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What is Health and Human Development?

Diverse fields of study that share one
common goal: enriching the lives of others.

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Penn State's Nutritional Sciences program focuses on helping you learn about the human body and how nutrition affects health and wellness.

Discover how the body uses nutrients for optimal health throughout the life cycle through a variey of educational, research, and experiential opportunities.

The program is designed to help you explore your passion for nutrition while preparing you to make an impact on the health of others.

Faculty members, who are leaders in the field, will help you understand cutting-edge nutritional science and practical applications to promote positive lifestyle changes in others.

Prepare for leadership and management positions in a number of health care, industry, government, and food science career fields where your knowledge and skills can be used.


A bachelor of science (B.S.) degree in Nutritional Sciences will help you make an impact on the health of others. There are three options in the program.

Basic Sciences

The Basic Sciences option option integrates nutritional sciences with other basic science courses. The strong science curriculum is an excellent fit if you plan to go to medical, dental, or pharmacy school. The Basic Sciences option also helps you gain laboratory skills that are valuable for careers in research or industry.

Applied Sciences

The Applied Sciences option offers a background in nutrition, disease prevention, and foods. Students in this option have interests in public health and health education. It is also an excellent fit if you are interested in pursuing a career as a physical or occupational therapist or a physician assistant. The option will help you prepare for careers in nutrition education, food service management, public-health nutrition, or applied research.


The Dietetics option is designed to help you prepare for a career as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). The courses and experiences in the Dietetics option helps you understand today’s complex nutrition and health problems locally and nationally. It equips you with the skills to enhance the quality of life for individuals and communities. Acquire skills in management, counseling, and leadership. This option will help you meet the requirements to become an RDN, including earning the verification statement needed to apply to the post-baccalaureate supervised practice programs and helping you prepare for the Registered Dietitian Exam.


The minor in Nutritional Sciences is designed to help you understand nutrition in relation to health and wellness. The minor is an excellent complement for students in related disciplines if you are interested in adding nutrition to your field of study. It focuses on foundational subjects such as the principles of nutrition, assessment of a person’s nutritional status and the biochemical basis for disease.

Professional Development

Student Organizations

Community Food Security Club focuses on taking an active role in the community to educate others about the benefits of eating nutritious and locally produced food.

Student Nutrition Association provides students with information about the roles of nutrition professionals and dietitians, as well as other information relating to professional development.

Professional Interaction

Alumni of the program regularly return to campus to take part in professional and social events. You will have the opportunity to meet and work with a number of these engaged alumni and learn from them.

Professional Resources

Take advantage of the many resources available to you as a student, including: