Twin Cities campus
Twin Cities Campus

Nutrition M.S.

Food Science & Nutrition
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of Food Science and Nutrition, 225 Food Science and Nutrition Building, 1334 Eckles Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55108 (612-624-6753; fax: 612-625-5272)
  • Program Type: Master's
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2018
  • Length of program in credits: 30
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Master of Science
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
Nutrition is the study of how nutrients, both essential and nonessential, affect health and all life processes. Consequently, nutrition is an extremely broad field that encompasses physiology, biochemistry, education, public health, and public policy. The nutrition graduate program is interdisciplinary. Advisors and financial support may come from any of the departments or schools in which nutrition graduate faculty reside, including the Department of Food Science and Nutrition (College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences); Division of Epidemiology (School of Public Health); Departments of Medicine, Surgery, Psychiatry, Lab Medicine and Pathology, and Family Medicine and Community Health (Medical School); Department of Kinesiology and Leisure Studies (College of Education and Human Development); Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (University of Minnesota Duluth); University of Minnesota Extension; Hormel Institute (Austin, MN); and V.A. Medical Center and Park Nicollet Institute (Minneapolis, MN). Three subspecialty areas are offered in the program: human nutrition, nutritional biochemistry, and public health nutrition. Thesis work can be conducted locally or internationally in the laboratory, clinic, or field. Students are allowed a maximum of 5 years in the program.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.00.
Applicants to the program need a bachelor's degree in any field or its international equivalent.
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
A strong foundation in the biological and physical sciences is required. This background includes college mathematics, the equivalent of one semester of general chemistry, organic chemistry, general biology, biochemistry, physiology, and statistics. For the doctoral program, additional prerequisite courses include calculus and physics. If there is evidence that the applicant has a good background in the sciences, some of the prerequisites can be met after admission. The M.S. program also requires the following nutrition courses, or equivalent, which may be completed after the student's admission to the program: Principles of Nutrition (FSCN 1112), Life Cycle Nutrition (FSCN 3612), and Human Nutrition (FSCN 4612).
Applicants must submit their test score(s) from the following:
  • GRE
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
    • Total Score: 6.5
    • Final score: 80
Key to test abbreviations (GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Plan A: Plan A requires 14 major credits, 6 credits outside the major, and 10 thesis credits. The final exam is oral.
Plan B: Plan B requires 24 major credits and 6 credits outside the major. The final exam is oral. A capstone project is required.
Capstone Project:The Plan B project is a combined total of approximately 120 hours (the equivalent of three full-time weeks) of work. The graduate faculty, including the student's advisor and director of Graduate Studies, specify both the nature and extent of the course and project work necessary to satisfy this requirement.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
A minimum GPA of 2.80 is required for students to remain in good standing.
At least 1 semesters must be completed before filing a Degree Program Form.
All students are expected to obtain teaching experience, subject to the policies of the advisor's department or division.
Required Coursework
All students must take the following courses for at least 20 credits:
Orientation Course
NUTR 8621 - Presentation Skills (1.0 cr)
Core Coursework
NUTR 5625 - Nutritional Biochemistry (3.0 cr)
NUTR 5626 - Nutritional Physiology (3.0 cr)
NUTR 5622 - Vitamin and Mineral Biochemistry (3.0 cr)
NUTR 5624 - Nutrition and Genetics (2.0 cr)
Advanced Topics Course
Take at least one course from the following list after completing two semesters in the program:
NUTR 8620 - Advances in Nutrition (2.0 cr)
Outside Coursework
All students must complete at least 6 credits outside the major, including at least one statistics course and at least one methods course.
Statistics Course
Take at least one statistics course from the following list. A different statistics course can be substituted with advisor approval.
PUBH 6450 - Biostatistics I (4.0 cr)
or PUBH 6451 - Biostatistics II (4.0 cr)
or PUBH 6414 - Biostatistical Literacy (3.0 cr)
or STAT 5021 - Statistical Analysis (4.0 cr)
Research Methods Course
Take one or more courses for at least 2 credits of research methods coursework from this list, or graduate-level methods coursework from another field with advisor approval.
