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Curriculum

The Nutrition Minor is designed to give each student flexibility in course selection, and provides an advising program to assist students in selecting courses that most complement their interests and career goals.

The SON/SAS Joint Minor in Nutrition is administered by a committee comprised of faculty members representing the School of Nursing and the School of Arts and Sciences and the School, who have a special interest in the field of nutrition.

The Joint Nutrition Minor consists of a minimum of six or seven courses.  Three or four are Core and the remaining three (or more) are Elective.  It is strongly recommended that Core courses be taken prior to enrolling in elective courses.  All courses must be taken for a grade, and a GPA of 2.0 must be attained in all courses presented for the minor.

Core Courses (3 course units):

Choose one per category, for a total of three courses.

Basic Nutrition (1 course unit):

NURS065
Fundamentals of Nutrition

Essentials of normal nutrition and their relationships to the health of individuals and families. These concepts serve as a basis for the development of an understanding of the therapeutic application of dietary principles and the nurse’s role and responsibility in this facet of patient care.

Or:

NURS112
Nutrition: Science & Applications

An overview of the scientific foundations of nutrition. The focus is on the functions, food sources and metabolism of carbohydrate,fat, protein, vitamins and minerals. Effects of deficiency and excess are discussed and dietary recommendations for disease prevention are emphasized. Current issues and controversies are highlighted. Students will analyze their own dietary intakes and develop plans for future actions.

Scientific Basis of Nutrition (1 course unit):

BIOL 017
The Biology of Food

This course will examine the ways in which humans manipulate - and have been manipulated by - the organisms we depend on for food, with particular emphasis on the biological factors that influence this interaction. The first part of the course will cover the biology, genetics, evolution, and breeding of cultivated plants and animals; the second part will concern the ways in which food/plants can cause and cure human disease.

BIOL 101
Introductory Biology

General principles of biology that have been established by studies of microbes, animals, and plants and the viruses of these organisms will be covered. Emphasis will be on the basic chemistry of life, cell biology, molecular biology, and genetics. The study of developmental pathways and evolutionary trends in life cycles will be explored using plants as model organisms.

BIOL 121
Intro Bio-Molec Bio Life

An intensive introductory lecture course covering the cell, molecular biology, biochemistry, and the genetics of animals, bacteria, and viruses. This course is comparable to Biology 101, but places greater emphasis on molecular mechanisms and experimental approaches. Particular attention is given to the ways in which modern cell biological and molecular genetic methods contribute to our understanding of evolutionary processes, the mechanistic basis of human disease, and recent biotechnological innovations.

NURS061
Biologically-Based Chemistry

A contextual approach will be used in studying the concepts in General, Organic and Biological Chemistry that are foundational to an understanding of normal cellular processes. Topics that will be covered include measurements, atomic structure, bonding, chemical reactions, properties of gases and liquids, solutions, equilibrium, acids and bases, pH, buffers, nuclear chemistry, nomenclature and properties of the main organic functional groups, and the structures and function of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids.

NURS068
Integrated Cell Biology & Microbiology

This course will include the major topics of cell biology and microbiology that are foundational for an understanding of normal and pathological cellular processes. Topics will include the brief study of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell structures and functions; the main biological molecules; membrane transport; cellular communications; the flow of genetic information; cell division; and cellular metabolism. The course will also examine the role of cells and microbes in human health and infectious diseases. It will include a description of the main types of microbes, how they are identified, their growth requirements, and the role of the immune system in controlling infections, the control of microbes, host-microbe interactions. The context for this course will be the application of cell biology and microbiology for understanding the cellular basis of cancer and infectious human infection disease processes. This course will include special sessions from a clinical perspective in the various fields of medicine, microbiology, and immunology.

Advanced Nutrition (1 course unit):

NURS517
Advanced Nutrition and Metabolism

Essentials of nutritional biochemistry from the molecular level to the level of the whole human organism. Nutrient functions and inter-relationshps are explored with attention to the association between nutrients and disease risk. Topics include energy metabolism and regulation of fat storage, new functions of vitamins and minerals, gene nutrient interactions and current research topics.

