MS Overview

Student Profiles

Imashi Fernando, MS, GCPD,University of Washington Nutritional Sciences ProgramJisun Park, UW Nutritional Sciences AlumnaJenny Goodyear, UW Nutritional Sciences

The Nutritional Sciences Program’s MS degree offers an interdisciplinary course of study with a strong grounding in the research and evidence-base of nutritional sciences. The Nutritional Sciences faculty is composed of core, interdisciplinary, and clinical faculty groups representing nutrition within the School of Public Health, School of Medicine, College of Pharmacy, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Most students pursue the MS degree in combination with our Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics (RD training program) or to build on a previously earned RD credential through advanced graduate level training. UW’s MS/RD graduates are regarded as highly skilled and competitive candidates for dietetics practice and leadership roles in clinical care and community settings.

The MS degree, when pursued alone without RD training, is most often used as a stepping stone to PhD or other professional studies. The excellent research environment at UW and the flexibility of the MS curriculum is well-suited to independent and highly motivated students seeking a strong foundation in nutrition, public health, or food systems research. Graduates of our MS program are recognized as competitive candidates for doctoral programs in nutrition and related fields.

Combining Registered Dietitian Training with the MS Degree

The Nutritional Sciences Program offers the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics-accredited Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics (GCPD). By pursuing the GCPD in combination with the MS degree, students complete the courses and clinical and community internship experiences required to attain the Registered Dietitian (RD) credential. The program is housed within an accredited School of Public Health which lends a systems perspective to our curriculum and teaching philosophy.

Strong links to UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s Hospital, world-renowned research and teaching facilities, are an asset of the program and offer exceptional opportunities for training in critical care and pediatrics. Clinical training as practiced within UW Medicine rotations is strongly grounded in evidence-based medicine. Students may complete internship rotations in trauma, cardiac care, burns, intensive care, transplant, oncology, renal, diabetes, pediatrics, children with special health care needs, and other areas. Additionally, four Maternal and Child Health traineeships are available for GCPD students or credentialed RDs.

Culminating Project: Thesis or Capstone

During the first year of study, the Graduate Program Coordinator serves as students’ initial academic advisor and provides guidance in selecting either a thesis or capstone as a culminating project. Master of Science students may complete a research-based thesis under the direction of a faculty thesis chair and committee. MS students in the Registered Dietitian Training Program or with a prior RDN credential, may elect to complete a practice-based capstone with mentorship from an NSP faculty advisor and a practicing dietitian. Examples of Past Projects