Program Description

The Nutrition and Foods Department offers students a foundation for their career in Nutrition and Foods. The curriculum provides diverse coursework that satisfies the needs of Dietetic Service Supervisory Levels, foodservice management, as well as those seeking a career within healthcare, public health programs, and the restaurant field. Additionally, child care programs, nursing, and Allied Health majors will benefit from the diverse variety of coursework.

Upon completion of Nutrition 44, those majoring in Nutrition and Foods will take the National Restaurant Association ServSafe Manager Exam. After passing the exam, students will earn a ServSafe Manager Certification that is valid for five years. This certification is invaluable when seeking employment in the food service field.
Those who take Nutrition 37 will be assigned to complete 150 hours of supervised field experience overseen by a qualified preceptor. 25 of the 27 Nutrition related field experience hours will be overseen by a Registered Dietitian. This program is approved by the Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals (ANFP). Students are eligible for ANFP Pre-Professional membership; graduates are eligible for the CDM  Credentialing Exam offered through the Certifying Board for Dietary Managers (CBDM) and ANFP professional membership.


Merced College offers the following degrees/certificates in Nutrition and Foods:

  • Dietetic Services Supervisor (Certificate)
  • Nutrition & Foods (Certificate)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics – (AS-T)

Career Opportunities

Employment of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists is expected to grow much faster than average for all
occupations because of increased emphasis on disease prevention, obesity prevention, a growing and aging population, and public interest in nutrition and food sustainability. Growth is anticipated in nursing homes, residential care facilities, physician’s clinics, and public health. There are abundant employment opportunities at all levels of in the food service industry.

  • Cook
  • Food Service Worker
  • Dietary Aide
  • Dietary Manager

Additional training and experience can increase employment opportunities to positions such as:

  • Culinologist
  • Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
  • Food Scientist


Nutrition & Foods Faculty