PreMed, PreProfessional - Nutrition Science

Improve lives. Prevent disease. Promote health. Make a difference.
Develop and provide research-supported nutrition advice.

  • What's the role of diet in infancy, pregnancy, and aging?
  • How does your diet influence risk and treatment of diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and cancer?
  • What determines how much you eat?
  • How are dietary recommendations made and what evidence supports them?

The Nutrition Science major provides a foundation to pursue careers that improve lives, prevent diseases, promote health, and make a difference. What you eat not only has the ability to promote health, it also influences your risk of many diseases including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and obesity. Students who major in Nutrition Science develop a knowledge base in science and nutrition to understand and explore the relationship between what we eat and human health. Courses specific to this major emphasize the fundamentals of nutrition, the metabolism of nutrients in health and disease, and nutrition science research.

Career Options

Your career options will be diverse and numerous. If you would ultimately like to pursue research, a degree in Nutrition Science provides an excellent foundation for application to graduate programs in nutrition as well as other health and life sciences. You may also choose to work in the food industry, public health, law, or even a government agency, just to name a few. Examples of some job titles our graduates hold are physical therapist, dentist, medical doctor, and professor. Students who do not want to attend graduate school become research assistants, chemists, program managers, product developers, pharmaceutical sales representatives, and others. Our alumni pursue careers that promote health in many fields including:

  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Government
  • Industry (Food, Agriculture, Pharmeceutical)
  • Non-profit organizations

Graduate/Professional School Preparation

The Nutrition Science major is designed to meet admission requirements for most professional health programs including medical, dental, physical therapy, physician assistant, optometry, and veterinary, public health. In addition to meeting with your academic advisor each semester, pre-professional students will meet with the Center for Pre-Professional Advising to assist in successful admission to your program of choice. Placement rates into graduate/professional programs for students within the College of Health and Human Sciences are constantly higher than the national average. With increased focus on preventive health, a background in nutrition offers a unique foundation for future health professionals.

Learn from Experience

  • Learning Community: We have created The Science of Nutrition Learning Community to provide first-year students with the opportunity to explore the scientific basis that helps us understand the relationships between foods and health while building a community. This community will learn together, socialize together, get to know faculty, and participate in active learning through specialized events both on and off campus.
  • Study Abroad in Nutrition Science: Study abroad is an important curriculum initiative to support the careers of tomorrow. The Department of Nutrition Science offers two curriculum-specific study abroad options at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) in Ireland and at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. During the study abroad experience, students can take courses required for their major and not just electives or general education courses. In addition, there is a study abroad trip to Roanne, France, offered during the summer that explores the French Paradox as it relates to nutrition, dietary patterns, and cultural practices. For complete information on destinations, scholarships, eligibility, and application procedures, visit HHS Study Abroad.
  • Work in Nutrition Science Research: The Department of Nutrition Science is a vital contributor of research linking nutrition to disease prevention. Opportunities to participate in research are available for undergraduate students. The Department of Nutrition Science has significant research expertise in the following Signature Areas:
    1. Calcium, Vitamin D, and Bone Health
    2. Botanicals and Bioactives for Health
    3. Cancer Prevention
    4. Appetite, Metabolism, and Obesity
  • Graduate with Honors: A departmental honors program is offered for students who have a strong interest in research. This opportunity is geared towards students who wish to work with a faculty member on a research project and have a GPA of 3.2 or higher. Students participate in seminars for honors students, and develop, carry out, and present the results of a research project under the direction of a professor. There are many benefits to graduating with honors from Nutrition Science including:
    • Contributing to new knowledge about nutrition
    • Building lasting relationships with faculty
    • Gaining valuable work experience
    • Generating ideas for career options
  • Perform an Internship: Faculty and staff in the department take active roles in helping students find the right internships and jobs. You'll receive information on internship opportunities and job openings throughout your time at Purdue.

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements for Nutrition Science

  • The Nutrition curriculum includes biology, biochemistry, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and anatomy and physiology.
  • Additional elective options include the opportunities to study sports nutrition, public heath, communication, psychology, dietetics, food science, food safety, medical nutrition, nutrition careers, biology, chemistry and more.
  • The Nutrition Science curriculum is designed to meet the pre-requisites for most professional health programs and graduate programs in the nutrition, health, and life sciences.

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