B.S. in Nutrition
Students with an interest in nutrition and/or health, should consider completing a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition. Nutrition underscores the health and disease status of animals and plays an important role in animal performance. The incidences of heart disease, diabetes and cancer that afflict human and other animal populations is influenced by nutrition. If you’re working with race horses, they will not perform to their maximum potential without the proper nutrition. Food animal producers will not receive their best potential profits if they do not have the appropriate nutrition plan for their animals. Nutrition is at the center of health and profits.
The Nutrition Program is an interdisciplinary program involving the Departments of Animal Sciences and Human Nutrition. This program allows you to:
- Pursue interests in the absorption, metabolism, and functions of nutrients in animals and earn a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition.
- Select from a core of courses taught by leading nutritionists in the OSU community to learn how diet impacts the whole body as a consequence of nutrient actions at the cellular and molecular levels.
- Discover the impacts of nutrition and the nutrient needs of animals; explore the principles of ruminant and non-ruminant nutritional physiology; learn about practical feeding strategies for optimizing health; take an in-depth examination of the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for regulation of nutrient transport and metabolism; study the digestion, absorption, transport, and utilization of dietary carbohydrates and fat for energy production and fat deposition; and learn of the interrelationships and nutritional requirements of the vitamins and minerals in humans and other higher animals.
As consumer interest in the relationship between diet and health increases, the role of nutritionists will continue to expand. Nutritionists:
- Serve as leaders in increasing the nutritive value of meat, milk, and eggs through improved animal nutrition to promote human health
- Are integral in research, development, and promotion of functional foods that provide a health benefit beyond basic nutrition
- Promote an understanding of the nutritional support for the neonate in reducing the incidence of morbidity and mortality, an important area of study that has implications for both animal and human populations
- Improve the lifestyle of companion animals, which experience increased incidences of obesity and other nutritional disorders, including diabetes
- Evaluate the chemical and nutritional value of food; formulate diets to maximize growth, well being, reproduction, and performance
- Optimize nutrition to minimize impacts of animal systems on the environment
- Consult with producers and clients regarding optimal diets and feeding strategies as well as direct dietary management of animals maintained in zoological and wildlife centers.
Degree Sheet, 4-Year Plan & Minor Requirements
Be Part of Something Big and Do Something Great
The Nutrition Program prepares students for numerous career opportunities in a growing field. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, employment opportunities for U.S college graduates with expertise in the food, agriculture, and natural resources system are projected to remain strong, with expertise in nutrition listed as providing one of the best opportunities for new graduates.
With a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition be prepared to pursue careers as:
- nutritionists for livestock, companion, and zoological animal industries
- nutritional consultants in human medicine and allied health
- research and development specialists for diet manufacturers
In addition, the animal nutrition program prepares students for graduate and professional degree programs in the health sciences including veterinary medicine, human medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, and optometry. The Ohio State University is one of the most comprehensive health sciences campuses in the United States and includes each of the above mentioned degree programs.
Learn first-hand how cutting edge research in nutritional sciences is impacting animal populations, including humans. Expertise in animal nutrition has been pivotal in establishing today’s dietary requirements. The strong science foundation with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition is essential to nutritional management of production, companion, and captive animals as well as in humans. With expanding knowledge and emerging technologies, students who major in nutrition will play a life-long role in optimizing the health, well being, and performance of animals, including humans. See 4-year plan above for specific description of courses.
Ruminant and non-ruminant nutrition laboratories are located on both the Columbus and Wooster campuses. These well-equipped laboratories currently support nutrition research programs of 14 faculty and their students. They include a comprehensive array of analytical capabilities. Nutrient digestion and metabolism research is conducted in specialized facilities at animal centers located on both campuses. Nutrition research is also conducted at two Dairy Centers (in Wooster and Columbus), two Poultry Centers (Wooster and Columbus), two Swine Centers (Columbus and S. Charleston), a beef feedlot (Wooster), and with four beef cow herds (Columbus and three Branch Research Stations).
Internships and Research
Major industry employers want employees who have the ability to think critically, communicate well, and work effectively in teams. Conducting a research project as an undergraduate or completing an internship will help you learn those skills while gaining real-world experience. Many research and internship opportunities exist locally in Columbus, Ohio; however, our students have completed internship and research opportunities across the country and around the globe. The benefit of gaining this hands-on experience allows you to further shape your career goals while making you more competitive for employment after graduation. It’s not uncommon for students to find full-time employment at places where they completed internships. Participating in undergraduate research also allows you opportunities to present research at industry meetings and through College and University research forums. Read more on Internships or Read more on Research.
Whether you are interested in becoming a veterinarian, production specialist, animal trainer, or researcher, you will interact with international clients, vendors, colleagues, and technology. Studying abroad will help prepare you. Thirty-five percent of our animal science majors will graduate with at least one study abroad experience, adding to their marketability in a competitive market. Read more about Study Abroad.
Student Organizations & Co-curricular Activities
Getting involved in at least one student organization on campus is arguably the most important thing you can do once you step foot on campus. Joining a club is like joining the perfect family. Everyone involved has the same interests, and in some cases, the same career goals. Most students find their closest circle of friends through student organizations. Read more about departmental organizations you might want to check out.
Meet Our Students
KASEY GODDEN, Senior. Major: Animal Sciences, B.S. in Nutrition
What did you want to be when you were little? How/has that changed? Why? I’ve wanted to be a veterinarian since I was seven years old. It’s been a lot of work but it’s still my ultimate goal.
Why do you love the Animal Sciences program at Ohio State? I love the Animal Sciences program because it has become my family away from home. I’ve met lifelong friends in my classes, along with professors and advisers that have guided me on my journey at Ohio State.
How do you balance your class work and real life? I like to plan out my weeks and get assignments and studying done early. This allows me to not be stressed for time and to have free time at the end of the week. It also helps that, as a senior, I almost always have friends in each of my classes. I can study with a friend and combine class work and real life into one.
What would a prospective student that has had no previous ties to Ohio State be surprised to know? Ohio State isn’t as big as it seems. I am constantly running into people I know while walking around campus.
JACK ANDREWS, Senior. Majors: Animal Sciences & Psychology, Minor: Zoology
Why do you love the Animal Sciences program at Ohio State? The great students, professors and staff. I am no longer interested in working with animals, but I will always call Animal Sciences home because of all the wonderful people that make it great. The faculty and staff have pushed me farther than I ever thought I could go!
How has the Department of Animal Sciences and your Animal Sciences classes helped you in your time at Ohio State? I think I have learned more scientific concepts through my animal science classes than in chemistry, biology, biochem, molecular genetics and microbiology combined. Animal Sciences teaches these concepts in an applied manner, which makes things “stick” better.
What is your best internship/job experience while at Ohio State? Serving as a teaching assistant in the Introductory Animal Sciences class.
Did you complete undergraduate research, and if so, how did that enrich your undergraduate experience? Yes; my research experience with Dr. Peffer completely changed my life. I never thought that I would be interested in research coming out of high school, but now I plan to spend the rest of my life in a research-driven career.
What are your plans after you graduate from Ohio State? I am planning on pursuing MD and PhD degrees in psychiatry and psychology.