Food and Nutritional Sciences

Programs offered
  • Food and Nutritional Sciences (major, minor, and emphases)

Food and Nutritional Sciences (BS)


  • A minimum 89–116 credits are required for this major, including 25 upper-division credits.
  • You must complete one of the three emphases for the BS degree in Food and Nutritional Sciences:
    • Dietetics Emphasis
    • Food and Nutritional Sciences (General) Emphasis
    • Sports and Exercise Emphasis
  • This Food and Nutrition major requires completion of the Family and Consumer Sciences Core, which includes:
    • FCS 1050 Introduction to FCS, completed during your freshman or sophomore year. (If you are a transfer student, you may complete this in your junior year.)
    • FCS 3240 Individual and Family Development, completed after FCS 1050.
    • FCS 4899 Senior Capstone, completed after FCS 3240 and during your senior year.
  • You should complete the prerequisite courses in chemistry, biology, and Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS 1050 and FCS 2365 or FCS 3340) by your junior year.
  • A minimum 55 credits are required for the minor, including 15 upper-division credits.

    Dietetics emphasis

    The Dietetics emphasis, also known as the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), is approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). After you complete the DPD and the baccalaureate degree, you are awarded the DPD Verification.

    If you intend to become a registered dietitian (RDN), you must also complete a post-baccalaureate dietetic internship and pass the national registration examination for dietitians offered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.

    Appointments to dietetic internships are awarded on a competitive basis. Additional information on educational requirements, the RDN credential and a listing of dietetic internships is available from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

    Dietetics emphasis for post-baccalaureate students

    If you are a post-baccalaureate student seeking DPD verification, your course requirements are identical to those of the Dietetics emphasis, except for the following:

    FCS 1050 Introduction to FCS and FCS 3240 Individual and Family Development are not required.

      If you are a post-baccalaureate student seeking a second bachelor’s degree in addition to DPD verification, you must complete the requirements listed above, as well as the following:

      • At least 45 credits from SPU as a matriculated student.
      • At least 15 upper-division credits in the major.
      • Five credits in Christian Scriptures or Christian Theology

      Your previous academic work, if completed within the last seven years, will be considered for meeting DPD requirements. A transcript review by the DPD director will determine the courses that you must complete to fulfill requirements.

      The admission requirements and application process for post-baccalaureate students are identical to those listed above for undergraduate students.

      If you are completing the requirements for a second baccalaureate degree, you may be eligible for federal student financial aid; non-degree students are not eligible for financial aid.

    admission data for the dietetics emphasis

    Admission to the Dietetics emphasis in the Food and Nutrition major is selective and based upon prior academic performance. Recent admission data is depicted below.

    Academic Year 2015–16 2016–17 2017–18
    Average GPA of Admitted Students 3.4 3.3 3.5
    Lowest GPA of Admitted Students 3.0 3.0 3.0
    Number of Applicants 19 12 15
    Number Admitted 19 10 15

    entering and completing the major or minor

    In order to earn a degree, you must complete an academic major. SPU encourages students to explore various academic paths, and students are not required to enter a major immediately upon admission to the University. However, you should enter a major by the end of your sophomore year to help ensure your timely completion of a degree. Students who transfer as juniors and seniors should identify and enter their major within their first two quarters at SPU.

    • Your application is due on or before the first Friday of Autumn, Winter, or Spring quarter.
    • Applications for all majors and minors are reviewed once per quarter.   
    • Before being admitted to the Dietetics emphasis, you are required to complete the following courses with a grade of C- or higher:
      • BIO 2129, BIO 2130; CHM 1310, CHM 1330, CHM 1360; FCS 1050, and FCS 2365 or FCS 3340.
    • An overall GPA of 3.0 or higher is required for application to the Dietetics emphasis. The minimum overall GPA for admission to the Sports and Exercise emphasis and Food & Nutrition Emphasis is 2.0.
    • If this is your first quarter at SPU and you wish to enter a major or minor in this department, you may apply  by using the online Major or Minor Application form. You will receive an email notification of acceptance.
    • If you are an SPU student with an SPU cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better, use the online Major or Minor Application form to select your major or minor. You will receive an email notification of acceptance. Students on academic probation (with an SPU cumulative GPA below 2.0) will not be permitted to enter a new major or minor until they regain good academic standing.
    • The University requires a grade of C- or better in all classes that apply to a major or minor; however, programs may require higher minimum grades in specific courses. You may repeat an SPU course only once for a higher grade.
    • To advance in this program, meet with your faculty advisor regularly to discuss your grades, course progression, and other indicators of satisfactory academic progress. If your grades or other factors indicate that you may not be able to successfully complete the major or minor, your faculty advisor can work with you to explore options, which may include choosing a different major or minor.
    • You must complete the major or minor requirements in effect in the SPU Undergraduate Catalog for the year of admittance to the major or minor.

    Students outside talking

    Family Consumer Sciences 

    Visit Family and Consumer Sciences to see how an FCS degree can help you achieve your goals to make a difference in the world.

    Time Schedule: Family Consumer Sciences

    Course planning

    Suggested course sequences help you complete your degree in a timely manner.