The dietetics/nutrition, fitness, and health major is a unique and popular double major in the Department of Nutrition Science. This major combination allows you to fulfill the undergraduate didactic requirements for becoming a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) as well as gain a comprehensive approach to human health and fitness. This double major is 127-135 credits and can be completed in four years.

The registered dietitian nutritionist credential is the nationally recognized credential for dietitians. It is required for most employment in the healthcare industry and preferred for many other employment opportunities in foods and nutrition. To become a registered dietitian nutritionist, you must complete required coursework from an ACEND-accredited program (Purdue’s residential program is accredited by ACEND), an ACEND-accredited supervised practice experience (Purdue’s supervised practice experience is accredited by ACEND), and pass a national registration examination for dietitians. Scores on the national exam by Purdue graduates are consistently above the national average.

Through 2023, following a supervised practice experience, you are eligible to take the national credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist with a bachelor’s degree. Starting Jan. 1, 2024, a graduate degree (master’s or doctoral) will also be required prior to taking the credentialing exam to become an RDN. In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice

Students who complete this major but do not wish to obtain the RDN credential may want to earn the certified nutrition specialist (CNS) credential. To become a CNS, you must complete a master’s or doctoral degree in a field-related discipline, complete a supervised practice experience and pass a certification examination.

With a focus on preventive health and nutrition, these majors also offer excellent preparation for pursuing advanced degrees for professional health careers such as for medical, dental, physician assistant or physical therapy schools.

Learn more about double majors in the Department of Nutrition Science.

Career Opportunities

  • Clinical dietitian in a healthcare facility
  • Food service management (e.g. hospital or school food service systems)
  • Clinical nutrition management
  • Community and public health
  • Sports nutrition
  • Corporate wellness
  • Industry (food, pharmaceuticals, etc.)
  • Business
  • Journalism/nutrition communication
  • Private practice/consultant
  • Research
  • Corporate wellness
  • Health/fitness management
  • Community fitness centers
  • Health/medical equipment sales
  • Personal training

Career Fields with Additional Education

  • Medicine
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Academia
  • Dentistry
  • Physical therapy

Learning Experiences

  • Study abroad in nutrition-specific programs in IrelandAustralia and France.
  • Get involved in undergraduate research across the Department of Nutrition Science’s research, which focuses on four main areas: metabolism and obesity; minerals, vitamin D and bone health; food, ingestive behavior and population nutrition; and carcinogenesis and cancer prevention.
  • Join the departmental honors program to conduct a research project with a faculty mentor and have an opportunity to contribute new knowledge about nutrition and gain meaningful work experience.
  • Complete internships that match your interests and career goals.
  • Gain real-life experience and one-on-one observation and feedback from a registered dietitian, where you’ll advise a real client.
  • Observe the life of a sports registered dietitian as a part of Purdue Athletics’ top-tier collegiate sports nutrition program. Students in NUTR 245/345 (Rookie/Continuing Experience in Sports Nutrition) play a critical role at the fueling stations that feed our student-athletes, and they receive guidance from five board-certified sports RDs.
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