Courses of Study 2020-2021 
    Mar 20, 2023  
Courses of Study 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nutritional Sciences

In the Division of Nutritional Sciences , College of Agriculture and Life Sciences .



In addition to the major requirements outlined below, all students must meet their college graduation requirements:


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.

Major Requirements

The requirements listed below pertain to all students matriculating in August 2020 and January 2021.

Courses taken to fulfill requirements 1-12 must be taken for a Letter Grade. DNS students may not use courses to fulfill more than one requirement, even though DUST indicates otherwise for CALS students.

Overall Credits (REQUIRED):

  • Total: 120 credits
  • Agriculture and Life Sciences: 55 credits
  • 9 credits from outside the major (anything but NS courses)

1. Introductory Chemistry (8 credits)

(a) CHEM 2070 - General Chemistry I  (F, 4 cr) and CHEM 2080 - General Chemistry II  (S, 4 cr) 1

(b) A score of 5 on the Chemistry exam and CHEM 2080 - General Chemistry II  (S, 4 cr) 2

(c) A score of 5 on the Chemistry exam and CHEM 2150 - Honors General and Inorganic Chemistry  (F, 4 cr) 3

1 Students interested in pre-health tracks should not use AP or IB credit to fulfill part of the introductory chemistry requirement. It is strongly recommended that students with pre-health interest take both CHEM 2070  and CHEM 2080 .

2 Students may use an AP Chemistry score of 5 or an IB Chemistry score of 6 or 7 to place out of CHEM 2070 . Pre-health (e.g. pre-med) students should not use AP scores to fulfill chemistry requirements. Students who take CHEM 2070  forfeit AP or IB credit.

3 Students should only select option (c) if they are very strong in chemistry and are not considering a pre-health (e.g. pre-med) track.

2. Introductory Biology (8 credits)

Choose one of the following labs:

(a) BIOG 1500 - Investigative Biology Laboratory  (F/S, 2 cr) OR

(b) BIOSM 1500 - Investigative Marine Biology Laboratory  (Su, 3 cr)

AND choose two out of the three lecture options

(a) BIOMG 1350 - Introductory Biology: Cell and Developmental Biology  (F/S, 3 cr)

(b) BIOG 1440 - Introductory Biology: Comparative Physiology  (F/S, 3 cr) OR*

BIOG 1445 - Introduction to Comparative Anatomy and Physiology, Individualized Instruction  (autotutorial) (F/S, 4cr)

(c) BIOEE 1610 - Introductory Biology: Ecology and the Environment  (F/S, 3 cr) OR*

BIOEE 1780 - An Introduction to Evolutionary Biology and Diversity  (F/S, 3 cr)

* Cannot take both to fulfill this requirement. 

3. Organic Chemistry Lecture (3-8 credits)*

Choose one of the following:

(a) CHEM 1570 - Introduction to Organic and Biological Chemistry  (S only, 3 cr, not for pre-health) OR

(b) CHEM 3530 - Principles of Organic Chemistry  (F only, 4 cr, not for pre-health) OR

(c) CHEM 3570-3580 Introductory Organic Chemistry (F and S, 3 cr each, must take both, CHEM 3570  alone will not fulfill the requirement) OR

(d) CHEM 3590-3600 Organic Chemistry (S and F, 4 cr each, must take both, CHEM 3590  alone will not fulfill the requirement)

* Students interested in pre-health tracks should take a two-course sequence of organic chemistry lectures (option c or d above), in addition to an organic chemistry lab.

4. Organic Chemistry Lab (2-4 credits)

(a) CHEM 2510 - Introduction to Experimental Organic Chemistry  (F/S/Su, 2 cr) OR

(b) CHEM 3010 - Honors Experimental Chemistry I  (S, 4 cr)

5. Physiology (3-4 credits)

Choose one of the following:

(a) NS 3410 - Human Anatomy and Physiology  (S, 4 cr) OR

(b) BIOAP 3110 - Principles of Animal Physiology  (F, 3 cr)

*  Pre-health students should also consider taking NS 3420 Human Anatomy and Physiology Lab (S, 2 cr).

