About the Program
Bachelor of Science (BS)
The Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology (NST) offers three undergraduate major program specializations: Physiology and Metabolism, Dietetics, and Toxicology leading to a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.
Now is an exciting time to explore the sciences of nutrition and toxicology. The media have highlighted many questions about the role of diet in development and aging, the safety of genetically modified foods, links among diet, cancer, and chronic diseases, and the problems of global malnutrition.
The curriculum, driven by NST faculty research, covers a breadth of topics including functions and mechanisms of nutrient actions to the benefits and hazards of chemical agents, cultural and socio-economic determinants of human diets, and development of programs and policies to address human and environmental health and safety.
Overview of Specialization
The Nutritional Science: Dietetics degree prepares students for a career as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). RDNs translate the science of nutrition into practical applications in clinical, food service, or community settings. Graduates of this program must complete a dietetics internship and pass a national examination to become an RDN.
The Dietetics curriculum provides an excellent foundation in the biological and chemical sciences, and a preprofessional focus on applying knowledge of nutritional sciences to benefit human health and to abate disease. The Dietetics program, known formally as the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) prepares dietitians for positions of leadership in health care, education, industry, government, and community health, as well as in professional organizations. The program fills a community need for highly trained nutrition professionals while providing academic background for graduate study in nutrition or related fields. The program focuses on excellence in intellectual development, to the development of a professional inquiring attitude, and to equality of opportunity.
Graduates of this program receive preprofessional verification and are eligible to apply to supervised practice programs in order to receive practical training in multiple aspects of dietetics practice. Such programs generally take nine to twelve months. The DPD program director assists students in applying for supervised practice programs. Upon completion of the academic course work and a post-baccalaureate program of supervised practice, students are eligible to take the nationally administered Registration Examination. Once this exam is passed, the RDN credential is earned.
The DPD at UC Berkeley is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics Education (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).
Admission to the Major
Information on admission for freshmen and transfer students can be found on the Rausser College of Natural Resources Prospective Student website. Freshman students may apply directly to the major, or they may select Rausser College's undeclared option and declare the major by the end of their fourth semester. Transfer students may apply directly to the major and indicate their intended specialization through the UC application.
Information for current Berkeley students who would like to declare the major after admission, including information on a change of major or change of college, please see Rausser College's Change of College page.
Rausser College Honors Program
The honors program is individual research, NUSCTX H196, for two semesters under the supervision of a faculty member. The supervised independent honors research is specific to aspects of the nutritional sciences and toxicology major, followed by an oral presentation, and written report. Acceptance in the Rausser College Honors Program is required through an application process. Students who are interested in the Honors program should apply during their junior or senior year. Students must have a 3.6 grade-point average (GPA) in order to be eligible for the honors program. Please see Rausser College's Honors webpage or visit 260 Mulford Hall for additional information.
The department offers a minor program in Nutritional Sciences. The course work for the minor addresses topics in Human Nutrition and Nutrient Function. Elective options range from Nutrition in the Community to Metabolic Regulation to Human Diet. The minor is best suited for students already pursuing a bioscience degree: a background in chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, and biochemistry is necessary to be prepared to do upper division work in this field. For information regarding how to declare the minor, review the Rausser College minor declaration form or the contact the Nutritional Sciences advisor.
The full-time Individualized Supervised Practice Program (ISPP) in Dietetics prepares participants for a career as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). The ISPP curriculum provides experience in the application of nutrition through supervised dietetic practice at various hospitals, food service institutions, long-term care, public health, and wellness facilities across the United States.
Other Minor Offered by the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology
Toxicology (Minor only)
In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements, listed on the College Requirements tab, students must fulfill the below requirements specific to their major program.
All students must complete R1A & R1B (or equivalent Reading and Comprehension course) before the end of their Sophomore year.
NOTE: The curriculum has been revised effective Fall 2016. Students admitted prior to Fall 16 and following the previous curriculum should refer to the 2015-16 Guide
The Rausser College of Natural Resources Undergraduate Handbook serves as a guide to the academic policies and information that students need in order to be successful while completing their coursework at Berkeley.
Students should be ready to declare the Dietetics specialization at the end of their sophomore year and the upper division curriculum must be completed within two years of declaring the Dietetics specialization unless a petition has been approved.
