Master of Science

MASTERS in Nutrition and Metabolism Student Guide Fall 2014 edition

The master’s program in Nutrition and Metabolism focuses on nutritional and metabolic aspects of chronic diseases from a multidisciplinary perspective. As such, our courses include studies of the molecular, biochemical and physiological aspects of nutrition as well as clinical and epidemiologic aspects.

Careers and Future Opportunities:

For many of our students, this master’s degree prepares them for entry into medical school, dental school, a PhD program or other professional studies.

For other students, the master’s degree prepares them for a variety of professional jobs. It provides a solid foundation for working in a variety of research environments (academic medical schools, higher education, government, industry, and private foundations).

Our graduates follow a variety of career paths, including working as lab managers, coordinators or directors of nutrition-related clinical or epidemiologic studies, clinical coordinators in pharmaceutical, food or nutriceutical industries, doing medical writing, foundation work, or working in government nutrition programs.

Key Elements of Our Program:

  • Small classes including small group discussions of research papers
  • Focus on critical thinking skills
  • Easy access to faculty
  • Opportunities for diverse research experiences that culminate in a masters thesis


The M.S. degree in the Nutrition and Metabolism requires 32 credits, including 28 core course credits and 4 research credits. It is possible to complete the degrees in four semesters, including the thesis research experience. The Core courses are designed to provide students with the multidisciplinary knowledge needed to pursue a career in health-related professions and nutrition research.

Learning Objectives for Nutrition and Metabolism Master’s Students

  • Understand the key research approaches used in the nutrition field (basic, clinical, population levels).
  • Understand the scientific basis of establishing nutrient requirements
  • Demonstrate ability to access relevant scientific literature and synthesize existing knowledge in nutrition and metabolism with new research information.
  • Understand the molecular, cellular, biochemical, physiological and behavioral mechanisms that influence nutrient utilization, food intake and energy balance
  • Understand the mechanistic connections of nutrient status to health and disease.
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate research designs, results, and create new ones for novel questions
  • Regularly read the scientific literature to remain aware of the latest developments in the field of nutrition and metabolism
  • Demonstrate ability to effectively contribute to field through collaborative research, teaching, outreach and/or mentoring activities.
  • Develop effective presentation and writing skills to effectively convey your knowledge of the field of nutrition and metabolism. 
  • Demonstrate commitment to one’s own professional development through continuing learning provided by scientific societies such as the American Nutrition Society, among others
  • Demonstrate ability to receive and provide constructive feedback to peers and co-workers. 

Coursework: (** Indicates required courses)


GMS CI 675 Designing Clinical Research Studies (4 cr) (Spring)

GMS NU 755 Molecular, Biochemical and Physiological Basis of Nutrition: Micronutrients and Energy; (4 cr, Fall) **

GMS NU 756 Molecular, Biochemical and Physiological Basis of Nutrition: Macronutrients (4 Cr, Spring) **

GMS NU 700 Nutrition and Metabolism Seminar (2 cr, Spring) **


(this requirement can be waived if equivalent coursework has been taken at the time of admission)

GMS BI 751-A1, Biochemistry/Cell Biology; 6 cr (Fall)


GMS CI 670 Biostatistics with Computing; 4 cr (Fall)

GMS AN704 Statistical Methods; 2 cr (Fall)

GMS MS700 Statistical Methods; 2 cr (Spring)

EPIDEMIOLOGY: (minimum 3 credits required )

SPH EP711 B1 Introduction to Epidemiology; 3 cr (Fall) OR

SPH EP712 A1 Epidemiologic Methods; 4 cr (Fall) OR

SAR HS 776 Nutritional Epidemiology (Fall)


Various electives can be found by perusing in the Graduate Programs in the School of Public Health such as Epidemiology, Maternal and Child Health, and the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences including the programs in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Clinical Investigation, Genetics and Genomics, Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine, Physiology, and Molecular Medicine, among others.

Some helpful links:

School of Public Health (SPH)

Student Life


Course listing

Waiving requirements: Students may petition the curriculum committee to waive requirements if they have had equivalent coursework as an undergraduate, although it will not reduce the 32 credit hour requirement for completion of the M.A. degree.


A typical program for a 12 mo. Master’s degree is (assuming a biochemistry course has been completed prior to matriculation):


NU 755 (4) NU 756 (4) NU901 Research (2) NU901 Research (2)

EP 711 or 712 (3) NU 620 (4)

CI 670 (4) NU 700 (2)

Elective (4) Elective (4)


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