Nutrition Science

The Nutrition Science curriculum is strongly based in biological and physical sciences, two disciplines which are necessary for a thorough understanding of the science of nutrition. The curriculum integrates biological and physical sciences with applied and basic nutrition science to create a unique experience for students with a strong interest in science as it applies to human health. Prerequisites for most pre-professional health programs are met by this curriculum, e.g. medical, dental, physical therapy. The curriculum provides a strong preparation for a variety of science- and health system-based career options as well as for graduate school in nutrition science or other life sciences.

Career Options

Research in nutrition is expanding at the state, national, and international levels, thereby increasing the demand for scientists. Potential work settings include:

  • Government agencies
  • Food industry
  • Institutions of higher education
  • Medical centers

Although some industry and governmental jobs are available for BS graduates in nutrition science, most students in this option plan to continue in graduate, medical, or dental school where the acceptance of students from the Nutrition Science option has been high. Combining Nutrition Science with Dietetics increases job opportunities.


The Nutrition Science major is designed primarily for students who wish to obtain greater depth in the physical and biological sciences in order to prepare for additional education in medicine, dentistry, or nutrition research.

The study option is research-oriented and consists of rigorous coursework in the life and physical sciences, including:

  • Nutrition science
  • Nutrition
  • Methods of nutrition investigation
  • Quantitative analysis
  • Biology of man
  • Organic chemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Statistics

See a complete list of Nutrition Science courses.

Experiential Learning

  • Perform an internship or externship. Faculty members strongly encourage students to do clinical work and research, and they offer contact information and other types of help in obtaining these opportunities.
  • Learn proper research procedures and strategies as you work in labs under knowledgeable instructors.

Pre-professional Students

We strongly encourage our pre-professional students to contact the Office of Health Professions Advising during their time at Purdue. The office is very useful for designing a plan of study to meet all prerequisites for your professional school of choice. The office also provides great information about the application process, student organizations, and strategies to make you a successful candidate.

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