In the Division of Nutritional Sciences .
The Division of Nutritional Sciences (DNS) offers three majors with a B.S. degree in two different colleges: The College of Human Ecology and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences:
(NS-CHE or NS-CALS )
A major in Nutritional Sciences focuses on the complex interrelationships of food patterns, nutritional status, and health. This field draws upon chemistry, biology, and the social sciences to understand questions such as: How are nutrients used by the body? What factors influence human food choice? What nutrients and dietary patterns are recommended to promote growth, maintain health, or reduce the risk of chronic disease? Students in this program may also fulfill the courses required for didactic training in dietetics toward becoming a Registered Dietitian, which will enable them to be employed as nutrition counselors, clinical nutritionists, sports nutritionists, or administrators of food and nutrition services. Students also may prepare for medical school and other types of advanced degree programs through this major. This major is offered by the Division of Nutritional Sciences . More information about this major can be found on the Division’s webpage, which includes descriptions of all of the majors that are offered.
Human Biology, Health, and Society
The Human Biology, Health, and Society (HBHS) major permits students to combine their interests in the biological sciences while exploring human health issues from the perspectives of both the biological and behavioral sciences. HBHS majors select the issues they want to explore in depth from Human Ecology courses that address health and the broad range of factors that influence human well-being. Issues that can be explored include biology and behavior; metabolism, genetics, and health; biology, growth, and development; and food and health policy and health promotion. Most students in this program will proceed to programs of advanced study to pursue careers related to health. This major is offered by the Division of Nutritional Sciences . More information about this program can be found on the Division’s webpage, which includes descriptions of all of the majors that are offered.
Global and Public Health Sciences
(GPHS-CHE or GPHS-CALS)
Public health is the prevention of illness and promotion of wellness in communities, both large and small. The Global and Public Health Sciences (GPHS) major teaches the tools of public health research and action. The major is intended for students who are motivated to identify health problems in communities and implement actions that will protect or improve the lives of large numbers of individuals, and is especially appropriate for students who wish to pursue advanced study that would lead to leadership positions in governmental or non-governmental organizations that deal directly with current and emerging health concerns in the U.S. or internationally. In addition to completing core courses in public health, global health and epidemiology, students take a minimum of one advanced course in each of the areas of Social & Behavioral Health, Biological Aspects of Public Health, Environmental Health, and Health Policy & Management. Additionally, majors are required to complete a minimum of three credit hours of supervised experiential learning in a laboratory or community setting. This major is offered by the Division of Nutritional Sciences . More information about this program can be found on the Division’s webpage, which includes descriptions of all of the majors that are offered.
College Graduation Requirements
Graduation Requirements - HE
Graduation Requirements - AG
College Policies and Procedures
Policies and Procedures - HE
Policies and Procedures - AG
Concentration in Human Nutrition for Biological Sciences Majors
The Division also offers the Concentration in Human Nutrition for Biological Sciences majors enrolled in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences or the College of Arts and Sciences. The Concentration in Human Nutrition offers biology majors courses on the nature and biochemical function of essential and nonessential nutrients, nutrient requirements, the role of nutrients in gene expression, and the role of diet in both risk of chronic disease and treatment of existing disease states. Students in this program of study are encouraged to complete a diverse set of advanced courses that afford a perspective on current knowledge of nutrient requirements and function and how this knowledge can be put to use. With the exception of a core course in the structure and function of nutrients, the course requirements are unspecified.
Nutrition and Health Minor:
The Division of Nutritional Sciences (DNS) offers the Nutrition and Health minor to Cornell students who are not enrolled in DNS major programs of NS-CALS, NS-CHE, HBHS, GPHS-CALS, GPHS-CHE, and Biological Sciences with a Concentration in Human Nutrition. The minor allows students to choose from courses concerned with human health and nutrition, economic influences on human nutrition, epidemiology and public health, food quality and food service management, nutritional biochemistry, and the psychological and social influences on human nutrition. The minor consists of NS 1150 - Nutrition, Health, and Society OR NS 1220 - Nutrition and the Life Cycle, PLUS 9 credits of 2000-plus-level didactic NS courses. Several NS courses are excluded from use toward the minor, so be sure to check the current course list for the minor before choosing courses. For information about the Nutrition and Health Minor, visit the DNS Nutrition and Health Minor website, or contact the DNS Academic Affairs office, B36 Kinzelberg Hall, (607) 255-4410.
