Diet and Exercise

Diet and exercise is a program for students interested in earning concurrent bachelor’s and master’s degrees focused on diet and exercise. Students are admitted to the university as pre-diet and exercise students and must apply for graduate admission at the beginning of the junior year and be accepted into the program. The program is designed so you can earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five to six years.

Strengths of the program

As public interest in health and disease prevention grows, students in diet and exercise major find themselves with a wide variety of job opportunities in cardiac rehabilitation, school nutrition, corporate health, public health, clinics, preventative medicine, sport enhancement, and sport nutrition. This fast-track program allows students to graduate with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in just five years:

  • The program meets the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) requirements for students to pursue accredited supervised practice/dietetic internships and then take the national exam to become a registered dietitian. The program also meets American College of Sports Medicine requirements for students to pursue certification at the level of health fitness specialist.

  • Iowa State University offers the only accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics within the in the State of Iowa, and it has been recognized by colleagues in the profession as a very well-respected and rigorous program.

  • Undergraduate department courses are taught by world-class Ph.D. level faculty who provide hands-on learning opportunities in state-of-the-art laboratories and who care about the success of each student.

  • Students in the Diet and Exercise program can participate in clubs such as the Student Dietetic Association, Nutrition club, and Kinesiology and Health club, which provide volunteer opportunities, connections to the health, fitness, and food industry, trips to professional conferences, and other applied and fun extensions of classroom learning.

  • Diet and Exercise students have the opportunity to travel abroad with faculty members to communities in Peru, India, and other places around the world to learn first-hand about food and nutrition in those countries.

  • First year students can participate in the FSHN Learning Community or the Kinesiology Learning Community, and transfer students can participate in the FSHN Transfer Learning Community or the Kinesiology Transfer Learning Community to connect to the university, college, and department through common courses, community volunteerism, social programs, and other professional experiences. U.S. News and World Report ranked Iowa State’s learning communities among its “Programs to Look for” — outstanding examples of academic programs commonly linked to student success (2010 “America’s Best Colleges” rankings).

Read more about the Food Science and Human Nutrition undergraduate majors from the FSHN department chair and about the Kinesiology department from the Kinesiology department chair.

Accreditation

This accelerated academic program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly named the American Dietetic Association), and prepares students for admission to accredited dietetic internships/supervised practice programs. Upon successful completion of the experience program, graduates are eligible to take the national exam to become a registered dietitian and work in a wide range of dietitian positions. Additionally, the program meets American College of Sports Medicine requirements for students to pursue certification at the level of health fitness specialist. Graduates have expertise in exercise physiology and can apply for wellness positions as nutrition and physical fitness experts.

Scholarships and financial aid

Food Science and Human Nutrition and Kinesiology students now need only complete one College of Human Sciences application online to automatically apply for all department-level and college-level scholarships. The application is available from November through February. The deadline is February 14.

Students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (AGLS) can also apply for AGLS scholarships; see the Food Science and Human Nutrition scholarship website for more information.

Food Science and Human Nutrition scholarship information

Kinesiology scholarships information scholarship information

Careers and internships

Possible careers with a degree in Diet and Exercise include:

  • Wellness educator
  • Dietitian and health fitness instructor
  • Cardiac rehabilitation coordinator/dietitian
  • Corporate wellness educator
  • Health or wellness instructor
  • Preventive medicine coordinator
  • School nutrition wellness educator
  • Sport enhancement specialist

Read about additional extensive career opportunities and salary information for Registered Dietitians.

Graduates of the program are eligible to apply for admission to accredited/approved dietetic internships/supervised practice programs. Upon successful completion of the experience program, graduates are eligible to take the national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration to become a Registered Dietitian (RD) and to practice in the field of dietetics. Read more about becoming an RD.

Transfer plans

Get involved

Students are encouraged to develop leadership and professional skills and abilities through involvement in student organizations and other extra-curricular experiences. Work and volunteer hours are valuable for enhancing professional potential as well as study abroad experiences and Honors Program membership.

Student Dietetic Association

Nutrition Club

Kinesiology and Health Club

Students are also encouraged to become student members of professional associations/organizations and network with professionals within the career field. Students may choose to become members of the following:

American Association of Diabetes Educators

American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences

American College of Sports Medicine

American Dietetic Association

American Public Health Association

American Society for Nutrition

American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition

Iowa Dietetics Association

School Nutrition Association

Society for Nutrition Education

  • Dietetics/Diet & Exercise Accreditation

    The Dietetics and Diet and Exercise programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

    Graduates are eligible to apply for admission to accredited dietetic internships/supervised practice programs. Upon successful completion of the experience program, graduates are eligible to take the national exam to become a Registered Dietitian (RD).