Nutritional Sciences Major

Nutritional Science draws upon chemistry, biology, and the social sciences to understand complex relationships among human health and well-being, food and lifestyle patterns, food and agricultural systems and institutional environments. During the first two years the curriculum allows you to explore the general field of Nutritional Sciences while answering some of the following:

  • How do dietary patterns influence the health and well being of individuals, communities, and populations?
  • What are the biological mechanisms through which nutrients affect metabolism?
  • What are recommended dietary patterns for people of different activity levels and medical conditions?
  • What are the roles of governments and businesses in providing accessible, healthy food supplies and in promoting healthy eating practices?

Field experience helps you put theory into practice and lets you explore different career opportunities. You can earn credit for field experience in Ithaca or another location. Some examples of field placements include: counseling clients in a wellness or fitness program, developing nutrition education materials for children and teaching children in a school-age child care program about nutrition.

Employment Fields

  • Medicine and other health careers such as physical therapy, physician's assistant, or pharmacy
  • Dietetics including nutrition counseling, clinical nutrition, community nutrition, and management of food and nutrition services in business and the health industry
  • Fitness and Wellness including corporate wellness, sports nutrition, exercise science, and athletic training
  • Nutrition Communications including nutrition education and outreach programs for businesses, governments, and community organizations
  • International Nutrition & Global Health including programs concerned with hunger, health, and food supply issues in non-industrialized countries
  • Research including careers that use biochemical, physiological, genomic, clinical, and social science methods to understand how food, diet, and health are related

What recent graduates are doing

  • Graduate/professional studies in Public Health, Medicine, International Nutrition, and Epidemiology
  • Internship for Registered Dietitian
  • Marketing in the food industry
  • Nutrition Educator
  • Practicing public health professionals

Sample Classes

NS 3450 Introduction to the Physiochemical and Biological Aspects of Food

This course is a comprehensive introduction to the physical, chemical, and nutritional properties of foods and to the principles and practice of food science and technology.

NS 4410 Nutrition and Disease

This course combines principles of nutrition, biochemistry, physiology, genetics, pathology, and pharmacology to understand disease risk, prevention, progression, and management. Lecture offers opportunities for the class to engage in the discussion of original research articles on topics of current interest in the area of nutrition and health.

NS 4500 Public Health Nutrition

Public health nutrition is the major professional career track for nutritionists outside of dietetics. It deals with efforts to improve the diets and nutritional status of whole populations by working at the community, state, and national levels.

    More about Nutritional Sciences from the Department