Nutrition, Exercise and Health Science

Nutrition, Exercise and Health Science Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

The Nutrition, Exercise and Health Science program option may be a good fit for students interested in planning, conducting, and managing fitness, health, and wellness programs in a variety of settings. This program option will also prepare students for graduate research programs in the areas of nutrition, exercise, or health sciences.

Nutrition, Exercise and Health Sciences is appropriate for students who are preparing to enter professional health schools (e.g., pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, pre-physical therapy, pre-physician assistant, pre-occupational therapy, and pre-chiropractic). Students will earn a bachelor’s degree in Education and Health Sciences (B.S.) with the Nutrition, Exercise and Health Science option. With additional required and recommended courses, students may simultaneously meet entrance requirements for professional health programs.

Majoring in Nutrition, Exercise and Health Science may also help students prepare or qualify for nationally-recognized certification examinations, such as the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and/or Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as well as the Certified Exercise Physiologist (EP-C) through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

UNL Points of Distinction

  • Nationally and internationally recognized faculty
  • Integrated approach to healthy lifestyles
  • Qualification for Certified Exercise Physiologist (EP-C) Certification Exam from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and/or other nationally recognized certification examination including Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
  • Didactic Program in Dietetics requirements can be met with additional course work


The Human Performance Laboratory (Mabel Lee Hall, room 141) and the Body Composition Laboratory (Mabel Lee Hall, room 151) are directed by Dr. Terry J. Housh. These laboratories are equipped with an underwater weighing tank, spirometers, metabolic carts, isokinetic dynamometers, analog/digital converters for surface electromyography and mechanomyography, cycle ergometers, treadmills, and resistance training machines and free weights.

The Neuromuscular Research & Imaging Laboratory (Leverton Hall, room 211) is directed by Dr. Joel T. Cramer and is equipped with a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometer (DXA), ultrasound, isokinetic dynamometer, peripheral nerve stimulator, analog/digital converters for surface electromyography and mechanomyography, and resistance training machines and free weights.


The Sports and Exercise Nutrition Lab (Leverton Hall, room 207) is directed by Dr. Karsten Koehler. The lab is equipped to conduct a variety of clinical and metabolic measures at rest and during exercise. Available equipment includes a metabolic cart, a state-of the art bicycle ergometer, a research grade treadmill, bioimpedance analyzer, a wet-lab area for processing and storage of biological specimen, a hematology analyzer, and clinical data assessment workstations.

The Wellness Assessment Laboratory (Leverton Hall, room 108) is directed by Dr. Shinya Takahashi.  The lab is equipped with a portable force plate, a bioelectrical impedance (BIA) machine, anthropometric measurement devices, a reflectance photometry blood analysis machine, tri-axial accelerometers, a treadmill, a cycle ergometer, free weights and a power rack.


  • Medicine
  • Physical therapy, physician's assistant and other health professions
  • Research and graduate programs
  • Sports nutrition
  • Exercise physiology
  • Corporate fitness and wellness
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Strength and conditioning
  • Personal training

Application to this program


Bachelor of Science 4-Year Plan

Year 1

Semester 1 · Fall
Course Credit Hours
LIFE 120 Fundamentals of Biology I 3 cr
LIFE 120L Fundamentals of Biology I Laboratory 1 cr
MATH 102 or MATH 103 or MATH 106 2-5 cr
NUTR 100 Healthy Living 3 cr
FITN 180 Intro to Personal and Group Exercise 1 cr
NUTR 150 2 cr
Total Credits 12
Semester 2 · Spring
Course Credit Hours
LIFE 121 Fundamentals of Biology II 3 cr
LIFE 121L Fundamentals of Biology II Laboratory 1 cr
NUTR 250 Human Nutrition and Metabolism 3 cr
ACE 1 3 cr
ACE 2 3 cr
PSYC 181 4 cr
Total Credits 17

Year 2

Semester 3 · Fall
Course Credit Hours
BIOS 213 Human Physiology 3 cr
BIOS 213L Human Physiology 1 cr
CHEM 109 General Chemistry I 4 cr
NUTR 244 Scientific Principles of Food Preparation 3 cr
ACE 5 3 cr
Total Credits 14
Semester 4 · Spring
Course Credit Hours
BIOS 214 Human Anatomy 5 cr
CHEM 110 General Chemistry II 4 cr
NUTR 253 Cultural Aspects of Food and Nutrition 3 cr
ACE 7 3 cr
Total Credits 15

Year 3

Semester 5 · Fall
Course Credit Hours
CHEM 251 Organic Chemistry I 3 cr
CHEM 253 Organic Chemistry I Laboratory 1 cr
NUTR 344 Nutrition and Food for Optimal Health 4 cr
NUTR 384 Biomechanics of Human Movement 3 cr
STAT 218 or EDPS 459 3 cr
Elective 3 cr
Total Credits 17
Semester 6 · Spring
Course Credit Hours
BIOC 321 Elements of Biochemistry 3 cr
BIOC 321L Laboratory for Elements of Biochemistry 1 cr
FITN 222 Intro to Personal Training 2 cr
NUTR 401 Health Behavior 3 cr
NUTR 484/884 Physiology of Exercise 3 cr
NUTR 302 3 cr
Total Credits 15

Year 4

Semester 7 · Fall
Course Credit Hours
NUTR 453 Nutrition and Fitness Communication Strategies 3 cr
NUTR 455 Advanced Nutrition 3 cr
NUTR 486/886 Exercise Testing and Exercise Programming in Adult Fitness and Cardiac Rehabilitation 4 cr
Electives 6 cr
Total Credits 16
Semester 8 · Spring
Course Credit Hours
NUTR 488 Practicum in Exercise and Health Behavior Planning 3 cr
Electives 5-8 cr
ACE 8 3 cr
Total Credits 11

This document represents a sample 4-year plan for degree completion with this major. Actual course selection and sequence may vary and should be discussed individually with your college or department academic adviser. Advisers also can help you plan other experiences to enrich your undergraduate education such as internships, education abroad, undergraduate research, learning communities, and service learning and community-based learning.