What is a Nutritional Science Degree?
Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences degree program prepares students to turn a passion for health and wellness into a career with the goal to help others achieve and maintain optimal health. A bachelor’s degree in nutritional sciences provides the foundation for students to develop into a nutrition, health care, fitness and education professional. By examining connections among diet, physical activity and health, students gain the knowledge and skills to promote proper food, nutrition and fitness management in the lives of others. A career path in this field leads to nutrition consulting, guidance and counseling on healthy eating and the general welfare of populations.
Students will understand and demonstrate competency in the following areas:
- Nutrition, wellness and dietetics
- Applied anatomy, physiology and health psychology
- Organic chemistry
- Fundamental microbiology and biochemistry
- Food sciences and nutrition research
Students complete the program with a writing intensive capstone course in which students integrate learning and apply areas of study such as ethics of nutritional sciences and principles. The course focuses on developing plans tailored for clients with different health issues.
Job growth for dietitians and nutritionists is expected to grow by 15% (much faster than average) between 2016-26, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. This fast-growing industry is offering increasing opportunities for individuals to lead in preventative care, disease management, making personal lifestyle choices that create a better quality of life and how others can achieve a goal specific to their health.
Why Earn Your Nutritional Science Degree at GCU?
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, only 80.2 million people ages 6 and older are physically active, and only one in three adults participate in the recommended amount of physical activity each week. Nutritionally, American diets typically exceed the recommended intake levels in these categories: calories from fats and sugar, refined grains, sodium and saturated fat. Just as alarming, 2009-10 data show that over 78 million U.S. adults are obese.
A career in nutritional sciences is an opportunity to address these nationwide health issues and help people take charge of their health. Students will prepare to work with clients in choosing the right foods, engaging in regular physical activity and making health lifestyle choices.
At GCU, students learn from a values-based, faith-integrated curriculum. An emphasis on GCU’s Christian worldview develops nutritionists who make a difference by following professional and ethical practices in the human health field. GCU’s rigorous curriculum, nationally ranked campus, philanthropic relationships, small class sizes and collaborative community (from students and faculty who are experts in their field to an engaged executive leadership team and involved professional board members) also set the GCU college experience apart.
Nutritional Science Degree Requirements
Start your path toward a bachelor in nutritional science degree. To apply to the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, fill out the form located on the right. For more information about degree requirements and program qualifications, visit our admission requirements page. GCU’s Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Science degree follows the standard application process.
In this program, you will take science courses, including Applied Anatomy and Physiology, General Psychology, General and Organic Chemistry, Fundamental Microbiology, plus a variety of nutrition courses. Students interested in this major should have a strong interest in science and a passion for nutrition, health and wellness.
What Can You Do with a Nutritional Science Degree?
Possible career paths include positions as a nutritionist, nutrition technician, dietitian, nutritional and health education/outreach professional, as well as medical, fitness and other health-related professionals. Because this is a greatly expanding area, students may find career opportunities in education, commercial and corporate industries, as well as government and non-profit sectors. Workplace settings may include hospitals, assisted living facilities, health care clinics/organizations and dining services environments. This program further provides the basis for students to enter graduate school programs in dietetics.
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.
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.
- 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
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.
- UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
- ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
- ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
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.
- CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
- CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4
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.
- 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
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, crosscultural 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.
- HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
Required General Education Courses
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.
Program Core Courses
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.
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.
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.
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.
The laboratory section of General and Organic Chemistry reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. Co-Requisite: CHM-110.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This course provides an introduction to the principles and applications of microbiology, including the study of microorganisms and their relationship to human health. Students develop an understanding of microbial cell structure and function, microbial genetics, pathologies, and other selected applied areas. Co-Requisite: BIO-195L.
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.
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.
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.
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. Co-Requisite: CHM-350L.
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.
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.
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.
This course explores the scientific principles of food preparation, processing, and preservation; attention to food safety; and ingredient interactions in meal preparation. Prerequisites: CHM-350 and CHM-350L.
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. Prerequisites: CHM-350 and CHM-350L. Co-Requisite: NSC-350.
This course reflects psychology’s growing interest in health-related issues, and gives students an overview of the broad topics in health psychology. Topics include theories of health behavior, patient adherence, stress and pain development and management, cancer and chronic illness development and management, and health-related behaviors such as substance use, proper nutrition, and exercise. This course focuses on health from a biopsychosocial perspective. Prerequisite: PSY-102.
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.
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: NSC-305.
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. Prerequisites: NSC-419 and NSC-490.
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. New modern classrooms, suite-style residence halls, popular dining options, resort-style swimming pools and a focus on creating a dynamic student life make GCU a top choice for high school graduates and transfer students. Exciting events, well-known guest speakers and Division I athletics round out the traditional student experience. Our welcoming campus community is the perfect place to find your purpose.
* Please note that this list may contain programs that are not presently offered as program availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability of the program.