*Please note that the University of Toronto's Nutritional Sciences program is NOT accredited by the Dietitans of Canada. If you would like to pursue a career in dietetics, please visit the Partnership for Dietetic Education and Practice for a list of accredited programs in Canada.*
This page includes a general description of the program of study; a suggestion of possible careers in nutritional sciences; program requirements (entry requirements and course requirements); access to calendar of the Faculty of Arts and Science (source of definitive rules and program requirements); and admission procedures for new, transfer and continuing students.
Nutritional Sciences represents an exciting and challenging area of study of a truly interdisciplinary nature. Understanding the impact of nutrition on health and its role in disease is based upon a knowledge of the metabolic processes involved (nutrient requirements and utilization, food additive metabolism and safety), the chemistry of foods (food preservation, food production) and social and behavioral factors (determinants of food selection). Thus, in this program, the physical, biological and social sciences are integrated in consideration of the national and international goals of achieving optimal health through proper nutrition.
To obtain a Major in Nutritional Sciences, the student follows a program of study which defines eight of the 20 courses required for a four-year Honours Bachelor of Science (Hon.BSc). For the other courses not defined in the program, the student should be guided by individual interest and career goals. For example, a student intent on pursuing a graduate degree in nutritional biochemistry would emphasize biochemistry courses, whereas a student who anticipates employment in marketing aspects of food might find courses in economics or business administration more appropriate. The student looking for appropriate courses to complete the four-year degree should examine the Faculty of Arts & Science Calendar listings of the Departments of Anthropology, Biochemistry, Biology, Botany, Chemistry, Economics, Geography, Humanities, Physiology and Zoology.
Careers in Nutritional Sciences
Most career opportunities in Nutritional Sciences require training beyond the undergraduate level. The Major Program provides excellent preparation for entry into postgraduate studies in nutrition research or for a professional faculty such as medicine and dentistry. Although careers in basic or clinical nutrition research, teaching, health promotion, nutrition counseling or community nutrition require a more advanced degree (MSc, PhD or MPH), some graduates find immediate employment in the food and pharmaceutical industries in product development, quality control or marketing.
Although dietetics is a popular career following many BSc programs in nutrition, the nutritional sciences program at U of T is not structured to provide this option. Students interested in a dietetics qualification are advised to contact Dietitians of Canada for information.
The Nutritional Sciences Students' Association (NSSA) organizes a number of events during the year such as orientation night, careers night, social get-together, Christmas party, graduation dinner. Membership in the association is important to the student wishing to get involved in social or academic events or those wishing to develop communication and leadership skills.
Students are advised to consult the Calendar of the Faculty of Arts and Science for the official versions of rules and regulations that may apply to this and other programs. These are modified from time to time.
Eligibility for the Nutritional Sciences major program is based on a student’s marks in the required first year courses:
BIO120H1, BIO130H1, (CHM135H1, CHM136H1)/(CHM138H1, CHM139H1)/CHM151Y1 with an average of at least 70% on these 2.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) and a final mark of at least 60% in each course.
Note: Students must apply to this program on the Arts and Science Faculty Registrar’s Office website. Eight full courses (or their equivalent) are required in the program. The following list indicates the required courses.
(Students should check the Arts & Science Calendar for course descriptions and pre- and co-requisites and exclusions. See Arts and Science Calendar for regulations applying to Breadth Requirements/Distribution Requirements).
Note that Y = full course, H = half course.
First Year (2 required courses)
Second year (2 required courses)
BCH 210H1 Introductory Biochemistry
NFS 284H1 Basic Human Nutrition or HLTB11H3 Basic Human Nutrition
STA 220H1* The Practice of Statistics I or PSY201H1* Statistics I
STA 221H1* The Practice of Statistics II or PSY202H1* Statistics II
*Other statistics courses may also be suitable; contact the undergraduate coordinator for a determination.
Third Year (2.5 required courses)
Any two of:
NFS 382H1 Vitamin and Mineral Metabolism Throughout the Life Cycle
NFS 386H1 Food Chemistry
NFS 301H1 Nutrition Literacy: Sorting Science from Snake Oil
NFS 302H1 Nutrition, Athletics, Performance and Behavior
NFS 394Y1 *Research Course
Fourth Year (1.5 required courses)
Any three of:
NFS 400H1 Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals in Human Nutrition
NFS 484H1 Advanced Nutrition
NFS 485H1 Diet, Microbiome, and Health (formerly Nutritional Microbiology)
NFS 486H1 Obesity: Metabolic and Clinical Aspects (formerly Nutrition and Human Disease)
NFS 487H1 Nutrigenomics and Personalized Nutrition
NFS 488H1 Nutritional Toxicology
NFS 489H1 Nutritional Neurosciences
NFS 490H1 International and Community Nutrition
NFS 494Y1* Research Projects in Nutritional Sciences
* Only a limited number of students can be accepted into NFS 394Y/494Y.
If interested, see additional information in Research Opportunities. For more information, contact Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy at email@example.com, the course coordinator for the 2019-2020 academic year to discuss available projects.
It will be your responsibility to locate a staff supervisor for your project when balloting for the course.