Biobehavioral Nutrition and Wellness

Program Director: Douglas “Doug” R Moellering, PhD, MS

The B.S. in Biobehavioral Nutrition and Wellness program curriculum prepares students for entry into the nutrition and wellness workforce in many types of organizations, including nutrition and healthcare, universities, hospitals, food and nutrition providers, insurance agencies, corporations, or for graduate and professional study in health professions, including further study in Nutrition Sciences, Dietitian Education track. Students go on to become health and wellness educators, medical or health services managers, and clinical research staff, to name just a few exciting careers, and find positions in a wide range of private and public industries. You will learn about nutrition and wellness in this program, including the biological processes and behaviors within the science of nutrition and nutrition’s role in health, wellbeing, and disease prevention.

The UAB Nutrition Sciences Department has all resources you need to tailor your studies to the areas of nutrition and wellness that most interest you, including active clinical practices, research labs, and two NIH-funded interdisciplinary research centers – the UAB Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (NORC) and the UAB Diabetes Research Center (DRC). Our faculty have a wealth of expertise in nutrition-related areas, including lifecycle, metabolism, genetics, diabetes, obesity, cancer, aging, cardiometabolic disease, cardiovascular disease, personalized disease prevention, data analysis, and telehealth. If you would like to pursue a master’s degree or PhD after graduation, you will be well prepared for any nutrition sciences or allied health program you choose.

Program Admission

The UAB Office of Undergraduate Admissions accepts applications to the Biobehavioral Nutrition and Wellness program at any time. Students may begin the program at the start of any full academic term. Information and the online application for freshman, transfer, returning, and non-traditional admissions is available at

Students intending to enroll in the Biobehavioral Nutrition and Wellness program must meet all undergraduate admission and academic requirements for UAB and the School of Health Professions.

Entering freshmen are admitted directly to the Biobehavioral Nutrition and Wellness program through the UAB Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Admission to the program from high school requires graduation from an accredited high school with a grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Transfer admissions from another college or university and UAB students changing their declared major to Biobehavioral Nutrition and Wellness must have an overall GPA of 2.75 or higher and an institutional GPA of 2.75 or higher, if applicable.

Academic Requirements

The minimum overall and institutional GPA required for admission to the program (2.75) must be maintained for continued enrollment throughout the program. A student whose GPA falls below the minimum will be allowed two semesters to recover before dismissal from the major. A student who is dismissed from the Biobehavioral Nutrition and Wellness major in such a manner may reapply once the student has raised his or her overall and institutional GPA to the program or track minimum. A letter grade of C or higher is required for each course in the program curriculum.

Course Requirements

The Biobehavioral Nutrition and Wellness degree requires a total of 123-125 semester hours.

MA 106Pre-Calculus Trigonometry (Or Higher)3
EH 101English Composition I3
EH 102English Composition II3
CH 115General Chemistry I3
CH 116General Chemistry I Laboratory1
BY 123Introductory Biology I4
BY 123LIntroductory Biology I Laboratory0
PY 101Introduction to Psychology3
CH 117General Chemistry II3
CH 118General Chemistry II Laboratory1
CH 235Organic Chemistry I3
CH 236Organic Chemistry I Laboratory1
BY 261Introduction to Microbiology4
BY 261LIntroduction to Microbiology Laboratory0
BY 115Human Anatomy4
BY 116Introductory Human Physiology4
CHHS 141Personal Health & Wellness3
CMST 101Public Speaking3
Approved Human Behavior, Psychology, Sociology, or Anthropology Course (Choose 1 course from below)3
Psychology of Adjustment
Medical Psychology
Human Behavior and Social Environment
Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health
Introduction to Medical Sociology
Food and Culture
HRP 101Experience the University Transition3
NTR 121Well Being and You3
NTR 201Healthy People, Healthy Planet3
NTR 222Nutrition and Health3
NTR 232Lifecycle Nutrition3
NTR 300Nutrition Communication: From Science to Consumer3
NTR 320Nutrition and the Consumer3
NTR 330Nutrition and Metabolism3
NTR 420Nutritional Genetics3
NTR 421Nutrition Assessment and the Nutrition Care Process3
NTR 433Health and Wellness in the Information Age3
NTR 444Nutrition in Wellness and in Chronic Disease3
NTR 450Translational Research in Biobehavioral and Nutrition Science3
NTR 490Capstone Experience in Biobehavioral Nutrition and Wellness3

Contact Information

For more information about the Bachelor of Science in Biobehavioral Nutrition and Wellness, contact 

Biobehavioral Nutrition and Wellness (BNW)
Department of Nutrition Sciences
Telephone: (205) 934-2984
BNW Program

