NUTR 4301 – Career Explorations in Nutrition and Foods
NUTR 4301 – Career Explorations in Nutrition and Foods is a senior level course required to complete a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Foods from Texas State University. This capstone course allows the student to integrate classroom learning with applied work experience. As part of acquiring work experience, students will complete 150 hours under the supervision of an experienced nutrition professional. Successful completion of NUTR 4301 demonstrates to potential employers, directors of dietetic internships, and/or graduate program directors that the student has achieved practical work experience. Additionally, students have the opportunity to develop professional connections with community contacts.
NUTR 4301 is offered regularly during the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. This website provides much of the information you will need to get ready for the course, including a 4301 Sample Syllabus. *Actual due dates for the course are subject to change. This website also contains the forms you need to prepare in advance of this course.
The student is responsible for investigating possible sites and negotiating the 150 hour experience and schedule with a mentor, who will be their on-site student supervisor. Prior to registering to take this course, each student must identify a suitable Career Exploration Experience (CEE) site that will offer a minimum of 150 hours of work experience under professional supervision.
The Texas State faculty who is instructing the NUTR 4301 course is responsible for assessing the student's performance based on assignments submitted by the student and the mentor's evaluation of the student's performance.
In order to take NUTR 4301, students must have:
Completed these hours:
75 semester credit hours total
24 semester credit hours from Texas State
24 NUTR semester credit hours
Completed the following courses or their equivalents:
ENG 1310, 1320
HIST 1310, 1320
POSI 2310, 2320
CHEM 1341/1142 & CHEM 1342/1142**
Met the following GPA criteria:
Cumulative GPA ≥ 2.00
Cumulative Texas State GPA ≥ 2.00
Major GPA ≥ 2.25
Completed an online application form:
This application MUST be completed and approved before a student is admitted into the course. See instructions listed below under "Stages of Preparation"
Criteria for Specific Career Exploration Experiences (CEE) include:
Completion of NUTR 4360 (Medical Nutrition Therapy) is required for hospital-based CEEs
Completion of NUTR 4367/4167 (Food Systems Management) is required for food service-related CEEs
In consultation with the didactic program director, exceptions may be made for those who already have a BS or BA, who are not seeking a second undergraduate degree in nutrition, and are working specifically to complete courses to earn a Verification Statement in consultation with the dietetic program director.
*NUTR 4361 (Biochemical Nutrition) and NUTR 4362 (Nutrition and Genetics) are NOT prerequisites for NUTR 4301.
For Nutrition with a Minor or Teacher Certification Tracks: If chemistry is not required for your track, substitute 2 biology courses. If you are in either of those tracks, you must have completed (or be enrolled in) at least 5 NUTR courses (instead of 24 hours) before you are qualified to enroll.
Stages of Preparation
Finding a Career Exploration Experience (CEE):
Potential sites include a variety of venues where food and nutrition services comprise a significant component of the work, and include, but are not limited to, health care facilities such as hospitals and clinics, public health venues, restaurants and institutional food service facilities, sports facilities, community service organizations, research laboratories, and food industries. See the bottom of this page for specific sites that have previously accepted students.
NOTE: From time to time, entrepreneurs or organizations offer NUTR 4301 opportunities to our students. Flyers advertising these positions (sometimes called internships) are often posted on the Student Nutrition Organization TRACS site. Bear in mind that many opportunities invite only one or a few students to participate.
Finalizing Your Mentor:
Once you have identified a potential CEE site, you can approach the prospective mentor/agency with your request. You should fill in details of the Introduction/Expectations for Mentor and give it to your mentor to explain the requirements for the CEE.
***Pre-approval Required for CEE:
Before registering for the course, all students must complete the online NUTR 4301 Application Form according to the deadlines below (note: you will be required to submit a pdf of your degree audit when completing the online form):
- Fall Sessions: 5:00 PM on the first Monday of June
- Spring Sessions: 5:00 PM on the first Monday of October
- Summer sessions: 5:00 PM on the first Monday in March
The course instructor will review your application and notify you by email regarding whether the application has been approved.
Late applications: may be considered but there is no guarantee that a "seat" in the class will still be available for those who apply after the deadline.
Finalizing Your CEE Agreement:
If your application is approved, you must complete a survey of your CEE and mentor, receive approval from your instructor that your CEE site meets course requirements, and submit completed mentor agreement forms via TRACS by the first day of class. The mentor forms will be made available to you on TRACS no less than two weeks before class starts.
Portfolio. A portfolio is a professional collection of work that includes information about you as a professional. For each 4301 session, the portfolio is due in PDF form as per the syllabus, generally during the second week of class. The Portfolio Assignment will include 1) a job description of your CEE (developed by you and your mentor), 2) a cover letter for your CEE "position", 3) a professional resume, and 4) goals and objectives for your CEE.
Reports. You will be required to submit several reports throughout your practicum, due as per the syllabus.
Mentor Evaluation of Student:
Mentors will evaluate your performance during the semester via an online survey. At the end of the semester, your mentor will verify that you have completed at least 150 hours and have performed all the duties agreed upon in your job description. Please note that your grade may be lowered substantially or changed to an F if you: 1) provide false information about your CEE, 2) if you do not fulfill the 150 hour requirement, or 3) if you consistently fail to perform quality work at your CEE.
- Texas State Research Faculty
- Bobcat Bounty
- WIC (San Marcos, Kyle, Austin)
- Head Start Programs
- Meals on Wheels (Austin and Tarrant County)
- Food Banks (San Antonio, Hays County, Central Texas)
- Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin
- Texas State Child Development Center
- Texas State Athletics
- Eden Hill Communities
- School Fuel San Marcos
- Central Texas Medical Center
- Texas AgriLife Extension
- Texas Department of Agriculture
- Total Wellness
- Green Space Tx
- It's Time Texas
- YMCA of Greater San Antonio