Dietetics/Nutrition, Fitness, and Health Major

Department of Nutrition Science

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The dietetics/nutrition, fitness, and health major is a unique and popular double major in the Department of Nutrition Science. This major combination prepares you with the foundation for pursuing an advanced degree to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) while giving you a comprehensive approach to human health and fitness and sports nutrition. This double major is 127-135 credits and can be completed in four years.

The RDN 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 an RDN, you must complete required coursework and a master’s degree from an ACEND-accredited program (Purdue’s residential bachelor’s and master’s programs are accredited by ACEND) as well as an ACEND-accredited supervised practice experience (which is offered in Purdue’s Master of Science in dietetics); you must also pass the national registration examination for dietitians. Purdue students have exceptionally strong outcomes on the credentialing exam compared to national pass rates. Of those who took the exam for the first time in 2022, 93.75% of Purdue students passed, compared with 66.76% nationally. Additionally, of those who were within one year of their first attempt at the exam, 100% of Purdue students passed compared with 87.84% nationally.

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, this double major also offers excellent preparation for pursuing advanced degrees for professional health careers in medicine, dentistry, physical therapy and more. Learn more about double majors in the Department of Nutrition Science.

Career Opportunities

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

Career Fields with Additional Education

  • Clinical dietitian in a healthcare facility
  • 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 registered dietitians.
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