Nutritional Science

Nutritional science looks at the connection between diet and health. Students learn how diet can play a crucial role in the cause, treatment, and prevention of many diseases.  There are two options in nutritional science:

  • Pre-health professional and research option. The pre-health professional and research coursework prepares students for  work in research laboratories, graduate study in nutrition or biological sciences, or entrance into health professional programs, such as medical, dental, physician assistant, and pharmacy schools. Students gain a strong science education along with human nutrition expertise. Refer to the pre-health professions webpage for more specific information on how the ISU Nutritional Science courses correspond with typical professional school requirements.
  • Nutrition and wellness option. The nutrition and wellness option prepares students for work positions in program planning and evaluation for community, public health, non-profit, and corporate wellness programs addressing the growing public interest in nutrition, wellness, and preventative health. Students learn about the role of nutrition and healthy eating for disease prevention and wellness. Graduates find careers in community nutrition, public health, and related programs as well as graduate study.

Learning outcomes for students in the program »


Program Information: Course Requirements / Sample 4-Year Plans

Get Involved

Learning Communities

Learning communities connect students with social and learning activities that extend well beyond the classroom. Students in many communities take a few courses together, get to know upperclassmen peer mentors, study together as a group, do service projects, and gather just for fun. Visit FSHN’s learning community page

Clubs and Organizations

Connect with people who share similar interests across the ISU campus. You can gain additional professional experiences outside of the classroom by getting involved in clubs and student organizations as wells as professional organizations.

Nutrition Club

Student Dietetic Association

Pre-Medical Professions Club

Pre-Optometry Club

Pre-Physician Assistant Club

Pre-Pharmacy Club

American Society for Nutrition

Careers and Internships

Graduates of the pre-health professional and research option are well-prepared for entrance in health professional programs such as medical, dental, and pharmacy school or to pursue careers in nutrition research and advanced study. Students pursuing a pre-professional program of study are encouraged to contact the admissions counselor at the university where they plan to complete their practice degree to determine specific course requirements.

Nutritional science/pre-health

General pre-health information

Graduate programs in nutrition

Career services

Students and alumni of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University are eligible to use the career services in both the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Human Sciences. They can assist in these areas:

  • Job search materials such as resumes and cover letters
  • Job and internship search strategies
  • Interviewing skills


To apply for internships and full-time work positions, use the ISU CyHire (formerly CMS), on-campus career fairs, and the college career services offices:

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Services

College of Human Sciences Career Services

  • Contact Information

    Request information
    Questions? Email Us!
    515 294-3011

  • Hands-on Experience

    FSHN assistant professor Lorraine Lanningham-Foster gets students involved with hands-on experience in performing measurements and assessments so they can use that knowledge to improve health. Video »

  • 2 Colleges - AGLS and HS

    The Nutritional Science program is offered by the FSHN department, which is jointly administered by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Human Sciences.

  • Did You Know?

    The Nutritional Science curriculum provides an equivalent science foundation to other basic science degrees at ISU, but Nutritional Science provides an additional understanding of the food-health interconnection that is not available through other more traditional degree paths.

  • Tools