Bachelor of Science in Biobehavioral Nutrition & Wellness

University Core Courses
Area I: Written Communication6
Area II: Humanities and Fine Arts12
Public Speaking
Area III: Natural Sciences and Mathematics11
Pre-Calculus Trigonometry
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory
Introductory Biology I
and Introductory Biology I Laboratory
Area IV: History, Social and Behavioral Sciences12
Introduction to Psychology
Lower Level Support Courses (C or better required)29
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Laboratory
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
Introduction to Microbiology
and Introduction to Microbiology Laboratory
Human Anatomy
Introductory Human Physiology
Personal Health & Wellness
Approved Statistics 1
Approved Human Behavior, Psychology, Sociology, or Anthropology Course 2
Major Courses39
Well Being and You
Healthy People, Healthy Planet
Nutrition and Health
Lifecycle Nutrition
Nutrition Communication: From Science to Consumer
Nutrition and the Consumer
Nutrition and Metabolism
Nutritional Genetics
Nutrition Assessment and the Nutrition Care Process
Health and Wellness in the Information Age
Nutrition in Wellness and in Chronic Disease
Translational Research in Biobehavioral and Nutrition Science
Capstone Experience in Biobehavioral Nutrition and Wellness
Total Hours109

Choose one of the following: HCM 360, MA 180, PY 216, or QM 214 and QM 215


Choose one of the following: PY 107, PY 305, SW 315, PUH 204, SOC 280, ANTH 319

Proposed Program of Study for a Major in Biobehavioral Nutrition and Wellness

First TermHoursSecond TermHours
EH 1013EH 1023
MA 1063BY 1234
CH 1153BY 123L0
CH 1161NTR 2013
NTR 1213PY 1013
HRP 1013CH 1173
 CH 1181
 16 17
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
CH 2353NTR 3203
CH 2361NTR 3303
NTR 2223BY 1154
Core Area II: Literature3Core Area II or Area IV (based on sequence)3
Approved Human Behavior, Psychology, Sociology, or Anthropology Course3Core Area II or Area IV (based on sequence)3
Core Area II or Area IV (based on sequence)3 
 16 16
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
BY 1164NTR 3003
NTR 2323NTR 4213
CMST 1013BY 2614
CHHS 1413Core Curriculum Area IV - History13
Approved Statistics Course3 
 16 13
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
NTR 4443NTR 4903
NTR 4333NTR 4503
NTR 4203Core Area II: Fine Art3
Approved Physics or Electives7Approved Physics or Electives6-7
 16 15-16
Total credit hours: 125-126

A six semester hour sequence in literature or history is required; if a second literature is chosen it will apply as three of the elective hours  in Core Curriculum Area II: Humanities and Fine Art; if a second history is chosen it will apply as three of the elective hours in Core Curriculum Area IV: Social and Behavioral Sciences

Minor in Nutrition Sciences

The Department of Nutrition Sciences offers  a minor option for undergraduate students matriculating in programs in the School of Health Professions.  Interested students from other schools may be admitted upon approval from the NTR minor program director. The Nutrition Sciences minor requires completion of 18 semester hours of course work, maintenance of a 2.5 GPA overall, and no grade lower than a C in minor courses.

NTR 222Nutrition and Health3
NTR 232Lifecycle Nutrition3
NTR 330Nutrition and Metabolism3
Choose 9 Hours of Elective Coursework From the List Below9
Nutrition Communication: From Science to Consumer
Nutrition and the Consumer
Nutritional Genetics
Nutrition Assessment and the Nutrition Care Process
Sports Nutrition
Food and Culture
Mentored Research in the Health Professions
Approved Research Experience Course
Total Hours18


NTR 121. Well Being and You. 3 Hours.

Exploration of social, environmental, and cultural influences on eating and activity habits; mindfulness and coping skills to improve heath, well-being, and resilience. This course meets the Blazer Core Humans & Their Societies requirement with a flag in Wellness/Wellbeing.

NTR 201. Healthy People, Healthy Planet. 3 Hours.

Influence of individuals, community, government, and earth on mental, emotional, and physical well-being; design of community programs and interventions in a holistic ecological framework. This course meets Blazer Core Humans and their Societies with a flag in Wellness/Wellbeing.

NTR 220. Contemporary Issues in Nutrition. 3 Hours.

Contemporary Issues in Nutrition is designed for non-health professional majors and will be particularly beneficial to those in education, communications, and business fields of study.

NTR 222. Nutrition and Health. 3 Hours.

Introduction to principles of nutrition; essential nutrients and their relation to growth, maintenance, and optimal functioning of the body; dietary recommendations to promote wellness and prevent chronic disease.

NTR 225. Promoting Nutrition and Wellness for Healthy Communities. 3 Hours.

This course will introduce students to one of the most critical health issues in the US today ¿ poor nutrition, unhealthy life styles and their consequences including the epidemic of obesity. Students will learn about the diverse range of individuals impacted by this issue and will discover the range of prevention, education and support services that are offered. This course will cover the following aspects of unhealthy lifestyles/poor nutrition: history and systemic causes, education and prevention, including policy and advocacy. The course is also designed to present a multicultural perspective on the issues and students will be encouraged to engage in service-learning in the field, read literature, listen to speakers and interact with individuals representing a range of ages, genders, ethnicities and socioeconomic status.

NTR 232. Lifecycle Nutrition. 3 Hours.

