Public Health Nutrition

Do you believe that good health depends on the food we choose to eat? Do you want to help people learn to shop for and prepare healthy foods? Then a Nutrition major might be right for you.

While nutrition is often thought of as a personal effort to eat healthfully, it's also a community issue. If you want to be an advocate for food safety, sustainability and access—especially for marginalized groups—you’ll do well in the Nutrition major.

The Nutrition emphasis (PHNU) at WSU is designed for students who want to pursue entry-level careers that promote healthy habits for individuals and support food systems within communities.

This emphasis will also prepare you to attend graduate school in order to become a registered nutritionist or dietitian.

What You’ll Learn

The physical, social and economic environments all affect our food access and health choices. You’ll learn how these factors are related and apply this knowledge through class projects and real-world experiences to promote the health of communities.

In the Public Health Nutrition major, you will:

  • build a solid foundation of nutrition science
  • learn how nutrition needs – and challenges – vary across the lifespan
  • explore how cultural and spiritual beliefs impact dietary habits
  • prepare staple food dishes from our regional and global neighbors
  • design a project to enhance nutritional health in your community

Check out the Course Catalog for more on PHNU requirements.

Get a Head Start on Your Career

WSU is the only public institution in Minnesota that offers a bachelor's degree program for Public Health Nutrition.

This allows students to identify their professional path and gain the skills need to enter the workforce early.

And beginning in 2024, students planning to become a registered dietitian/nutritionist will need a master's degree in order to take the registration exam. That’s why the Bachelor of Science in Public Health Nutrition at WSU is a great first step on the path to this professional license.

You can take classes that count toward both your undergraduate degree at WSU and a Master’s of Public Health (MPH) degree at St. Ambrose University, so you’re one step closer to becoming a registered dietitian/nutritionist.

Careers & Job Growth

As a Nutrition major, you can seek careers as a

  • Food Outreach Specialist
  • Farm to School Program Director
  • Sustainability Programs Coordinator
  • Nutrition Coordinator at a food shelf
  • Environmental & Sustainability Specialist
  • Community Health Nutritionist & Dietician
  • Public Health Nutritionist & Nutrition Educator
  • Agri Food Engagement Director & Professional
  • State Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Consultant

WSU graduates have gone on to work for the CDC, district and state health agencies, and both for profit and non-profit businesses and agencies all over the United States.

If this sounds like the career path for you, a talk to Public Health faculty to learn more about the Nutrition major!