ANSC 5091 - Research Proposals: From Ideas to Strategic Plans [WI] (3.0 cr)
or NURS 8173 - Principles and Methods of Implementing Research (3.0 cr)
or PUBH 6341 - Epidemiologic Methods I (3.0 cr)
or PUBH 6617 - Practical Methods for Secondary Data Analysis (3.0 cr)
or PUBH 6803 - Conducting a Systematic Literature Review (3.0 cr)
or PUBH 6806 - Principles of Public Health Research (2.0 cr)
Additional Outside Coursework
Other courses may be from any field, but must be at the 5000 or 8000 level. Exceptions: 6000 level courses from Public Health (PUBH) are allowed.
Plan Options
Plan A: Master's Thesis Credits
Plan A students take at least 10 credits of the following:
NUTR 8777 - Thesis Credits: Master's (1.0-18.0 cr)
Plan B: Additional Coursework
Plan B students must take at least 10 credits from the following, or other graduate-level coursework with advisor approval:
NUTR 8695 - Independent Study: Nutrition (1.0-10.0 cr)
NUTR 8xxx
NUTR 5xxx
Program Sub-plans
A sub-plan is not required for this program.
Students may not complete the program with more than one sub-plan.
Integrated BS/MS-Nutrition
This sub-plan is limited to students completing the program under Plan B.
The Department of Food Science and Nutrition offers and integrated bachelor of science (BS) and master of science (MS) in nutrition. The integrated BS/MS program offers students the opportunity to earn both degrees in five years by working toward a master's degree while simultaneously working toward their undergraduates degree. Nutrition undergraduate students in the DPD or nutrition studies sub-plans are welcome to apply to this program during their 3rd year of undergraduate study. During the 4th year, students take undergraduate and graduate courses concurrently and are advised by an undergraduate and graduate program advisor.
Students in this program will complete the 120 undergraduate credits required for a BS degree in nutrition by the end of the 4th year and must be awarded an undergraduate degree at the 4th year mark. During the 4th and 5th years, students will complete 30 graduate credits and a Plan B research project with a final oral defense as required for the nutrition MS degree. Students who satisfy the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) verification requirements can begin the Emily Program Dietetic Internship in August following their 5th year. Students cannot double-count credits to meet credit requirements for both the undergraduate and graduate degrees.
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· College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

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· Nutrition M.S.
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NUTR 8621 - Presentation Skills
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Orientation to nutrition graduate program. Presenting scientific seminars, using electronic presentation programs/equipment. prereq: dept consent
NUTR 5625 - Nutritional Biochemistry
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Overview of biochemical molecules and pathways important in nutritional events. prereq: BIOC 3021 or instr consent
NUTR 5626 - Nutritional Physiology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Whole body macronutrient metabolism as it relates to etiology of metabolic diseases. Signaling between tissues to control homeostasis. How dysregulation of crosstalk can lead to metabolic diseases. How diet, exercise, or starvation impact metabolism. Regulation of food intake and energy expenditure. Designing/analyzing/interpreting research data. prereq: NUTR 5625
NUTR 5622 - Vitamin and Mineral Biochemistry
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Nutritional, biochemical, and physiological aspects of vitamins and essential minerals in human and experimental-animal models. prereq: BioC 3021, Phsl 3051, FSCN 4612
NUTR 5624 - Nutrition and Genetics
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Overview of gene-diet interactions and relevant technologies used to study such interactions. Nutrigenomics, epigenetics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics. Examples of gene-diet interactions, implications. Current issues. prereq: Biochemistry
NUTR 8620 - Advances in Nutrition
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Recent research or special topics (e.g., obesity, vitamin biochemistry, nutrition education).
