Master of Science Degree in Nutritional Sciences

The two-year Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences degree is intended for students interested in pursuing academic or research careers in nutrition and related fields, including those looking to continue in doctoral programs. 

MS students can decide whether to pursue a dietetics concentration. This optional concentration has additional requirements as a path to the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential.

MS Degree Options

student in lab

MS in Nutritional Sciences


The MS in Nutritional Sciences is a two-year, 32-34-credit-hour degree program intended for students with a strong interest in science and health who plan to pursue scientific careers in academia, research institutes, and governmental agencies, or as a step toward a doctoral program. A thesis is required with the goal of a published manuscript.  Students will work alongside Nutritional Sciences faculty and a committee to complete their research.

*The dietetics concentration is an option with this degree. Please inquire for more information.

student in lab, mixing substances

MS in Clinical Nutrition - Dietetics


The MS in Clinical Nutrition is intended for students wishing to complete an in-depth research project in the field of Clinical Nutrition while pursuing their Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential. By employing statistics, theories and evidence-based practice, students will focus on the prevention, diagnosis and management of nutritional changes in people with chronic disease, in healthcare or research settings. Students in this program can also choose to include an elective series. 

Program Curriculum and Prerequisites

SPH Core Requirements
Course Number Credits Course Name Term
BIOSTAT 521 3 Applied Biostatistics F
EPID 601 4 Principles and Methods of Epidemiology F
Select one of the following:
BIOSTAT 522 3 Biostatistical Analysis for Health-Related Studies W
NUTR 620 3 Nutritional Biostatistics W
NS Core Requirements
Course Number Credits Course Name Term
NUTR 630 3 Principles of Nutritional Science F
NUTR 631 3 Metabolism of Vitamins and Minerals W
NUTR 688 1 Nutrition Seminar (year-long course)  
NUTR 698 6 Research **  
NUTR 699 1 Thesis ***  
NUTR 701 3 Research Methods in Nutritional Sciences W
NUTR 640 3 Nutritional Assessment F
NUTR 869 1 Innovations in Nutrition Research (year-long course)  

*May be exempt from previous coursework, but students must take at least two NUTR classes at Michigan during their degree.

**Students may elect NUTR 698 in any term but are required to complete a minimum total of 6 credits in this course to meet both departmental and program requirements.

***Master's Thesis:  all MS students are required to perform a research project during the program, to write an acceptable thesis on the project, to present the research results in a seminar to defend the thesis before a committee of the faculty (see thesis guidelines).

The chart below details the additional coursework that is required for MS students who would like to specialize in dietetics.
 Additional Coursework for an MS with Dietetics
Course Number Credits Course Name
NUTR 601 1 Professional Development and Teamwork
NUTR 602 1 Professional Communication in the Nutritional Sciences
NUTR 603 1 Leadership and Management
NUTR 510 3 Lifecycle Nutrition
NUTR 635 3  Food Service and Culinary Science
NUTR 585 2  Food Service Management
NUTR 636 2 Medical Nutrition Therapy I
NUTR 637 2 Medical Nutrition Therapy II
NUTR 640 3 Nutritional Assessment
NUTR 642 2 Community Nutrition
NUTR 646  3  Nutritional Counseling


Applicants should have a strong interest in science and health, an undergraduate degree in a field of basic or applied science. Applicants are best prepared if they have taken courses in biology, physiology, general and organic chemistry, biochemistry, and calculus. The following are required:

  • Calculus* or Statistics* (1 semester)
  • Inorganic/general chemistry* (1 semester, lab not required)
  • Organic chemistry (1 semester, lab not required)
  • Biochemistry (1 semester, lab not required)
  • Human Physiology (1 semester that includes digestion and endocrine) or Human Anatomy and Physiology (1 semester of each and must include digestion and endocrine, lab not required)
  • Microbiology (for Dietetics students only, includes introduction of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and food or medical environment)

*AP high school courses are accepted based on AP final exam score

Funding Information

In addition to financial aid and funding opportunities from the School of Public Health, Nutritional Sciences MS students can receive financial support from the Rackham Graduate School. A separate application for Nutritional Sciences funding is not required.

How to Apply

MS applicants apply to our program through the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School.

Visit our ‘Applications and Deadlines’ page to start the application process. 

View Applications and Deadlines

More Information

For questions, please contact Keegan Gramza, Student Services Coordinator, at