Nutrition, Fitness, and Health

Eating right and exercising is not just a habit, it's your life philosophy. If you'd like to pass on your personal experiences with healthy living and help others make positive lifestyle changes, consider the nutrition, fitness, and health program.

Traditionally, professionals have been trained in only one discipline, but key components of fitness are both physical activity and nutrition. The nutrition, fitness, and health option is one of the few programs in the country that combines coursework in exercise physiology and health promotion with a science-based nutrition curriculum. Upon successful completion of the program, you will earn a Bachelor of Science degree.

Career Options

As a nutrition and fitness specialist, you could work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Cardiac rehabilitation program
  • Corporate wellness
  • Community fitness centers
  • Fitness equipment industry
  • Health clubs
  • Health promotion and education
  • Weight management programs

If RD requirements are met, many other additional career opportunities are available.


Required core classes include humanities, communications, social and behavioral sciences, life and physical sciences, chemistry, physiology, and computer science. Other coursework includes:

Nutrition and Food Science

  • Fundamentals of nutrition
  • Food chemistry
  • Metabolism
  • Clinical chemistry
  • Food communications
  • Nutrition assessment
  • Public health nutrition
  • Community nutrition

Health and Exercise
(Through the Department of Health, Kinesiology and Leisure Studies)

  • Exercise physiology
  • Fitness evaluation and prescription
  • Health screening
  • Worksite health and fitness
  • Health promotion and education
  • Principles of community health

See a complete list of Nutrition Science courses.

Experiential Learning

  • Perform an internship for credit in a large fitness center, where you will practice doing nutrition and fitness assessments and counseling
  • Learn to use computers to evaluate and plan diets
  • Analyze current controversies about nutrition and food safety
  • Prepare health education materials

RD Option

The nutrition, fitness, and health program can be combined with the dietetics option so that you can become a Registered Dietitian (RD). By including 18 additional credits, you can meet the academic requirements set by the American Dietetic Association for the RD designation.

To become an RD, you must complete an academic program and a supervised work experience and pass a national examination. Purdue has two plans available to become an RD. The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) fulfills the classroom requirements and is followed after graduation by a separate experience program. The Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD) combines the experience and the coursework.

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