Master of Science Curriculum

Core Courses:


4 credits
This is the first semester of a 2 semester sequence (that can be taken in either order) that focuses on the Physiological, Biochemical and Molecular Bases of Nutrition. This semester will cover concepts of essential nutrients and methods for determining their requirements (DRIs), body composition, nutrition and growth, energy expenditure, regulation of energy intake, vitamins and macro-mineral metabolism(Ca, P) and micronutrients. Functions and roles of micronutrients in signaling from gene to whole organism will be discussed. Implications for nutrient requirements through the lifecycle and in health and disease will be addressed. A discussion session will teach students to critically evaluate cutting-edge and seminal papers addressing each topic, and introduce students to state of the art research approaches and methodologies – basic (cell and molecular), clinical and epidemiological. Weekly writing assignmentson the papers will provide experience and hone skills with scientific writing.


3 credits
The overall objective of this course is to provide students with an understanding of basic concepts of research design and data analysis in the biomedical sciences. The primary didactic areas to be covered include framing hypotheses and objectives, the use of experimental designs and, to a lesser degree, non-experimental designs, problems of differential and non- differential error (including bias and confounding), foundational principles of data description and analysis (independent vs. correlated data, parametric and non-parametric distributions, measures of central tendency and dispersion), effect estimation, the use and limitations of statistical testing, including univariable and multivariable modeling, and microarray analysis. The course employs both didactic sessions and in-class exercises.


4 credits
Regulation of lipid, carbohydrate, and protein digestion, absorption, transport, tissue and cellular metabolism. Integration of macronutrient metabolism in response to alteration in nutritional status (e.g. starvation, obesity) on a whole body and tissue-specific basis. Mechanism regulating macronutrient metabolism in response to stresses such as exercise and aging and disease. A discussion session will teach students to critically evaluate research papers, provide knowledge of seminal papers in the field, and introduce students to research approaches and state of the art methods (e.g. assessment of metabolic flux using stable isotopes, euglycemic clamps, metabolomics).


3 credits
The course will focus on disease states related to nutrition and diet, with a major focus on clinical nutrition research. The course goals are as follows: (1) acquaint students with current concepts and methods in clinical nutrition research, (2) familiarize students with clinical research and how investigators approach nutrition-related questions in their specific fields to answer questions related to disease states, (3) evaluate the role of nutrition as it relates to development, prevention and therapy of major diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, osteoporosis, obesity, and cancer.


2 credits
Students develop and present a research seminar.


4 credits
This course number is used during the period of your dissertation research.

Elective Courses:

12 credits from elective courses may be chosen.