Sports Nutrition Degree Program and Course Facts

A degree program in sports nutrition can teach you how nutrition and athletic performance are related. Find out what courses and training are required by undergraduate and graduate degree programs in this field. Schools offering Nutrition degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Aspiring sports nutritionists might pursue an associate's, bachelor's or master's degree, depending on prior education. These programs typically cover topics like exercise, dietary regimen and the mechanics of the human body.

Responsibilities Ensure others maintain proper balance between fitness levels and energy intake to reach optimal health
Programs Bachelor's degrees more common, master's and graduate level relatively uncommon; some schools offer associate's degrees
Courses Human nutrition, food and nutrition management, biology and chemistry, human anatomy and physiology, exercise assessment, kinesiology and health psychology

What Might I Learn in an Associate's Degree Program in Sports Nutrition?

As a candidate for an associate's degree in sports nutrition, you can expect to learn the basics of exercise and nutrition, as well as how the two are related. Your courses might cover weight management theory and nutrition supplements. A sports nutrition associate's degree program might prepare you for certification from a professional fitness organization, as well as give you the foundation to pursue a bachelor's degree in sports nutrition.

What Options Are Available at the Bachelor's Level?

While some 4-year colleges and universities offer degree programs in sports nutrition, others feature a sports nutrition concentration within a broader nutrition program. These majors often are found within a school's department of exercise science, kinesiology or nutrition. You also might find programs that will allow you to simultaneously work toward degrees in both nutrition and exercise science. As a sports nutrition student, you can expect to take courses in:

  • Exercise science
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Nutrition throughout the life cycle
  • Kinesiology
  • Biology and chemistry

You're also likely to learn about the chemical processes behind both exercise and eating through courses in biochemistry.

What Graduate Programs Are Available?

Once you have a bachelor's degree in sports nutrition or exercise science, you might choose to further your education in a graduate program in sports nutrition. Options include a master's program in sports nutrition - with or without a concentration in sports medicine - or a graduate certificate program focused on sports nutrition. These programs are relatively uncommon, and competition for admission may be intense.

A graduate program can prepare you to help others make the food and exercise lifestyle changes they need to reach optimal health. Your courses might cover nutrition therapy, metabolism, research methods and exercise program administration. A master's program in sports nutrition typically requires fieldwork or practicum hours as part of its curriculum. You also might have to prepare a thesis.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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