The program offerings in the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences consist of options in Food Science, Nutritional Science, the Didactic Program in General Dietetics, Undergraduate Program in Public Health Nutrition, Food Science/Biology, and Nutritional Science/Biology, each of which leads to a Bachelor of Science degree. These undergraduate curricula provide a broad general education, plus professional competency for positions in government and non-government agencies, research laboratories, universities and organizations dealing with health, nutrition, education and human needs. The Food and Nutritional Science Advisory Board (FNSAB, a support arm for the department) composed of professionals in academia and the food industries, provides student internship opportunities at member companies, annual scholarships for academic achievers in financial need, and a well developed mentorship program.
The graduate program, a two-year program leading to the Master of Science degree, is offered in Food and Nutritional Sciences with two major emphases: Food Science or Nutritional Science. Areas of research include: Food Safety, Food Product Development, Nutritional Biochemistry and Community Nutrition. All students accepted into the graduate program, must have a B. S. degree in food science, nutrition, general dietetics or related area. Graduate study provides the opportunity for greater breadth and depth in a selected area of specialization through course work, a critical examination of the literature, experience in research methods and techniques, internships and co-op experiences. The Food Safety and Processing Center provides a wide array of hands-on experiences in the areas of new food product development, food processing and food safety for students majoring in food science, nutritional science, general dietetics, public health nutrition, food science/biology, and nutritional science/biology. The nutrition program encompasses a Center for Research on Nutrition, Lifestyle and Chronic Disease in Alabamians. Experimentation in cardiovascular disease, cancer, etc. research includes the use of animals, human models and quality food product development to solve nutritional problems. Undergraduate and graduate students work in the center, thereby combining nutritional theory with practice.