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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degrees in Culinary Nutrition

Majors Overview August 22, 2014

Students in culinary nutrition programs will learn how to make healthy meals, along with the science behind nutrition. Courses focus on diseases and intolerance related to consuming certain foods.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Culinary Nutrition

Schools offer culinary nutrition programs under multiple titles, such as culinary science and food management or nutrition and culinary arts. Students enrolled in these programs learn about the basics of nutrition, including food restrictions, special diets, proper nutrition and food allergies. Program curricula also cover farming, food therapy, menu design and food science.

While admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma, completion of an associate degree is compulsory for admission to some culinary nutrition programs. Transfer students seeking enrollment in some programs are required to complete specific culinary-related courses before they are allowed to begin core coursework.


Some culinary nutrition programs explore the business aspect of food service, and the healing power of food. Students can apply the knowledge gained through internships in some programs that include lab experiences in areas such as food preparation and sensory evaluation, in addition to core coursework. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Business leadership
•Food science
•Therapeutic cooking
•Multicultural foods
•Organic chemistry
•Healthy desserts

Career Choices

Those who complete the bachelor’s degree program may seek entry-level careers in numerous industries, such as communications, gerontology, culinary arts, journalism, public health, and food service administration. They can choose from popular career options such as:

•Research chef
•Food and health writer
•Private chef
•Therapeutic chef
•Nutrition consultant

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2010 – 2020 decade, job growth rates of 21% have been predicted for dietitians and nutritionists. During the same period, chefs and head cooks are expected to see a job growth rate of 5% (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, dietitians and nutritionists brought home an average annual wage of $55,240, while chefs earned $42,480, over the same period (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Graduates from the bachelor’s degree program can seek continued education by completing a master’s degree program in food science or master’s degree program in nutrition and culinary sciences to boost their career prospects. The latter program explores the chemical aspects of human nutrition and food systems.

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