Program overview

The Diet and Exercise Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Master of Science (M.S.) program offers students advanced study in the theory and application of nutrition and exercise science. This degree program includes:

  • Concurrent enrollment in the B.S. and M.S.
  • A thesis or creative component
  • B.S. and M.S. degrees awarded jointly at the completion of the program

The Diet and Exercise B.S. and M.S. program at Iowa State University (ISU) is unique in that it will award an advanced degree and includes the academic requirements for eligibility to become a registered dietitian (RD).

The program is jointly administered by the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN) and the Department of Kinesiology.

Program requirements and features

The Diet and Exercise Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Master of Science (M.S.) program consists of:

  • 124 undergraduate credits and 37-41 graduate credits with six of the credits counted towards both degrees.

  • University, college, and departmental requirements are addressed in the undergraduate and graduate coursework requirements.

  • The program meets the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Didactic Program in Dietetics requirements for students to pursue an ACEND-accredited dietetics internship and  then take the national exam to become a RD.

  • The program also meets American College of Sports Medicine requirements for students to pursue certification at the level of exercise physiologist.

  • The program is designed to be completed in five to six years, depending on the student’s selection of a major adviser and research area of interest pursued to complete the graduate degree.


  • Students interested in the Diet and Exercise B.S. and M.S. are enrolled as freshmen in the pre-diet and exercise major in the food science and human nutrition department and kinesiology department.

  • In the fall of the junior year of Pre-Diet and Exercise, students must apply to the B.S. and M.S. program.

  • Students are required to select one of the departments as their primary or “home” department when accepted into the graduate program.