The Division of Nutritional Sciences offers two minor fields that are available to Cornell undergraduates from any major (Nutrition and Health, Global Health), a minor in Applied Exercise Science that is only available to DNS majors, a pre-professional Didactic Program in Dietetics, and many DNS majors who complete pre-health (e.g. pre-medical) requirements. Learn more about all of these options below.

Contact us at in B36 Kinzelberg Hall.

Pre-Health Track

Students considering medical and health careers such as medicine, physical therapy, dentistry, physical assistantship, nursing, or other advanced medical training have similar undergraduate course requirements to prepare for and apply to clinical programs.

The information on the DNS pre-health track page provides an introduction to pursuing a pre-health track as a DNS major (NS, HBHS, or GPHS). Much more detailed information is available through Cornell Career Services’ Medical and Health Careers page, and students should connect with a pre-health advisor in their College and/or through Cornell Career Services early and often.

Read more about the Pre-Health Track.

Registered Dietitian

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 or bring it to B36 Kinzelberg Hall.

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 to discuss your plans for dietetics. If at any time you decide not to complete these requirements, please notify us. Thank you!

Read more about the DPD.

Global Health

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.

Applied Exercise Science

DNS majors who are interested in pursuing a career in nutrition and physical fitness, sports medicine or a related field might 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.

DNS majors who have completed the introductory biology requirement as well as courses in physiology and anatomy (NS 3410 and NS 3420) at Cornell are eligible for the minor. Completion of the minor is most feasible if NS 3410 and NS 3420 are taken in the sophomore year at Cornell. 

Program completion is good preparation for the examination for Fitness Instructor Certification by the American College of Sports Medicine. Students who wish to apply to graduate schools to study physical therapy 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.

Nutrition and Health

The Nutrition and Health minor provides a broad overview of nutrition through an introductory course and three advanced electives. It is available to all Cornell undergraduates in all Colleges and majors except undergraduates in DNS, i.e. NS, HBHS, or GPHS majors as well as Biological Sciences majors who have a Human Nutrition concentration.

The minor requires completion of introductory nutrition plus nine additional credits from a closed list of NS courses. Students 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. Several NS courses are excluded from use toward the minor.

Read more about the Nutrition and Health minor.