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Master of Science Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences

This degree program has three options: : Nutritional Biochemistry & Physiology, Applied & Community Nutrition, and Dietetics.

The Nutritional Biochemistry & Physiology option focuses on biochemical, physiological, and molecular aspects of nutrition. It mainly serves students who intend to obtain a Ph.D. in nutritional sciences or related fields, and also those seeking additional basic knowledge for jobs in research or teaching.

The Applied & Community Nutrition option provides advanced training for careers in nutrition education or community nutrition. In addition to gaining basic knowledge of nutritional biochemistry, emphasis is placed on clinical and public health aspects of nutrition.

The Dietetics option is open to students who are also seeking the Registered Dietitian Nutrition (RDN) Credential. For more information about this option, visit our Dietetics page.

Admission Criteria

A bachelor's degree from an accredited college showing potential for achievement in scholarly activities. The following are prerequisites for admission:

  • General chemistry with lab (1 year recommended)
  • 1 year organic chemistry or 1 semester organic chemistry plus 1 semester of biochemistry
  • At least 12 additional credits in advanced (300-400 level) sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, calculus, nutrition, or food science)
  • TOEFL (if English is a second language): 550 or above (paper-based test); 213 or above (computer-based test); 83 or above (internet-based test; minimum individual test scores: writing 22, speaking 23, reading 21, listening 17)
    IELTS score of bandwidth 7 may substitute for TOEFL
  • GPA: B average or above
  • Three letters of recommendation from former university professors and/or research supervisors/advisors who can describe your preparation for graduate study in nutritional sciences and likelihood of success.
  •  A personal statement describing your academic achievements, research experience, leadership skills, commitment to graduate school, examples illustrating your resilience and adaptability during your education, and how have you contributed to or supported intellectual and/or cultural diversity in higher education and science. Please also identify at least three faculty whose research you are interested in for your graduate training.
  • GRE is not required
  • The Master's Dietetics option has additional admission requirements. For details, visit our Dietetics page.

Requirements for M.S. Degree - Nutritional Biochemistry & Physiology Option and Applied & Community Nutrition Option

All MS students must complete a minimum of 30 credits; please refer to the graduate handbook.

All students must complete Nutrition: A Biochemical and Physiological Basis (16:709:552, 4 credits; 16:708:553, 4 credits) and Statistics (3 credits).

For the Nutritional Biochemistry & Physiology option, courses in biochemistry (6 to 8 credits), Nutrition Seminar (16:709:601), and additional courses (for a total of at least 24 course credits) in cell biology, molecular biology, physiology, immunology, etc., are required.

For the Applied & Community Nutrition option, Health Promotion in Nutriton & Dietetics 2 (16:709:526), Community Nutrition (16:709:521, 3 credits) and additional courses in clinical nutrition, nutrition education, community nutrition, epidemiology, etc., are taken (up to a total of at least 24 course credits).

All students carry out original research under the direction of a member of the graduate program and defend a master's thesis (6 credits) or write a critical essay. A total of 30 credits is required for the degree. Typical time for completion of all M.S. requirements is two years.

Requirements for the MS Degree - Dietetics Option

For details, please visit our Dietetics page.