Department of Nutritional Sciences

All programs in the Department of Nutritional Sciences help students train to become leaders in nutrition who are able to integrate the span of knowledge from molecules to organisms to populations with the goal of improving human health.

The Department of Nutritional Sciences offers a breadth of educational, research, and experiential opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students that provide them with the foundational knowledge and skills to pursue careers in research, pre-professional, industry, food systems management, and community settings.

Nutritional Sciences Academic Programs

Undergraduate Program in Nutritional Sciences

Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences

Graduate Program in Nutrition Receives National Ranking

Recently released results from the National Research Council ranks the Penn State Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences among the nation's best.


The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet
  • Health and Human Development recognizes teaching in excellence in Nutritional Sciences
    The College of Health and Human Development (HHD) values excellence in teaching. Through a review of Student Rating of Teaching Effectiveness scores, student comments and input from others in HHD, the Teaching Excellence Award recognizes some of our best faculty for their hard work and dedication to undergraduate teaching and learning.
  • Volumetrics No. 6 best diet overall for 2015
    Ranked among the top 10 best diets for 2015 by U.S. News and World Report, the plan and book by Nutritional Sciences Professor Barbara Rolls is making headlines once again for its sensible and realistic approach to healthy eating. The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet was ranked the No. 6 best diet overall for the current year. It held the same designation in 2014. The approach focuses on feeling full on fewer calories. By eating more low calorie dense foods, such as fruits and vegetables, participants can manage hunger while consuming less calories.
  • Increasing the amount of omega-3s in diet will likely decrease risk of heart disease
    Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential for human health, but the body does not produce them -- therefore they must be consumed in order to maintain appropriate levels. Increasing the amount of omega-3s in your diet, whether from fish or flax, will likely decrease your risk of getting heart disease, according to Penn State nutritionists.
  • Bacterial product could cure viral infections, scientists say
    Specifically, in findings published in the Nov. 14 issue of Science, the researchers described that activation of the innate immune system with the bacterial protein flagellin could prevent and cure rotavirus infection, which is amongst the most common causes of severe diarrhea. Matam Vijay-Kumar, assistant professor, co-authored the study.
  • Nearly 70 percent of NUTR students placed into post-baccalaureate internships
    Acceptance rates into dietetic internships is higher than the national average.
    Nutritional Sciences (NUTR) students had a 69.4 percent acceptance rate into dietetic internships for the fall 2013 and spring 2014 application periods, exceeding those terms’ goals, and marking the second time in the last five years that acceptance rates hovered around 70 percent. Out of 72 applicants, 50 were matched.
  • Eating lean beef daily can help lower blood pressure
    Contrary to conventional wisdom, a growing body of evidence shows that eating lean beef can reduce risk factors for heart disease, according to recent research by nutritional scientists."This research adds to the significant evidence, including work previously done in our lab, that supports lean beef's role in a heart-healthy diet," said Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition, Penn State. "This study shows that nutrient-rich lean beef can be included as part of a heart-healthy diet that reduces blood pressure, which can help lower the risk for cardiovascular disease."