Undergraduate Academic Programs

Degree Programs

Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Science (BSAHS), Dietetics Major

Description of Program

Dietetics is the science and art of applying the principles of food and nutrition to health. Dietitians have special skills in translating scientific and medical decisions related to food and health to inform the general public. They have an important role in health promotion. As described by the American Dietetic Association, dietetics is a vital, growing profession with many career possibilities. No matter whether you choose a career in clinical, community, management, food service, consulting, or business, you'll share your knowledge of food and nutrition to help people make healthful food choices. Dietitians like to work with people.


Apply online for undergraduate admission to Indiana University at http://admit.indiana.edu/.

A newly admitted freshman pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Science degree with a major in dietetics will receive an offer of direct freshman admission to the dietetics program if he or she meets both of the following criteria:

  • The applicant must have earned one of the following minimum standardized test scores: A combined critical reading and math score of 1270 on the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) or a composite score of 29 on the ACT (American College Test).
  • The applicant must have either graduated in the top 12 percent of his or her high school graduating class or earned a minimum high school GPA of 3.5.

Before entering the School of Public Health - Bloomington as a dietetics major, all other students must:

  1. successfully complete at least 26 credit hours.
  2. have a minimum 2.8 cumulative grade point average (GPA) at Indiana University.
  3. complete CHEM-C 117 Principles of Chemistry and Biochemistry 1 with a minimum grade of C.

Students in the University Division must also declare their intention to major in dietetics to the University Division Records Office. Undergraduate students who complete the semester before certification of admission to the school with less than a 2.0 GPA for the semester will be admitted on a probationary status.

International transfer applicants to the School of Public Health - Bloomington whose primary language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum TOEFL score of 550 on the paper- based test, or 213 on the computer-based test, or an 80 on the Internet-based test, is required for direct admission to the School of Public Health - Bloomington. For students from countries where the TOEFL is not available, other evidence of English proficiency may be considered. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) offers an alternative to the TOEFL. A minimum IELTS score of 7 is required for direct admission to the School of Public Health - Bloomington. All entering international students whose primary language is not English will be required to take the Indiana University English language examination before registering for course work. Appropriate remedial English courses may be prescribed on the basis of test results.

All entering international students whose primary language is not English will be required to take a special examination in English with IU prior to registering.  Prepared by IU and designed to test a student’s ability to use English in an academic setting, the exam consists of three parts: an essay on a general topic, a listening comprehension exercise, and a grammar, vocabulary, and reading comprehension section.  There is little that one can do to prepare for this exam other than to continue using written and spoken English at every opportunity.  

International students whose primary language is not English must agree to take any English language courses prescribed from the results of this examination. Fees for special part-time English courses are the same as for other courses; however, credits earned do not meet degree requirements.  If the results of the proficiency examination indicate that full-time work in English is required, the student will be assigned to the Intensive English Program (IEP).  

Students enrolled in the IEP do not take academic courses until they achieve adequate English proficiency. If a student has serious doubts about English ability and is not financially prepared to undertake the additional time and expense of an intensive English program here, the student should consider completing English study in the student’s home country. In addition, the student may consider delaying admission to a future session.

Degree Requirements

This is a four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Science degree with an emphasis in dietetics. A minimum 2.8 cumulative grade point average (GPA) and a minimum grade of C in CHEM-C 117 are required for admission to this program. Graduation requirements include:

  • completion of general education requirements.
  • completion of dietetics major requirements.
  • a minimum of 124 successfully completed credit hours which count toward the degree program.
  • a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.
  • a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA in courses with the following department code-prefixes: HPER-C, HPER-F, HPER-H, HPER-N, and HPER-S. 
  • No Pass/Fail except for free electives.
General Education (20 – 39 credits)

All undergraduate students must complete the IU Bloomington campus-wide general education common ground requirements. Such students must visit the 2012-2013 General Education Bulletin to view these requirements.

Major (94cr.)

Professional Core Courses (47 cr.)
A minimum grade of C– is required in each professional core course.
Complete each of the following courses:

  • HPER-N 120 Introduction to Foods (3 cr.)
  • HPER-N 231 Human Nutrition (3 cr.) +N&M
  • HPER-N 320 Food Chemistry (3 cr.)
  • HPER-N 321 Quantity Food Purchasing and Production (4 cr.) (See advisor for scheduling.)
  • HPER-N 322 Management  Systems in Dietetics (3cr.)
  • HPER-N 325 Food Chemistry Laboratory (3 cr.)
  • HPER-N 331 Life Cycle Nutrition (3 cr.)
  • HPER-N 336 Community Nutrition (3 cr.)
  • HPER-N 401 Issues in Dietetics (1 cr.)
  • HPER-N 416 Nutrition Counseling & Education (3cr.)
  • HPER-N 430 Advanced Nutrition I (3 cr.)
  • HPER-N 431 Medical Nutrition Therapy (3 cr.)
  • HPER-N 432 Advanced Nutrition II (3 cr.)
  • HPER-N 433 Medical Nutrition Therapy Application (3 cr.)
  • HPER-H 350 Complementary and Alternative Approaches to Health (3 cr.)
  • HPER-H 494 Research and Evaluation Methods in Health and Safety (3 cr.)

