Students considering medicine, physical therapy, dentistry, physical assistantship, nursing, or other advanced medical training need have similar undergraduate course requirements. These pages provide information for DNS students in or considering a pre-health track, including Required, Recommended, or Valuable Courses, how to Register as a Pre-Health Student, considerations for Transfer Students, and Getting Pre-Health Experience, as well as information about other opportunities for getting pre-health experience. This information is not a substitute for meeting with a pre-health advisor as soon as possible.
More information about pre-health paths can be found in annual guides from Cornell Career Services (103 Barnes Hall): the Guide for First- and Second-Year Pre-Med Students and the Guide for Advanced Pre-Medical Students (available from the Career Services website) as well as via pre-health advisors in each College
Read more about the Pre-Health Track.
For undergraduates interested in pursuing dietetics, Cornell University offers a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). Until 2023, completing this program, as well as supervised practice—typically through the Dietetic Internship (DI)—will allow you to take the Registered Dietitian exam, which is the most widely held credential of nutrition practitioners. Beginning in 2024, you will need to complete a master’s degree, as well as supervised practice, as a prerequisite for taking the RD exam.
The DPD is actually a program, not a minor, and as such you may complete DPD coursework with any major. DPD coursework fits best, however, with majors in the Division of Nutritional Sciences.
Cornell University students interested in pursuing a career as a Registered Dietitian will need to apply (typically in their junior year) to the DPD offered by the Division of Nutritional Sciences. Before completing the requirements for admission, interested students should register as "Pre-Dietetics" students by downloading and submitting the DNS Didactic Program in Dietetics Student Intent Form to firstname.lastname@example.org or bring it to B36 Kinzelberg Hall.
Deadlines for submitting form: September 30th (FALL) and February 15th (SPRING).
As soon as you decide to complete the requirements of the DNS Didactic Program in Dietetics, please complete this form. Also, please schedule a meeting as soon as possible the DPD Director at email@example.com to discuss your plans for dietetics. If at any time you decide not to complete these requirements, please notify us. Thank you!
You may minor in Global Health as a complement to any academic major you choose from the university. The Global Health minor will provide you with basic knowledge about global health, as well as the necessary skills and experience to begin to build your own unique global health career.
The minor is designed to achieve three specific educational objectives for students: to learn more about the problems of global health in a classroom setting; to experience the issues in global health firsthand in a field setting; and to be exposed to the variety of careers available in global health by working with graduate and medical students and faculty who are currently engaged in the field.
After completing the minor, you will be able to:
- Use multiple disciplinary perspectives and conceptual frameworks to analyze global health problems, issues and controversies
- Integrate knowledge gained from your academic study and experiential learning to become an active and informed citizen in the global community
- Demonstrate your capacity to critically reflect on your own values, ethics, assumptions and actions in the context of cultures, collaborations and institutions
- Develop your capacity to collaborate across cultural, social, personal, economic and religious differences
Read more about the Global Health minor.
If you are a DNS major, and you are interested in pursuing a career in nutrition and physical fitness, sports medicine or a related field, you may want to consider the Applied Exercise Science minor.
The minor requires completion of courses in kinesiology, exercise physiology, and biomechanical principles of human movement, which are offered through Ithaca College’s Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, School of Health Sciences and Human Performance.
You will qualify for the minor by completing the introductory biology requirement and courses in physiology and anatomy (NS 3410 and NS 3420) at Cornell. Program completion is good preparation for the examination for Fitness Instructor Certification by the American College of Sports Medicine.
If you wish to apply to graduate schools to study physical therapy, you also should complete a year of introductory physics, a course in statistics, a course in ethics, and three courses in psychology.
Read more about the Applied Exercise Science Minor.
You may choose from courses covering the topics of human health and nutrition, economic influences on human nutrition, epidemiology and public health, food quality and food service management, nutritional biochemistry, and the psychological and social influences on human nutrition.
The minor requires completion of NS 1150 (Nutrition, Health and Society) plus nine additional credits of NS courses. Several NS courses are excluded from use toward the minor.
Read more about the Nutrition and Health minor.