Careers in Nutrition: What can I do with my Nutrition degree?

Programs within the department prepare the student for a variety of career choices

1. Human Nutrition & Dietetics

Successful completion of this concentration readies the student for a career as a nutritionist and for entry into the internship required to become a Registered Dietitian (RD).

Americans are concerned about health and fitness. This has led to a growing demand for the skills, services, and knowledge of the certified diet and nutrition expert – the RD. The RD creatively applies science-based principles of food and nutrition to health. Nutrition specialists are needed to teach and counsel people in the fine points of healthy food selection and preparation, nutrition, and sound eating habits. Nutritionists are needed to assist government and private agencies in setting policy and in developing and administering nutrition programs.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor projects that employment of dietitians and nutritionists will grow at a faster rate than employment opportunities in other professions beyond the year 2000. As health professionals, nutritionists and dietitians promote nutrition in a variety of settings and roles.

  • Chief dietitians plan and oversee meals and nutritional programs, and direct staff employed in organizations such as hospitals, universities, corporations, retirement homes, and military bases
  • Clinical dietitians work as part of the health care team in hospitals and other healthcare institutions to meet the special dietary needs of clients such as those with diabetes or cancer; premature infants, and the elderly.
  • Public health nutritionists are employed in community agencies whose missions are to promote health, prevent disease, and provide primary health care.
  • Consultant dietitians in private practice advise corporations, conduct wellness programs and seminars, counsel groups such as athletes, and promote nutrition through articles and books.
  • Product representatives for pharmaceutical companies advise and educate health professionals.
  • Cooperative Extension agents translate research findings in food and nutrition into consumer education.

Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)

2. Nutrition and Wellness

This concentration targets students who have a strong interest in nutrition as it relates to exercise and health. It is unique in that it allows students the opportunity to take a variety of classes that are not limited to nutrition, but include public health education, and exercise and sport science. Students will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and a minor in Health Studies. Although students will be trained in providing nutrition and wellness information, they Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Potential career opportunities for these students include positions in

  • the food industry,
  • health care,
  • health food stores,
  • voluntary and community health organizations,
  • government,
  • research,
  • advocacy,
  • education,
  • communications,
  • public relations,
  • and the fitness industry.

3. Nutrition Science

Nutrition Science emphasizes the study of how nutrients function at the cellular and molecular levels in the prevention of disease and optimization of health, stressing human disease prevention from day one. In addition to developing a strong foundation in nutrition, the student gains knowledge in supporting areas such as biochemistry, physiology, genetics and biotechnology.

With a degree in Nutrition Science, the student becomes ready for employment.

There are job opportunities in

  • academic and biomedical institutions,
  • food, agricultural, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries,
  • government agencies,
  • and private health-related organizations,
  • and positions ranging from research and development to sales and consulting are available.

Many graduates of this concentration apply for admission to health professional schools. Our program of study meets the standard requirements for admission to most post-BS health professional schools : 

  • in medicine,
  • dentistry,
  • osteopathy,
  • optometry,
  • and physician’s assistant programs.

Some graduates apply for admission to Graduate School. There are many graduate programs in nutrition and other biomedical sciences offering the Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees.