San Diego Nutrition & Exercise Science Graduate Schools

Nutrition graduate schools may offer programs at the masters and doctoral levels to build on existing experience and help students enhance their overall nutrition expertise. Students could work toward full degrees or enroll in shorter graduate certificate programs. Exercise science graduate schools similarly aim to prepare students to help people get and stay healthy, but do so via the study of physical activity and how it impacts the body.

Why Earn Your Exercise Science or Nutrition Degree On Campus?

Studying in nutrition graduate schools may have a few distinct advantages. For one, you’d have access to the resources and facilities of your nutrition department. That could mean practicing on technology you might use in the field, performing research in lab spaces, and more. Plus, your program may have relationships with potential employers in the area, which could be helpful if you need to gain experience through an internship, clinical experience, or even to observe.

Exercise science graduate students may also benefit from campus resources. For example, you might pursue guided practice, using what you learn in the classroom at exercise facilities on campus. You could also practice in simulated clinical spaces similar to what some professionals might use. All while building important relationships which could persist well into your professional life.

Resources and facilities at exercise science and nutrition graduate schools vary. Contact admission advisors to learn about opportunities at each individual program.

Types of Programs Offered in Nutrition Graduate Schools

Nutrition and exercise science graduate schools may offer programs appealing to students at many different levels of experience. Whether you already work in your field or are moving into nutrition or exercise science from an unrelated profession, you may find a graduate school program that supports you. In most cases, students at the graduate level might enroll in one of three program types.

  • Masters in Nutrition and Exercise Science Schools may be designed either for experienced nutrition or exercise science professionals interested in enhancing their careers, or for students who are, for the most part, new to the field. As such, the curriculum in both cases could vary widely between programs to accommodate different types of students. However, most programs are practical in nature and focus on preparing students to pursue positions in the field.
  • Doctorate in Nutrition and Exercise Science Schools are typically designed to accommodate students with professional and academic experience relevant to the program topic. As such, most students are required to hold a related master’s degree, and may additionally have professional credentials and experience. Often, doctoral programs are research-oriented, focusing on expanding the body of knowledge surrounding nutrition and physical fitness. However some practice-based doctoral programs may help students hone administrative and organizational skills to prepare to pursue leadership roles within nutrition and exercise science-related organizations or public programs.
  • Graduate Certificate in Nutrition and Exercise Science Schools provide shorter, more focused paths of study for students who wish to advance their knowledge without committing to a full degree. Graduate certificates may focus on a variety of specialized topics within nutrition or exercise science, and could be offered at the masters or post-masters level.

Dietetics & Nutrition Programs

Nutrition and dietetics graduate schools focus on the relationship between what people eat and how it impacts their health. However, individual programs could approach the topic in several ways. Consider these different approaches when deciding between nutrition graduate schools.

  • Clinical Nutrition oriented programs focus predominantly on the role of nutrition within healthcare. Programs touch on nutrition-related diseases and disorders, as well as how nutrition could be used as a tool within an overall treatment plan. Classes might also explore the impact different health conditions could have on a person’s nutritional intake and overall needs.
  • Public health oriented nutrition graduate schools center on the health of the community as a whole. In addition to studying how nutrition (and the lack thereof) impacts individuals, public health related programs may discuss the accessibility of food and nutrition education in different communities, and the benefits and challenges of public nutrition initiatives.
  • Management dietetics programs generally discuss the challenges, and concerns of facilitating nutrition programs within a certain organization. This could be in a hospital or long term care facility, a residential facility, a school, or elsewhere. As such, management dietetics programs may unite nutrition with business and organizational topics. i

Dietetics

Some schools offer nutrition programs under the title “Dietetics.” Sometimes this is just another name for the same program, with no major difference in program content. However, some states may have rules surrounding who can use the title of dietitian. Often, this requires earning a certain professional credential. As such, some programs in those states may either be designed to help students work toward earning the necessary credentials, or ask that students are already credentialed as a prerequisite to attend. Because the specifics could vary by location, if you have any questions about this, follow up with the nutrition graduate schools you're looking at.

Exercise Science Graduate Schools

Exercise science graduate schools support students as they build expertise not just in exercise itself, but how it impacts people of all shapes, sizes and experience levels. Exercise science combines the study of anatomy and human movement with the study of physical fitness. Programs may touch on injury identification and prevention, and discuss how exercise could impact a person’s general health, metabolism, and physical ability. As with nutrition, exercise science schools could take a few different approaches to the material.

  • Clinical exercise science programs generally center on the role of exercise science principles and practice in healthcare settings, and how exercise science could contribute to managing a patient’s health or treating an injury or other condition.
  • Community-focused exercise science schools emphasize health and fitness on a wider level. In addition to general exercise science expertise, programs might touch on the organizational and public policy skills and knowledge potentially necessary to facilitate community-wide fitness programs.
  • Performance-focused exercise science schools are dedicated to teaching how to help people increase their overall physical ability. Classes might discuss how to work with athletes and other experienced clients, or how best to help people get started on fitness plans with no experience whatsoever.
  • Exercise science programs centered on research might spend time familiarizing students with the existing body of knowledge in the discipline, as well as current best practices for safe and productive research, various methodologies and more.

These and other exercise science programs may vary on an individual basis, and may not always align with the descriptions above. As such, if you have questions or if you’re looking for something in particular, make sure you get in touch with the school you’re considering.

Food Science Graduate Schools

Students more interested in learning about food and how it’s made and distributed might be interested in food science graduate schools. Programs at these schools use scientific methodology to learn more about foods' make-up and how to improve the processes surrounding its development. You might study food safety, food packaging engineering, beverage science, flavor chemistry, and more.

Apply to Exercise Science & Nutrition Graduate Schools

Start searching for exercise science and nutrition graduate schools today! First, use the menu to narrow down your options. Select your preferred degree type and, if applicable, your concentration. Then review the sponsored program listings that match your search criteria! Click on a program name to read more about it and request more information. Then you can get in touch, schedule your campus visit, or even apply!


[i] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm#tab-2

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