PUBH 6450 - Biostatistics I
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Descriptive statistics. Gaussian probability models, point/interval estimation for means/proportions. Hypothesis testing, including t, chi-square, and nonparametric tests. Simple regression/correlation. ANOVA. Health science applications using output from statistical packages. prereq: [College-level algebra, health sciences grad student] or instr consent
PUBH 6451 - Biostatistics II
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Two-way ANOVA, interactions, repeated measures, general linear models. Logistic regression for cohort and case-control studies. Loglinear models, contingency tables, Poisson regression, survival data, Kaplan-Meier methods, proportional hazards models. prereq: [PubH 6450 with grade of at least B, health sciences grad student] or instr consent
PUBH 6414 - Biostatistical Literacy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Develop ability to read/interpret statistical results in primary literature. Minimal calculation. No formal training in any statistical programming software. Biostatistical Literacy will cover the fundamental concepts of study design, descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, odds ratios, relative risks, adjusted models in multiple linear, logistic and Poisson regression, and survival analysis. The focus will be when to use a given method and how to interpret the results, not the actual computation or computer programming to obtain results from raw data. prereq: MPH or certificate student or environmental health or instr consent
STAT 5021 - Statistical Analysis
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Intensive introduction to statistical methods for graduate students needing statistics as a research technique. prereq: Credit will not be granted if credit has been received for: : 3011; College algebra or instr consent; Stat course recommended
ANSC 5091 - Research Proposals: From Ideas to Strategic Plans (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites, however, having taken ANSC 3011 Statistics for Animal Science is desirable.
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
You have a great research idea, now what? How do you turn your idea into a proposal? It has been said paraphrasing Edison, that innovation is one percent inspiration, ninety-nice percent perspiration. In this course, we will start with and inspiring idea and sweat our way to develop a research proposal. The students will go through a step-by-step process that starts choosing and defining a research idea, then proceeding to do literature reviews and to the development of hypothesis, aims, objectives and a research strategy. The aim of this course is to provide students with tools to understand the structure of scientific reports and proposals, literature searches and basic data interpretation. The student will learn about different research approaches and how to achieve consistency in their research projects. We will guide students in how to begin and develop a written research proposal that will satisfy the requirements of their advisers, institution and funding organizations. prereq: There are no prerequisites, however, having taken ANSC 3011 Statistics for Animal Science is desirable.
NURS 8173 - Principles and Methods of Implementing Research
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01044 - Nurs 8173/SAPh 8173
Typically offered: Every Spring
Integrates scientific, statistical, and practical aspects of research. Inter-relationships among design, sample selections, subject access, human subjects requirements, instrument selection and evaluation, data management, analyses plans, grant writing, and research career issues. Field experiences required. prereq: 8114 or other 8xxx grad research methods course, 2 grad stat courses;
PUBH 6341 - Epidemiologic Methods I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02236 - PubH 6320PubH /6341
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction to epidemiologic concepts and methods: (1) Study design (randomized trials and observational studies); (2) Measures of exposure-disease association; (3) Casual inference and bias; (4) Confounding and effect modification.
PUBH 6617 - Practical Methods for Secondary Data Analysis
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Prerequisites: Graduate level student or #
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction to methods for finding, transferring, and processing existing data sources. Focuses on practical approaches to pre-statistical data processing and analysis with STATA using a PC with an MS Windows operating system. Complex survey samples, other survey biases. prereq: Graduate level student or instr consent
PUBH 6803 - Conducting a Systematic Literature Review
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Developing skills built on evidence-based practice. Draws on staff of Minnesota Evidence-based Practice Center. prereq: Basic knowledge of epidemiology
PUBH 6806 - Principles of Public Health Research
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Evaluation of public health research literature and planning for independent research projects. Formulation of research question, research design, sampling techniques, use of research concepts, and data analysis. Data collection techniques, including questionnaires, interviews, and data analysis. prereq: Pub hlth or grad or professional school student or instr consent
NUTR 8777 - Thesis Credits: Master's
Credits: 1.0 -18.0 [max 50.0]
Grading Basis: No Grade
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
(No description) prereq: Max 18 cr per semester or summer; 10 cr total required [Plan A only]
NUTR 8695 - Independent Study: Nutrition
Credits: 1.0 -10.0 [max 30.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Written report for master's plan B project. prereq: instr consent