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Nutritional Sciences

As a nutritional science major, you’ll study the relationship between food and health and learn how it affects you, those around you and the entire planet.

Featuring cutting-edge training, this program prepares you to tackle society’s biggest health problems, from obesity to chronic disease to inefficient food systems.

What You’ll Learn 

In the nutritional science program, you will:

  • Enhance your understanding of current issues in human nutrition, including approaches to food labeling, fad diets and the impact of modern agriculture.
  • Assess community-health and design programs that have the capacity to improve lives through nutritional health.
  • Apply psychological, social and behavioral principles to real-world clinical practice.
  • Use scientific methods and critical thinking to evaluate nutrition and food systems.

Hands-on Learning

In the nutritional science program, you’ll have opportunities to put your knowledge to work in the field. Conduct independent research; explore state-of-the-art technology, like the BodPod and Precision Sweat System; or get clinical experience by snagging an internship at top institutions like Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard University Center for Genomics Research, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Want more? You can volunteer with local community programs or get involved in Active Science, Merrimack’s social entrepreneurial venture that gets school-age kids moving through a combination of physical activities, wearable technology and STEM learning.

Career Options

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently highlighted nutrition science as one of the “best fields for new college graduates,” based on projected job creation. With your nutritional science degree, you’ll be prepared for a career as a school food-service director, an educator or as a nutritionist for a public-health program, health club, sports organizations or commercial weight-loss program. Interested in an advanced degree? You’ll be ready for further study to become a registered dietician, physician, dentist, nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, chiropractor, research scientist, pharmacist or professor.

What You’ll Take 

All nutritional science majors take a combination of mandatory and elective courses to satisfy the 126-credit and 32-course requirements. To remain in good academic standing, you must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA.

Required Courses

Freshman Year

HSC 1122

Anatomy and Physiology I

HSC 1000

Careers in Health Sciences

Choose 1

MTH 1016 Pre-Calculus
MTH 1217 Calculus I

FYW 1050

Introduction to College Writing

HSC 1123

Anatomy and Physiology II

HSC 3302

Introduction to Public Health

MTH 1111


PHL 1000

Introduction to Philosophy

Sophomore Year

CHM 1210

Chemistry for Health Professions I

BIO 1027

Principles of Biology I

HSC 2350

Professional Development in Health Science


Arts and Literature course


Social Science course 1

CHM 1220

Chemistry for Health Professions II

HSC 2300

Introduction to Nutritional Sciences


Christianity in Context


Open Elective 1

Junior Year

HSC 3510

Community Nutrition

See below

Interdisciplinary Elective


Social Science course 2


Historical Studies course

HSC 3310

Health Behavior Promotion

HSC 3336W



Ethics course


Open Elective 2

Senior Year

HSC 4850
HSC 4810

Health Sciences Internship
Directed Research

HSC 3320

Microbiology for Health Professions

See below 

Health Sciences elective

See below

Nutritional Science Elective 1

See below 

Nutritional Science Elective 2


Open Elective 3


Foreign Language course


Tailor your academic experience by selecting electives from the following options:

Nutritional Sciences

HSC 3520

Food Service Management

HSC 3530

Medical Nutrition Therapy


Food Policy and Behavior


Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture


Food Systems


Food Science and Technology


Research Methods in Nutrition


Advanced Human Nutrition

Health Sciences

HSC 3103

Global Public Health

HSC 3200

Cultural Diversity in Healthcare Administration

HSC 3312

Introduction to Epidemiology

HSC 3400

Clinical Research Design

HSC 3530

Medical Nutrition Therapy

HSC 4800

Directed Study

HSC 4810

Directed Research 

HSC 4855

Internship II 

SME 3311

Exercise Physiology

SME 3347

Exercise Testing and Prescription

SME 4338

Exercise Program Design

Interdisciplinary Science Electives

BIO 2009

Environmental Science

BIO 2010


BIO 3063

Animal Behavior

BIO 3065

Marine Biology

BIO 3071

Conservation and Restoration Biology

BIO 3307

Cellular Biochemistry

CHM 2210

Organic Chemistry I

CHM 2220

Organic Chemistry II

More Information

Kyle McInnis
Associate Dean and Professor


Career Info