Online and Distance Degrees > Degree Programs > MS in Human Nutrition

Master of Science (MS) in
Human Nutrition

Online

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Human Nutrition is designed to prepare nutrition professionals to practice dietetics at an advanced level and/or to pursue doctoral study. By 2024, a graduate degree in nutrition will be required for those wishing to take the registration examination for dietitians.

  • Program Format

    Online
  • Credit Hours

    30
  • Tuition Per Hour

    $440

Become More Competitive in the Field of Human Nutrition

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for dietitians and nutritionists is expected to increase faster than average from 2022-2032.

Customize your education through specialized tracks: Clinical Nutrition, Community Nutrition or Generalist. These are designed for a registered dietitian but can be completed by a dietetic intern or student with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition or another discipline who has met the listed prerequisites.

If you are not currently a registered dietitian, you may be required to complete additional coursework to apply to a dietetic internship and sit for the National Registration examination. For more information, visit nutritionbydistance.ua.edu or contact Dr. Tiffany Hylton at tmhylton@ches.ua.edu.

Master’s Requirement to Become a Registered Dietitian

Effective Jan. 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) requires a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). To be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR’s Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central time on Dec. 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR’s website.

In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) program at The University of Alabama are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program.

  • Application DeadlineJuly 1 for fall admission; December 1 for spring admission; April 15 for summer admission
  • RankingRanked in the top 15 "Best Online Nutrition Programs With Master’s Degrees" by Best Health Degrees and among the "Top 50 Master’s in Nutrition Online Programs 2023" by College Values Online.

Curriculum

The MS in Human Nutrition program consists of 30 credit hours. All students must complete a capstone experience and choose a curriculum track: Generalist, Community, or Clinical. Please note that courses are subject to change.

Students who are still deciding what direction their nutrition career will take can stipulate no concentration on their application. These students will receive a degree in Human Nutrition without a concentration. This Generalist track provides the greatest flexibility when selecting electives. Students will develop advanced competency to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the biological and physiological processes that affect nutrient needs of individuals and populations across the lifespan.
  • Acquire, analyze and apply data to interpret the scientific literature and practice the principles of evidence-based medicine or utilize best practices.
  • Critically evaluate nutrition research and apply results to practice.

Required Track Curriculum

  • NHM 509 Research Methods in Nutrition
  • NHM 572 Metabolism of Energy Nutrients
  • NHM 573 Advanced Vitamins and Minerals
  • Choose one of the following
    • NHM 530 Advanced Nutrition Counseling
    • NHM 555 Maternal and Infant Nutrition
    • NHM 567 Nutrition Support for the Critically Ill
  • Choose one of the following
    • NHM 597 Human Nutrition Master’s Capstone Course
    • NHM 598 Non-Thesis Research
    • NHM 599 Thesis Research
  • POPH 522 Biostatistics
  • Four electives (one course must be designated as NHM)

The concentration in community nutrition meets the . In this concentration, students will develop advanced competency to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of biological and physiological processes that affect nutrient needs of individuals and populations across the lifespan.
  • Analyze and interpret data needed to perform the core public health functions of assessment, assurance and policy development.
  • Develop, implement, sustain and evaluate systems of care or theory-based programs and interventions (preventive and treatment) for improving the nutritional health of populations.
  • Advocate for policy and environmental supports in both public and private sectors.
  • Utilize cultural competency skills to develop programs and services that are responsive to the cultural, social, linguistic and ethnic diversity of the community.

Required Track Curriculum

  • NHM 509 Research Methods in Nutrition
  • NHM 550 Community Nutrition I
  • NHM 551 Community Nutrition II
  • NHM 555 Maternal and Infant Nutrition
  • NHM 556 Child and Adolescent Nutrition
  • Choose one of the following
    • NHM 557 Childhood Obesity
    • NHM 558 Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Disease
  • Choose one of the following
    • NHM 597 Human Nutrition Master’s Capstone Course
    • NHM 598 Non-Thesis Research
    • NHM 599 Thesis Research
  • NHM 625 Nutritional Epidemiology
  • POPH 522 Biostatistics
  • One elective

The clinical nutrition competencies developed by the American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition were used as a guide to develop the curriculum for the clinical concentration. In this concentration, students will develop advanced competency to:

  • Utilize theoretical and skill-based knowledge of nutrition science needed for advanced clinical nutrition practice.
  • Apply advanced clinical nutrition assessment and diagnostic skills.
  • Develop advanced nutrition intervention and monitoring skills.
  • Utilize the methodological and analytic skills necessary to acquire, analyze and apply data to interpret the scientific literature and practice the principles of evidence-based medicine.
  • Critically evaluate nutrition research and apply results to practice.

