To declare this major, students must be admitted to UW–Madison and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS). For information about becoming a CALS first-year or transfer student, see Entering the College.

Students who attend Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) with the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences have the option to declare this major at SOAR.  Students may otherwise declare after they have begun their undergraduate studies. For more information, contact the advisor listed under the Advising and Careers tab.

University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Requirements

In addition to the University General Education Requirements, all undergraduate students in CALS must satisfy a set of college and major requirements. Courses may not double count within university requirements (General Education and Breadth) or within college requirements (First-Year Seminar, International Studies, Science, and Capstone), but courses counted toward university requirements may also be used to satisfy a college and/or a major requirement; similarly, courses counted toward college requirements may also be used to satisfy a university and/or a major requirement.

College Requirements for all CALS B.S. Degree Programs

Quality of Work: Students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.000 to remain in good standing and be eligible for graduation.
Residency: Students must complete 30 degree credits in residence at UW–Madison after earning 86 credits toward their undergraduate degree.
First Year Seminar1
International Studies3
Physical Science Fundamentals4-5
General Chemistry I
Chemistry in Our World
Advanced General Chemistry
Biological Science5
Additional Science (Biological, Physical, or Natural)3
Science Breadth (Biological, Physical, Natural, or Social)3
CALS Capstone Learning Experience: included in the requirements for each CALS major (see "Major Requirements")

Major Requirements

Mathematics and Statistics
Select one of the following (or may be satisfied by placement exam):5-6
and Trigonometry
Algebra and Trigonometry
Calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry I 1
Select one of the following:3-5
Introduction to Statistical Methods
Introductory Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences
Select one of the following:5-9
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry II
Advanced General Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
CHEM 343 Introductory Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 344 Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory2
CHEM 345 Intermediate Organic Chemistry3
Introductory Biology
Select one of the following options:10
Option 1:
General Botany
Animal Biology
Animal Biology Laboratory
Option 2:
Introductory Biology
Introductory Biology
Option 3:
Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics
Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics Laboratory
Cellular Biology
Cellular Biology Laboratory
Nutritional Sciences Biology
Select one of the following options:8-13
Option 1:
Principles of Genetics
And select one of the following: 2
General Microbiology
and General Microbiology Laboratory
Biology of Microorganisms
and Biology of Microorganisms Laboratory
Option 2: 3
Principles of Physiology
Principles of Physiology Laboratory
Biological Interactions
Select one of the following:8-10
General Physics
and General Physics
General Physics
and General Physics
General Physics
and General Physics
NUTR SCI/​AN SCI/​DY SCI  311 Comparative Animal Nutrition3
or NUTR SCI 332 Human Nutritional Needs
NUTR SCI 431 Nutrition in the Life Span3
BIOCHEM/NUTR SCI 510 Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism3
Select one of the following:3-7
Introduction to Biochemistry
General Biochemistry I
and General Biochemistry II
Human Biochemistry
Electives within the Major
Select 6 credits from the following:6
World Hunger and Malnutrition
Human Anatomy
Human Anatomy Laboratory
Medical Anthropology
Principles of Human Disease and Biotechnology
Biology of Viruses 4
Molecular Control of Metabolism and Metabolic Disease 5
Human Biochemistry Laboratory
Public Health in Rural & Urban Communities
Chemistry Across the Periodic Table
Fundamentals of Analytical Science
Fundamentals of Analytical Science
Lactation Physiology
Food Laws and Regulations
Food Microbiology
Genetics Laboratory
Plant Breeding and Biotechnology
Plant Biotechnology: Principles and Techniques I
Genetically Modified Crops: Science, Regulation & Controversy
Public Health Ethics
Ethical Issues in Health Care
Special Topics
Cultural Aspects of Food and Nutrition
Global Health Field Experience
Nutrition in Physical Activity and Health
Undergraduate Capstone Seminar Laboratory
Community Nutrition Programs and Policy Issues
Advanced Nutrition: Intermediary Metabolism of Macronutrients 4
Introduction to Nutritional Epidemiology 4
Advanced Nutrition: Minerals 4
Advanced Nutrition: Obesity and Diabetes 4
Experimental Diet Design 4
Advanced Nutrition: Vitamins 4
Clinical Nutrition I
Senior Honors Thesis 5
Senior Honors Thesis 5
Senior Thesis-Nutrition 5
Senior Thesis 5
Special Problems 6
Introduction to Experimental Oncology
Pathophysiologic Principles of Human Diseases
Introduction to Public Health: Local to Global Perspectives
Introduction to Animal Development
Cell Biology
Select one of the following:1-8
Undergraduate Capstone Seminar Laboratory
Senior Honors Thesis
and Senior Honors Thesis
Senior Thesis-Nutrition
and Senior Thesis
Special Problems 7
Total Credits66-91

