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Best Online Degrees in: Nutrition Exercise

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Explore a Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition Exercise

For individuals interested in both fitness and nutrition, an online bachelor's degree in nutrition and exercise can be a great fit. The program combines elements of kinesiology, exercise science, and nutrition together to provide students with a better overall picture of the human body. This includes studying the human form from the chemical and biochemical level, to its muscles and nervous system, and how to sustain the human body. Graduates holding the degree are prepared for a career in dietetics in areas like food service management, food science technology, and marketing in foods and nutrition. In most cases, an online bachelor's degree in nutrition and exercise can be completed in three to five years, depending on the school and program.

Class Curriculum

Online bachelor's degree programs in nutrition and exercise prepares students by combining courses that provide students with a total understanding of the human body and its functions. Students must first complete basic-level courses in human anatomy, chemistry, English, and mathematics before moving onto more advanced courses. Once students enter higher level courses specific to the major, they can expect classes ranging from modern exercise fundamentals, to courses in nutrition, and public health. Some actual courses offered in nutrition and exercise courses are:

  • Exercise Physiology. This course provides an analysis of physiologic responses and adaptations of the body and its systems and structures to acute physical activity and environmental stress. The course also provides students with an in-depth look at the cellular mechanisms of the body that cause certain responses and reactions in the human body.
  • Exercise Nutrition. In this course, students examine nutrition specifically required by athletes, including energy systems for activities, weight control, and even selected heath problems among athletes related to nutritional deficiencies..
  • Energy and Protein Nutrition. Students in this course cover the absorption, availability, metabolism, and function of major nutrients. These nutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids. Students also discuss the role of enzymes and hormones in the absorption and metabolism of the nutrients examined.

Most bachelor's degree programs in nutrition and exercise allow students to complete coursework at their own pace within an allotted time for a specific class or assignment. Most programs do require the completion of a capstone project related to a current topic in the field, in addition to the completion of an internship, before graduation as well.

It is also important to remember that for those hoping to work in nutrition that most states require all dietitians to either be certified, or licensed in the state where they work. Requirements typically include a bachelor's degree in nutrition or a related field, supervised work experience, and passing an examination. One way to become licensed is to earn the Registered Dietitian (RD) credential administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Although this designation is not always required, the qualifications required to earn an RD are similar to those necessary for become a licensed dietitian in the states require licensure. Most employers prefer, if not require dietitians to be registered as an RD.

Building a Career

Nutrition and exercise Bachelor's degree holders should be able to find a number of career options available after graduation. One of the most common is pursuing a career as a dietitian. Also known as nutritionists, typically work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health clinics, or directing cafeterias for large corporations or school systems. Clinical dietitians typically work in hospitals or long term care facilities and provide patients with individualized and group nutritional programs bases on the patients specific needs. Management dietitians typically manage large cafeterias in schools, hospitals, larger businesses, or for a food corporation. They are usually responsible for buying food, overseeing the kitchen staff and other dietitians, and other business-related tasks. Community dietitians usually work in public health clinics, government and non-profit agencies, health maintenance organizations (HMOs) by educating specific groups of people on proper nutrition.

Job growth in the field is expected to grow faster than average compared to other occupations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for dietitians and nutritionists is expected to increase by 20% through the year 2020. The Bureau also reported the median annual income for dietitians and nutritionists was $53,250. It is important to remember that entry-level positions in the field usually earn considerably less, with the lowest 10% of workers in the field earning less than $33,330.