Bachelor of Science in Nutrition–Courses

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Course Descriptions

Core Curriculum

MT 411 – Practical Math (2 lecture credits)

An activity-based approach to solving practical math problems that develops measurement skills and mathematical literacy. Topics include unit conversions and estimation within a variety of measurement systems; ratio and proportion; basic geometric concepts; and financial literacy.

NS 311 – Anatomy and Physiology (4 lecture credits and 1 lab credit)

An introduction to the structure and function of the human body from a whole-systems perspective. The integumentary, musculoskeletal, nervous, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urogenital, immune and endocrine systems are covered. The concepts of development, metabolism, fluid and electrolyte balance, and acid-base balance are also explored. The lab component includes participation in cadaver dissection as an aid to learning the interrelationships of the parts of the human body.

NS 321 – Genetics (4 lecture credits)

An introduction to the application of basic genetic principles to the study of human health and disease. Topics include Mendelian genetics, cytogenetics, population genetics, molecular cytogenetics, oncocytogenetics and clinical applications of principles. The importance and implication of genetic disease is also discussed.

NS 323 – Introduction to Public Health (3 lecture credits)

The 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, public health’s role in disaster preparedness, and challenges to food supplies.

NS 331 – Organic Chemistry with Lab (4 lecture credits and 1 lab credit)

An introduction to the molecular basis of living processes in bacteria, plants and humans. This course provides a foundation in the chemistry of carbon-containing compounds, including three-dimensional structures; chemical properties; and methods of structural identification, reactions and syntheses. Students also learn about the organic chemistry of specific pharmaceuticals and detoxification pathways.

NS 401 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 mechanisms, thermodynamics and metabolism. Prerequisite: NS 331

NS 411 – Biostatistics for Pre-Health Majors (3 lecture credits)

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; and survival analysis.

NS 412 – Scientific and Professional Communication (3 lecture credits)

Learn the essential knowledge and skills for effective scientific and professional communication in scientific writing, poster design and oral presentations. The fundamentals of business communication are covered, including letter writing, email etiquette and social media ethics.

NS 421 – Evidence-Based Practice for Pre-Health Professionals (3 lecture credits)

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: NS 401, 412

NU 311 – Introduction to Nutrition (4 lecture credits)

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

NU 312 – American Food Systems (3 lecture credits)

The complexities of the food system are immense, and the tools for understanding the system and its dynamic historical shifts are interdisciplinary. This course addresses the historical development of the modern food system and the relationship between the economy, food supply policies and the Green revolution. It then examines the creation of marginalization and inequality for different communities and populations. Finally, it identifies the emerging alternatives to the dominant food paradigm and the future roles of alternative systems based on equity, diversity and sustainability.

NU 321 – Advanced Nutrition (4 lecture credits)

A detailed analysis of the role of vitamins and minerals in human metabolism and health, with an emphasis on the integration of cellular physiology, biochemistry and nutrition. Students 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.

NU 331 – Foundations of Community Nutrition (3 lecture credits)

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

NU 411 – Food Security (3 lecture credits)

This survey of local, regional and national strategies to address food insecurity will provide students with a basic understanding of the social, political and economic foundations. Students will learn how to analyze individual elements of the strategies and their interrelationships, and how to begin assessing the individual and community impacts, as well as the sustainability of those strategies at different scales and in different bioregions.

NU 412 – Nutrition in the News (2 lecture credits)

Contradictory nutrition 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.

NU 421 – 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 BScN program

NU 422 – 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, and basic diet therapies and how they apply to different disease pathologies. Evidence that supports dietary prevention of disease is also addressed. Prerequisite: NU 311

NU 431 – Whole Food: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition (3 lecture credits and 1 lab credit)

This course critically examines current paradigms of nutritional science. Whole foods provide a vast array of nutritional benefits and evidence suggests that a wholefood, plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat. Each week, students gain practical experience with whole food through hands-on cooking instruction.

