Jul 20, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition

Telephone: (302) 831-2079
Faculty Listing: https://www.udel.edu/academics/colleges/chs/departments/bhan/faculty/

The Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition (BHAN) offers undergraduate majors in Health Behavior Science, Nutrition and Dietetics, Nutrition and Medical Sciences, and Nutrition, as well as minors in Health and Wellness, Health, Physical Activity, & Disability, Public Health, Nutrition, and Medical Social Services. The academic programs integrate coursework in the biological, chemical, behavioral, social, and nutritional sciences with internship and real-world practicum experiences. The undergraduate programs prepare students for a variety of careers in the areas of health care, education, recreation, public health, fitness, nutrition, and health promotion for business, industry, and public, private, and government agencies.

Each student is assigned an Academic Advisor who will assist in selecting courses and experiences that focus on the student’s interests and professional goals. Students are encouraged to meet with their Advisor at least once each semester. Failure to meet regularly with an Advisor can result in a delay in graduation if program requirements have not been met. For general advising questions, contact bhanadvising@udel.edu

Students are encouraged to enrich their academic programs by participating in seminars, student organizations, research, and study abroad experiences to enhance prospects for internships, post-graduate education, and employment. Opportunities exist to participate as student members of national, regional, and statewide professional organizations related to each major.

Major Degree Programs

The Health Behavior Science major prepares students to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce the burden of disease through the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of health promotion programs to change specific health behaviors at the individual or population level. Strengths of the program include experiential learning opportunities through internships, practicums, and clinical experiences. Health Behavior Science professionals can work within a variety of settings including public health departments, non-profits, health management organizations, corporate wellness sites, schools, clinics, and hospitals. They also can work with a range of population groups such as older adults, individuals with disabilities, children and adolescents. All Health Behavior Science majors are required to have a minor, which provides students with a focused area of study based on their professional interests. By taking advantage of winter and summer semesters, highly motivated students can complete this degree within 3 years.

A grade of C- or higher is required in the Health Behavior Science major courses for successful completion of the degree.

The Health and Disability concentration provides undergraduate students in the Health Behavior Science major with a theoretical base, important graduate prerequisites, and quality field-based experience to appropriately plan for and work with individuals with disabilities across the lifespan in a variety of settings that promote health, physical activity, and wellness. The concentration helps students interested in the behavioral health sciences be better prepared for graduate studies to pursue a career in various health, medical, and/or disability fields. Students in this major should carefully review the admission requirements for graduate programs to which they plan to apply. Completion of this concentration will substitute for the required approved minor for the Health Behavior Science degree.

Students in the Health and Disability concentration in the Health Behavior Science major, who are also pursuing the Disabilities Studies minor, may overlap a maximum of six credits from their major and concentration coursework with minor coursework. Additionally, students pursuing the Health and Disability concentration are not able to also minor in Health, Physical Activity, and Disability.

Students in the concentration must (a) complete the courses in the major, the concentration core, and the concentration restricted electives and (b) maintain a minimum overall GPA of 2.0. A grade of C- or higher is needed in the Health Behavior Science major and the concentration courses for successful completion of the degree.

The completion of the Nutrition and Dietetics major is the first step leading to the attainment of certification as Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). The University of Delaware’s didactic program in Nutrition and Dietetics is currently granted accreditation status by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Students in this major complete the professional practice requirement after the Bachelor of Science degree by completing an ACEND accredited dietetic internship. See the Graduate section of the catalog for information on the Dietetic Internship and Combined MS in Nutrition and Dietetic Internship programs. Effective January 1, 2024, a minimum of a master’s degree will be required to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. ​Registered Dietitian Nutritionists can pursue careers in clinical nutrition, sports nutrition, community nutrition, public health, research, private practice, and food service management. A grade of C- or higher is needed in the Nutrition and Dietetics major courses for successful completion of the degree.

The Nutrition and Medical Sciences major is for students who want a strong foundation in the basic sciences (biology, physiology, and chemistry, biochemistry) in addition to the study of human nutrition. As a premedical program, it prepares students for advanced degrees in dentistry, medicine, occupational or physical therapy, physician assistant, or pharmacology. Students can also pursue careers in laboratory research or positions with companies or agencies requiring the extensive use of a strong science and human nutrition background. A grade of C- or higher is needed in the Nutrition and Medical Sciences major courses for successful completion of the degree.

The Nutrition major is designed for the student who can creatively combine the study of nutrition with other academic areas. The curriculum is flexible and all Nutrition majors are required to have a minor, which provides an opportunity to develop an area of interest. Depending on the coursework selected, Nutrition graduates can pursue careers in community nutrition, health education, public health and wellness programs, and foodservice management. The Nutrition Major also prepares students for graduate school in nutrition, public health or health professions, such as nursing. A grade of C- or higher is needed in the Nutrition major courses for successful completion of the degree.


Lifetime Activities Program

A varied activity program is available to all students on a pass/fail credit basis in BHAN 120  courses. The objectives of the lifetime activities program are: (1) to provide knowledge and skills essential for leisure-time enjoyment, (2) to develop healthy exercise habits as well as a sound knowledge base in the scientific principles of physical activity, and (3) to provide an enjoyable atmosphere for learning skills that encourage lifetime participation. Regular attendance is required in order to receive credit in BHAN 120  courses with a passing grade. BHAN 130  courses provide students with a wide variety of healthy lifestyle and skills to enhance their quality of life. These one (1) credit courses relate to stress management, food and diet, healthy relationships and much more.


The Health and Wellness minor is for students who have an interest in expanding their knowledge of health and wellness issues. This minor provides students with the opportunity to complement their major course of study by expanding and applying health knowledge and concepts to their chosen profession and personal life. Students in the Health Behavior Science major are not eligible to take this minor as a course of study. Students may take a maximum of nine credits already required for their major. Students should contact Professor Stephen Goodwin with questions about the minor.

The Health, Physical Activity, and Disability minor provides students with a theoretical base and quality field-based experiences to serve individuals across the lifespan in a variety of settings that promote health and wellness. The minor is open to all students but is particularly suited for students who are planning careers in health and exercise sciences, such as health promotion, fitness, occupational therapy, therapeutic recreation, physical therapy, sports medicine, and coaching. Students applying for the minor must have completed at least one semester of full-time study at the University of Delaware with a minimum GPA of a 2.0. Students should contact Jennifer Shendock with questions about the minor.

The Medical Social Services minor focuses on methods to aid patients and their families with accessing available community resources. Professionals in this field connect people to appropriate social and/or medical services. Typical employment settings include hospitals, schools, hospice, and nursing home facilities. Open to all students in all majors, the minor introduces the intersection of social services and public health within an interdisciplinary context. Although the minor provides background content for students interested in pursuing a master’s degree in medical social work, this minor alone does not qualify students for professional licensure in social work. Students should contact Professor Marc Lodyga with questions about the minor.

A minor in Nutrition provides students from other degree programs including, but not limited to, Biology, Chemistry, Food Science, and Nursing with a fairly intensive level of understanding of nutritional science. The minor is for students interested in the area of nutrition who believe that good nutrition and personal lifestyles are important for the well-being of individuals. Students should contact Professor Richard Fang with questions about the minor. 

The minor in Public Health provides an interdisciplinary opportunity to develop practical skills in program development and increase knowledge in the areas of social systems and policy as well as leadership. Public health is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private sectors, communities, and individuals. The minor is available to students of all disciplines and offers a greater appreciation for the application of public health concepts to your field of study. Students should contact Professor Laura Lessard with questions about the minor.


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