School of Kinesiology and Nutritional Science - Nutritional Science

Nutritional Science Program: Introduction

Lifetime wellness or health is dependent upon a myriad of factors, many of which are lifestyle related. In fact, close to 80% of the leading chronic illnesses may be prevented through lifestyle changes. The primary mission of the Nutritional Science Program is to educate and train individuals to become entry level health professionals at the Bachelor's and the Master's levels. In this capacity, graduates can promote positive, personal behavior changes and environmental changes which impact upon the health of the individual.
The diverse academic field of nutrition enables students to become specialized in dietetics and nutrition, community nutrition, alternative nutrition, and foodservice management or food technology. Students completing the Nutrition Option (Didactic Program in Dietetics-DPD) are eligible to apply for dietetic internships. In addition, students who complete the Coordinated Dietetics Program (CDP) are eligible to take the registration exam to become Registered Dietitians. The DPD or the CDP may be completed with either the BS or MS program in Nutritional Science. A mission statement and goals have been set for both the DPD and CDP programs.
A BS degree in Food Science and Technology (FST)has also been developed. A variety of FST courses are now offered. Contact Dr. Sunil Mangalassary for additional information about this program.

Additional information about our MS program may be found at:


BS and MS students are strongly encouraged to begin their studies at Cal State L.A. during the summer quarter in order to take the following classes; however, continuing matriculated students will have enrollment priority.

Employment opportunities are plentiful.  Due to the shortage of Registered Dietitians and Nutritionists, graduates are usually working in their field soon after graduation. Some employment opportunities include:


The Student Dietetic Association (SDA) is a very active student group that is comprised of students who are passionate about food, health and nutrition. The main goals of the organization are to promote professional growth, discuss current events and career possibilities pertaining to the field of dietetics and nutrition or related areas, promote greater fellowship among all students pursuing careers in the field of dietetics and nutrition, and involve students in community events and activities relevant to the field of dietetics and nutrition.  Monthly educational meetings are held for all members. Dates of monthly meeting and events are posted at the bulletin boards by FA 141 and PE 206.  Please visit their website at /dept/hnut_sci/sna/sna_default.html

Frequently Asked Questions

There are three required rotations.  Clinical, Administrative and Elective/Outpatient.  Each rotation is 10-weeks, three days per week for eight hours each day.  Facilities include: Hospitals, Nursing Homes, School Districts, Health Clubs, YMCA, Non-Profits Organizations, and WIC facilities.  Rotation sites are located throughout the greater LA and Orange County areas.

  • I noticed that there are two themes that have Nutritional Science courses as part of them.  May I take these classes?

    The Nutritional Science courses in the theme will NOT count towards the theme, but they may count as one of your electives, pending approval from your academic advisor.

  • May I start Cal State L.A. any quarter?

    Yes, but the best quarter to start, if you have completed general chemistry, organic chemistry, Human anatomy and physiology is summer quarter.  That way you can take CHEM 353, NTRS 210 and NTRS 317.  If you have taken microbiology all your science prerequisites will be met.

  • How do I know what classes to take each quarter.

    Look at the posted ‘road maps’.  Also, make an appointment with your academic advisor to make sure that you are taking all the courses you need to take. If you do not know who your academic advisor is, ask at the front desk in PE 206 or call 323/343-4650.

  • I heard there is a new Food Science and Technology BS program.  How can I find out more information?

    Yes, there is.  Contact Dr. Sunil Mangalassary at




5151 State University Drive . Los Angeles . CA 90032 . (323) 343-3000
© 2008 Trustees of the California State University

Last Update: 7/18/2008

  1. What is the difference between the CDP (Coordinated Dietetic Program) and the DPD (Didactic Program in Dietetics)

    The CDP includes the internship equivalent and also requires a separate application.  Applications are available Dec. 1 and due Wednesday, February 15, 2012. 

  2. I already have a BA/BS degree.  Should I apply as a second bac or as a graduate student?

    Apply as a graduate student. The units to graduation will be only slightly higher as a graduate student, and a MS degree will allow you to apply for additional jobs.

  3. I am an international student.  What do I need to do?

    You need to have your transcripts evaluated by an agency that is approved by the American Dietetic Association.  Go to THIS LINK for this information.

  4. Are the prerequisites for the MS and the Registered Dietitian (RD) programs (CDP or DPD) the same?

    All require CHEM 151, 152 (general and organic chemistry), CHEM 353 (nutritional biochemistry), MICR 151 (microbiology), BIOL 200AB (human anatomy and physiology), NTRS 210 (Foundations of Food), NTRS 317(Human Nutrition).  The RD tracks also require that you take a counseling class (see advisor), an economics (ECON 150), psychology (PSY 150) and either anthropology (ANTH 250) or sociology (SOC 201).  All science classes must have labs.

  5. What if I am not accepted to the CDP?

    The CDP is just one of several tracks to become a Registered Dietitian.  You may also pursue the DPD.  The Director of this program has workshops several times a year to inform you about the process of applying for internships.  Additionally, some of the community agencies offer internships offer internships after you have worked with them for awhile.

  6. I already have a degree in an unrelated field. Should I complete my prerequisites at a community college or at Cal State L.A.?

    You may do either, but we recommend that you complete those prerequisites at a community college; it will be less expensive for you.  If you are pursuing a BS degree it is particularly important that you check this website for equivalent courses:

  7. I have heard that entry into your MS program is a “two-step” process.  How many applications are there for the MS in Nutritional Science?

    Yes, there are actually 2-3 applications involved:  first, on-line to CSULA at , then one to the School of Kinesiology & Nutritional Science. Email – put NTRS MS application in the heading – and request a NTRS MS application to be sent to  your mailing address) – or you could call 323/343-4650 and request that an application be mailed to you, and finally another to the Coordinated Dietetics Program (check for this application in January); or, you can complete the Didactic Program in Dietetics (does not require another application) and do an internship through a "matching" program.  The School MS application does not need to be returned to our office until the quarter you complete all application requirements; for example, if you are completing the last prerequisites during summer, then turn in your application that quarter.

  8. What is required for the MS application to the School of Kinesiology and Nutrition and where do I send this information?

    GRE, two letters of recommendation, completed application packet with statement of goals.  Send or bring to the KNS office, PE 206, 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles, CA  90032.

  9. Do the prerequisite courses need to be taken within a certain period of time?

    Yes, we generally require that the science prerequisites be taken within the past 10 years and majors courses within the past five years.  You may check with an advisor for specifics on this policy.

  10. What type of facilities do CDP Interns go to for their respective rotations?