Additional Required Courses (44 cr.)
A minimum grade of C- is required in each pertinent major course, except CHEM-C 117, which requires a minimum grade of C for admission to the dietetics program.
Complete each of the following courses:

  • ANAT-A 215 Basic Human Anatomy (5 cr.) +N&M
  • BIOL-L 330 Biology of the Cell (3 cr.) or HPER-N 480 Mechanisms of Nutrient Action (3 cr.) or BIOL-L 312 Cell Biology (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-M 200 Microorganisms in Nature and Disease (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 117 Principles of Chemistry and Biochemistry I (5 cr.) (minimum grade of C required for admission) +N&M
  • CHEM-R 340 Survey of Organic Chemistry (3 cr.) or CHEM-C 341 Organic Chemistry Lecture I (3 cr.)
  • CLAS-C 209 Medical Terms from Greek and Latin (2 cr.)
  • CMCL-C 121 Public Speaking (3 cr.) +A&H
  • ENG-W 231 Professional Writing Skills (3 cr.)
  • MATH/PSY-K 300 Statistical Techniques (3 cr.)
  • PHSL-P 215 Basic Human Physiology (5 cr.) +N&M
  • PSY-P 101 Introductory Psychology 1  (3 cr.) +N&M
  • PSY-P 325 Psychology of Learning (3 cr.) or PSY-P 335 Cognitive Psychology (3 cr.) or EDUC-P 254 Educational Psychology for Teachers - All Grades (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 373 Personnel Management (3 cr.) or SPEA-V 366 Managing Behavior in Public Organizations (3 cr.)

Science Elective (3 cr.)
(Minimum grade of C- is required)
Select 3 credit hours from the following:

  • HPER-N 480 Mechanisms of Nutrient Action in the Body (3 cr.)
  • HPER-P 409 Basic Physiology of Exercise (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-L 112 Biological Mechanisms (3 cr.) +N&M
  • BIOL-L 211 Molecular Biology (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-L 311 Genetics (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-L 331 Introduction to Human Genetics (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 342 Organic Chemistry II Lectures (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 483 Biological Chemistry (3 cr.)
  • PHSL-P 421 Principles of Human Physiology (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 272 Introduction to Environmental Sciences (3 cr.) +N&M
  • SPEA-H 316 Environmental Science and Health (3 cr.)

+ Courses with an N&M notation apply toward both major requirements and the natural and mathematical sciences general education requirement. These count in both places.

Suggested Dietetics Courses for the First-Year Student
Fall Semester
ENG-W 131 Elementary Composition 1 (3 cr.) or equivalent
CHEM-C 117 or 103 (5 cr.) or MATH-M 118, M 119 or A 118 (3 cr.)
Arts and Humanities Elective /World Languages and Cultures Elective (3 cr.)
Social and Historical Sciences Elective (3 cr.)
Free elective (1-3 cr.) or HPER-N 120 (3 cr.)

Spring Semester
CMCL-C 121 Public Speaking (3 cr.)
CHEM-C 117 or 103 (5 cr.) or MATH-M 118, M 119 or A 118 (3 cr.)
HPER-N 231 Human Nutrition (3 cr.)  p: CHEM-C 101 or equiv. and biology and/or PSY-P 101 Introductory Psychology I (3 cr.)
Arts and Humanities/World Languages and Cultures Elective (3 cr.)

Special Opportunities

IU has a Dietetics and Nutrition Club for students. This club allows seniors to mentor sophomores and juniors and provides opportunities for planned community nutrition efforts. The Department of Applied Health Science has laboratories dedicated to the dietetics and nutrition science programs. Dietetics majors start to interact directly with program faculty beginning in the sophomore year. Classroom activities include labs (applying the science and art of food preparation); community projects; planning and preparing a special event meal for students in the halls of residence; designing a research project; role-playing and designing nutrition games; and learning in-depth about special issues in nutrition. Research opportunities with faculty may include already existing projects or designing your own under faculty guidance. The program's location in School of Public Health - Bloomington allows students and faculty to focus beyond nutrition, to the areas of fitness, health, and leisure.


Dietitians promote healthy eating habits so that people can prevent or treat illnesses. IU dietetics graduates go on to complete a supervised practice experience (internship) and are then eligible to take a national exam to become a Registered Dietitian (R.D.). R.D.'s are the recognized nutrition health care professionals.

R.D.'s may choose to work in clinical settings such as hospitals, HMOs, extended care facilities, nutrition clinics, or private practice, in order to work as part of a health care team and to work one-on-one with people in the treatment and prevention of disease. Community-based R.D.'s counsel individuals and groups on nutritional practices designed to prevent disease and promote health. Management R.D.'s often oversee large-scale meal planning and preparation in health care facilities, schools, universities, restaurant chains, or private industry. In such settings nutrition education and activities are often included. A growing number of R.D.'s work in business, journalism, marketing, sports nutrition, and corporate wellness programs. Dietitians who enjoy research may prefer the food industry in which they can work in research and development of food products, services, or educational programs, or in major medical centers where clinical research is conducted. With advanced degrees, dietitians may pursue careers in dietetics education.

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