Dietetics is a diverse field, with practitioners employed in a variety of settings. These practitioners learn about food and nutrition not only in health care settings but also education, business, management and industry settings.
The primary areas of practice include clinical dietetics, community nutrition, nutrition and food service management, and education and research. After acquiring a BS in Nutrition and Dietetics from Southern Miss, our students are prepared to work in hospitals, clinics, wellness centers, and athletic clubs.
Additionally, they can provide consultation services to restaurants as well as pursue private practice. Current information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates growth in all areas of nutrition and dietetics.
Regardless of the emphasis, nutrition is a biological science and requires a background in chemistry and biology.
All majors contain the same core courses within the biological and physical sciences. Courses in English, statistics, social sciences and humanities, as well as the Southern Miss General Education requirements, are also essential. These courses are generally completed prior to the upper-division coursework.
Time in the junior and senior years allows for in-depth study in nutrition and dietetics, including nutrition principles, nutrition across the life cycle, diet therapy, experimental food, food systems management, and community nutrition.
There are four Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees available with this major.
The Community Nutrition emphasis within the Nutrition and Dietetics degree is designed to meet the needs of students who want training in health promotion, disease prevention, program development, and nutrition interventions in the community setting.
In order to meet the demand for practitioners that provide nutrition-related services in the public sector, the new emphasis incorporates a minor in Public Health as part of the degree requirements.
The Didactic Program in Dietetics is designed to provide knowledge and skills required for students who want to pursue a dietetic internship resulting in the Registered Dietitian (RD) credential. Course requirements are designed to meet accreditation requirements through the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) (www.eatright.org/acend).
To become an RD, you must earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited university and complete requirements for an accredited dietetics program; complete an accredited post-baccalaureate dietetic internship, and pass the national registration examination for dietitians. The ability to complete both the undergraduate program and the dietetic internship at one institution is a definite advantage of the Didactic Program in Dietetics at Southern Miss.
Nutrition and Food Systems Management is designed to meet the needs of students who are interested in food, nutrition, and getting the food to the customers in a variety of settings.
Students enrolled in this emphasis will not only have a background in nutrition, but they will also have a broad knowledge of food, food delivery systems, management, and business skills needed in a variety of settings.
Nutrition Science is designed for students who wish to study nutrition but do not intend to pursue the nutrition or dietetics practice or Registered Dietitian (RD) credentialing.
This route is most appropriate for students who wish to pursue post-baccalaureate professional programs or graduate education in nutrition, science, or health.
This degree emphasis addresses the food and nutrition employment demands and priorities anticipated in the public and private sectors in the coming years. It is projected that employment of health educators and community health workers will grow by 21 percent from 2012 to 2022. The unique combination of this degree with a minor in Public Health prepares the students to address the health disparities not only in the Southeast region but also the entire country.
The primary areas of practice include clinical dietetics, community nutrition, nutrition and food service management, and education and research. Current information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates growth in all areas of nutrition and dietetics. Program graduates are highly successful in passing the registered dietitian (RD) exam and securing jobs after completing the program. The program boasts a curriculum that offers many courses that provide experiential learning to assure that students not only have the knowledge to enter the workplace but they also have the skills to be successful.
Graduates are prepared to improve the health of individuals and families, while participating in the delivery of food in a variety of settings. Many of the classes in the curriculum include experiential learning, making students ready to enter the workforce upon graduation. This program prepares the students to become a part of the food industry while understanding the underlying role of food in promoting good health.
Students who have completed this emphasis have been able to secure placement in post-baccalaureate professional programs such as medicine, dental, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and physician's assistant, etc. Most recently, one of our students was accepted into the dental program at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry, while another was accepted into the Physician Assistant Studies program at the University of South Alabama.
Study of theories and techniques of food preparation and their effects on food products
Study of the role of nutrition in health, growth, and development at each stage of the life cycle
Study of selected nutrition, chemical, physical and sensory properties of foods in relation to preparation procedures
Study of nutrition assessment methodology and resources within the community
Study and application of management theory and techniques in the supervision of food service personnel
Favorite Courses: NFS 485/L: Medical Nutrition Therapy II and NFS 486/L: Medical Nutrition Therapy III
Instructor, Dietetic Internship Director
Favorite Course: NFS 477/L: Administrative Dietetics
Favorite Courses: NFS 272/L: Food Preparation and NFS 362: Nutrition
Professor, Undergraduate Program Director
Favorite Course: NFS 410: Macronutrients
Expertise: Research focus has been on the nutrition needs in populations experiencing health disparities, with additional interest in measuring food insecurity and food access in the rural Mississippi Delta.
Favorite Course: NFS 480: Current Topics in NFS
Expertise: Current research activities include integration of the humanities (poetry and art analysis, storytelling, etc.) across our sciences-driven curricula. She also works in community nutrition, implementing nutrition interventions.
Favorite Course: NFS 411: Micronutrients
Expertise: Current research activities include implementing interventions to decrease preventable chronic diseases and health disparities in underserved populations. Her work includes utilizing mobile technology.
Department Chair and Professor
Favorite Course: NFS 640: Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy
Expertise: Research focuses on child obesity prevalence rates in Mississippi. She is also interested in the impact of nutrition interventions to improve patient outcomes.
Favorite Course: NFS 715: Recent Developments in Nutrition – Cultural Competence for Dietetics and Child Nutrition Professionals
Expertise: Research focuses on engaging with communities to identify solutions to the high rates of chronic diseases and obesity in Mississippi.
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Southern Miss undergraduate degrees are available online, at the Hattiesburg campus, at the Gulf Park campus, and/or through a hybrid delivery that includes both online and on-campus courses.
All courses listed in the degree plan are available online. A student would not have to take a face-to-face course to complete this degree.
50 percent or more of the degree plan’s courses in Major Area of Study Requirements AND 50 percent or more of courses in Curriculum Requirement are available online. Remaining courses are face-to-face at the Hattiesburg or Gulf Park campus, as noted.
All courses are available face-to-face on the Hattiesburg campus.
All courses are available face-to-face on the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach.