Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nutritional Science Degree

Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences

Offered By: College of Science, Engineering, & Technology

Discover the Relationship Between Nutrition and Health With a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition Science

The Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences degree program at Grand Canyon University can prepare you to turn a passion for health, wellness and food into a career with the goal of helping others achieve and maintain optimal health. By teaching the science of nutrition, this program can serve as a solid foundation for you to position yourself to grow and establish yourself as a professional in various fields, including nutrition, healthcare, fitness and education.

By examining connections among diet, physical activity and health, you will be taught the knowledge and skills necessary to promote proper food, nutrition and health management in the lives of others. Focus is placed on understanding the science of how food influences health. A career path in nutritional science may lead to consulting, guidance and counseling on healthy eating and the general welfare of populations. In addition, a nutritional science degree can teach you the necessary skills that can prepare you to position yourself for a graduate education in dietetics and work toward fulfilling the requirements to become a registered dietitian nutritionist.

Benefits of Earning Your Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Science at GCU

GCU offers a comprehensive curriculum that covers essential topics in nutrition and can provide a solid foundation for a career in the field. You will have access to knowledgeable faculty members who are passionate about teaching and can provide guidance and support throughout your academic journey.

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A career in nutritional science is an opportunity to address nationwide health issues and help people take charge of their health. Students pursuing a nutritional science degree may work with individuals and populations in ways that help them choose the right foods and make healthy lifestyle choices that pertain to overall health. This industry may also offer opportunities for individuals with a background in nutritional science to position themselves to potentially pursue leadership positions in preventative care.

At GCU, you can gain a biblically-rooted college education. Our rigorous curriculum, nationally ranked campus, philanthropic relationships and collaborative community sets the GCU college experience apart.

Study Nutritional Science Course Topics

If you are interested in science and have a passion for nutrition, health and wellness, this may be a good choice for you. This program at GCU focuses on nutritional science courses and science topics, such as:

  • Practical application of anatomy and physiology
  • General psychology
  • Foundations of general and organic chemistry
  • Essential principles of microbiology
  • A diverse range of nutritional science courses
  • Foundation for metabolic and biochemistry as it relates to metabolism

Students enrolled in a nutritional science degree program will have the opportunity to explore and develop their understanding and competency in various key areas, including:

  • Nutrition and wellness
  • Applied anatomy, physiology and health psychology
  • Chemistry and organic chemistry
  • Fundamental microbiology and biochemistry
  • Food sciences and nutrition research

This program concludes with a writing-intensive capstone course in which you will apply what you've learned instudy such as ethics of nutritional sciences and principles. This course concentrates on creating individualized health plans for clients with different health needs and offers valuable opportunities for networking with industry nutrition professionals and gaining hands-on experience within the field of nutrition.

Career Paths for Graduates With a Bachelors in Nutritional Science Degree

As Americans become more aware of the many benefits of living a healthy lifestyle, the need for qualified nutritionists continues to grow.1 As of September 2021, job growth for dietitians and nutritionists is on track to grow by an estimated 7% from 2021 to 2031.2

Possible career paths for graduates may include positions such as dietitians and nutritionists. Professionals in this field have the opportunity to help others make personal lifestyle choices that improve their quality of life and influence how others can achieve goals specific to their health.

Graduates with a bachelor's degree in nutritional science can explore diverse workplace settings, including fitness facilities, healthcare organizations, and food and nutrition management environments. These settings may offer opportunities for graduates to apply their knowledge and skills in promoting healthy lifestyles, providing nutrition counseling, managing food services and contributing to wellness programs. This program can further provide the basis for students interested in pursuing advanced education in nutritional sciences, opening doors to potential graduate school programs for further specialization and possible career advancement.

Take Nutritional Science Courses From an Accredited University

GCU remains committed in its dedication to student learning and the pursuit of continuous improvement. The university proudly carries full accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting institution with a legacy dating back to 1895.

Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Science FAQs

The decision to pursue any college degree often comes with many questions. To help you make your decision on choosing a bachelor’s degree program, we’ve answered a few frequently asked questions about the nutritional science degree.

This degree may hold value for individuals interested in pursuing careers related to nutrition, health and wellness. It may also lead to a number of diverse career opportunities in a variety of industries, including healthcare, research and the food industry. Further, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, dietitians and nutritionists had a median annual wage of $61,650 in May 2021.3

A bachelor’s degree in nutritional science incorporates a range of scientific disciplines essential to understanding the relationship between food, nutrition and human health. You can expect to study biology, biochemistry, chemistry, physiology, food science, nutritional biochemistry and nutritional epidemiology. These courses teach a foundation in understanding the composition of nutrients, their metabolism in the body and their impact on health and disease prevention.

Earning a degree in nutrition can be a valuable choice considering the established importance of diet in preventing and managing certain illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. As a result, there is a growing need for dietitians and nutritionists to offer care and support to individuals with, or at risk of developing, these conditions.4 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,100 new jobs are estimated to open for dietitians and nutritionists from 2021 to 2031.2

Start your path toward a bachelor degree in nutritional sciences. To apply to the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, fill out the form at the top of this page. For more information about degree requirements and program qualifications, visit our admission requirements page. GCU’s nutritional sciences degree follows the standard application process.

1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2022, Sept. 30). Occupational Outlook Handbook: Dietitians and Nutritionists Job Outlook. Retrieved on June 27, 2023.

2 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2022, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Dietitians and Nutritionists, retrieved on June 27, 2023.

3 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Dietitians and Nutritionists as of May 2021, retrieved on June 27, 2023. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may also impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the BLS. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers from across the country with varying levels of education and experience and does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as dietitians and nutritionists. It does not reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country. It also does not reflect a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. You may also wish to compare median salaries if you are considering more than one career path. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, and accept employment from, determines salary not only based on education, but also individual characteristics and skills and fit to that organization (among other categories) against a pool of candidates.

4 Occupational Outlook Handbook (2022, Sept. 30). Dietitians and Nutritionists: Job Outlook. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved on August 29, 2023.

TOTAL CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks
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TRANSFER CREDITS:
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
TUITION RATE:
Campus: $8,250 per semester [More Info]

Course List

General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
Major:
64 credits
Open Elective Credits:
16-22 credits
Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.

Requirements

Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.

Course Options

  • UNV-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4
  • UNV-103, University Success: 4
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4
  • UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.

Course Options

  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.

Course Options

  • MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
  • PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
  • BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Required General Education Courses

Course Description

This foundation course in the science of behavior includes an overview of the history of psychology, the brain, motivation, emotion, sensory functions, perception, intelligence, gender and sexuality, social psychology, human development, learning psychopathology, and therapy.

Core Courses

Course Description

This is an introductory course in general nutrition and wellness, including the definitions of fitness and health, and review of fundamental nutritional principles. This course provides for a basic understanding of nutritional science and applications to food selection and overall health and wellness.

Course Description

This course examines the structure and function of the human body and mechanisms of homeostasis. This portion includes the study of cells; tissues; genetics; and the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. Co-Requisite: BIO-191L.

Course Description

This laboratory course examines the structure and function of the human body and mechanisms of homeostasis, complementing the lecture portion with a focus on anatomy. This portion includes the study of cells; tissues; and the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. Co-Requisite: BIO-191.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the principles of chemistry, including chemical and physical properties of elements and compounds and chemical reactions. As an introduction to organic chemistry, this course also emphasizes molecular structure as it relates to function. Co-Requisite: CHM-110L.

Course Description

The laboratory section of General and Organic Chemistry reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. Co-Requisite: CHM-110.

Course Description

This course examines the structure and function of the human body and mechanisms of homeostasis. This portion includes the study of metabolism; energetics; fluid, electrolyte and acid-base balance; and the endocrine, hematologic, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. Prerequisite: BIO-191. Co-Requisite: BIO-192L.

Course Description

This laboratory course examines the structure and function of the human body and mechanisms of homeostasis, complementing the lecture portion with a focus on anatomy. This portion includes the study of the endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, renal, and reproductive systems. Prerequisite: BIO-191L. Co-Requisite: BIO-192.

