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Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise

Advancing health through discovery and learning

Our mission is to discover, translate, and disseminate health-related advances in the nutrition, food, and exercise sciences.

Dr. Judy Gustafson gives a brief anatomy lesson to HNFE incoming students.
Dr. Judy Gustafson gives a brief anatomy lesson to HNFE incoming students.

Meet one of HNFE's graduate students, Corinne Settelen, who is enrolled in our Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics program!

  • What do you hope to accomplish during your education?
    “This program allows me to explore different areas within dietetics and build my confidence and expertise as I enter the field. I plan to combine areas of fitness, nutrition, and wellness to provide a holistic approach to health and well-being.”
  • What led you to choose HNFE’s MSND program?
    "I completed my undergraduate degree here as well, so I had already formed strong connections with faculty, peers, and the community that I wasn't ready to move on from! Plus, the MSND program allows me to knock out a Master's degree and supervised practice rotations in just a year and a half. Virginia Tech is just the best of the best... how could I go anywhere else?”
  • What is your goal after you graduate?
    "After I complete my program, I plan to sit for the RD exam to become a Registered Dietitian. With this credential, I want to perform nutrition counseling in a sports/fitness setting, or possibly work with eating disorder recovery.”

Learn more about HNFE’s MSND program.

Food Lab


The Dietetics option is an ACEND accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics. Completion of this program enables students to apply to dietetics supervised practice programs to become registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN).

Antamoge table, students, and Renee Eaton

Science of Food, Nutrition, and Exercise

SFNE is appropriate for students who plan on entering medicine or a related health field; the program  meets the academic requirements for most graduate and professional programs in health science areas.

Graduate students and personnel from Siobhan Craige's lab

HNFE offers three tracks to earn a master's or doctoral degree: Behavioral and Community Science, Clinical Physiology and Metabolism, or Molecular and Cellular Science.

MSND Glade Road Farm Tour

Our Master’s of Science Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics prepares graduates to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs).

student doing mission work

Exceptional undergraduate students may earn a master's degree in our accelerated B.S./M.S degree with an additional year of study.


Virginia map

Our internship program, which offers two distinct locations in Blacksburg and Northern Virginia, provides interns the variety and depth of experiences needed to work in different dietetics practice settings. The program builds on the unique experiences and interests of each intern and provides solid preparation in all areas of dietetics. The leadership and professional development emphasis enables graduates to enter the field ready to influence the workplace, profession, and food and nutrition policy. Interns benefit from the varied experiences and skills of two directors overseeing the two separate locations.  

HNFE student nutrition counseling session

Our service to the university community, offered during the fall and spring semesters, provides clients with the knowledge, resources, and skills to successfully develop and maintain healthy lifestyles.

Graduate student Joe Grieco in the lab

HNFE’s unique fusion of nutrition, food, and exercise sciences positions us to advance knowledge in education, prevention, research, and translational studies. Our faculty have collaborations both on and off campus with research projects spanning from cells to society.

Extension agent helping client

Our Extension program plays a critical role in the department’s translational mission. Specialists act as liaisons between agents in the field and research  conducted at the university; they work with personnel throughout the state to provide programs to diverse audiences.