Undergraduate Academic Programs

Degree Programs

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

Description of Program

Nutrition science blends the curriculum requirements for admission to medicine, dentistry, optometry, and physician assistant programs with a strong emphasis on nutrition and its role in the prevention and treatment of disease. The program also provides a thorough background in advanced biology and biochemistry courses, with laboratory components to prepare students for further study in related fields and research. The program integrates nutrition and the physical and life sciences, such as chemistry, biology, and physiology, to promote detailed understanding of the role of nutrients in metabolism.


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

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

  1. Entrance Test Scores: The applicant must have earned one of the following minimum standardized test scores:
    • a combined critical reading and math score on the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) of 1290. --or--
    • a composite score on the ACT (American College Test) of 27.
  2. Academic Performance: The applicant must either:
    • possess a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 3.5. --or--
    • rank in the top 12 percent of his or her high school graduating class.

Before entering the School of Public Health - Bloomington as a nutrition science major, all other students begin studies in the University Division, and then subsequently certify into this program as soon as they satisfy the following two admission criteria:

  1. successful completion of at least 30 credit hours.
  2. minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average (GPA) at Indiana University.

Students in the University Division must also declare their intention to major in nutrition science to the University Division Records Office. If a student earns less than 2.0 semester GPA for the term before entering the School of Public Health-Bloomington, the student may be admitted on academic probation as long as the student has completed 30 credits and has at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA.

International applicants for admission to a second undergraduate degree program in the School of Public Health - Bloomington, whose primary language is not English, must satisfy one of the following criteria before being considered for admission directly into one the School's degree programs:

  • submission of a minimum score on the Test Of English As a Foreign Language (TOEFL), of 550 on the paper-based test, or 213 on the computer-based test, or 80 on the Internet-based test.
  • submission of a minimum score of 7 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  • proof of completing at least three full years of secondary school in a predominantly English speaking country.

For students from countries where the TOEFL and the IELTS are not available, other evidence of English proficiency may be considered.

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. Appropriate remedial English courses may be prescribed on the basis of the results of this test.

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 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
  • completion of general education requirements.
  • completion of nutrition science major requirements.
  • a minimum of 120 successfully completed credit hours which count toward the degree program.
  • a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.
  • a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA in courses used to complete the portions of this degree entitled: Nutrition Science Core, Specialization Courses, Life Sciences Courses, and Communication Course.
  • 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 2017-2018 General Education Bulletin to view these requirements.

Major (92 cr.)

Nutrition Science Core (57 cr.)
A minimum grade of C– is required in each nutrition core course.
Complete each of the following courses:

  • SPH-B 150 Introduction to Public Health (3 cr.) +S&H (or equivalent)
  • SPH-N 120 Introduction to Foods (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 231 Human Nutrition (3 cr.) +N&M
  • SPH-N 320 Food Chemistry (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 430 Advanced Nutrition I (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 431 Medical Nutrition Therapy (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 432 Advanced Nutrition II (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 492 Research in Nutrition/Dietetics (3 cr.) or SPH-H 494 Research and Evaluation Methods in Health and Safety (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-L 112 Introduction to Biology: Biological Mechanisms (4 cr.) +N&M
  • BIOT-T 312 Societal Issues in Biotechnology (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 117 Principles of Chemistry and Biochemistry 1 (3 cr.) +N&M
  • CHEM-C 127 Chemistry and Biochemistry Laboratory 1 (2 cr.) +N&M
  • CHEM-C 341 Organic Chemistry Lectures 1 (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 342 Organic Chemistry Lectures 2 (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 343 Organic Chemistry Laboratory 1 (2 cr.)
  • CHEM-N 330 Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry (5 cr.) or CHEM-C 118 Principles of Chemistry and Biochemistry II (5 cr.)
  • CLAS-C 209 Medical Terms from Greek and Latin (2 cr.)
  • MATH-M 119 Brief Survey of Calculus I (3 cr.) +N&M or MATH-M 211 Calculus I (4 cr.) +N&M
  • MATH /PSY-K 300 or K 310 Statistical Techniques (3 cr.) or STAT-S 300 Introduction to Applied Statistical Methods (3 cr.)

