The study of nutrition is a broad field that covers everything from the chemical composition of food to its effects on human health. It involves many sciences, such as chemistry and biology, but also social factors like legislation and the psychology of eating habits.
Whether you are interested in helping the public understand their diets or are a medical professional looking to advance your career, a degree in nutrition can be an important path to success. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of people who are worried about their dietary choices and how they affect their health. A degree in nutrition will allow you to use your love of food to make a positive impact on the lives of others.
A Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics is a four-year program that prepares students for a rewarding and diverse career as a nutritionist, dietitian, health counselor or wellness expert. It combines basic science courses, including chemistry, physics and biology, with core courses in health, food service management, education and sociology to ensure you have a broad understanding of the subject matter.
If you’re looking for a more specific career goal, consider earning a master’s degree in the field. These degrees are generally more advanced and include coursework that allows you to specialize in a specific area of the discipline, such as nutritional therapy or clinical nutrition.
Graduates with a Master of Science in Nutrition can pursue positions as research scientists, health professionals and education specialists. They often work in hospitals, clinics, outpatient centers and residential care facilities, as well as for government agencies, healthcare organizations, food companies and private practices.
Earning a Doctorate in Nutrition is a more advanced degree that requires you to take specialized classes and complete a dissertation. These programs are mainly for medical professionals get help who wish to further their studies in the field of nutrition and medicine, though they can also be for those in other fields who want to focus on a specific aspect of it.
A Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition is a graduate degree that trains you to use scientific techniques to diagnose, treat and prevent disorders related to the diet or the body’s metabolism. The degree is most often earned at the graduate level, though some schools offer undergraduate programs with the option of going on to a doctorate in nutrition.
Regardless of the degree, nutritionists need to be able to communicate their knowledge in a way that the general public can understand and apply to daily life. They also need to be able to problem-solve and analyze the data they receive in order to determine the best course of action for their patients.
The curriculum for these degree programs usually focuses on the sciences of biology, chemistry and physiology, as well as a small amount of mathematics and social science. Some universities require students to take a few specific general education courses, such as the sociology of food or the ethical issues surrounding food supply.