Global Health Minor:
The Global Health minor is intended to complement any academic major offered at the university and to provide students with basic knowledge about global health as well as the necessary skills and experience to begin to build their own unique global health career. The minor is open to all undergraduate students in all colleges. For more information about the minor, check the Global Health Minor website, or contact the DNS Global Health office, B36 Kinzelberg Hall, (607) 255-8983.
Applied Exercise Science Minor (DNS Students only):
Students should complete courses in physiology and anatomy (NS 3410 and NS 3420) after introductory biology. Division of Nutritional Sciences majors (only) may complete the Applied Exercise Science Minor at Ithaca College, which includes courses in kinesiology, exercise physiology, and biomechanics. Students who wish to apply to graduate schools to study physical therapy should complete a year of introductory physics, a course in statistics, a course in ethics, and three courses in psychology. Students should check the specific requirements of their schools of interest. For information about the Applied Exercise Science Minor, visit the DNS Applied Exercise Science Minor website, or contact the DNS Academic Affairs office, B36 Kinzelberg Hall, (607) 255-4410.
Career Options and Course Planning
Requirements for the majors are the minimum set of courses necessary for a bachelor’s degree in these fields. Students should supplement their requirements with elective courses and other learning experiences that will prepare them for entry-level jobs or advanced study in their field(s) of interest. A summary of suggested electives for different career interests follows:
Medicine and Other Health Careers:
Recommended courses for pre-med students include calculus and two semesters of physics. Specific information about medical school admissions requirements can be obtained from the university’s Health Careers office, 203 Barnes Hall. Students interested in other health careers should acquire specific information about those requirements. Courses of interest may include those related to the biological and social determinants of health; human growth, development, and behavior through the life course; interpersonal communications; advanced biology; sociology; psychology; and ethics.
Students who wish to work in the areas of clinical nutrition, nutrition counseling, sports nutrition, community nutrition or food and nutrition management should complete the academic requirements for the Registered Dietitian/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD/RDN) credential. The Didactic Program in Dietetics is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) and provides students with the course work necessary for application to an accredited supervised practice programs (e.g., dietetic internships). Students successfully completing didactic program requirements at Cornell are issued a Verification Statement. A one-time fee is involved to cover the cost of program materials and transcript evaluation. The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) policy and procedure for issuing verification statements can be found at on the DPD website. Upon completion of an accredited supervised practice program and, beginning 2024, completion of a graduate degree, students are eligible to take the Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR) Examination for Dietitians and become an RD/RDN. Students who do not pursue supervised practice may opt to apply to sit for the Registration Examination conducted by CDR to become a Nutrition and Diet Technician, Registered (NDTR). Courses in foods, nutrition and disease, microbiology, food service management, and nutritional care are added to the courses required for Division of Nutritional Sciences majors. The majority of states in the United States have enacted laws that regulate the practice of dietetics. State licensure and state certification are entirely separate and distinct from the registration or credentialing RDNs and NDTRs obtain from the CDR. Requirements to become a licensed dietitian nutritionist in most states are generally similar to those required to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. To be licensed as a dietitian nutritionist, all states require documentation of education or equivalent in addition to non-academic requirements such as supervised practice and satisfactory scores on credentialing exams. State requirements for licensure or certification as a dietitian can be found on the CDR website. For more information about meeting Dietetics requirements, contact the DNS Dietetics office, 108 Savage Hall, (607) 255-2690, or at email@example.com.
Biomedical Research/Nutritional Biochemistry:
Recommended electives include calculus, physics, genetics, advanced biology and chemistry, toxicology, and nutritional sciences courses related to the physiology, biochemistry, and metabolism of different nutrients and disease states.
Public Health and Community Nutrition:
Suggested electives include courses in epidemiology, communications, education, human development, policy analysis and management, maternal and child nutrition, geriatric nutrition, nutrition and disease, and food economics.
Nutrition, Food, and Business:
Recommended electives include courses in management, marketing, economics, communications, hotel administration, and food science.
Nutrition and Agriculture:
Recommended electives include courses in food science, animal science, plant sciences, international agriculture, agricultural economics, biological sciences, and development sociology.
Recommended electives include courses in language, anthropology, agricultural economics, policy, economics, development sociology, international agriculture, and nutritional sciences related to maternal and child health and problems of developing nations.
Biology and Behavior:
Recommended electives include courses in psychology, human development, and neurobiology.
Food, Nutrition, and Health Policy:
Recommended electives include courses in economics, sociology, government, policy analysis, and management.