Nutritional Sciences

What You Need to Know

UBC’s Nutritional Sciences major is specifically designed for learners who are interested in human nutrition. In this program, you’ll develop a strong foundation in human nutrition that you can then build out into your area of greatest interest, whether that’s in basic nutritional sciences, population and public health nutrition or international nutrition. After graduation, you can further develop your expertise through research-intensive graduate studies, or pursue additional studies in health professions like pharmacy, nursing, naturopathy, medicine, rehabilitation sciences and veterinary medicine. Your Bachelor of Science in Food, Nutrition and Health with a major in Nutritional Sciences also provides you with a strong foundation for a career in research related to health sciences, nutrition, and in public and private organizations related to health promotion.

In the Nutritional Sciences major, you’ll explore content in basic and applied human nutrition, which ranges from broad topics in community nutrition right down to the finest details of how our bodies actually metabolize and utilize nutrients. Here, you’ll experience rich opportunities to integrate nutrition with your interests in other areas within health and science, and you’ll be primed to carry your education further at the masters and PhD level. All Nutritional Sciences students take the same core of courses, but you can focus your electives to delve deeper into a particular area of interest such as basic nutritional sciences, population and public health nutrition, and international nutrition.

In Nutritional Sciences, you will take a combination of degree requirements (required of all students) and restricted electives (courses selected from a curated list of approved electives). You’ll also be able to take a limited number of unrestricted electives (courses you get to pick yourself).

As a Nutritional Sciences student, you will need a strong background in the sciences, so you’ll start with chemistry, math and biology. As you progress through the program, you’ll also be able to take focused, nutrition-specific courses such as:

  • FNH 200: Exploring our Food
  • FNH 370: Nutrition Assessment
  • FNH 350: Fundamentals of Nutrition
  • FNH 342: Consumer Aspects of Food
  • FNH 371: Human Nutrition Over the Life Span
  • FNH 451: Nutrient Metabolism and Implications for Health
  • FNH 472: Maternal and Fetal Nutrition
  • FNH 477: Nutrition and Disease Prevention

To see the complete list of required courses for this program, please consult the UBC Academic Calendar. Current students, please use the ‘Degree Navigator’ tool in your Student Service Centre (SSC) to track your progress.


You may opt to supplement your Nutritional Sciences major with a minor program, which involves taking courses in a subject area outside of your specialization. Food, Nutrition and Health students are eligible to apply for a Minor in Arts, Commerce, Science, Fermentations, Sustainable Food Systems, or Kinesiology. Learn more about minors, including application timelines, here.

Dual Degree with Master of Management

Consider amplifying your Nutritional Sciences degree with a foundation in business by applying for the Bachelor of Science (Food, Nutrition and Health) – Master of Management dual degree. Note that admission to this program is primarily available to students coming directly out of high school. Depending on enrolment, the UBC Sauder School of Business may release a limited number of spaces on a competitive basis to students who are going into their third year at UBC (or those who are transferring to UBC for their third year). Learn more about this dual-degree program option and the application process in the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration section of the UBC Academic Calendar.

If you are a current Food, Nutrition and Health student who’s interested in the Nutritional Sciences major, you will be prompted to select your specialization through your Student Service Centre (SSC) when registering for second year. This major is not competitive.

If you are a high school, college or university student and you want to major in Nutritional Sciences at UBC, you should apply for the Bachelor of Science in Food, Nutrition and Health. Learn more here.

Where Can a Degree in Nutritional Sciences Take You?

Graduates in Nutritional Sciences have gone on to continue their education at the masters and PhD levels, to pursue careers in nutrition and/or health research, and to apply their knowledge in research- and development-related industries. Here’s a snapshot of a few careers where our grads have found their knowledge and expertise to be very much in demand:

  • food service supervisor
  • nutrition and fitness consultant
  • pharmaceutical sales representative
  • quality assurance/lab technician
  • freelance researcher for nutrition book
  • naturopathic doctor
  • nutrition communication associate
  • health food supplement sales agent

Nutritional Sciences also forms a basis from which LFS graduates have furthered their studies in health professions such as:

  • medicine
  • pharmacy
  • nursing
  • rehabilitation sciences
  • veterinary medicine

Get a head start on your career-related work experience while you’re at UBC. Check out What You Can Do With a Nutritional Science major here, and scroll through our job board for postings that relate to your field of study!

Got Questions?

If you are a prospective or current student with questions about planning for or choosing this major, or if you have questions about how your transfer credits apply, get in touch! One of our academic advisors in LFS Student Services will be glad to help you.

If you’re already in the major and have specific questions about restricted electives or directed studies, please contact your program advisor, Zhaoming Xu.