Course Description

An introduction to the principles of chemistry, including chemical and physical properties of elements and compounds and chemical reactions. As an introduction to organic chemistry, this course also emphasizes molecular structure. Prerequisite: CHM-110. Co-Requisite: CHM-111L.

Course Description

The laboratory section of General and Organic Chemistry reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. Prerequisite: CHM-110L. Co-Requisite: CHM-111.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the principles and applications of microbiology, including the study of microorganisms and their relationships. Students develop an understanding of microbial cell structure and function, microbial genetics, pathologies, and other selected applied areas. Co-Requisite: BIO-195L.

Course Description

The laboratory accompanying Fundamental Microbiology supports further learning surrounding principles gained in the lecture course. Students develop fundamental knowledge of microbiological laboratory techniques and application to real-world situations. Co-Requisite: BIO-195.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the study of basic probability, descriptive and inferential statistics, and decision making. Emphasis is placed on measures of central tendency and dispersion, correlation, regression, discrete and continuous probability distributions, quality control population parameter estimation, and hypothesis testing. Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAT-134, MAT-144 or MAT-154.

Course Description

This course provides a foundation of basic nutrition theory, with a focus on assessment, food components, exercise, nutrition, weight control, community programs, and resources. Application of these aspects is used to promote health and prevent illness.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the properties, structure, function, thermodynamics, and basic genetics of macromolecules, including proteins, enzymes, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and lipids. The course also covers how living systems synthesize and utilize these macromolecules and how that relates to energy production and use. Prerequisites: CHM-111 and CHM-111L, or CHM-115 and CHM-115L. Co-Requisite: CHM-350L.

Course Description

This laboratory course introduces techniques for analyzing macromolecules including carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. It also explores basic biochemical pathways utilized by living systems that enable cellular function. Prerequisites: CHM-111 and CHM-111L. Co-Requisite: CHM-350.

Course Description

This course examines nutritional requirements and applies the principles of basic nutrition to each stage of the life cycle, with a special emphasis on how growth, development and health status relate to nutrition. It also introduces the role of beliefs, culture, and other factors in nutrition. Prerequisite: NSC-150.

Course Description

This is a course in developmental psychology with emphasis on the physical, social, cognitive, personality, and moral developments within an individual. The course is designed to provide an understanding of the transitions of life from conception to death.

Course Description

This course explores the scientific principles of food preparation, processing, and preservation; attention to food safety; and ingredient interactions in meal preparation. Prerequisite: BIO-319.

Course Description

This course introduces food preparation with a focus on ingredient interactions and the impact of different food preparation methods. The laboratory complements the lecture course and covers food safety, meal planning, and purchasing. Prerequisite: BIO-319. Co-Requisite: NSC-350.

Course Description

This course reflects psychology’s growing interest in health-related issues by offering an overview of health psychology from a biopsychosocial model. Topics include theories related to health behavior, stress, pain development and management, in addition to patient adherence. Furthermore, the discussion explores cancer and chronic illness development and management. A review of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), the hospital setting, and effects on patients are examined. Finally, the course examines health-related behaviors such as substance abuse, nutrition, and exercise. Prerequisite: PSY-102.

Course Description

This writing intensive course introduces basic research designs and their applications to nutrition. Examples of possible topics include applied epidemiology, nutrition-related health problems, food production and dissemination, and the issues of sustainability that surround these. Prerequisite: BIO-319.

Course Description

This course applies concepts learned in earlier nutrition courses in a comprehensive and practical manner. Examples of covered topics include advanced meal planning, the nutritional needs of special populations, sports nutrition, and advanced applications of nutritional principles and research to solve nutrition-related problems. Prerequisite: BIO-319.

Course Description

This writing intensive capstone course requires students to integrate and apply what they have learned in the Nutrition program, as well as understand the ethics of nutritional sciences. For example, to demonstrate understanding of nutritional principles, students in this course develop client plans for individuals of different health statuses. Prerequisite: NSC-419.

Locations

GCU Campus Student


Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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