For Breadth, students are required to take 5 additional units of course work in American Cultures, Arts & Literature, Historical Studies, International Studies, Philosophy & Values, Social & Behavioral Sciences, or Foreign Language. Please refer to the L&S seven course breadth categories here
Lower Division Requirements
|Select one course from the following:|
|ANTHRO 3||Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology||4|
|or ANTHRO 3AC||Introduction to Social/Cultural Anthropology (American Cultures)|
|or PSYCH 1||General Psychology|
|or PSYCH 2||Principles of Psychology|
|or SOCIOL 3AC||Principles of Sociology: American Cultures|
|Select one course from the following:|
|ECON 1||Introduction to Economics||4|
|or ECON 2||Introduction to Economics--Lecture Format|
|or ECON C3||Introduction to Environmental Economics and Policy|
|Select one sequence from the following:|
& STAT 2
|Analytic Geometry and Calculus|
and Introduction to Statistics
& STAT 2
and Introduction to Statistics
& MATH 10B
|Methods of Mathematics: Calculus, Statistics, and Combinatorics|
and Methods of Mathematics: Calculus, Statistics, and Combinatorics
|Complete all of the following:|
and General Chemistry Laboratory
|Chemical Structure and Reactivity|
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
|Chemical Structure and Reactivity|
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
|NUSCTX 10||Introduction to Human Nutrition||3|
|Introduction to Human Physiology|
and Introduction to Human Physiology Laboratory
|General Biology Lecture|
and General Biology Laboratory
Upper Division Requirements
|MCELLBI 102||Survey of the Principles of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology||4|
|NUSCTX 103||Nutrient Function and Metabolism||3|
|NUSCTX 104||Food, Culture, and the Environment (or NUSCTX W104 )||2|
|NUSCTX 108A||Introduction and Application of Food Science||3|
|NUSCTX 108B||Application of Food Science Laboratory||1|
|NUSCTX 135||Food Systems Organization and Management||4|
|NUSCTX 145||Nutrition Education and Counseling||2|
|NUSCTX 160||Metabolic Bases of Human Health and Diseases||4|
|NUSCTX 161A||Medical Nutrition Therapy||4|
|NUSCTX 161B||Medical Nutrition Therapy II||4|
|NUSCTX 166||Nutrition in the Community||3|
|NUSCTX 192||Junior Seminar in Dietetics||1|
|NUSCTX 194||Senior Seminar in Dietetics||2|
|PB HLTH 162A||Public Health Microbiology||4|
|UGBA 105||Leading People||3|
Individualized Supervised Practice Program
Students who are pursuing the opportunity to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) will participate in either an internship or Individualized Supervised Practice Program (ISPP) after they complete their Dietetics coursework before they are qualified to sit for the RDN exam. The Dietetics Program Director works with students in seminars and 1-on-1 to help plan for either of these pathways. Below is more information about the ISPP specifically.
The ISPP in Dietetics prepares participants for a career as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). The ISPP curriculum provides experience in the application of nutrition through supervised dietetic practice at various hospitals, food service institutions, long-term care, public health, and wellness facilities across the United States. The ISPP is currently accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics Education (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Dietetics is a dynamic and rapidly evolving field. The ISPP will offer training in various practice settings to provide participants with a strong foundation in applied dietetics. Participants of the ISPP can apply for one of two program concentrations: clinical nutrition or community nutrition.
The ISPP is 10 months and will generally begin in August and end in May. The ISPP requires a minimum of 1,360 hours of supervised dietetic practice in a professional work setting or alternate practice experience and 40 hours of orientation/instruction within a ten-month period. There are no courses associated with this certificate. The ISPP is full-time. Participants must meet performance standards from all preceptors and maintain professional and ethical standards as outlined in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Code of Ethics. Upon successful completion of the ISPP, a continuing education/specialized professional (CESP) certificate program in dietetics supervised practice and verification of completion statement will be issued. A degree will not be granted.
For more information on earning this certificate, please see the Individualized Supervised Practice Program handbook.
In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing and critical thinking all majors in the College require two semesters of lower division work in composition. Students must complete a first-level reading and composition course by the end of their second semester and a second-level course by the end of their fourth semester.
Foreign Language: EEP Majors only
The Foreign Language requirement is only required by Environmental Economics and Policy (EEP) majors. It may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work.
Quantitative Reasoning: EEP Majors only
The Quantitative Reasoning requirement is only required by Environmental Economics and Policy (EEP) majors. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course.
