With over 100 years of educating future food and nutrition professionals, our nutrition program has evolved with the field. Today, our graduates are ready to meet the world’s growing interests and needs in personal health and wellness, disease prevention, growing and aging populations, and diet-related disease epidemics. The M.S. degree requires the completion of a minimum of 30 credits including a thesis. Because of the varying backgrounds and professional interests of students, the master degree program is flexible. At the graduate level, students study the theory and application of nutrition science and prepare for research, teaching, or practice in clinical, community, corporate, government, or educational settings. Nutrition students can expand their studies, or tailor it to specific career interests by taking electives in complimentary areas of study like public health, food studies, exercise science, education, or biology. The increased number of higher education programs in nutrition and dietetics has also increased interest in doctoral programs that prepare practitioners for faculty positions. The master degree may thus serve as a preparatory step toward more advanced study. For a complete Nutrition Science M.S. description, visit the course catalog.
Why this degree makes a difference in society today…tomorrow…
Due to rising public interest in nutrition, a growing and aging population, the childhood obesity epidemic, and increased emphasis on health education and healthy lifestyles, the demand for trained nutrition professionals is increasing. They work with businesses, schools, advocacy groups and legislators to ensure all people have access to adequate nutrition, at school, at home, and at work. In healthcare, they collaborate with patient care teams to help prevent and treat illness. Nutrition research expands the body of knowledge in health and wellness, sparking advances in public health and quality of life, from pregnancy through adolescence and adulthood. Whether you want to inspire health in your community or around the world, nutrition is a universal avenue to make a difference.
The program emphasizes critical evaluation of scientific information and evidence-based practice and research. Sample courses include:
- Food, Culture and Environment
- Dietetics Practice Across the Lifespan
- Nutrition Research Methods
- Medical Nutrition Therapy I and II
- Nutritional Status Assessment
- Food and Public Policy
- Problems in Human Metabolism
What Our Students Are Saying
Learn using equipment and technology that mirrors—or exceeds—what is found in practice settings. Our Nutrition Assessment, Consultation and Education (ACE) Center is a hands-on learning laboratory to prepare students with traditional and emerging professional competencies critical to effective nutrition practice. The ACE Center includes a lecture hall with a demonstration kitchen and teaching station, two small private consultation rooms, a physical assessment room, and a small conference room with a large media screen.The Center’s counseling and physical assessment rooms are equipped with two teaching mannequins, a tube feeding placement simulator, wall-mounted stadiometers and electronic scales, pediatric measuring equipment with several multi-ethnic infant mannequins, electronic blood pressure monitors, a lactation education baby, and a variety of food models. In the ACE Center, students practice nutrition-focused physical examinations on a patient simulator. This facility allows for unlimited opportunities for direct practice with indirect calorimetry to measure how many calories someone is utilizing, instead of estimations that use imperfect mathematical equations. Additional enhancements to student learning include class experiences measuring body composition with the BOD POD testing system used extensively in university and medical facilities, the military and health and wellness settings to track body composition.
The Nutrition Science M.S. track requires a thesis. The M.S. thesis should be selected in a specific area of interest that is reflected by the selection of courses within the major and related fields. A written proposal for the thesis must be presented to the department for approval. Oral defense of the thesis is required. For more information about the thesis, visit the course catalog.
Syracuse University students have access to one of the highest-quality international study programs in the country.
In “Mediterranean Food and Culture: An Italian Experience,” students travel to Italy to investigate the geographic, cultural, historic, and socio-economic underpinnings of the Mediterranean diet, critique the health benefits and implications of following a Mediterranean diet. Once in Italy, students experience the current Mediterranean diet from farm-to-table by exploring small artisan producers for cheese, olive oil, pasta, and wine. They explore the significance of local/regional production not only from a food system, but also from a legislative and labeling perspective. Students even get to work in the fields, shop for the freshest ingredients, and cook authentic Italian meals.
The “South Asian Cultures: Family, Food, and Health Care Systems” course takes place on campus in the fall, followed by a cultural immersion trip to India. Students and faculty visit New Delhi (Qutub Minar) and Agra (Taj Mahal) in North India, Anand/Ahmedabad (AMUL, Gandhi’s house, step wells, Ayurvedic College) in Western India and Coimbatore (elephant corridor and tea estates) in Southern India. During the visit to India, students stay in a family home, visit schools, community program sites, nongovernment organizations, educational institutions (Indian Institute of Management, M.S. University of Baroda), traditional and modern healthcare facilities, go on food walks, and learn about the South Asian culture by interacting with families and communities in both rural and urban areas.
Abroad programs are subject to scheduling changes. For a precise schedule of when these programs offered, please contact the department directly. For more information, visit suabroad.syr.edu.
Graduates of the Nutrition Science M.S. program are well-prepared for careers in a variety of sectors, including:
- Clinical: Health care, patient care teams, disease management, pharmaceutical companies, nutritional program development, counseling.
- Business: Medical and food service equipment research and development, quality control, employee wellness programming.
- Consultation, private practice: Consulting, disease management, writing, public speaking, private practice, counseling.
- Research and education: Teaching, curriculum development, program administration, internship management, research.
- Food and nutrition management: Food services, wellness programming, nutrition planning, health and lifestyle coaching, agriculture.
- Community and public health nutrition: Health promotion, disease prevention, disaster relief, legislation, policy development, lobbying, advocacy, research, international relations.
- Communications: Journalism, writing/editing, public relations, marketing, sales.
Are you interested in becoming a registered dietitian?
If you have a bachelor’s degree outside nutrition and would like to become a registered dietitian, make an appointment with the director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), Nancy Rindfuss, M.A., R.D., to obtain an evaluation of your DPD status. Read more about the DPD process in the Didactic Program in Dietetics Handbook.
Limited department financial aid is available in the form of graduate assistantships and scholarship credits for students enrolled in a master or doctoral program. Financial aid is determined based on merit. Additional information regarding graduate financial aid can be found on the Syracuse University Graduate Student Aid page.
Admission decisions are made by the Nutrition Science Graduate Admissions Committee and are based on the student’s academic background, experience, letters of recommendation, personal statement and areas of interests. While no single factor determines entry to the program, competitive applicants typically have a GPA of 3.00 or higher. For a complete listing of admissions requirements visit the course catalog.
For additional admissions information, contact the Office of Admissions at email@example.com, or fill out our online form: