To understand nutritional science, you must first understand its main ingredient: nutrients. The human body does not produce all the nutrients it needs for survival, so it is important that humans somehow consume these nutrients. These nutrients, also known as essential nutrients, should be a part of your daily diet. A few examples of essential nutrients can be found below.
Carbohydrates – necessary for proper brain functions; include but are not limited to grains, fruits, and some vegetables
Protein – necessary for the construction and repair of body tissue; includes but is not limited to dairy, meat, and beans
Water – necessary to help remove waste in the body; sources include but are not limited to soups and beverages
Vitamins – important for the overall health of the human body; particularly crucial are vitamins C and D; sources include but are not limited to peppers and citrus fruits (i.e., grapefruits, oranges, lemons)
How to Get a Nutritional Science Degree
When you go about searching for schools with nutritional science programs, you should never apply to just one school. You will find that applying to at least 3 higher educational facilities is much more beneficial. If you do well in high school, you just might receive acceptance letters from all three and then you will have three colleges to choose from. Just be sure you choose a school that best fits your career goals.
Texas A&M University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to partake in the nutritional sciences program, which allows students to earn bachelor degrees in one of 3 specific areas: General Nutrition, Molecular and Experimental Nutrition, and Dietetics. These degrees prepare students for careers as dieticians, doctors, and more. Graduate students can earn master degrees and doctoral degrees in either Nutrition or Food Science and Technology. Internships are also available to help students gain experience before graduating.
Penn State University’s College of Health and Human Development offers undergraduate students the chance to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences. The school’s nutritional sciences program also has a nutrition minor as well as options in applied sciences, basic sciences, and dietetics so that students can focus more closely on building an educational experience to shape their needs. Graduate students can earn both a masters degree and a doctoral degree in nutritional science, as well.
At Casper College, students are able to earn an associates degree in nutrition in order to prepare them for further education in nutritional science. The program encourages students to sign up for psychology, agriculture, economics, and sociology courses in order to provide them with basic knowledge in the main areas of nutritional science. Founded in 1945, this public community college is located in Casper, Wyoming, the second largest city in the state.
Careers in Nutritional Science
With a degree in nutritional science, you will be able to explore a variety of career paths. With more education and experience, you will qualify for more jobs related to nutritional science.
Entry Level Careers in Nutritional Science
Once you earn a bachelors degree in nutritional science or a related field, you may qualify for some or all of the positions described here and more.
Nutrition journalists can write columns for newspapers or magazines based on nutrition or health trends. They can also focus on topics like weight loss, stress management, and more. With education in both nutritional science and journalism, nutrition journalists possess incredible written communication skills with a strong understanding of and an ability to create pieces in a variety of writing styles.
Nutrition journalists can earn around $30,000 annually, depending on whether they are freelance writers or they are employed by specific newspapers or magazines.
DietitianDietitians create nutrition plans, often for patients with diabetes or other illnesses, in order to build and maintain the health of their patients. They also spend time developing balanced plans for hospital foods and meals served in schools in order to make sure public institutions are providing well-rounded meals to the people they serve. Dietitians typically have bachelor degrees in dietetics, health science, or nutritional science and often possess background knowledge in the business field, as well.
Dietitians can earn over $54,000 annually.
Sports nutritionists are similar to dietitians, but the nutritional dieting programs they set up for their clients focus on boosting endurance and providing them with tips for proper nutrition in reference to workout routines. Many universities offer specific majors in sports nutrition, but a sports nutritionist can also have a bachelors degree in food science or nutritional science. They are familiar with various lifestyles and how to build diets to fit those lifestyles so that they can work with all sorts of clients who are dedicated to sports or other forms of physical fitness.
A sports nutritionist can earn around $50,000 annually, based on knowledge and experience.
Advanced Careers in Nutritional Science
After earning a masters degree or doctoral degree in nutritional science, you will qualify for many more higher-up positions related to health and nutrition. Some positions you may qualify for are described here.
With a degree in both education and food or nutritional science, you may qualify for a job as a health teacher. Health teachers are responsible for educating groups on proper daily nutritional habits and helping students understand what foods to avoid. These teachers are very knowledgeable in nutrition and should be personable so that students can feel comfortable turning to them for help. Health teachers have good communication skills as educators and informants.
Health teachers can earn around $55,000 a year.
Formulations scientists create specific formulas for cosmetics products and over-the-counter medical treatments. They write up reports on the products and make sure they follow particular rules and health regulations. Formulations scientists possess great verbal and written communication skills as well as the ability to work well with others, as much of their work is a team effort. They typically have a bachelors degree in a science like chemistry and a masters degree in another field of science, sometimes related to nutrition.
Formulation scientists can earn around $67,000 a year.
Companies that Hire People with Nutritional Science Degrees
Many companies are constantly looking to hire people with nutritional science degrees, including but not limited to schools, hospitals, and even magazine companies. Below is a list of just a few examples.
Washington University in St. Louis – hires positions for wellness professors, nutritionists, etc.
Florida Hospital – locations throughout FL; hire positions for dietitians, nutritionists, etc.
Bayer Corporation – locations across the world.; brand known most commonly for aspirin and other health products; hires medical nutritionists, liaisons, scientists, etc.
Advantex PS – located in southern CA; recruiting agency; hires positions for various types of scientists, including food regulatory compliance technologists
You can also search your local hospitals and health clinics, as well as using online search engines. Nutritional science is an important field that is continuing to grow. If you are considering pursuing a degree in nutritional science, you should also do much more research on schools and job opportunities beyond this page.