Program: M.S., Human Nutrition
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.
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:
- Hold a baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree from an officially accredited university or college in any field of study.
- 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.
- Complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
- Complete an undergraduate degree in nutrition or the following prerequisite coursework (or equivalents):
BIOL 101/BIOL 101L General Biology and Lab
BIOL 215/L Introductory Microbiology and Lab
BIOL 281 Human Physiology
CHEM 101/CHEM 101L General Chemistry I and Lab
or CHEM 103/CHEM 103L Introductory Chemistry I and Lab
CHEM 102/CHEM 102L General Chemistry II and Lab
or CHEM 104/CHEM 104L 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
- Submit a formal application to the program through Cal State Apply.
- 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):
- Personal Statement (see Graduate Admissions in Human Nutrition for details)
- Writing Sample
The writing sample is a document that demonstrates the applicant’s analytical writing skills (e.g., research paper from a senior-level course). The writing sample should comprise no more than 10 pages of writing related to nutrition science and should include original work that demonstrates the applicant’s ability to synthesize complex information and interest in nutrition. It should not include collaborative assignments because these might not accurately represent the applicant’s own work. The submission should be double-spaced and written in 12-point font. On the title page of the submission, please indicate the context (i.e., name and number of the course the writing sample is from) and date (month and year) of the writing sample.
- 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.
- Copy of Unofficial Transcripts
Please highlight the prerequisite courses on each unofficial transcript to show the prerequisites have been completed.
- 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:
3. Culminating Experience Course (3 units)
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
- The proposal must be approved by the student’s committee.
- The student will register for FCS 698C.
- The student must successfully defend the thesis or project at an oral exam.
b. Comprehensive Examination
- The student will register for FCS 697C—Directed Comprehensive Studies (3 units).
- 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:
- Complete all of the courses required by his or her option (human nutrition or dietetic internship).
- Earn a grade of “B” or better in all courses.
- 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
Graduate Coordinator: Yoko Mimura
Student Learning Outcomes
At the completion of the program, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate competence in research design, statistical methods and ethical conduct in research studies.
- Integrate knowledge of macronutrient and micronutrient metabolism into the development of a recommendation for populations and individuals in health promotion and disease prevention.
- Design and evaluate nutrition interventions utilizing evidence-based practice and application of human nutrition across diverse populations.
- Evaluate current U.S. and global nutrition trends, and develop an understanding of policy and program development and leadership.