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2021 Nutrition Science Degree Guide

Are you fascinated by food, health and nutrition? A major in Nutrition Sciences will allow you to fully explore how the body uses food for energy and nutrition. You will learn about the affects nutrition has on illness, exercise, and aging and how the digestive process works. You will also explore the science behind the makeup of food.

Classes you will take in this major include: anatomy, biology, chemistry, human nutrition, data analysis, physics, biochemistry, organic chemistry, immunology, physiology, vitamin and mineral biochemistry, and lifecycle nutrition.

Nutrition Science Degrees Shrinking in Popularity

#134 Most Popular Major
4.8k Degrees Awarded
-4.1% Increase in Graduates

In 2018-2019, nutrition science was the 134th most popular major nationwide with 4,794 degrees awarded. This 196 less than the prior year, a decrease of 4.1%.

The United States has 81 different schools where you can get a degree in nutrition science. Our 2021 Best Colleges for Nutrition Science ranking analyzes 23 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for nutrition science students. Explore this or one of our many other custom nutrition science rankings further below.

Nutrition Science Degree Requirements

This is an interdisciplinary major that requires research many different topics of food, health and science. Students will spend time in lecture halls, labs and in the field. They will be required to communicate their findings in research papers, lab reports and oral presentations. Learn to write clearly and effectively, avoiding technical terms and jargon.

A passion for biological processes will be important. You will be exploring the different nutrient requirements for athletes, children, or geriatrics. Many schools will require you to work as an intern in this field. You could work on campus in the health center or for a food processing company. Nutrition research is constantly updated, meaning you will need to stay up to date on the latest information and advice.

Nutrition Science Degree Program Entry Requirements

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. In addition to these basic nutrition science program qualifications, to serve in some nutrition science careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Nutrition Science Degree Types

There are many different nutrition science degree levels. You can get anything from a associate's degree in nutrition science to the highest nutrition science degree, a research/scholarship based doctorate. Different nutrition science degrees vary in how long they take.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to nutrition science, with approximately 21.6% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for nutrition science workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Doctoral Degree 23.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 19.2%
Post-Doctoral Training 16.7%
High School Diploma 13.1%
Master’s Degree 12.3%

Most workers in nutrition science have at least a master's degree. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in nutrition science have obtained.


This of course varies depending on which nutrition science career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Nutrition Science Graduate

Average Number of Jobs
$32.8k Average Starting Salary
12% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Nutrition Sciences will prepare you for a career as dietician or nutritionist. As obesity and eating disorders increase, there has also been an increase in promoting health and wellness. Diet can help prevent some diseases and professionals in this field can help provide care for people with diabetes or high cholesterol. Graduates can also work in public health institutions, hospitals, health centers or gyms.

Solid Growth Projected for Nutrition Science Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your nutrition science degree? Nutrition Science careers are expected to grow 11.9% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to nutrition science.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Dietitians and Nutritionists 77,900 14.6%
Biological Science Professors 71,700 15.1%
Natural Sciences Managers 62,300 9.9%
Biological Scientists 41,800 8.0%
Dietetic Technicians 36,500 9.3%

How Much Money Do Nutrition Science Grads Make?

Recently graduated nutrition science students earned an average of $32,764 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $20,500 to as high as $63,500. As you might expect, salaries for nutrition science graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Nutrition Science Careers

Salaries for nutrition science graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers nutrition science grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Natural Sciences Managers $139,680
Biological Science Professors $97,340
Life Scientists $89,150
Biological Scientists $83,600
Dietitians and Nutritionists $61,210

Getting Your Nutrition Science Degree

With over 261 different nutrition science degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased nutrition science school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Nutrition Science

Nutrition Science is one of 28 different types of Multi / Interdisciplinary Studies programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Other Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 37,392
Biological & Physical Science 29,278
International Studies 7,967
Interdisciplinary Studies 6,609
Behavioral Science 3,731

View All Nutrition Science Related Majors >


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