Undergraduate Programs in Human Nutritional Sciences

The program in Human Nutritional Sciences (HNS) includes foundation courses in basic sciences, fundamental courses in metabolic and applied nutrition, and applied courses in food utilization and management. In addition to these courses, students must elect a specialization in either nutrition or foods. Faculty based courses in communication are also a part of the curriculum.

Topics studied in the undergraduate courses include:

  • energy and exercise
  • nutrients and nutritional supplements
  • food labels and health claims
  • diet and disease prevention
  • nutrient metabolism and disease states
  • nutrient requirements and diet evaluation
  • nutrition education and dietary change
  • food quality and ingredient technology

Click here for the list of HNS undergraduate courses and course syllabi.

Human Nutritional Sciences Majors
Courses in both the foods and nutrition areas give students the opportunity to master key competencies in these areas. Students majoring in HNS may select either a program emphasizing foods or a program emphasizing nutrition. These programs share a common first two years. This format provides students with a solid theoretical foundation in both food and nutritional sciences.

Students may also complete the pre-professional work for programs such as dietetic internships, medicine, law, or dentistry from HNS. The degree also prepares students for graduate studies in areas related to either nutrition or foods. Graduate programs leading to masters or doctoral degrees are available to qualified students.

Students can transfer to any option in HNS and complete that option.  Please contact the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Academic Advisors to discuss your options.

Students entering the department can select one of the following options:

Nutrition Option
The nutrition option focuses on the role of nutrition in health promotion and disease prevention for individuals, families and communities across the life span. Students taking this option have the opportunity to complete pre-professional requirements to apply for dietetic internships, medicine, law, and dentistry. Students completing courses for dietetic preparation can meet the educational requirements to qualify for a dietetic internship and membership with the College of Dietitians of Manitoba (CDM) or dietetic colleges in other Canadian provinces. The nutrition option also provides comprehensive training for graduates working as professionals in a wide range of settings including personal care homes, hospitals, social and public health agencies, food industry, food processing and marketing facilities.

Examples of courses in the option include:

• Nutrition for Health and Changing Lifestyles
• Basic Principles of Human Nutrition
• Vitamins and Minerals in Human Health
• Nutrition Education and Dietary Change
• Management for Food and Nutrition Professionals
• Nutrition in Exercise and Sport
• Food, Nutrition and Health Policies
• Nutrition Option Practicum 

Foods Option
The foods option focuses on the development of food products that can promote health and increase the competitiveness of food production, processing and marketing industries. This option provides comprehensive training for graduates working as professionals in a wide range of settings including food industry, food processing and marketing facilities.

Examples of courses in this option include:

• Food: Facts and Fallacies
• Sensory Evaluation of Food
• Food Product Development
• Food Quality Evaluation
• Culture and Food Patterns
• Ingredient Technology for Designed Foods
• Foods Option Practicum

Students can apply for practical experience in food-related companies in the Foods Option Practicum.

Food Industry Option
This option integrates health and nutrition perspectives into the operation of food industries through application of knowledge in food development, food quality, food safety, nutrition and management.
All students complete the core course requirements and choose one of three concentrations:
•Quality Assurance
•Food Product Development
•Food Industry Management
In the final year of the program, students gain practical experience in the food industry through completion of HNSC 4364 Food Industry Option Practicum. This course involves supervised application of food quality, safety, and management principles in a commercial or government setting. Students complete 280 hours of work related to the field experience. The experience is comprehensive and it is designed to prepare the student for success in the food industry. The training is intended to meet the need for skilled staff and managers in the food industry, as well as preparing individuals for work in research laboratories, product development, food processing, service, quality assurance, and distribution industries. Given the intensive experience and time commitment, students should be prepared to take no more than HNSC 4364 in the term in which it is offered (fall and winter terms at present; summer is a possibility).

Benefits of the Food Industry Option:

•    Apply and integrate classroom knowledge in real life situations and projects with the local food industry
•    Develop leadership and managerial skills
•    Exposure to career opportunities in the food sector
•    Establish networks with potential employers

Second Degree Option
Students taking the second degree option have the opportunity to complete one of three options: human nutrition, dietetic preparation, or foods. While enrolled in the second degree option students must complete 60 credit hours. This option is unique in that it enables students to complete a second degree and broaden their knowledge in the area of food and nutrition.

Examples of courses specific to each of the three options:

Human Nutrition:
Nutrition Management of Disease States
Community Nutrition Intervention
Nutrition & the Elderly
Maternal & Child Nutrition
Nutrition in Exercise & Sport

Dietetic Preparation:
Management for Food and Nutrition Professionals
Quality Food Production and Management
Nutrition Management of Disease States

Composition, Functional & Nutritional Properties of Foods
Food Quality Evaluation
Functional Foods & Nutraceuticals

*For students intending to apply for a Dietetic Internship, the second degree program meets the course requirements in HNS, but not all other supporting course requirements. Students may need to complete additional supporting courses for the eligibility to apply for dietetic internship programs.  

Course Selection
To graduate within four years of full-time study, students need to follow the course schedule for their programs including University I (one year in University I and three years in HNS). Courses and electives should be selected to support the intended program. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that his/her program of studies meets the requirements for graduation as outlined in the University of Manitoba Calendar. If you have questions about your program, consult the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Academic Advisors.
All students must submit a tentative program of studies and meet with a Faculty member to review their program before April 30 of current year, or else students will not be able to register by telephone during Advanced Registration in the summer.

Students are encouraged to use their electives to build areas of competency. To do this, you must carefully plan your program to ensure that the proper prerequisites are in place.

Students also should consider using electives to meet the requirements of the Interfaculty Option in Aging or the Management Minor (see University Calendar for course requirements).

Notes: Students might exceed limit of 120 credit hours required for degree. Allowed limit is 150 credit hours.

A complete listing of Human Nutritional Sciences courses is available in the University of Manitoba Undergraduate Calendar


Career Information

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Interprofessional Education Initiative

Link to Course Requirements/Recommended Progressions for HNS programs

For students admitted prior to Fall 2020
For students admitted Fall 2020


Minor in Human Nutrition and Metabolism

Link to Undergraduate Calendar

Links to HNS Courses that require application forms:

HNSC 4362
- Nutrition Option Practicum - Application Form
HNSC 4364 - Food Industry Option Practicum - Application Form
HNSC 4120 - Senior Thesis    Application - Syllabus
HNSC 4122 - Research Project in Human Nutritional Sciences - Application - Syllabus