Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I want to counsel patients about nutrition – is the M.S. program right for me?
    The registered dietitian credential (R.D.) is the best training for those that want to practice nutrition counseling. The Nutritional Sciences Department offers a Didactic Program in Dietitics at the undergraduate level that will prepare you for a dietetic internship and the examination to become an R.D. However, if your interests lie in public policy or community aspects of nutrition, a M.S. or Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences will provide you with the tools you will need for some careers (in research or government) and the R.D. may not be essential.
  2. I want to pursue a Masters together with my dietetic internship, do you have a combined program?
    Yes, together with UMDNJ-Newark, you can pursue both credentials similtaneously. You must apply for the "match" at UMDNJ and also to our Master's program. This program is designed for students interested in pursuing research-related careers (for example, as a R.D. member of a team working at a Clinical Research Center or in clinical research at a pharmaceutical or food company).
  3. Do I have to obtain my M.S. before I apply for the Ph.D. program?
    No, if you have earned a 4 year college degree, and you are sure that you want to pursue the Ph.D., you can apply directly to the Ph.D. program.
  4. I am interested in nutrition, but I don't have a strong science background. What do you recommend?
    I suggest that you take basic undergraduate-level coursework in biology (2 semesters with lab, general chemistry (two semesters with lab), organic chemistry (at least one semester), and biochemistry. Course in physiology and cell biology are helpful. Then, you can apply to our graduate program in nutritional sciences.
  5. I am a biology major but have never taken a nutrition course. Am I eligible for graduate study in nutrition?
    Yes --you have an excellent background for pursuing graduate work in nutrition. Our program does not require any prior knowledge of nutrition per se.