why do we need to study nutrition
Health is a matter which affects not only each one of us as individuals but also the community in which we live. Good health is a vital part of the great experience of living. Today, steady progress is being made in the fields of education, medicine and surgery as well as public health. Attempts are being made to give everyone a fair chance to lead a healthier and fuller life. Food is one of the effective factors towards maintaining optimum positive health. Lack of proper food causes nutrient deficiency diseases.
To be perfectly honest, I don t know. I know it hasn t worked out for me. I ve got an M. S. in agribusiness, plus two years of lab courses. Most departments list a few lab courses as prerequisites usually general biology, microbiology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, physics, and (non-lab courses) nutrition, statistics, and introduction to calculus.
A few programs ask for more (e. g. UC Davis asks for 1 semester of physical chemistry, and I think UMass asks for 1 semester of analytic chemistry). However, apparently taking (or even exceeding) prerequisite requirements may not actually result in strong consideration for admission. Also, it appears that strongly specific vocational focus appears to be sought after. The graduate programs don t appear to be terribly interested in students who are pursuing a general interest and related skill-set, but rather students who have a highly-delineated interest and outcome focus (e. g. dairy product rheology, food allergen molecule characterization, prediction modelling of L. monocytogenes outbreaks) to which they have already devoted significant energies.
It s possible that if you don t have at least some prior exposure to the field, you may not get a look in (hence, a chicken-and-egg scenario for the uninitiated). Such a transition might work better if you were to go back and take an additional undergraduate degree in food science or possibly one of the underpinning lab sciences (e. g. chemistry, microbiology, or biochemistry). Most people can t afford to do this, however, in terms of either time or money. It does seem to result in increased opportunities and better overall orientations to the profession(s) plus you won t be an outcast relative to IFT, which really doesn t want to extend membership to aspiring food scientists not enrolled in food science programs. However, you will want to think *very, very hard* about the risks of taking a degree in either chemistry or microbiology in the current employment climate should food science not pan out.
It might also work better if you apply to programs that have closer animal science/agriculture/food science connections but you run the risk here of essentially digging deeper into your original degree area and not expanding your skill-set or post-grad employment options. This might, however, be a reasonable option if you wanted to focus on a particular animal food industry segment (e. g. poultry, meat production, possibly dairy) in which you have already begun studies, and feel confident of job opportunities in said specialty. As to why food science graduate program admissions are what they are today, my first hypothesis is that the food science grad market currently is so competitive (high applicant numbers relative to slots available as indicated by UWisconsin-Madison s publicly available application/admission numbers from the past few years) that most programs select only candidates with the appropriate background meaning an undergraduate degree in food science or one of the feeder lab sciences and with some relevant lab work experience.
My second hypothesis is that depending on the institution, and owing to several reasons, research and institutional dollars are drying up some programs will in fact not admit applicants without grant support. My third hypothesis is that increasingly food science is adopting widespread industry practices in student intake, and this has impacts on student selection.
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