NSP Home Page UW Home Page
Nutritional Sciences Program

MS in Nutritional Sciences

The Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences is an interdisciplinary program of graduate studies designed to provide students with advanced understanding of human nutrition. The curriculum includes skills with application in both research and community settings. Completion of this degree prepares graduates for careers in research, academic institutions, community settings, and the private sector.

The degree requires coursework in biostatistics, epidemiology, and nutritional sciences.  Successful completion requires a research-based master’s thesis.

Upon satisfactory completion of the Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences, graduates will achieve the following learning objectives:


  1. Meet the competencies established by the School of Public Health for all MS students;
  2. Meet the core competencies established by the Nutritional Sciences Program for all Nutritional Sciences students;
  3. Apply knowledge of human nutrient requirements and their relationship to metabolic pathways and physiological function to clinical nutrition practice and nutrition research;
  4. Perform an in depth assessment of the nutritional status of individuals and groups;
  5. Appraise how nutritional factors across the lifespan affect etiology, incidence, and prevalence of major diseases, quality of life, and productivity at work and school in the population;
  6. Explain and critique the process, rationale and issues related to establishing nutrient requirements and dietary guidance for the population;
  7. Select and apply appropriate research methodologies (critically evaluate literature, study design, statistical analysis) according to area of interest and career goals; and
  8. Apply conceptual models of evidence-based approaches to promoting nutritional health.

Please remember to visit your advisor at least once/quarter to make sure you are on track with your degree. Contact the Nutritional Sciences Program Office to request a degree audit the quarter before you graduate to ensure that all program requirements have been satisfied.

MS Course Requirements in Nutritional Sciences






1st Autumn

Credits: 13-14*
BIOST 511 Biostatistics 4 All MS
EPI 511* Introduction to Epidemiology* 4 All MS
NUTR 500 Seminar 1 All MS
NUTR 520 Nutrition & Metabolism I 3 All MS
NUTR 529A Nutrition & Research Design 1 All MS (529B also required in 2nd autumn)
NUTR 561A GCPD Seminar 1 GCPD

1st Winter

Credits: 8-11
NUTR 500 Seminar 1 All MS
NUTR 521 Nutrition and Metabolism II 3 All MS
NUTR 531 Public Health Nutr 4 All MS
NUTR 545 Food Safety and Health 3 GCPD (Track 1 only)

1st Spring

Credits: 8-13
NUTR 500 Seminar / Student Symposium 1 All MS
NUTR 522 Nutrition and Metabolism III 3 All MS
NUTR 562 Nutrition and Chronic Disease 4 All MS
NUTR 536 Nutrition Education Principles and Practice 3 GCPD
NUTR 560 Nutrition Counseling 2 GCPD

1st Summer - GCPD Only

Credits: 3
NUTR 564 Management in Nutrition Services 3 GCPD (Track 1 only)

Supervised Practice/Practice Experience

(The timing of this rotation varies depending on the sites. It generally occurs in late August or early September.)

3 Weeks GCPD

2nd Autumn

Credits: 2-12
NUTR 529B Nutrition & Research Design 2 All MS (529A also required in 1st autumn)
NUTR 563 Nutrition and Acute Care 4 GCPD
NUTR 526 Maternal and Infant Nutrition 3 GCPD
NUTR 559 Orientation to Clinical Practice 3 GCPD
  GCPD Students: Consider taking some thesis credits (NUTR 700) this quarter    

2nd Winter/Spring/Summer - GCPD Only

Credits: 30
NUTR 561** Supervised Practice/Practice Experience 10 per quarter GCPD

MS Students are required to complete the following credits not tied to a specific quarter:

Credits: 13
NUTR 700 MS Thesis 9 All MS
  Electives 4 All MS***

* EPI 511 required for students entering in Autumn 2013 or later.

**NUTR 561 - register through PCE (Professional and Continuing Education)

***GCPD courses count toward the MS degree as electives

Helpful Links

UW Graduate School
Academic Calendar
UW Time Schedule
Proposal for Independent Study Registration (NUTR 537, 600, 700, 800) (aka "Goldenrod")
Grants and Funding Information Service
Statistical Consulting Services

Updated May 8, 2014


Close Up - A Look at the People of SPH: Jennifer Otten

Jennifer Otten, Assistant Professor and expert on food systems, is featured in April's SPH Close Up.  How much food do we throw away?  About one out of every four grocery bags, says food expert Jennifer Otten.  Find out what we can do to reduce our waste: http://ow.ly/LYMcm


Healthy Nutrition: From Farm to Fork
Jamie Bachaus, NSP MPH student, and Jennifer Otten, NSP Assistant Professor, guest authored the March 2015 issue of Elevate Health, the quarterly research digest of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. The issue explores the link between public health and food systems and looks at recent evidence on how the US food system impacts such things as food availability, affordability, and quality.
Download the Issue

Faculty Postions Available The Nutritional Sciences Program and Department of Health Services are accepting applications to fill positions at the rank of Assistant Professor or Associate Professor (WOT). Position Announcement & Application Instructions



NSP   |   305 Raitt Hall  |   Box 353410   |   (206)-543-1730 VOICE   |   (206) 685-1696 FAX   |   nutr@u.washington.edu