NUTR 4301 Career Exploration in Nutrition

What is NUTR 4301?

The and Foods program at Texas State University requires that all nutrition and foods majors take a capstone course, NUTR 4301 (Career Exploration in Nutrition and Foods) before graduating. The purpose of this practicum class is for students to gain professional experience that will enhance their career preparedness in the nutrition field. This capstone course allows students to integrate classroom learning with applied work experience.

During their senior year, students will locate and secure a mentor/site that will provide a 120-hour career exploration Nutrition experience. Students must submit documents in advance of enrolling in the course. This means that one to two months prior to registering for NUTR 4301, each student should identify a suitable Career Exploration Experience (CEE) site that will offer a nutrition-related work experience under a mentor’s supervision.

When can a student take NUTR 4301?

NUTR 4301 is offered regularly during the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. To be eligible to enroll in NUTR 4301, students must have completed all University core coursework, most of the Nutrition and Foods courses, and must have at least a 2.0 overall GPA and a 2.25 GPA in major courses. See a detailed breakdown of eligibility requirements below.

Eligibility Requirements

Completion of the following hours:

75 semester credit hours

24 semester credit hours from TEXAS STATE

24 NUTR credit hours, including currently enrolled courses


Completion of the following courses or their equivalents:

ENG 1310, 1320

MATH 1315

COMM 1310

HIST 1310, 1320

POSI 2310, 2320

CHEM 1341/1141 & CHEM 1342/1142


GPA Criteria:

Cumulative GPA ≥ 2.00

Cumulative Texas State GPA ≥ 2.00

Major GPA ≥ 2.25


Criteria for Specific Career Exploration Experiences (CEE):

Completion of/enrollment in NUTR 4360 (Medical Nutrition Therapy) is required for hospital-based CEEs, and completion of/enrollment in NUTR 4367 & 4167 (Food Systems Management) is required for food service-related CEEs.

How does a student register for NUTR 4301?

Nutrition 4301 requires departmental approval to register. Students must complete an application for NUTR 4301 that is reviewed and approved by the nutrition department before they will be able to register. Students should submit their application according to the deadlines below. *Please note that students will need to download a copy of their degree audit to submit with their application. Degree audits can be accessed through Catsweb.

Fall Couse Deadline: 5:00 PM, first Monday of June
Spring Couse Deadline: 5:00 PM, first Monday of October
Summer Course Deadline: 5:00 PM, first Monday in March

Students may submit their application here. Please allow 1-2 weeks for applications and override requests to be processed.

Where can students find potential mentors/sites?

Students are responsible for locating a mentor/site that can offer 120 hours of a career exploration experience. Your mentor must be a nutrition professional who can provide you with professional training and oversight. Once students have identified their mentor, several forms will need to be completed and signed by the mentor and the student before the first day of class. It is important that students secure their mentor well in advance of the semester start to ensure all paperwork is complete. Potential sites are not limited to but may include any of the following:

  • Hospitals
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Food service operations
  • Schools
  • Wellness programs
  • Fitness centers
  • Food companies/ Restaurants
  • Camps
  • Catering companies
  • Food, wellness product companies
  • Non-profits
  • Community gardens
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Food Banks (Austin, Tarrant, San Marcos, New Braunfels)
  • Bobcat Bounty
  • YMCA Nutrition Division
  • Green Space
  • Food for Black Thought
  • HealthStart Foundation, Inc
  • Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin
  • Texas State Child Development Center
  • WIC (San Marcos, Kyle, Austin, etc)
  • Eden Hill Communities
  • CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospitals
  • Lactation services & Clinical
  • Texas AgriLife (extension)
  • Nutrition Faculty

What does coursework look like for NUTR 4301?

In addition to the 120-hours students will spend working with a mentor/site, students will also engage in online coursework. Please view the sample syllabus (tentative) to learn more about NUTR 4301 assignments and coursework requirements.

Who do I speak to if I have more questions?

Each fall and spring, a faculty member will give a presentation about NUTR 4301 during a Student Nutrition Organization (SNO) meeting. Students are strongly encouraged to attend to learn more about NUTR 4301 and ask questions related to the course. Any additional questions should be directed to the instructor assigned to the course.