Or:

NURS524
Advanced Human Nutrition and Micronutrient Metabolism

Essentials of vitamin and mineral digestion, absorption, metabolism, and function in humans during states of health and disease are examined. Linkages between key vitamins and their function in biological systems, such as bone health, energy metabolism, hematopoetic function, and immune function, are explored in depth. Topics include pertinent research methodologies, biomarkers, deficiency and toxicity states, and requirements across the life cycle.

Elective courses (3 course units):

ANTH 248
Food and Feasting: Archeology of the Table

Food satisfies human needs on many levels. Anth 248 explores the importance of food in human experience, starting with the nutritional and ecological aspects of food choice and going on to focus on the social and ritual significance of foods and feasts. Particular attention will be paid to the way that archaeologists and biological anthropologists find out about food use in the past. Contemporary observations about the central significance of eating as a social activity will be linked to the development of cuisines, economies, and civilizations in ancient times. The course will use lectures, discussions, films, food tastings, and fieldwork to explore the course themes. An optional community service component will be outlined during the first week of class.

ANTH 252
Food Habits in Philadelphia Communities

In this course, Penn undergraduates will explore and examine food habits, the intersection of culture, family, history, and the various meanings of food and eating, by working with a middle-school class in the Philadelphia public schools. The goal of the course will be to learn about the food habits of a diverse local community, to explore that community’s history of food and eating, and to consider ways and means for understanding and changing food habits. Middle school students will learn about the food environment and about why culture matters when we talk about food. Topics include traditional and modern foodways, ethnic cuisine in America, food preferences, and ‘American cuisine’. The course integrates classroom work about food culture and anthropological practice with frequent trips to middle schools where undergraduates will collaborate with students, their teachers, and a teacher partner from the Agatson Urban Nutrition Initiative (UNI). Students will be required to attend one of two time blocks each week to fulfill the service learning requirement- Mondays or Wednesdays 3-6pm for the Spring 2015 semester. Undergraduates will be responsible for weekly writing assignments responding to learning experience in the course, for preparing materials to use with middle school children, for being participant-learners with the middle school children and for a final research project. The material for the course will address the ideas underlying university-community engagement, the relationships that exist between food/eating and culture, and research methods.

ANTH 359
Nutritional Anthropology

Human nutrition and nutritional status within context of anthropology, health, and disease. Particular emphasis on nutritional problems and the development of strategies to describe, analyze, and solve them. Students will participate in the Urban Nutrition Initiative, an academically based community service project in local area schools.

BIBB 227
Physiology of Motivated Behaviors

This course focuses on evaluating the experiments that have sought to establish links between brain structure (the activity of specific brain circuits) and behavioral function (the control of particular motivated and emotional behaviors). Students are exposed to concepts from regulatory physiology, systems neuroscience, pharmacology, and endocrinology and read textbook as well as original source materials. The course focuses on the following behaviors: feeding, sex, fear, anxiety, the appetite for salt, and food aversion. The course also considers the neurochemical control of responses with an eye towards evaluating the development of drug treatments for: obesity, anorexia/cachexia, vomiting, sexual dysfunction, anxiety disorders, and depression.

BIBB 260
Neuroendocrinology

This course is designed to examine the various roles played by the nervous and endocrine systems in controlling both physiological processes and behavior. First, the course will build a foundation in the concepts of neural and endocrine system function. Then we will discuss how these mechanisms form the biological underpinnings of various behaviors and their relevant physiological correlates. We will focus on sexual and parental behaviors, aggression and ingestion. The readings will include both textbook chapters and selected journal articles from primary scientific literature.

BIBB 269
Autonomic Physiology

This course will introduce the student to the functioning of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which is critically involved in the maintenance of body homeostasis through regulation of behavior and physiology. The course will begin with a review the basic anatomy and physiology of the ANS including the sympathetic, parasympathetic and enteric divisions. The mechanisms by which the ANS regulates peripheral tissues will be discussed, including reflex and regulatory functions, as will the effect of drugs which modulate ANS activity. The role of the ANS in regulating behavior will be addressed in the context of thirst, salt appetite and food intake.

