What is Nutrition and Food Science?

By studying nutrition and food science, you’ll learn how biology, behaviour, physiology and other applied sciences play a role in human nutrition and food consumption.  Courses cover the fundamentals of nutritional science as well as food manufacturing, preservation, storage, and distribution. This major will prepare you for careers in the public and private sectors, from nutrition-lifestyle management to food quality assurance. 

This degree also meets the admissions requirement to transfer into the Dietetics Specialization, which prepares students for eligibility to become a Registered Dietitian.


Tailor your degree to follow your passion! To complement the broad training offered in this program on food, nutrition and public health, the following minors are available that can lead to a range of careers or opportunities in post-graduate studies in related fields.

  • A minor in Food Marketing applies a nutrition and food science background to consumer behaviour and food marketing. Careers include food marketing and product development.
  • A minor in Food Policy applies a nutrition and food science background to food, nutrition and agricultural policy in food production and public health.
  • A minor in Food Safety and Quality applies a nutrition and food science background to careers related to food safety and quality assurance, as well as food product development.
  • A minor in Food Service Management combines a nutrition and food science background with food-business management, menu planning, and safety and quality assurance in the food service industry. Careers can include food service operation manager in hospitals, restaurants and catering.
  • A minor in Global Health explores how food and nutrition impact the health of populations. Careers include working for public health, government and non-profit agencies in nutrition and food policy and health promotion.
  • A minor in Human Ecology offers knowledge and skills for developing, delivering and evaluating programs and services that enhance the well-being of individuals and families. Students who complete this minor may be eligible to apply for the registered designation of Professional Human Ecologist. This minor also provides access to the Human Ecology Practicum Program.
  • A minor in Nutrition Communication and Education covers nutrition communication, planning, development and the delivery of nutrition and health promotion education or programs, as well as in the food-nutrition industry. Careers can include nutrition educator or consultant for food industries or public health agencies.
  • A minor in Physical Activity integrates nutrition and food sciences with nutritional health and physical activity. This minor is a pathway to kinesiology, physical rehabilitation and sports health related studies and careers.

BSc Honors in Food Science or Nutrition

The BSc Honors in Food Science or Nutrition programs are intended for highly-motivated students who aim for research-oriented careers, such as a research officer or technologist, or plan to pursue graduate-level studies. They are more specialized and research-intensive degrees that require a higher standard of academic achievement for both admission and ongoing performance.

  • BSc Honors in Food Science: Specialize in areas such as food microbiology, clinical nutrition, and foodborne pathogens through this research-based program.
  • BSc Honors in Nutrition: Complete this specialized, research-based program to focus on nutritional science and the related physical, health and social sciences. This program can be a pathway to the Dietetics Specialization.
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Featured Courses

Applied Food Theory (NU FS 250)

Fundamental food preparation skills and practical application of food theory to household food preparation issues through laboratory-based instruction

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Nutrition Across the Lifespan (NU FS 356)

A lecture course that examines the understanding of how nutrients act on a cellular, tissue and whole organism level to influence human growth, development and aging.

View in course catalogue




Sustainability of Food and Bio-based Products (NU FS 442)

Comprehensive review on sustainability in the food and “green” products industries, and provides a hands-on introduction to methods such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) which is used to evaluate the environmental impact of products and processes. 

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Nutrition and Metabolism Related to Cancer (NU FS 424)

Addresses nutritional issues specifically related to cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

View in course catalogue



Feature Careers

Graduates may find employment opportunities in a variety of public or private enterprises including health education, the health industry, community and non-government/charitable organizations or international aid. The general program minors help position graduates for careers in:

  • lifestyle management,
  • the community-based human ecology sector,
  • policy-making bodies in government or non-government institutions,
  • and the food industry and food service management.



  • Food Processing Plant Supervisor
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Marketing Manager
  • Nutrition Consultant
  • Nutrition Educator
  • Wellness Program Coordinator

Check out the U of A's Nutrition and Food Science Career Guide for more options.