History of Nutrition Sciences at UAB

The Department of Nutrition Sciences has a rich history of nutrition education and research that even predates the University of Alabama at Birmingham itself. In 1963, the University of Alabama Hospital (UAH) and Hillman Clinics inaugurated the Dietetic Internship program, which was accredited by the American Dietetic Association (now known as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics). In 1969, the University of Alabama at Birmingham became its own, independent institution with the Dietetic Internship still within its Medical Center.

By the 1970s, dietetics practice had expanded and the profession established the Registration Examination for Dietitians to streamline professional standards of practice, making our Dietetic Internship program one of the first to undergo this professional transition. In 1975, the masters degree program in clinical nutrition was approved at UAB shortly after the university became its own, independent institution. Then, in 1976, an interdisciplinary committee petitioned to establish a Nutrition Department within the Medical Center at UAB.

Since this time, the Department of Nutrition Sciences has grown along with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, adapting new undergraduate and graduate curriculum, research initiatives, and community involvement with each passing year.

History of the MS in Nutrition Sciences, Dietitian Education Program

The Department of Nutrition Sciences currently maintains a nationally recognized Ph.D in Nutrition Sciences program, a Master of Science in Nutrition Sciences degree with five potential tracks to meet the graduate education needs of students from various backgrounds, and offers a Minor in Nutrition Sciences for our undergraduates at UAB. One of these Master of Science in Nutrition Sciences degree programs is a Coordinated Program in Dietetics, the M.S. in Nutrition Sciences- Dietitian Education Program track or the Dietitian Education Graduate Certificate Program for students in the Lifestyle Management and Disease Prevention track.

This program was designed keeping two specific student populations in mind:

  1. post baccalaureate students who discovered a passion for nutrition and dietetics and want to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), and
  2. undergraduate students attending a University that does not offer a Didactic Program in Dietetics (the qualification requirement for a Dietetic Internship program) who are passionate about becoming a RDN as well.

This includes our own undergraduates at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Now, with some base prerequisite requirements, students from either pathway can apply to our Master of Sciences in Nutrition Sciences program at UAB to pursue this dream of becoming a RDN.

For post baccalaureate students, we recommend exploring the MS in Nutrition Sciences, Lifestyle Management and Disease Prevention track with the Dietitian Education Graduate Certificate Program.

For current undergraduate students, we recommend exploring the MS in Nutrition Sciences, Dietitian Education Program track.

Learn more about the rich history of the Department of Nutrition Sciences at UAB.