BIBB 460
Neuroendocrinology

Neuroendocrinology

BIOL 017
The Biology of Food

This course will examine the ways in which humans manipulate - and have been manipulated by - the organisms we depend on for food, with particular emphasis on the biological factors that influence this interaction. The first part of the course will cover the biology, genetics, evolution, and breeding of cultivated plants and animals; the second part will concern the ways in which food/plants can cause and cure human disease.

ENVS 648
Issues in Food & Agriculture Policy

Food is central to our daily lives, yet we seldom think about the political or social implications of what we eat. In this course, students will study how societies produce, distribute, market and consume food, with an emphasis on American politics and food systems to develop an understanding of how policies policies are shaped by power relations, institutions, and ideas. Topics include food systems, food and agriculture industries, farming practices, sustainable agriculture, food security, genetically modified foods, hunger, obesity, nutrition policy, food labeling and marketing, fast food, junk food, and more.

HSOC 135
Politics of Food

In this ABCS and Fox Leadership Program course students will use course readings and their community service to analyze the institutions, ideas, interests, social movements, and leadership that shape “the politics of food” in different arenas. Service sites include: the Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative; the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger; the West Philadelphia Recess Initiave; the Vetri Foundation’s Eatiquette Program; and Bon Appetit at Penn. Academic course work will include weekly readings, Canvas blog posts, several papers, and group projects. Service work will include a group presentation (related to your placement) as well as reflective writing during the semester. Typically one half of each class will be devoted to a discussion of the readings and the other either to group work and discussion of service projects, or to a course speaker. This course is affiliated with the Communication within the Curriculum (CWIC) program, and student groups are required to meet twice with speaking advisors prior to giving presentation.

HSOC 335
Healthy Schools

This Fox Leadership and academically based community service seminar will use course readings and students’ own observations and interviews in their service learning projects in West Philadelphia schools to analyze the causes and impact of school health and educational inequalities and efforts to address them. Course readings will include works by Jonathan Kozol, studies of health inequalities and their causes, and studies of No Child Left Behind, the CDC’s School Health Index, recess, school meal, and nutrition education programs. Course speakers will help us examine the history, theories, politics and leadership behind different strategies for addressing school-based inequalities and their outcomes. Service options will focus especially on the West Philadelphia Recess Initiative. Other service options will include work with Community School Student Partnerships and the Urban Nutrition Initiative.

PSCI 135
Politics of Food

In this ABCS and Fox Leadership Program course students will use course readings and their community service to analyze the institutions, ideas, interests, social movements, and leadership that shape “the politics of food” in different arenas. Service sites include: the Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative; the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger; the West Philadelphia Recess Initiave; the Vetri Foundation’s Eatiquette Program; and Bon Appetit at Penn. Academic course work will include weekly readings, Canvas blog posts, several papers, and group projects. Service work will include a group presentation (related to your placement) as well as reflective writing during the semester. Typically one half of each class will be devoted to a discussion of the readings and the other either to group work and discussion of service projects, or to a course speaker. This course is affiliated with the Communication within the Curriculum (CWIC) program, and student groups are required to meet twice with speaking advisors prior to giving presentation.

PSCI 335
Healthy Schools

This Fox Leadership and academically based community service seminar will use course readings and students’ own observations and interviews in their service learning projects in West Philadelphia schools to analyze the causes and impact of school health and educational inequalities and efforts to address them. Course readings will include works by Jonathan Kozol, studies of health inequalities and their causes, and studies of No Child Left Behind, the CDC’s School Health Index, recess, school meal, and nutrition education programs. Course speakers will help us examine the history, theories, politics and leadership behind different strategies for addressing school-based inequalities and their outcomes. Service options will focus especially on the West Philadelphia Recess Initiative. Other service options will include work with Community School Student Partnerships and the Urban Nutrition Initiative.