6. Biochemistry (4-6 credits)

Choose one of the following:

(a) NS 3200 - Introduction to Human Biochemistry  (F, 4 cr) OR

(b) BIOMG 3300 - Principles of Biochemistry, Individualized Instruction  (F/S, 4 cr) OR

(c) BIOMG 3310 - Principles of Biochemistry: Proteins and Metabolism  (F, 3 cr) AND BIOMG 3320 - Principles of Biochemistry: Molecular Biology  (S, 2 cr) OR

(d) BIOMG 3310 - Principles of Biochemistry: Proteins and Metabolism  (F, 3 cr) AND BIOMI 2900 - General Microbiology Lectures  (F/S, 3 cr) OR

(e) BIOMG 3330 - Principles of Biochemistry: Proteins, Metabolism, and Molecular Biology  (Su, 4 cr) OR

(f) BIOMG 3350 - Principles of Biochemistry: Proteins, Metabolism, and Molecular Biology  

7. Nutritional Sciences Core Courses (16 credits)

(a) NS 1150 - Nutrition, Health, and Society  (F, online in S/Su, 3 cr)

(b) NS 2450 - Social Science Perspectives on Food and Nutrition  (F, 3 cr)

(c) NS 3450 - Introduction to Physiochemical and Biological Aspects of Foods  (F, 3 cr)

(d) NS 3310 - Human Nutrition and Nutrient Metabolism  (S, 4 cr)

(e) NS 3320 - Methods in Nutritional Sciences  (F, 3 cr)

8. Advanced Electives in Nutrition (9 credits)

At least 9 credits of NS courses at the 3000 level or above. Note: May include NS 3410  only if BIOAP 3110  is used to fulfill the physiology requirement.

Note: May include no more than a total of 3 credits from NS 4000 - Directed Readings , NS 4010 - Empirical Research , NS 4020 - Supervised Fieldwork , and NS 4990 - Honors Problem . May not include NS 3200 , NS 3980 , NS 4620 , or NS 4030 - Teaching Apprenticeship .

9. Communications (9 credits)

Complete 9 credits of courses in written and oral expression, at least 6 of which must be written expression. Select courses from First-year Writing Seminars and COMM or ENGL classes as per CALS distribution requirements. Note: Potential courses to fulfill this and any CALS distribution requirement may be found in “DUST.”

10. Social Sciences and Humanities (12 credits)

Complete 12 credits, including four courses of at least 3 cr each:

  • The four chosen courses must include at least 3 different categories from the following list: Cultural Analysis (CA), Human Diversity (D), Foreign Language (FL), Historical Analysis (HA), Knowledge, Cognition, and Moral Reasoning (KCM), Literature and the Arts (LA), and Social and Behavioral Analysis (SBA).
  • At least one course must be in Human Diversity (D).

11. Calculus/Advanced Math (3-4 credits)

Choose one of the following:

(a) MATH 1105 - Finite Mathematics for the Life and Social Sciences  (F, 3 cr)

(b) MATH 1106 - Modeling with Calculus for the Life Sciences  (S, 3 cr)

(c) MATH 1110 - Calculus I  (F/S/Su, 4 cr)

(d) MATH 1120 - Calculus II  (F/S, 4 cr)

(e) A score of 4 or higher on the AB or BC Calculus AP Exam * ^

* CALS students who earned a 4 or 5 on the AB Calculus AP Exam and complete MATH 1106 , MATH 1110 , or equivalent forfeit their AP credit. CALS students who earned a 4 or 5 on the BC Calculus AP Exam and take MATH 1106 , MATH 1110 , MATH 1120 , MATH 1220 , MATH 1910 , or equivalent forfeit their AP credit.

^ See below under Statistics.

