions including the role of diet in malnutrition, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and weight management. Prerequisite: Introduction to Nutrition. 

American Food Systems (3 lecture credits)

The complexities of the food system are enormous, and the tools for understanding the system and its dynamic historical shifts are interdisciplinary. This survey of local, regional, and national food systems will provide students with a basic understanding of how to analyze individual elements of the systems and their interrelationships, and how to begin assessing the “sustainability” of those food systems at different scales and in different bioregions.

Whole Food: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition (3 lecture credits, 1 lab credits)

This course will critically examine current paradigms of nutritional science. Reductionistic methods are currently used to describe nutritional benefits of specific vitamins, minerals, etc. in packaged and processed foods. Whole foods provide a vast array of nutritional benefits and evidence suggests that a whole-food, plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat. A re-focus on whole foods may be the answer to modern food-related epidemics. Furthermore, political and agricultural influences on the development of the US food pyramid and other federal nutritional recommendations will be explored. This course includes hands-on cooking instruction with whole foods. Prerequisite: Introduction to Nutrition; Biochemistry for Life Sciences 

Diet and Disease (3 lecture credits)

Increasingly more diseases have been shown to have nutritional components. This course introduces students to the nutritional causes of modern diseases, basic diet therapies and how they apply to different disease pathologies. Evidence that supports dietary prevention of disease will also be addressed. Prerequisite: Introduction to Nutrition. 

Food Security (3 lecture credits)

This course addresses pre-modern or traditional agriculture, the origin and development of agricultural biodiversity, the relationship between food supply and cultural identity and the agrarian transition/Green revolution. It then transitions into modernization and the creation of marginalization, environmental management, new technological development and application, and famine. Finally, the political-ecologies of agriculture, the emerging alternative roles of agriculture to food production, and the future roles of alternative systems based on diversity and location are addressed.

Foundations of Community Nutrition (3 lecture credits)

Nutritional problems in communities include obesity to food insecurity in units from families to governments. The causes of poor nutrition are multiple and complex, involving biological, economic, social, cultural, and policy issues. The Community Nutrition course addresses the promotion of health and prevention of disease using in nutrition in communities and populations. Prerequisite: Introduction to Nutrition.

Foundations of Cooking Techniques (2 lecture credits, 1 lab credit)

In order to practically apply nutrition theory to real meals, cooking skills are required. This course introduces students how to prepare and cook nutritious food for individuals or groups. Additional ‘art of cooking’ components are introduced and students begin experimenting with flavors.

Recipe & Meal Planning (2 lecture credits, 1 lab credit)

This course will enable the student to apply the basic principles of recipe and menu planning for optimal nutrition. Emphasis will be placed on recipe and meal planning for individuals, families and large groups using the principles of whole food nutrition. Concepts such as diversity in population, access to whole foods, and cost will also be covered. Students will prepare meals in the teaching kitchen.

Nutrition for Exercise and Sports (3 lecture credits)

This course investigates the basic, scientific, and applied concepts of nutrition and substrate utilization as they apply to energy production for exercise, body composition, weight control and thermoregulation. Emphasis is given to analyzing nutritional requirements for enhanced exercise and sport performance. Prerequisite: Advanced Nutrition. 

Nutrition in the News (2 lecture credits)

Articles on nutrition appear in the news media nearly every week. Contradictory articles can be perplexing – for example, one article says to eat low fat, while another says eat high fat – which article is right? This course teaches students how to critically evaluate news articles by locating the original research and assessing the original medical literature. In addition, students will learn how to apply the medical literature to a nutrition plan for themselves or others.

Nutritional Epidemiology (4 lecture credits)

This course is designed for students who are interested in conducting or better interpreting epidemiological studies relating diet and nutritional status to disease and health. This course will examine methodologies used in nutritional epidemiological studies, and to review the current state of knowledge regarding diet and other nutritional indicators as etiologic factors in disease. Prerequisite: Advanced Nutrition. 

Careers in Nutrition: Who Are You and What Do You Want to Do? (2 lecture credits)

Experts suggest that many students completing their education today will find themselves in careers that did not exist 10 years ago. Identifying a career in nutrition that fits talents and skills as well as interests is not always straightforward. This interactive course equips students with career planning skills that they can use immediately or in the future. Prerequisite: Completion of 50 credits in the nutrition degree completion program. 

