Majoring in Nutritional Sciences - Toxicology (NS-T)

This specialization combines a strong foundation in the biological and chemical sciences with specialized advanced course work focusing on the hazardous and beneficial effects of natural and human-made toxic agents. From industrially produced environmental contaminants and designer drugs to naturally occurring herbs and food products, this field of study applies molecular and computational methods to better understand how these agents interact with living organisms and what should be done to ensure human health and safety.

What Will I Study?

Here are some of the projects students worked on for NST 166 - Nutrition in the Community!

In addition to the strong biological and chemical science foundation, students will take advanced coursework in the following topics:

  • Basic biochemistry and molecular biology
  • Delivery of nutrients from foods to cells and the function of nutrients in energy metabolism
  • Advanced Toxicology
  • Research and lab techniques in the field
  • An opportunity to explore a broad range of topics in environmental chemistry, advanced biology, additional nutrition-based content in areas like health and human disease or community health, and others

How much coursework is required?

NS-T requires 60 lower division units and an additional 30 units of upper division coursework. Of the 30 upper division units required for the major, 15 must be fulfilled with courses offered in the Rausser College of Natural Resources.

All courses must be taken for a letter grade with the exception of electives not being taken toward the major requirements and courses that are only offered on a pass/no pass basis. You must earn at least a C- in all courses required for the major.

What can I do with this major?

  • Community or Public Health Organizations: Coordinate programs aimed at improving health and preventing disease, consumer education, humanitarian assistance, forensic toxicology, poison control  
  • Governmental Agencies: Develop policy related to chemical use, disposal, and safety, forensic work, poison control investigation, municipal or governmental lab and field research
  • Education: Teach the biological sciences or conduct research in the biological sciences for universities or governmental organizations
  • Research and Public Service: Understanding naturally occurring carcinogens and cancer protective agents, food-borne illness and microbiological safety, environmental and cellular toxins and DNA damage, anti-microbial properties
  • Health organizations: Become a health professional in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, optometry, physical therapy, and others
  • Pharmaceutical Industry: Regulation of drugs/chemicals to determine safety
  • General Consumer Businesses: Develop pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, and consumer products
  • Biotechnology firms: Research and development for new applied technologies.


Major Advisor: 
Jay Sevilla
260 Mulford Hall
University of California 
Berkeley, CA 94720-3100
View our advising hours schedule here