12. Statistics (3-4 credits)

Choose one of the following:

(a) STSCI 2150 - Introductory Statistics for Biology  (F/S, 4 cr) (recommended) OR

(b) PAM 2100 - Introduction to Statistics  (S, 4 cr) OR

(c) AEM 2100 - Introductory Statistics  (F, 4 cr) OR

(d) BTRY 3010 - Biological Statistics I  (F, 4 cr) OR

(e) ILRST 2100  / STSCI 2100 - Introductory Statistics  (F/S/Wi/Su, 4 cr) OR

(f) MATH 1710 - Statistical Theory and Application in the Real World  (F/S, 4 cr) OR

(g) PSYCH 2500 - Statistics and Research Design  (F/Su, 3-4 cr) OR

(h) SOC 3010 - Statistics for Sociological Research  (F, 4 cr)

(i) A score of 4 or 5 on the Statistics AP Exam*

* CALS students who earned a 5 on the Statistics AP Exam and complete an introductory statistics course listed above or equivalent forfeit their AP credit.

^ NS-CALS students must take either Calculus/Advanced Math or Statistics at Cornell unless they have earned a score of 3 or higher on the BC Calculus AP Exam. Students in this case may use AP credit for both Calculus/Advanced Math and Statistics.

13. Electives (Variable)

Any courses that are not taken in Areas 1-14 above, count as Electives. Students interested in pre-health tracks or graduate study in biological, medical, or exercise sciences should take a two-course series in physics [PHYS 1101  AND PHYS 1102 - General Physics II  (autotutorial)] OR [PHYS 2207  AND PHYS 2208 - Fundamentals of Physics II ].

14. Physical Education Requirement (2 courses)

Physical Education must be completed in order to graduate. However, physical education does not count toward college and university minimum credit requirements for full-time status, nor does it count towards the 120 credits required for graduation. External transfer students are exempt from this requirement.

15. Swim Test Requirement

A successful swim test must be completed in order to graduate. External transfer students are exempt from this requirement.


College Policies

  • 120 Overall Credits
    • Students must complete 120 credits toward graduation.
    • A maximum of 15 credits of AP credit and in absentia credit can count towards the 120 total credits.
    • 15 credits of Study Abroad/Exchange, Cornell-In-Washington, or Capital semester can count towards total electives.
    • A course can only count towards the 120 total credits required once.
    • Students who exceed the above parameters—i.e., by taking more than 15 credits in cases (a), (b), and (c), or taking a course more than once—will have their total required credits increase by the same amount, and all credits will be counted toward their GPA. For example, a student who takes a 3-credit course twice to improve their grade will then be required to complete 123 total credits, and will have both grades factored into their GPA.
  • 55 CALS Credits
    • Students must complete a minimum of 55 CALS credits.
  •  ​9 CALS Credits outside the major
    • Students must complete a minimum of 9 CALS credits outside of NS. These credits are given for any CALS course other than NS courses or those cross-listed with NS courses. These can be taken S/U only if the course is NOT used to fulfill a curriculum requirement.
  •  Pass/Fail Courses [S/U]
    • S/U grading option may NOT be used for any required course [Areas 1-12] unless it is the only grade option offered.  
    • S/Us MAY be used for the 9 CALS Credits outside the major and for electives in Area 13.
    • Students may apply no more than 12 credits of S/U towards graduation requirements. If a required course is only offered S/U, it will not count towards this limit. Students may take more S/Us if they choose, but the additional credit will not be applied towards graduation.
    • The deadline for changing grade options is the 57th calendar day of the semester, the same as the “drop” deadline.
  • Special Study Courses [4000, 4010, 4020, 4030]
  • A maximum of 12 credits of special study course work from Human Ecology or other colleges will count towards the 120 overall credits (e.g. DNS special studies course work includes NS 4000 , NS 4010 , NS 4020 , and NS 4030 ). Courses will be indicated on the class roster with a Component of either IND or RSC. [Additional credits can be taken but will not be applied.]
  • A maximum of 12 credits of NS 4000-4030 may count toward the 43 HE credit requirement.
  • A maximum of 3 credits of NS 4000-4020 (not including NS 4030 ) may count towards the 9 credits outside the major requirement as long as the special study is in a department outside the student’s major.
  • Students cannot TA (NS 4030 ) the same course for credit more than once or take and TA the same course simultaneously. (a) does not fulfill any requirements towards the major.  Registration for NS 4030  may not exceed 5 credit hours per semester.
  • Students who wish to take NS Special Studies Courses must have taken and passed at least 2 S/U credits of the same course.