Specialization Courses (16 cr.)
A minimum grade of C- is required in each specialization course.
Complete 16 credits from the following courses:

  • BIOL-L 111 Introduction to Biology: Evolution and Diversity (4 cr.) +N&M
  • BIOL-L 113 Biology Laboratory (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-M 250 Microbiology (3 cr.) or BIOL-M 200 Microorganism in Nature and Disease (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-M 255 Microbiology Lab (2 cr.) or BIOL-M 215 Microorganism Lab (1 cr.)
  • MSCI-M 216 Medical Science of Psychoactive Drugs (3 cr.)
  • MSCI-M 470 Mechanisms of Human Disease (3 cr.)
  • MSCI-M 485 Physiology of Human Disease (3 cr.)
  • PHYS-P 201 General Physics I (5 cr.) +N&M or PHYS-P 221 Physics I (5 cr.)
  • PHYS-P 202 General Physics II (5 cr.) +N&M or PHYS-P 222 Physics II (5 cr.)
  • SPH-N 325 Food Chemistry Laboratory (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 331 Life Cycle Nutrition (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 336 Public Health Nutrition (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 480 Mechanisms of Nutrient Action (3 cr.)

Life Sciences Courses (16 cr.)
Complete each of the following courses:

  • ANAT-A 215 Basic Human Anatomy (5 cr.) +N&M
  • BIOL-L 211 Molecular Biology (3 cr.)
  • PHSL-P 215 Basic Human Physiology (5 cr.) +N&M

Complete one of the following:

  • BIOL-L 312 Cell Biology (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-L 321 Immunology (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-L 330 Biology of the Cell (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-L 331 Introduction to Human Genetics (3 cr.)
  • BIOL-M 350 Microbial Physiology and Biochemistry (3 cr.)
  • BIOT-T 440 Structure, Function, and Regulation of Biolmolecules (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 383 Human Biochemistry (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 483 Biological Chemistry (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 484 Biomolecules and Catabolism (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 485 Biosynthesis and Physiology (3 cr.)

Communication Course (3 cr.)
Complete one of the following courses:

  • COLL-P 155 Public Oral Communication (3 cr.)
  • ANTH-A 122 Interpersonal Communication +S&H

+ Courses followed by a A&H notation apply to both the major requirements and to the general education, arts and humanities requirement.

+ Courses followed by a N&M notation apply to both the major requirements and to the general education, natural and mathematical sciences requirement.

+ Courses followed by a S&H notation apply to both the major requirements and to the general education, social and historical studies requirement.

Recommended Electives
Prehealth, professional (medical/dental) students should take at least 5 credit hours of their electives in the College of Arts and Sciences, none of which should be under the Pass/Fail option. (The IU School of Medicine requires at least 90 credits of courses from the College of Arts and Sciences. To meet that requirement, students need at least 5 credits of electives from the College of Arts and Sciences.) Premed and predental students should also choose courses that will give them a breadth of knowledge. Medical and dental schools look for students who excel in a variety of disciplines. In addition, premed and predental students should look for courses that will expand their knowledge of diversity issues (SPH-H 310 Health Care in Diverse Communities, and courses in Social Work, Sociology, and Criminal Justice). Finally, students may want to use their electives to complete a minor.

Suggested electives in School of Public Health - Bloomington include:

  • SPH-B 310 Health Care in Diverse Communities (3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 263 Personal Health (3 cr.) +S&H
  • SPH-N 433 Medical Nutrition Therapy Application (2 cr.)
  • SPH-N 441 Readings in Nutrition and Dietetics (1-3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 494 Research and Evaluative Methods in Health and Safety (3 cr.)

Suggested Nutrition Science Courses for the First-Year Student
Fall Semester
CHEM-C 117/127 or 103 (5 cr.) or MATH-M 119 (3 cr.)
ENG-W 131 Elementary Composition 1 (3 cr.) or equivalent
SPH-N 120 Introduction to Foods (3 cr.)
Arts and Humanities /World Languages and Cultures Elective (3 cr.)
Free Elective (3 cr.)

Spring Semester
BIOL-L 112 Introduction to Biology: Biological Mechanisms (4 cr.)
CHEM-C 117/127 or 103 (5 cr.) or MATH-M 119 (3 cr.)
COLL-P 155 Public Oral Communication (3 cr.) or ANTH-A 122 Interpersonal Communication (3 cr.)
SPH-B 150 Introduction to Public Health (3 cr.)
Free Electrives (3 cr.)

Special Opportunities

Special opportunities include individualized research with faculty members, laboratory experiences, and volunteer opportunities in nutrition education.


The study of nutrition science lays a solid foundation for future academics, researchers, doctors, dentists, physicians' assistants, and other health professionals. Graduates with a bachelor's degree can also work in government agencies that focus on nutrition, or they can pursue laboratory work or pharmaceutical sales. Graduates with an M.S. in Nutrition Science can do research in nutrition, food science, or health-related fields.

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