NU 432 – Nutritional Epidemiology (4 lecture credits)

Students learn to conduct or better interpret epidemiological studies relating diet and nutritional status to disease and health. This course examines methodologies used in nutritional epidemiological studies, and reviews the current state of knowledge regarding diet and other nutritional indicators as etiologic factors in disease. Prerequisite: NU 321

NU 433 – Nutrition Capstone (3 lecture credits)

Students complete a final research paper, project or internship that they consider the crowning achievement of their nutrition program. Students receive mentorship and peer support as they complete a 20-page paper and a program portfolio, and deliver a 10-minute presentation to their peers. Prerequisite: completion of a minimum of 75 credits in the BScN program, including NU 421

SS 311 – Self-Care and Self-Management (2 lecture credits)

Self-care and self-management strategies support health and well-being, prevent disease, and reduce stress. Students learn how to cultivate and develop life skills through individual and group activities. Topics include qigong, yoga, meditation, stress management, and the impact of food choices.

SS 321 – Culture, Identity and Emotion (3 lecture credits)

This course explores the interrelation of culture, thought, emotion and social realities. Students examine 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.

SS 331 – Advanced Writing and Self-Reflective Skills (3 lecture credits)

This course provides 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.

SS 332 – Intercultural Communication Skills (3 lecture credits)

Cultural humility requires that people give careful consideration to their assumptions and beliefs that affect how they communicate. This course teaches students to identify characteristics of their own worldview as they learn to navigate professional interpersonal relationships.

SS 421 – Ethics and Philosophical Dilemmas (3 lecture credits)

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. This course 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.

Elective Courses

IM 311 – Introduction to Integrative Medicine (3 lecture credits)

This course introduces a variety of integrative medical modalities. Students explore the history, philosophy and major concepts of botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, mind-body medicine, health psychology and more. Major medical systems of the world are also covered, such as naturopathic medicine, Chinese medicine, osteopathy, Ayurvedic medicine and energy healing systems.

IM 321 – Prevention and Wellness (3 lecture credits)

Prevention and wellness serve as the foundation for integrative medical practitioners. This course explores the design of intervention strategies for health enhancement and prevention of disease. Topics such as injury prevention, health education/promotion, exercise fitness, sleep, mind-body techniques, optimal nutrition and positive relationships are covered. Prerequisite: IM 311

IM 331 – Exercise Science (3 lecture credits)

This course covers the research behind the value of exercise in the promotion of wellness and prevention of disease. Topics include the physiological, mechanical and psychological mechanisms of movement; strength and conditioning; sports psychology; and methods of rehabilitation. Students commit to a form of exercise for the duration of this course and journal about their experience.

NS 322 – Immunology (4 lecture credits)

An introduction to the principles of immunology, including: development of the immune system; cells and organs of the immune system; the immune system in health and disease; and infectious organisms, allergies and more.

NS 341E – Environment and Health (3 lecture credits)

The role of the environment on health issues is often underplayed. This course surveys current environmental health issues such as hazardous waste and water-borne diseases, as well as emerging global health threats including global warming, ozone depletion and sustainability. Positive influences of the environment on health will also be discussed.

NS 342E – Plants of the Northwest (3 lecture credits)

This course introduces students to important flowering and food plant species of the Pacific Northwest. Specific topics include the use of taxonomic keys, plant anatomy, plant ecology, preservation and preparation of plant specimens, and species identification through lectures, lab activities and field trips to study native species in their habitats. Students will explore the reciprocal relationship between food plants and people in the Northwest from the perspectives of foraging for wild foods, domestication of food plants, and the therapeutic approaches toward healing through plant awareness and horticulture.

NS 432 – Physics with Lab (4 lecture credits and 1 lab credit)

This course is a noncalculus-based conceptual study of the laws of motion, forces, energy, matter, heat and thermodynamics, wave motion, sound and light. Applications to the life sciences are emphasized, including sight, hearing, joint range of motion, nerve conduction, etc.

NU 423E – 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 teaches 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.

NU 436E – 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: NU 321