PSYCH 070
Psychology of Food

Psychology of Food

PSYCH 127
Physiology of Motivated Behaviors

This course focuses on evaluating the experiments that have sought to establish links between brain structure (the activity of specific brain circuits) and behavioral function (the control of particular motivated and emotional behaviors). Students are exposed to concepts from regulatory physiology, systems neuroscience, pharmacology, and endocrinology and read textbooks as well as original source materials. The course focuses on the following behaviors: feeding, sex, fear, anxiety, the appetite for salt, and food aversion. The course also considers the neurochemical control of responses with an eye towards evaluating the development of drug treatments for: obesity, anorexia/cachexia, vomiting, sexual dysfunction, anxiety disorders, and depression.

 

PSYCH 439
Neuroendocrinology

Neuroendocrinology

PUBH 531
Public Health Nutrition

Public Health Nutrition 

PUBH 553
The Science & Politics of Food

The Science & Politics of Food

MGMT 241
Knowledge for Social Impact

Knowledge for Social Impact

NURS312
Nutritional Aspects of Disease

This course provides an advanced understanding of the role of nutrition in integrated biological systems. Students will develop a rigorous comprehension of major clinical disorders, including the underlying pathophysiology and conditions that are affected by nutrition and how optimization of nutritional variables may modulate these processes. A critical overview of the role of nutrition in disease prevention, management and treatment, and in health maintenance will be emphasized throughout the course.

NURS313
Obesity and Society

This course will examine obesity from scientific, cultural, psychological, and economic perspectives. The complex matrix of factors that contribute to obesity and established treatment options will be explored.This course satisfies the Society & Social Structures Sector for Nursing Class of 2012 and Beyond.

NURS316
International Nutrition: Political Economy of World Hunger

A detailed consideration of the nature, consequences, and causes of hunger and undernutrition internationally. Approaches are explored to bringing about change, and to formulating and implementing policies and programs at international, national, and local levels, designed to alleviate hunger and under-nutrition.

NURS365
Case Study: Case Analysis in Clinical Nutrition

This course is designed for present and future nurse professionals who wish to increase their knowledge of nutrition and expertise and application of knowledge to achieve optimal health of clients and themselves. Principles of medical nutrition therapy in health care delivery are emphasized in periods of physiologic stress and metabolic alterations. Individual nutrient requirements are considered from pathophysiologic and iatrogenic influences on nutritional status. Nutritional considerations for disease states will be explored through epidemiological, prevalence, incidence, treatment and research data. Understanding application of medical nutrition therapy are included through case analysis and field experiences

NURS375
Nutrition Throughout The Life Cycle

Understanding and meeting nutritional needs from conception through adulthood will be addressed. Nutrition-related concerns at each stage of the lifecycle, including impact of lifestyle, education, economics and food behavior will be explored.

NURS376
Issues in Nutrition, Exercise, and Fitness

An examination of the scientific basis for the relationship between nutrition, exercise and fitness. The principles of exercise science and their interaction with nutrition are explored in depth. The physiological and biochemical effects of training are examined in relation to sports performance and prevention of the chronic diseases prevalent in developed countries.

NURS513
Obesity and Society

This course will examine obesity from scientific, cultural, psychological, and economic perspectives. The complex matrix of factors that contribute to obesity and established treatment options will be explored.This course satisfies the Society & Social Structures Sector for Nursing Class of 2012 and Beyond.

NURS521
Current Topics in Nutrition

The objective of the course is to integrate the nutrition knowledge obtained from previous course work in nutrition and provide the student the opportunity to explore, analyze and formulate implications of the research and related literature on a self-selected topic under the guidance of the faculty coordinator. Current topics and controversies in nutrition will be discussed weekly. Readings will be assigned in coordination with each discussion topic and students will be required to seek out other sources of information to add to the class discussion. Topics will change from year to year to reflect the most recent interests and issues.

NURS523
Advanced Nutrition: Molecular Basis of Nutrition

Essentials of nutritional biochemistry of macronutrient (protein, carbohydrate, lipid) metabolism from the molecular level to the level of the whole human organism. Linkages between energy and nitrogen balance and states of health and disease are examined.  Topics include energy metabolic pathways, nutrient partitioning, nutrient transportation, nutrient catabolism, nutrient anabolism, body composition, and biomarkers.