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Program: M.S., Human Nutrition

Human Nutrition

Program Description

The Master of Science in Human Nutrition is designed to advance professional competence and personal nutritional needs of individuals who want to increase their opportunities in the selected areas of nutrition while also providing breadth in related areas. Students will develop competencies in research methods and advanced practice comprehension relevant to their area of study. Completion of the program will increase competence in food and nutrition subject matter in preparation for a wide variety of professional opportunities, including nutritionists or supervisors in nutrition, doctoral study in nutrition, research, and administrative positions in public and private agencies.

The 48 unit Master of Science in Human Nutrition curriculum is dynamic and offers two options: Human Nutrition and Dietetic Internship. Both options provide a breadth of courses, ultimately leading to a well-rounded education and knowledge base. Completion of the program generally takes four semesters.

Admission into programs leading to licensure and credentialing does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or credential. Licensure and credentialing requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the CSU, and requirements can change at any time. For example, licensure or credentialing requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., Social Security number or tax payer identification number) or successfully passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they can meet licensure or credentialing requirements. The CSU will not refund tuition, fees or any associated costs to students who determine subsequent to admission that they cannot meet licensure or credentialing requirements. Information concerning licensure and credentialing requirements is available from the department.

Program Requirements

A. Admission Requirements

Applications for admission to the master’s program will be processed through the University and reviewed by the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, which will make the final admission decision.

For admission to this program, an applicant must:

  1. Hold a baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree from an officially accredited university or college in any field of study.
  2. Have an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or greater for courses taken in the bachelor’s degree. Applicants with less than a 3.0 undergraduate GPA who can demonstrate evidence of academic acumen may submit their application for consideration.
  3. Complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  4. Complete an undergraduate degree in nutrition or the following prerequisite coursework (or equivalents):
    BIOL 101/L General Biology and Lab
    BIOL 281 Human Physiology
    BIOL 215/L Introductory Microbiology and Lab
    CHEM 101/L General Chemistry I and Lab or CHEM 103/L Introductory Chemistry I and Lab
    CHEM 102/L General Chemistry II and Lab or CHEM 104/L Introductory Chemistry II and Lab
    CHEM 235/L Introductory Organic Chemistry and Lab
    CHEM 365/L Introduction to Biochemistry and Lab
    FCS 207 Nutrition for Life
    FCS 307 Advanced Nutrition: Macronutrients
    FCS 308 Advanced Nutrition: Micronutrients
  5. Submit a formal application to the program through Cal State Apply.
  6. Submit all of the following documents to the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences through ApplyWeb for admission consideration for both options (Human Nutrition and Dietetic Internship):
    1. Resume.
    2. Statement of Purpose.
      A statement of purpose declaring the reasons why the applicant is interested in the Master of Science Degree in Human Nutrition in 1,000 words or less. It can also include a description of any previous professional experience and any particular experiences and/or coursework that qualify the applicant for graduate work.
    3. Letters of Recommendation.
      Three letters of recommendation are required for admission and at least one of the letters must be from an instructor in the student’s undergraduate program, preferably in a science-based discipline. Letters should be addressed to the graduate coordinator of the program.
    4. Copy of unofficial transcripts.
      Please highlight the prerequisite courses on each unofficial transcript to show the prerequisites have been completed.
    5. Report of GRE scores.
      Submit a completed dietetic internship application to DICAS, which requires a DPD Verification statement from an accredited program, for consideration for the Dietetic Internship option only.
      Have the complete application and supporting documents reviewed and the applicant approved for admission by the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.

B. Courses Required for the M.S. Degree in Human Nutrition

Forty-eight credits of required coursework are needed to complete the master’s degree. Students may request to change options prior to completing more than 24 units. For consideration from the Human Nutrition option into the Dietetic Internship option, an additional application through DICAS is required. The courses and the respective distribution of these credit units are as follows:

1. Human Nutrition Core Courses (24 units)

EPC 600 Educational Statistics for Research and Measurement (3)
FCS 505 Nutrient and Drug Interactions (3)
FCS 601 Food and Nutrition Policies and Regulations (3)
FCS 606 Vitamin and Mineral Metabolism (3)
FCS 607 Carbohydrate, Lipid and Protein Metabolism (3)
FCS 609 Nutrigenomics and Nutrigenetics (3)
FCS 681 Research Methods (3)*
FCS 682 Research Applications (3)*

*Students must complete FCS 681 and FCS 682 in their first academic year.

2. Human Nutrition Option Courses (21 units)

EPC 451 Fundamentals in Counseling and Guidance (3)
FCS 506 Readings in Human Nutrition (3)
FCS 605 Ethics and Social Justice in Human Nutrition (3)
HHD 513 Leadership/Professional Competencies for Health and Human Development Disciplines (3)
HSCI 587 Seminar: Epidemiology (3)

Choose 6 units of electives:

FCS 409 Geriatric Nutrition (3)
FCS 608 Sports Nutrition (3)
FCS 696C Directed Graduate Research (3)
HSCI 534 Lactation Education for the Healthcare Professional (3)

3. Culminating Experience Course (3 units)

FCS 698C Thesis/Project (3)
FCS 697 Directed Comprehensive Studies (3)

In consultation with the student’s major graduate advisor, a student may be approved to either complete a master’s thesis/project or take the comprehensive examination.

a. Thesis or Project
  1. The proposal must be approved by the student’s committee.
  2. The student will register for FCS 698C.
  3. The student must successfully defend the thesis or project at an oral exam.
b. Comprehensive Examination
  1. The student will register for FCS 697C—Directed Comprehensive Studies (3 units).
  2. Passing coursework for the master’s degree does not guarantee passing the comprehensive examination.

C. In order to complete the Master of Human Nutrition successfully, the student must:

  1. Complete all of the courses required by his or her option (human nutrition or dietetic internship).
  2. Earn a grade of “B” or better in all courses.
  3. Maintain an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 in the program.

Total Units Required for the M.S. Degree: 48


Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
Chair: Yi Cai
Sequoia Hall (SQ) 141
(818) 677-3051

Graduate Coordinator: Yoko Mimura
(818) 677-7859

Student Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate competence in research design, statistical methods and ethical conduct in research studies.
  2. Integrate knowledge of macronutrient and micronutrient metabolism into the development of recommendation for populations and individuals in health promotion and disease prevention.
  3. Design and evaluate nutrition interventions utilizing evidence-based practice and application of human nutrition across diverse populations.
  4. Evaluate current U.S. and global nutrition trends and develop an understanding of policy and program development and leadership.