Role of nutrition and dietary factors on the growth, development, and maintenance of health throughout the human life cycle. Nutritional guidelines/recommendations, special nutritional needs, physiology, and nutritional health concerns for each stage of the human lifecycle, from preconception through adulthood and aging.
Prerequisites: NTR 222 [Min Grade: C]

NTR 300. Nutrition Communication: From Science to Consumer. 3 Hours.

Interpreting nutrition research, including study designs and statistics, to develop nutrition messages and education materials using various media.
Prerequisites: NTR 222 [Min Grade: C]

NTR 320. Nutrition and the Consumer. 3 Hours.

Contemporary nutrition topics that affect consumers, such as dietary supplements, food additives, food safety, food, genetically modified organisms in foods & integrative medicine. Techniques to communicate nutrition information to consumers.
Prerequisites: NTR 222 [Min Grade: C]

NTR 330. Nutrition and Metabolism. 3 Hours.

Metabolism and functions of nutrients after mixed meal intakes, including USDA MyPlate, low-carbohydrate or low-fat diets; biosynthesis of vitamins and co-factors and whole food sources; human requirements for energy, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins; food fortification; current human nutritional challenges and diseases.
Prerequisites: NTR 222 [Min Grade: C]

NTR 420. Nutritional Genetics. 3 Hours.

How behavioral practices, environmental influences, and genetic makeup interact to influence individual preferences and responses to foods. Models to incorporate the interaction of these factors in developing potential strategies to prevent disease and achieve better nutritional health.

NTR 421. Nutrition Assessment and the Nutrition Care Process. 3 Hours.

Introduction to the Nutrition Care Process (NCP), a systematic approach to providing high-quality nutrition care. The NCP provides a framework for critical thinking and decision making. Gain factual knowledge, learn to apply course material through case study application, and explore fundamental principles in medical nutrition related content areas.
Prerequisites: NTR 222 [Min Grade: D]

NTR 433. Health and Wellness in the Information Age. 3 Hours.

Using technology and informatics skills to find, evaluate, and share accurate information to provide the best care to patients, clients, and the community.
Prerequisites: NTR 222 [Min Grade: C]

NTR 444. Nutrition in Wellness and in Chronic Disease. 3 Hours.

Mechanisms underlying chronic diseases; role of nutrition and other health behaviors in prevention and treatment.
Prerequisites: NTR 330 [Min Grade: C]

NTR 450. Translational Research in Biobehavioral and Nutrition Science. 3 Hours.

Development of skills in accurately translating scientific evidence from basic through clinical research and implementation studies into actionable messages for the public.
Prerequisites: NTR 222 [Min Grade: C]

NTR 475. Special Topics in Biobehavioral Nutrition and Wellness. 1-4 Hour.

Exploration of current issues in Biobehavioral Nutrition and Wellness.

NTR 490. Capstone Experience in Biobehavioral Nutrition and Wellness. 3 Hours.

Capstone experience integrating and applying the biobehavioral nutrition and wellness body of knowledge in a comprehensive group project.


Berg, Kelly, Assistant Professor, Interim DPD Certificate Director, 2022, RDN, MS, LDN (Illinois State)
Cedillo, Yenni, Assistant Professor, 2022, PhD (UAB), Socio-environmental factors, acculturation process, stress and body composition.
Davis, Lizzy, Program Director, 2020, MS in Nutrition Sciences Dietitian Education Track Director, PhD, RDN (UAB), Early Care and Education Centers; Diet Quality Assessment; Community; Teaching as Research; Mixed Methods
DeLuca, Maria, Associate Professor, 2008, PhD (University of Calabria), Genetics of fat storage and innate immune function, Obesity, Aging
Fernandez, Jose, Professor and Vice Chair for Education, 2001, PhD (Pennsylvania State System), Identification of genes contributing to racial differences in obesity, diabetes, and cancer: the genetic admixture approach
Harman, Tara, Instructor, 2009, R.D.N., M.S. (East Carolina University)
Johnson, Maria, Assistant Professor, 2022, PhD (University of Aberdeen)
Martins, Catia, Associate Professor, 2021, PhD, RD (University of Surrey)
Moellering, Douglas, Associate Professor and Director BS in Biobehavioral Nutrition and Wellness Program, 2008, PhD (UAB), Mitochondrial physiology, bioenergetics, and free radical-mediated tissue injury and disease pathologies. Currently, research is focused on mitochondrial free-radical production contributing to altered bioenergetics, the development of obesity, insulin resistance and T2DM, increased cardiovascular disease susceptibility, and aging.
Plaisance, Eric, Associate Professor, 2022, PhD, FACSM, ACSM-CEP, CSCS (Auburn)
Rivers, Carleton, Assistant Professor and Director, Dietetic Internship Track, 2016, RDN, MS (UAB)
Smith, Daniel, Assistant Professor, 2010, PhD (University of Virginia), The interaction of diet and metabolism in relationship to aging and disease; obesity, calorie restriction, brown adipose tissue
Wyatt, Holly, Professor and Vice Chair for Clinical Programs, 2019, M.D. (Baylor College of Medicine)