The Nutritional Sciences undergraduate curriculum works well as a preparation for medical school and other health-related professions (Dentistry, Physicians Assistant, Physical Therapy, Naturopathy, etc.). With some variability, graduate school for these professions share a common set of prerequisite courses, most of which are also required for a BS in Nutritional Sciences. These courses are listed in the Pre-Medical Profession Plan of Study. This plan does require more organic chemistry than the minimum needed for a BS in Nutritional Sciences. It also adds calculus and physics, though the specific requirements may vary with the particular health profession.
The knowledge gained with a BS in Nutritional Sciences is directly relevant to medical practice, and this is particularly important since nutrition is often poorly addressed in medical school curriculums. Despite this, relatively few medical school applicants come from Nutritional Sciences undergraduate programs, making those that do stand out from the crowd.
Given the importance of nutrition for overall health and the inadequacy of its coverage by medical schools, students intending health-related graduate programs should also consider first obtaining an MS degree in Nutritional Sciences. This is facilitated by our Nutritional Sciences BS/MS 4+1 program, which allows the receipt of both degrees with 5 years of study. This program assumes that students get started on their research work as undergraduate, perhaps as part of the Honors Program. They also take introductory graduate classes in their fourth year of study. New rules approved by the Graduate School allow up to 12 credits of advanced undergraduate or graduate coursework to be used both for the BS and MS degrees.
Please contact Dr. Molika Chea for more information on this track.