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Human Nutrition and Dietetics Degrees

This area of study emphasizes the effect of nutrients on people’s health and the role of diet in prevention or treatment of chronic diseases. Nutrition is a diverse, rewarding and growing field that requires a strong background in science.

Suggested Plan of Study | Admission Requirements

The B.S. degree with a concentration in Human Nutrition and Dietetics (also known as the Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics – DP) provides undergraduate preparation for students who wish to become registered dietitians and prepares students to pursue a broad range of careers in nutrition or to continue with graduate studies, including those at medical schools with completion of additional courses in physics, chemistry and mathematics.

Human Nutrition and Dietetics majors may choose to take electives in exercise science, business administration, psychology or other areas in preparation for future careers. Students may be involved in research or teaching by taking credits for special projects, or through work-study and/or work-merit positions. The Nutrition Club sponsors guest speakers and community nutrition education projects. Outstanding students are eligible for the Kappa Omicron Nu and Phi Tau Sigma honor societies.

Competitive scholarships are available within the School and college and through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Maine Nutrition Council.

The Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Maine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 312/899-0040 ext. 5400. After graduation, students receive a DP verification statement and are eligible to complete an Internship Program in Nutrition and Dietetics (IP). Upon the successful completion of an IP, students are eligible to take a national exam to become a Registered (RD) and/or Licensed (LD) Dietitian. Many positions in nutrition require RD and/or LD credentials.

Additional DP Information

The Human Nutrition and Dietetics concentration provides undergraduate preparation for those who wish to become:

  • Clinical Dietitians
  • Nutrition Educators
  • Public Health Nutritionists
  • Foodservice Administrators
  • Nutrition Consultants

Employment opportunities exist in wellness and community programs; hospital dietetics; private practice; home health care; government; foodservice; food industry; health-oriented organizations such as the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society; and research laboratories. Starting salaries for entry-level registered dietitians range from $32,000 to $40,000 depending upon geographic location. The future outlook for employment in nutrition is promising, since more people are realizing the role of nutrition in health.

Human Nutrition and Dietetics Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
BIO 100 Basic Biology
CMJ 103 Fundamentals of Public Communication
BIO 208 Anatomy and Physiology
ENG 101 College Composition
FSN 101 Introduction to Food and Nutrition
FSN 103 Science of Food Preparation
MAT 122 Pre-Calculus
MAT 126 Calculus I
NFA 117 Issues and Opportunities
PSY 100 General Psychology

Second Year
BMB 207, 209 Fundamentals of Chemistry and Lab
CHY 121,123 Introduction to Chemistry and Lab
BMB 208 Elementary Physiological Chemistry
CHY 122 Molecular Basis of Chemical Change
ECO 120 Principles of Microeconomics
ECO121 Principles of Macroeconomics
ECO 254 Small Business Economics and Management
FSN 202 Foodservice Management
FSN 230 Nutritional and Medical Terminology
FSN 238 Applied Food Microbiology and Sanitation
FSN 265 Functional Concepts in Nutrition

Third Year
BMB 221, 222 Organic Chemistry and Lab
CHY 251, 253 Organic Chemistry I and Lab
BMB 322, 323 Biochemistry and Lab
FSN 301 Life Cycle Nutrition
FSN 305 Foods Lab
FSN 330 Introduction to Food Science
FSN 430 Counseling and Diet Therapy
NUR 303 Pathophysiology
STS 232 Principles of Statistical Inference

Fourth Year
ENG 317 Business and Technical Writing
FSN 270 World Food and Nutrition
FSN 401 Community Nutrition
FSN 410 Human Nutrition and Metabolism
FSN 412 Medical Nutrition Therapy I
FSN 420 Medical Nutrition Therapy II

The capstone experience for the Human Nutrition and Dietetics curriculum is FSN 401 Community Nutrition.  The goal of a capstone is to pull together many aspects of the undergraduate training in nutrition into an experience typical of a practicing professional.  FSN 401 meets this goal by providing students with experience in community nutrition through planning, implementing and evaluating a nutrition education program.  The role of the dietitian is also investigated by including multiple guest speakers from the community and then having students write a reflective response on how the profession’s Standards for Performance are exemplified by the speakers.

The course requirements for the Human Nutrition and Dietetics concentration can be combined with the courses within the Minor in Pre-Medical Studies to meet the entrance requirements of professional schools and colleges offering post-baccalaureate programs in the health professions.

Admission Requirements

Scholastic Aptitude Test

High School Courses:
English 4 units
Algebra 2 units
Geometry 1 unit
Other Mathematics 1 unit
Chemistry 1 unit
Biology 1 unit
History/Social Science 2 units
Academic Electives 5 units

TOTAL 17 units

(1 unit = 1 full year course)

Transfers from other programs at the University of Maine or other colleges and universities are expected to meet these minimum requirements.  Additionally, students who wish to transfer into the undergraduate program in Food Science and Human Nutrition from other programs or institutions must have a 2.0 grade point average or above.  Those wishing to transfer into the concentration in Human Nutrition and Dietetics must have a grade point average of 2.5 or above.  Transfer students should consult the Undergraduate Coordinator (below) for more information prior to applying.


Dr. Mona Therrien
Undergraduate Coordinator
Food Science and Human Nutrition
103 Hitchner Hall
(207) 581-3130
Fax: (207) 581-1636