Recommended Nutritional Science Electives

ANTHRO 365 Medical Anthropology3
BIOCHEM 550 Principles of Human Disease and Biotechnology2
BIOCHEM/​M M & I  575 Biology of Viruses2
BIOCHEM/​NUTR SCI  645 Molecular Control of Metabolism and Metabolic Disease3
BMOLCHEM 504 Human Biochemistry Laboratory3
C&E SOC/​SOC  533 Public Health in Rural & Urban Communities3
CHEM 311 Chemistry Across the Periodic Table4
CHEM 327 Fundamentals of Analytical Science4
CHEM 329 Fundamentals of Analytical Science4
AN SCI/​FOOD SCI  305 Introduction to Meat Science and Technology4
FOOD SCI/​AN SCI  321 Food Laws and Regulations1
FOOD SCI/​MICROBIO  325 Food Microbiology3
GENETICS 545 Genetics Laboratory2
HORT/​AGRONOMY  338 Plant Breeding and Biotechnology3
HORT/​AGRONOMY  360 Genetically Modified Crops: Science, Regulation & Controversy2
ANAT&PHY 337 Human Anatomy3
ANAT&PHY 338 Human Anatomy Laboratory2
MED HIST/​PHILOS  515 Public Health Ethics3
MED HIST/​PHILOS  558 Ethical Issues in Health Care3
M M & I/​PATH-BIO  528 Immunology3
NUTR SCI/​A A E/​AGRONOMY  350 World Hunger and Malnutrition3
NUTR SCI 375 Special Topics1-4
NUTR SCI 377 Cultural Aspects of Food and Nutrition3
NUTR SCI/​INTER-AG  421 Global Health Field Experience1-4
NUTR SCI 500 Undergraduate Capstone Seminar Laboratory1
NUTR SCI/​KINES  525 Nutrition in Physical Activity and Health3
NUTR SCI 540 Community Nutrition Programs and Policy Issues1
ONCOLOGY 401 Introduction to Experimental Oncology2
PATH 404 Pathophysiologic Principles of Human Diseases3
POP HLTH 370 Introduction to Public Health: Local to Global Perspectives3
ZOOLOGY 470 Introduction to Animal Development3
ZOOLOGY 570 Cell Biology3

Honors in the Major

Students admitted to the university and to the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences are invited to apply to be considered for admission to the CALS Honors Program.

Admission Criteria for New First-Year Students:

  • Complete program application including essay questions

Admission Criteria for Transfer and Continuing UW-Madison Students:

  • UW-Madison cumulative GPA of at least 3.25
  • Complete program application including essay questions

How to Apply

The application is available on the CALS Honors Program website.  Applications are accepted at any time.

New first-year students with accepted applications will automatically be enrolled in Honors in Research. It is possible to switch to Honors in the Major in the student’s first semester on campus after receiving approval from the advisor for that major.  Transfer and continuing students may apply directly to Honors in Research or Honors in the Major (after approval from the major advisor).


All CALS Honors programs have the following requirements:

  • Earn at least a cumulative 3.25 GPA at UW-Madison (some programs have higher requirements)
  • Complete the program-specific requirements listed below
  • Submit completed thesis documentation to CALS Academic Affairs


To earn Honors in the Major, students are required to take at least 20 honors credits. In addition, students must take NUTR SCI 681 Senior Honors Thesis and NUTR SCI 682 Senior Honors Thesis when completing their thesis project; please see the Honors in Major Checklist for more information.

University Degree Requirements 

Total Degree To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.
Residency Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.
Quality of Work Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.
  1. Obtains and can articulate specialized knowledge in the field of nutritional sciences and dietetics along with an education broad enough to meet the challenges of future careers and opportunities.
  2. Obtains and can articulate foundational knowledge in areas relevant to the field of nutrition and dietetics.
  3. Communicates complex ideas in a clear and understandable manner through both written and oral presentations.
  4. Demonstrates quantitative literacy in math and statistics relevant to nutritional sciences and dietetics.
  5. Demonstrates the ability to think critically and creatively, to synthesize, analyze, and integrate ideas for decision making and problem solving.
  6. Develops the skills for life-­long learning and is capable of locating, interpreting, and critically evaluating professional literature and current research.
  7. Develops a global perspective and an appreciation for the interdependencies among individuals and their workplaces, communities, environments, and world; and an understanding of the interrelationships between science and society.
  8. Develops a respect for truth, a tolerance for diverse views, and a strong sense of personal and professional ethics.

Four-year plan

Sample Nutritional Sciences Four-Year Plan

CHEM 103 or 10914-5CHEM 10415
MATH23-4MATH 113 or 114 (if needed)3
COMM A3Social Sciences3-4
First Year Seminar1Electives3
 13-16 14-15
Total Credits 27-31
CHEM 3433NUTR SCI 3323
STAT 301 or 3713CHEM 3453
Introductory Biology Course33-5Introductory Biology Course32-7
Ethnic Studies3Humanities3-4
 12-14 12-20
Total Credits 24-34
BIOCHEM 501 or 507 (if taking BIOCHEM 507, take BIOCHEM 508 in spring)3NUTR SCI 4313
CHEM 3442MICROBIO 101 or 30343
ANAT&PHY 3355MICROBIO 102 or 30442
Humanities3Nutritional Sciences Elective53-4
 13 13-15
Total Credits 26-28
PHYSICS 1034Nutritional Sciences Electives53-6
 12-13 12-17
Total Credits 24-30


All students, including prospective and declared students, should work with Sarah Golla MSW, GCDF. 

