What Are the Courses in an Associate's Degree Program in Nutrition?

Associate's degree programs in nutrition can prepare students for entry-level roles in the health and fitness industry or for further study in nutrition. Read this article to learn more about core courses of an associate's degree program in nutrition. Schools offering Fitness & Nutrition degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Associate Degree in Nutrition Overview

Many community colleges and vocational schools offer associate's degree programs in nutrition, which may award the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) or Associate of Science (AS) degree. These programs are often designed for transfer to a bachelor's degree program.

Important Facts About an Associate's Degree in Nutrition

Prerequisites High School Diploma, or equivalent
Continuing Education Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees
Learning Environment Traditional classroom and online options available
Key Skills Problem solving, critical thinking, oral and written communication, basic understanding of biological, behavioral, and social sciences, computer competency
Median Salary (2018) $60,370 (for dietitians and nutritionists)
Job Growth (2016-2026) 15% (for dietitians and nutritionists)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Core Courses

The curriculum includes courses teaching how the human body's structures and organs function in relation to nutrition, fitness, health and disease. Students explore carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, the digestive system and metabolism. Students also learn how nutritional needs change over a lifetime, study the effects of eating disorders, examine diet fads and explore the interrelationships between food and exercise, strength, weight control and stress management.

Practical courses provide skills and techniques for planning and preparing nutritional meals, including selecting healthy, balanced ingredients and cooking using less fat, sodium and cholesterol. Students are often assigned projects where they track their own food intake and analyze the nutrition level of their diets.

Here is a list of courses that are commonly included in nutrition associate's degree programs:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Chemistry
  • Nutritional theory
  • Fitness and nutrition
  • Healthy food preparation and cooking
  • Lifespan nutritional needs

Career Information

Associate's-degree holders may qualify for some entry-level positions with restaurants, health clubs, school food services or nutrition programs, or they can transfer to bachelor's degree programs in nutrition or dietetics to improve their career prospects. To become a registered dietitian, one must have a bachelor's degree that meets coursework requirements set by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), participate in a practicum program approved by ACEND and pass a professional examination.

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:

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