Nutrition Capstone (3 internship credits)

One of the definitions of the word “capstone” is a crowning achievement. This course is meant to provide the student an opportunity to perform a final research or service project that he/she considers the crowning achievement of his/her nutrition program. Students are expected to draw from their coursework in the program, personal experience and research or service work conducted outside the classroom. Students will receive mentorship throughout the term as well as peer-support. At the end of the term, students will complete a 20 page paper, complete their program portfolio and present a 10-minute oral presentation to their peers. Prerequisite: Completion of a minimum of 75 credits in the nutrition degree completion program; Careers in Nutrition. 

Anatomy and Physiology (4 lecture credits, 1 lab credit)

This course introduces the structure and function of the human body from a whole-systems perspective. The integumentary, musculoskeletal, nervous, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urogenital, and immune systems, and endocrine systems will be covered. Mechanisms for maintaining homeo/allostasis as well as concepts of development, metabolism, fluid and electrolyte balance, and acid-base balance will be explored.

Biochemistry for Life Sciences (4 lecture credits)

This course covers the structure, function, and metabolism of biomolecules especially proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and steroids. Nucleic acids, and important accessory molecules (cofactors and metal ions) are covered, as well as enzyme kinetics and mechanism, thermodynamics, metabolism, and the regulation of metabolism. Prerequisite: Organic Chemistry I. 

Biostatistics for Pre-Health Majors (3 lecture credits)

Course topics include the collection, classification, and presentation of descriptive data; the rationale of estimation and hypothesis testing; analysis of variance; analysis of contingency tables; correlation and regression analysis; multiple regression, logistic regression, and the statistical control of confounding; sample size and power considerations; survival analysis.

Evidence-based Practice for Pre-health Professionals (3 lecture credits)

The medical literature plays an important role in clinical decision making as well as scientific careers. However, locating the correct evidence and critically evaluating the results requires training and practice. This course equips students with the basics of evidence-based medicine. Prerequisites: Biostatistics for Life Sciences; Scientific & Professional Communication. 

Introduction to Public Health (3 lecture credits)

This course provides a history of public health and an overview of five core disciplines: epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, social and behavioral health, and health policy and management. Students will analyze contemporary public health issues such as health promoting behaviors for disease prevention, the burden and distribution of infectious diseases in a global context, public health’s role in disaster preparedness, and challenges to food supplies. This course will also explore the role of law and government in public health challenges such as spiraling healthcare costs and an aging population.

Practical Math (2 lecture credits)

This course provides an activity-based approach that develops measurement skills and mathematical literacy to solve practical math problems. Topics include unit conversions and estimation within a variety of measurement systems; ratio and proportion; basic geometric concepts; and financial literacy. Mathematics will be used to solve practical problems, and to analyze and communicate results.

Culture, Identity and Emotion (3 lecture credits)

This course explores the interrelation of culture, thought, emotion, and social realities. It examines the role of language and culture in shaping emotional experience and self-understanding, including the formation of social identities such as gender, ethnicity and nationality.

Ethics & Philosophical Dilemmas (3 lecture credits)

This course is an introduction to the philosophical study of morality, including the theory of right and wrong behavior, the theory of value (goodness and badness), and the theory of virtue and vice. Besides providing familiarity with the primary questions addressed within moral philosophy and the most influential answers given by well-known philosophers. It addresses euthanasia and the right to die, behavior modification, allocation of scarce medical resources, in vitro fertilization, genetic screening and engineering, and research involving human subjects.

Expository Writing and Self-Reflective Skills (3 lecture credits)

This course will provide intensive practice in the process of producing thoughtful and polished essays that start with the writer’s experiences and move on to explore the relationship of the self to the external world. Emphasis is placed on finding a personal voice, exploring and developing one’s ideas, and effectively revising one’s work.

Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands: Interpersonal Skills (3 lecture credits)

Cultural humility requires that people give careful consideration to their assumptions and beliefs that effect how they communicate. As an individual develops culturally competent interpersonal skills, they must understand their own relationship with culture as well as the worldview of the person or group with whom they are communicating. This course teaches students to identify characteristics of their own worldview as they learn to navigate professional interpersonal relationships.

Scientific & Professional Communication (3 lecture credits)

This course imparts essential knowledge and skills for effective scientific and professional communication in scientific writing, poster design, and oral presentations. The course addresses basic research papers, lab reports and project proposals. Students will cover fundamentals of business communication including letter-writing, email etiquette, and social media ethics.

Self-Care and Self-Management (2 lecture credits)

There are several self-care and self-management strategies that help to develop and maintain health, prevent disease, and reduce stress. This course introduces students to a variety of self-care practices including yoga, meditation, and qi gong practice.