Students in Keen Lab

Nutrition Science Major

In the modern world, our food concerns revolve around obesity, supplement intakes, and how to make high quality diets a part of our busy lives, as well as food safety and availability. New discoveries about how food components affect our metabolism and enhance health are being made all the time. The nutrition science major emphasizes biochemical and physiological aspects of nutrition and food constituents through laboratory sciences.

The nutrition science major encompasses all aspects of the consumption and utilization of food and its constituents. Key areas of study include the biochemical reactions important to utilization of nutrients and food constituents, the impact of diet on health and disease, and nutrition-related policy and public health issues.

The nutrition science major includes two options for studying these areas: Nutritional Biology and Nutrition in Public Health. Nutrition Science as it is taught on the Davis campus is a biological science and requires a complete background in chemistry and biology, along with calculus and either physics (Nutritional Biology option) or economics (Nutrition in Public Health option). These courses are generally completed during the first two years, and along with biochemistry, must be completed before most nutrition classes can be taken.

During their junior and senior years, students in the nutritional biology option take additional course work in biochemistry, genetics, microbiology, physiology, immunology, and/or toxicology. Students in the nutrition in public health option take additional course work in social and health-related sciences.

Resources for Nutrition Science Majors


Undergraduate Advising Team

Martha Amesquita, Undergraduate Staff Advisor
3202A Meyer Hall, (530) 752-2512,

Jason Wong, Undergraduate Staff Advisor
3202B Meyer Hall, (530) 752-7094,

Elsa Klassen, Student Services Support
3202 Meyer Hall, (530) 754-3678,

Peer Advisors
3202 Meyer Hall, (530) 752-4657,


Faculty Advisor

Peng Ji, Ph.D., 3145 Meyer Hall, (530) 752-6469 

Mailing Address

Martha Amesquita
Undergraduate Staff Advisor
Department of Nutrition
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616-5270