KUEC’s online nutrition programs support interest in a growing field
For students in fields such as health, nutrition, wellness, and fitness, earning an undergraduate minor in nutrition or undergraduate certificate in nutrition provides the background and skill set needed to get ahead in their careers.
The KU Edwards Campus’ 18-credit nutrition minor is part of the bachelor of health science program, although students from any degree program can choose to obtain the minor in nutrition. The 12-credit nutrition certificate is popular among non-degree-seeking students interested in applying nutrition knowledge to their current or hopeful career. The nutrition minor and certificate require the same four core courses, with the minor requiring an additional six hours of electives. The Principles of Nutrition course introduces the fundamentals of nutrition as a science, where the other three core courses look at nutrition through the lens of life cycle, public health, and nutrition assessment.
Students earning the nutrition minor or certificate often work or aspire to work in health care or exercise science, where earning an extra credential in nutrition will help them better serve their clients and patients. The program also attracts many individuals interested in public health or community nutrition, since these jobs typically require some nutrition background, but not necessarily a full bachelor’s degree in dietetics.
Other students plan to go on to graduate school to further their experience and education in nutrition. Some of the courses in KUEC’s nutrition program are taught by doctoral students from KU Medical Center’s nutrition and dietetics program, which may benefit students interested in pursuing a master’s or doctorate degree.
Many health science students who are undecided about their area of specialization choose to earn the minor in nutrition as a way to explore the field. Others pursue the nutrition minor in addition to other health science minors as a way to tailor the health science program to their unique interests.
The flexibility of KUEC’s online nutrition programs is one reason these programs are so popular. Whether students are looking to gain the skills needed for the workplace, refocus their careers, or go to graduate school in a health-related field, the programs paint a broad picture of how nutrition may be applied in various fields. Students in this program pursue a variety of careers, ranging from nutrition consulting, sports nutrition, and weight management to food safety, corporate wellness, and health education.
“There’s a lot of false information out there about nutrition, and this program is a way for students to get good evidence-based nutrition information,” says Michelle Riley, assistant teaching professor in the KU nutrition program. “Whether or not they choose a career in nutrition, students gain a foundation for understanding the science of nutrition that they can apply to their future career goals.”