Required Track Curriculum

  • NHM 509 Research Methods in Nutrition
  • NHM 567 Nutrition Support for the Critically Ill
  • NHM 568 Nutrition for the Older Adult
  • NHM 572 Metabolism of Energy Nutrients
  • NHM 573 Advanced Vitamins and Minerals
  • Choose one of the following
    • NHM 558 Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Disease
    • NHM 585 Clinical Nutrition Management
  • Choose one of the following
    • NHM 597 Human Nutrition Master’s Capstone Course
    • NHM 598 Non-Thesis Research
    • NHM 599 Thesis Research
  • POPH 522 Biostatistics
  • Two electives

  • Any NHM course not taken as part of the course requirements for the selected track or concentration.
  • Choose one of the following
    • CSM 525 Conflict Resolution for the Workplace
    • CSM 528 Processes of Negotiation
    • CSM 537 Developing the Leader Within
  • Choose one of the following
    • HHE 515 Advanced Foundations of Health Promotion
    • HHE 520 Health Behavior
    • HHE 521 Basic Epidemiology
    • HHE 530 Health Promotion Techniques
    • HHE 586 Environmental Health Promotion
    • HHE 587 Health Disparities
    • HHE 589 Women and Health
  • Choose one of the following
    • NUR 510 Basic Concepts of Teaching Diabetes Self-Management Techniques
    • NUR 516 Advanced Diabetes Management
  • Choose one of the following
    • POPH 523 Basic Epidemiology
    • POPH 623 Advanced Epidemiology
  • Additional elective options may be available. Students should check with their academic advisor.

If you received your bachelor’s degree from a nutrition program accredited by ACEND and received your verification statement, you are eligible to apply to this program. Before you apply, read the admission requirements below.

If you received a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from a program that was not accredited by ACEND, you must have completed the coursework listed below. These courses may have had different names or numbers at your last institution. Keep in mind that transfer credit is not evaluated until after admission is granted. If you need to complete one or more of these courses prior to applying to the graduate program, you can complete the courses as a post-graduate/undergraduate student at UA.

The following courses should be completed before you apply to the graduate program:

  • CH 104 Introduction to Chemistry*
  • CH 105 Introduction to Organic Chemistry*
  • BSC 215 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BSC 216 Human Anatomy and Physiology II
  • NHM 101 Introduction to Human Nutrition
  • NHM 201 Nutrition in the Life Cycle
  • NHM 295 Introduction to Research in Nutrition
  • NHM 340 Community Nutrition
  • NHM 361 Nutritional Biochemistry
  • NHM 363 Applied Nutrition
  • NHM 365 Introduction to Food Service Management

*Course not offered through distance education at The University of Alabama.

View more information about this program on the University’s catalog.

Admission

Students with an overall grade point average or 3.0 or higher may apply for admission.  Students with a 3.0 GPA or higher in their last 60 hours of coursework may also be considered for admission.

Application Deadlines

Fall Term – July 1
Spring Term – December 1
Summer Term – April 15

The program options outlined above are designed for registered dietitians, dietetic interns, students with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, or students from another discipline who meet the listed prerequisites. While being a registered dietitian is not a requirement for entering the master’s program, students should be aware of the laws governing the practice of dietetics in their respective states. Most states require persons who practice dietetics to be a registered dietitian. This master’s degree does not provide eligibility to sit for the registration examination to become a registered dietitian, nor does it provide eligibility to apply for dietetic internships. The on-campus master’s degree provides an opportunity to participate in the coordinated program in dietetics and to become eligible to sit for the registration examination. Additional courses, most of which are available by distance, may be taken to meet the criteria for applying for a dietetic internship.

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Trevor McGhee
Admissions Representative
800-467-0227
trevorm.bama@ua.edu

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