Undergraduate breadth provide Berkeley students with a rich and varied educational experience outside of their major program and many students complete their breadth courses in their first two years. Breadth courses are built into the Rausser College major requirements and each major requires a different number of breath courses and categories. The EEP major is the only college major that requires the entire 7 course breadth. Refer to the major snapshots on each Rausser College major page for additional information.
High School Exam Credit
Rausser College students may apply high school exam credit (Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, A-Level Exam) towards many College and Major Requirements. See AP Exam Equivalency Chart and Higher Level IB Exam Equivalency Chart in the Rausser College Student Handbook for more information.
Students must complete at least 120 semester units of courses subject to certain guidelines:
- At least 36 units must be upper division courses, including a minimum of 15 units of upper division courses in the Rausser College.
- A maximum of 16 units of Special Studies coursework (courses numbered 97, 98, 99, 197, 198, or 199) is allowed towards the 120 units; a maximum of four is allowed in a given semester.
- A maximum of 4 units of Physical Education from any school attended will count towards the 120 units.
- Students may receive unit credit for courses graded P (including P/NP units taken through EAP) up to a limit of one-third of the total units taken and passed on the Berkeley campus at the time of graduation. Courses taken for P/NP in the Spring 2020 semester will not count toward this limit.
Semester Unit Minimum
All Rausser College students must enroll in at least 12 units each fall and spring semester.
Semester Unit Maximum
To request permission to take more than 20.5 units in a semester, please see the major adviser.
Students admitted as freshmen must graduate within 8 fall/spring semesters at UC Berkeley. Students admitted as transfer students must graduate within 4 fall/spring semesters at UC Berkeley. Students who go on EAP and UCDC can petition for additional semesters. Other UC-affiliated programs, such as the Gump Station in Moorea, may also be considered. Summer session, UC Extension and non-UC study abroad programs do not count towards this semester limit. Students approved for double majors or simultaneous degrees in two colleges may be granted an additional semester. Rausser College does not limit the number of total units a student can accrue.
Senior Residence Requirement
Once you achieve and exceed 90 units (senior status), you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence at the Rausser College of Natural Resources over at least 2 semesters. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least 6 passed units taken while the student is a member of Rausser. At least one of the two terms must be a fall or spring semester. Senior residence terms do not need to be completed consecutively. All courses offered on campus for the fall, spring, and summer terms by Berkeley departments and programs and all Berkeley online ('W') courses count. Inter-campus Visitor, Education Abroad Program, UC Berkeley Washington Program, and UC Berkeley Extension units do not count toward this requirement. Students may use Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence Requirement, provided that 6 units of coursework are completed.
Modified Senior Residence Requirement
Participants in a fall, spring or summer UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP), Berkeley Summer Abroad, or the UC Berkeley Washington Program may meet a modified Senior Residence Requirement by completing 24 of their final 60 semester units in residence (excluding UCEAP). At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after senior status is reached. International travel study programs sponsored by Summer Sessions and education abroad programs offered outside of the UC system do not qualify for modified senior residence.
Most students automatically satisfy the residence requirement by attending classes here for four years. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless students go abroad for a semester or year or want to take courses at another institution or through University Extension during their senior year. In these cases, students should make an appointment to see an adviser to determine how they can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.
- A 2.0 UC GPA is required for graduation.
- A 2.0 average in all upper division courses required of the major program is required for graduation.
- A grade of at least C- is required in all courses for the major. Major and minor coursework taken in Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 may be completed with P/NP grading option. See more details below.
Changes in Policies and Procedures during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Fall 2020, Spring 2021, SUMMER 2021
After much consultation across the colleges of UC Berkeley, and via our college Executive Committee, the following decisions have been made about the selection of the P/NP grade option (CPN) by undergraduate students during the Fall 2020 & Spring 2021 semesters for the Rausser College of Natural Resources.
College Course Requirements: Reading and Composition, Quantitative Reasoning, and Foreign Language requirements normally satisfied with letter grades may be met with a passed (P) grade during the Fall 2020 semester. This does not include the system-wide Entry Level Writing requirement. College Writing R1A must be taken for a letter grade and completed with a C or better to fulfill the Entry Level Writing requirement.
Requirements to Graduate: No changes in policy.
Rausser College students must have at least a 2.0 cumulative UC GPA to declare a Rausser College major.
Non-Rausser College students must have at least a 3.0 cumulative UC GPA to change to or add a Rausser College major.
