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Graduate Study

MS Curriculum

Master of Science (MS) curriculum involves coursework in biostatistics, epidemiology and nutritional sciences, and culminates in a capstone or thesis.

If completing the MS with RDN training, you will take an additional 30 credits RDN practice experience.

Autumn 2019

Course requirements listed on this page apply to students entering the MS program, or the MS and RDN training programs in autumn 2019.  Refer to curriculum archives in Current Students if you entered the program in a previous year.

Read about curriculum changes for autumn 2020 (pdf)

1st Autumn (13-14 credits)

EPI 511Introduction to Epidemiology4All MS
HSERV 579Structural Racism and Public Health1All MS
NUTR 500Graduate Seminar: Current Issues in Nutrition1All MS
NUTR 513Food and Society: Exploring Eating Behaviors in a Social, Environmental, and Policy Context2All MS
NUTR 520Nutrition and Metabolism I3All MS
NUTR 529Nutrition Research Design2All MS
NUTR 561AGCPD Seminar1GCPD only

1st Winter (12 credits)

BIOST 508Biostatistical Reasoning for the Health Sciences4All MS
NUTR 521Nutrition and Metabolism II3All MS
NUTR 531Public Health Nutrition5All MS

1st Spring (8-12 credits)

NUTR 522Nutrition and Metabolism III3All MS
NUTR 562Nutrition and Chronic Disease4All MS
NUTR 536Nutrition Education Principles and Practice2Required GCPD; Elective for non-GCPD
NUTR 560Nutritional Counseling for Chronic Disease2Required GCPD; Elective for current RD only
NUTR 596 or NUTR 700Nutrition Practice Capstone Master's Thesis1All MS

1st Summer

ProgramCourse Requirement
GCPD StudentsSupervised Practice/Practice Experience: The timing of this 3 week rotation varies depending on the sites. It generally occurs in late August or early September.

2nd Autumn (2-13 credits)

NUTR 526Maternal and Pediatric Nutrition4Required GCPD; Elective for non-GCPD
NUTR 563Nutrition in Acute Care4GCPD only
NUTR 559Orientation to Clinical Dietetics3GCPD only
NUTR 596 or NUTR 700Nutrition Practice Capstone or Master's Thesis2All MS

2nd Winter/Spring/Summer – GCPD Only (30 credits)

NUTR 561Supervised Practice/Practice Experience10 per quarter [c]GCPD only

Additional Requirements for MS Students Not Tied to Specific Quarter

NUTR 596 or NUTR 700Nutrition Practice Capstone or Master's Thesis 6 additional credits for a min of 9 [a]All MS
Additional Electives4All MS


  • [a] Timing of NUTR 596 Capstone/700 Thesis Credits: With the exception of the required 1 credit (1st year spring quarter) and 2 credits (2nd year autumn quarter), students may distribute the remaining NUTR 596 or NUTR 700 credits as best fits their schedule.

Additional GCPD Curriculum

Upon satisfactory completion of the Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences, graduates will be able to:

  1. Meet the competencies established by the School of Public Health and the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) for all SPH students.
  2. Meet the core competencies established by the Nutritional Sciences Program for all Nutritional Sciences students:
    • Apply knowledge of human nutrient requirements in relation to genetics, metabolic pathways, and physiological function across the life course.
    • Assess nutritional status of individuals and groups.
    • Appraise how nutritional factors across the lifespan are linked to non-communicable diseases (NCD) and quality of life.
    • Apply evidence-based approaches to improve diet quality and nutritional status.
    • Apply appropriate methodologies to a research question.
    • Explain, critique, and apply the process of public health practice and nutrition policy development.
    • Describe the basic components and determinants of the US food and nutrition systems.
  3. Translate knowledge and skills from Nutritional Sciences competencies to nutrition research or evidence-based clinical practice (when combined with dietetics training).

During the first year of study, the Graduate Program Coordinator serves as your initial academic adviser and provides guidance in selecting either a thesis or capstone as a culminating project. MS Nutritional Sciences students may complete a research-based thesis under the direction of a faculty thesis chair and committee.

MS students who have also enrolled in the RDN training program, or have a prior RDN credential, may elect to complete a practice-based capstone with mentorship from an NSP faculty adviser and a practicing dietitian.