Prospective Students:

Prospective and declared students should contact Sarah Golla, MSW, GCDF, at for questions. 

New, transfer, and current students at UW Madison:

For any questions or to discuss the major, please schedule an appointment with Sarah Golla, MSW, GCDF, through the STARFISH app in MyUW.


The Department of Nutritional Sciences encourages majors to begin career exploration shortly after arriving on campus. As with many biosciences, the nutritional sciences provides preparation to work in a number of fields and positions. It will take self-reflection work in conjunction with your advisor, faculty, campus resources. We are here to help guide you! 

Join Dietetics and Nutrition Club for a plethora of different career and professional development opportunities.

CALS Career Resources

Campus Career Resources

  • Badger Bridge: Connect to established UW alumni for professional advice, support, and opportunities.
  • Career Exploration Center: The Career Exploration Center (CEC) supports undecided and exploring students to make decisions about their futures based on their interests, values, and skills through individual advising appointments, workshops, events, a career library, and campus & community outreach.
  • Center for Pre-Health Advising:  We are a resource for UW-Madison students and alumni who are exploring, preparing, and applying to health professional programs. We are here to support you — wherever you are on your path to serving others in health care. 
  • Center for Pre-Law Advising: The Center for Pre-Law Advising provides advising and other resources to UW-Madison students and alumni in the process of considering, preparing for, or applying to law school. 
  • Handshake: Handshake makes it easy for every UW-Madison student to explore career events, connect to jobs and internships, and even schedule on-campus interviews.
  • International Internship Program: The International Internship Program (IIP)—an office within The International Division —identifies, cultivates and promotes high-quality internship opportunities that, advance the professional training of UW-Madison undergraduate students, foster global competency,  and reinforce academic learning through practical application.
  • Morgridge Center for Public Services:  The Morgridge Center for Public Service connects UW-Madison students, staff and faculty to local and global communities to build partnerships and solve critical issues through service and learning. 
  • Student Job Center: Student Jobs provides students access to thousands of part-time employment opportunities both through UW-Madison as well as businesses & families within the local community.


Dave Eide (chair), Ph.D. 1987
Richard Eisenstein, Ph.D. 1985
Guy Groblewski, Ph.D. 1991
Huichuan Lai, Ph.D., RDN 1994
Denise Ney (Director, Didactic Program in Dietetics), Ph.D., RDN 1986
James Ntambi, Ph.D. 1985
Roger Sunde, Ph.D. 1980
Sherry Tanumihardjo, Ph.D. 1993

Associate Professor

Beth Olson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professors

Adam Kuchnia, Ph.D., RDN 2017
Brian Parks, Ph.D. 2008
Eric Yen, Ph.D. 2000

ASSOCIATE Faculty Associate

Erika Anna, M.S., RDN
Amber Haroldson, Ph.D., RDN, M.S.
Tara LaRowe (Coordinator, Didactic Program Dietetics), Ph.D., C.S.S.D., RDN
Makayla Schuchardt, M.S., RDN, CNSC

Senior Lecturer

Pete Anderson, M.S.
Taiya Bach, MPH, RD

Academic Advisor

Sarah Golla, MSW, GCDF

Graduate coordinator

Katie Butzen, MS.Ed.

The following opportunities can help students connect with other students interested in dietetics and nutrition, build relationships with faculty and staff, and contribute to out-of-classroom learning:

  • Dietetics and Nutrition Club (DNC), a student organization open to anyone interested in meeting others pursuing dietetics and nutrition. Involvement in the DNC is a great way to find out about events and opportunities to network within the field of nutrition and dietetics. See the DNC Facebook page here.   
  • AWA, the Association of Women in Agriculture, a professional student organization for young women with a passion for agriculture.
  • WISELI, Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute—a research center aiming to increase the representation, advancement, and satisfaction of women faculty and members of groups currently underrepresented on the faculty and in leadership at UW–Madison. 
  • Research/Lab experience: Students are encouraged to get involved in research, whether in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, or through other departments. Research can be performed for either course credit or pay, depending on the opportunity. Research opportunities can primarily be found by inquiring with advisors, instructors, and faculty members. Learn more about faculty research here.

Resources and Scholarships

The Bursar's Office website lists the average tuition and fee expenses for full-time resident and nonresident undergraduates.

Students seeking a degree are eligible to obtain federal financial aid. For further information about receiving financial aid at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, visit the university's Financial Aid website.

Each year the Department of Nutritional Sciences (DNS) awards $40,000–$50,000 in scholarships to Nutritional Sciences majors. In order to be considered for a DNS Scholarship, students must have a current FAFSA filed and must have submitted a scholarship application.

A list of scholarships for Nutritional Sciences students is available on the department's website.