Students must have at least a 2.0 cumulative UC GPA to graduate, both overall and in the upper-division courses required for the major.
Academic Probation: The terms for Academic Probation (AP) have been modified.
Rausser CNR students currently in good standing who earn all “P” grades will remain in good standing.
Students currently in good standing who earn NP grades, Incompletes, or failing letter grades for more than 50% of units will be placed on academic probation and will be required to meet with their college advisor and complete an Academic Success Plan for the subsequent semester.
Students on AP must take all coursework for letter grades. Students on AP may be removed from probationary status with sufficient letter graded course work to raise their cumulative GPA above 2.0.
Students on Academic Probation who do not attain sufficient letter-graded coursework to be removed from AP (ie. enough grade points to raise cumulative GPA above 2.0 cumulative GPA) will remain on AP for the subsequent semesterand must complete an Academic Success Plan with their college advisor.
Students on Academic Probation who earn NP grades, Incompletes, or failing letter grades for more than 50% of units will be Subject to Dismissal and will be required to meet with their college advisor and complete an Academic Success Plan for the subsequent semester.
Term Probation: Students in this category are placed on academic probation if their GPA falls below 1.5 in any fall or spring semester ("Term"). To get back into good standing, you must earn a UC Berkeley term GPA of 2.0 the following regular semester (fall/spring) and maintain an overall GPA of 2.0. If you fail to meet these conditions, you will be subject to dismissal from the University. For Fall 2020 & Spring 2021, the terms for Term Probation have been modified.
Rausser CNR students currently in good standing who earn all “P” grades will remain in good standing and will not be placed on Term Probation.
Transferring Credit: If you are taking coursework through another institution in Fall 2020 & Spring 2021, P grades earned will be accepted for all degree requirements. Note: This does not include the systemwide Entry Level Writing requirement. College Writing R1A must be taken for a letter grade and completed with a C or better to fulfill the Entry Level Writing requirement.
For additional information, please see Changes to Policies and Procedures for Fall 2020, Spring 2021, & Summer 2021.
In light of the substantial disruptions to instruction caused by the novel coronavirus emergency, the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate made changes to grading options for the Spring 2020 semester. Rausser College adjusted college requirements as follows:
College Course Requirements: All passing course work taken in Spring 2020 may be used for college requirements regardless of the grading option selected.
Requirements to Graduate: To graduate, Rausser College students usually must have at least a 2.0 cumulative UC GPA to graduate, both overall and in the upper-division courses required for their major. For Spring 2020, students with at least a 1.9 cumulative GPA overall and in the upper-division courses required for their major to graduate will be considered as having met the requirement.
Academic Probation: Recognizing the challenges to teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rausser College of Natural Resources will not be penalizing any students’ academic progress for Spring 2020.
Students in good academic standing who earn all “P” grades will remain in good standing.
Students, who are in good standing, who earn NP grades, Incompletes, or failing grades for more than 50% of units will be required to meet with their college advisor and complete an Academic Success Plan for Fall 2020 by September 11, 2020, but will not be placed on Academic Probation.
Students on Academic Probation may be removed from probationary status with sufficient letter graded course work to raise their cumulative GPA above 2.0.
Students on Academic Probation who do not attain sufficient letter-graded coursework to be removed from AP (ie. enough grade points to raise cumulative GPA above 2.0 cumulative GPA) will remain on AP for Fall 2020 and must complete an Academic Success Plan with their college advisor by September 11, 2020.
Term Probation: Recognizing the challenges to teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rausser College of Natural Resources will not be penalizing any students’ academic progress for Spring 2020.
Students in good academic standing who earn all “P” grades will remain in good standing.
Students on Term Probation, but not AP, may be removed from probationary status with passing grades in at least 50% of units for Spring 2020.
Students on Term Probation at the start of Spring 2020 who earn NP, Incomplete, or failing grades for more than 50% of units must complete an Academic Success Plan with their college advisor by September 11, 2020 and will remain on Term Probation.
Transferring Credit: If you are taking coursework through another institution in Spring 2020 (i.e. through Concurrent Enrollment or instead of being enrolled in Spring 2020 at UC Berkeley) and that institution has moved to a P/NP-default or P/NP-only grading model, P grades earned will be accepted for all degree requirements.
For additional information, please see Changes to Policies and Procedures for Spring 2020.
Student Learning Goals
Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology Learning Goals
- To provide preparation in critical thinking, problem solving, and analytical skills.
- To provide insight and in-depth information on the interaction of natural and man-made toxicants with people and their impact on human health and disease (depth).
- To provide strong academic preparation for successful contributions to research, education, industry and government, and/or participation in advanced studies in health and biosciences (breadth).
- To inspire students to advance the health and well-being of citizens (value)
Major Maps help undergraduate students discover academic, co-curricular, and discovery opportunities at UC Berkeley based on intended major or field of interest. Developed by the Division of Undergraduate Education in collaboration with academic departments, these experience maps will help you:
Explore your major and gain a better understanding of your field of study
Connect with people and programs that inspire and sustain your creativity, drive, curiosity and success
Discover opportunities for independent inquiry, enterprise, and creative expression
Engage locally and globally to broaden your perspectives and change the world
- Reflect on your academic career and prepare for life after Berkeley
Use the major map below as a guide to planning your undergraduate journey and designing your own unique Berkeley experience.
In the Rausser College of Natural Resources, we provide holistic, individual advising services to prospective and current students who are pursuing major and minors in our college. We assist with a range of topics including course selection, academic decision-making, achieving personal and academic goals, and maximizing the Berkeley experience.
If you are looking to explore your options, or you are ready to declare a major, double major, or minor, contact the undergraduate adviser for your intended major. Visit our website to explore all of our advising services.
Rausser College of Natural Resources Undergraduate Advising
260 Mulford Hall
Faculty and Instructors
Gregory W. Aponte, Professor. Health and nutrition, nutritional sciences, signaling between the gut and the brain, neuropeptides, G-protein coupled receptors.
Danica Chen, Associate Professor. Aging, stem cell, diseases of aging.
Marc Hellerstein, Professor. Plant biology, health and nutrition.
Dale E. Johnson, Adjunct Professor.
Sona Kang, Assistant Professor. Epigenetics, chromatin remodeling, gene expression, diabetes, metabolic diseases .
Ronald M. Krauss, Adjunct Professor. Lipid metabolism, diet, genetics.
Isao Kubo, Professor. Agriculture, insect biology, pest management.
Dale Leitman, Adjunct Professor.
Anders Naar, Professor. Gene expression, microRNAs, Mammalian Cell Metabolism, Metabolic Diseases, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, NAFLD/NASH, cancer therapies .
Joseph L. Napoli, Professor. Metabolism, nutritional biochemistry, fat-soluble vitamins, retinoids, retinoic acid, retinol, vitamin A, vitamin D, analytical biochemistry.
Daniel K. Nomura, Associate Professor. Chemical biology, metabolism, toxicology, cancer.
James Olzmann, Assistant Professor. Cell biology, organelle biogenesis, lipid droplet regulation, lipotoxicity, lipid storage, cell death, protein quality control, systems biology, metabolic disease, cancer .
Robert Ryan, Adjunct Professor.
Andreas Stahl, Associate Professor. Metabolism, obesity, adipose tissue, brown fat, thermogenesis, tissue engineering, diabetes, fatty acid transport, fatty acid, stem cells.
Hei Sook Sul, Professor. Plant biology, health and nutrition, nutritional sciences and toxicology.
Jen-Chywan (Wally) Wang, Associate Professor. Steroid hormones, glucocorticoids, molecular physiology, Metabolic Diseases.
Mary Henderson, Lecturer.
Mikelle McCoin, Lecturer.
Kristen Rasmussen, Lecturer.
Nancy Amy, Professor Emeritus. Nutritional science and toxicology, nutrition, cell metabolism, trace elements.
Leonard F. Bjeldanes, Professor Emeritus. Nutritional science and toxicology, diet and cancer, metabolic regulation.
Kenneth J. Carpenter, Professor Emeritus.
George W. Chang, Professor Emeritus. Microbial biology, health and nutrition, food safety.
Ben De Lumen, Professor Emeritus. Cancer prevention, academic enterpreneurship.
Sharon E. Fleming, Professor Emeritus. Plant biology, health and nutrition.
Janet King, Professor Emeritus.
Angela C. Little, Professor Emeritus.
Susan M. Oace, Professor Emeritus.
Barry Shane, Professor Emeritus. Plant biology, health and nutrition, nutritional sciences and toxicology.
Fernando E. Viteri, Professor Emeritus. Plant biology, health and nutrition, nutritional sciences and toxicology.
Mary Ann Williams, Professor Emeritus.
Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology
119 Morgan Hall