Nutritional Sciences M.S.

The Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems offers advanced degrees in Nutritional Sciences including M.S., Accelerated M.S., M.S. plus Dietetic Internship, and Ph.D.  

Master of Science - Thesis Option 

Description: In this program students gain a comprehensive understanding of nutritional science through their coursework and engagement in research. Emphasis is placed on active participation in original hypothesis-­driven research of publishable quality. The program is for students who anticipate a professional career involving research or discovery, with a strong background in the basic biology and chemistry of nutrition. This degree may be most appropriate for students who expect to pursue further advanced study, e.g., additional graduate studies or professional school, after graduation.

Requirements: The program of study must include a minimum of 30 graduate credits as well as completion of a 6 credit Master's Thesis based on a research project (NUTR 899 Master's Thesis). No more than 4 credits of investigations (NUTR 995 Non-thesis Investigations) can apply toward the total credit count. Each candidate must present at least two seminars (exclusive of the thesis defense) and must serve as a teaching assistant for at least one semester. A thesis committee will be appointed early in the program and will consist of at least three members of the graduate faculty; one of these will be the primary mentor. Students will design a program of study in close consultation with their thesis committee, including their academic courses and scientific research project.  The student's committee may require certain undergraduate courses as part of the graduate program if additional competencies would be beneficial to the student. Candidates will be required to pass an oral examination based on their graduate courses and completed thesis. Skills in communicating scientific information will be fostered by presenting one seminar during each year of enrollment. This requirement could include the master's thesis defense seminar.

Admission Requirements: Students applying for the program will be expected to present recent scores (within five years) from the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and possess a background in basic sciences appropriate for advanced study in the proposed area of specialization (for example, courses in biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and physics).

Master of Science - Accelerated B.S./M.S. Option

Description: The accelerated BS/MS is designed for UNH undergraduates who have a demonstrated capacity to engage in upper-level course work and desire hands-on practice and research training for an advanced degree. The program is designed to integrate course work completed during 2 semesters of the students’ senior year (maximum of 12 credits earned at the 800-level), followed by a second year of courses and research experience (Sept-May) for program completion.

Graduates of the UNH Master of Science (MS) in Nutritional Sciences will be valued in the marketplace as they will have a demonstrated capacity to engage in critical and systems thinking, convey and apply nutrition concepts in clinical, research and community settings, work as individuals and in teams, and identify strategies for lifelong learning.

Requirements: The BS/MS option requires successful completion of a minimum of 35 graduate credits. There are five core courses that include a year-long research experience (NUTR 960 and NUTR 961) during the last year of the student's program. Students will be required to earn a B- or better in graduate courses to earn credits toward their degree. Please click here to view a detailed list of the required courses and FAQs.

Admission Requirements: Students BS/MS applicants must have a minimum 3.2 GPA which must be maintained throughout the first year of the program.

Master of Science - Combined M.S. with Dietetic Internship Option

This Option will begin academic year 2018-2019. After academic year 2018-2019, the current 10-month dietetic internship program without M.S. will be discontinued. 

Description: The Master of Science with Dietetic Internship (MSDI) option is designed as a 21-month program, with 50 credits combined plus over 1,400 practicum-based hours of experiential learning. Practicum sites will include affiliations that build entry-level food system, research and nutrition care skills in facilities and programs such as hospitals, schools, food service, campus, community, and Cooperative Extension programs. The MSDI program is designed to meet over 45 practicum-based competencies specified by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), the accrediting agency of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Upon successful completion, students will be issued Dietetic Internship (DI) Verification Statement. This Verification Statement allows graduates to take the national Registered Dietitian (RD) exam. The RD professional designation allows dietetics professionals to work in a variety of clinical and community settings.    

The first year of the MSDI curriculum is comprised primarily of academic course work, including a year-long mentored group research project (NUTR 960 & 961), in which each student experiences the complete research process.  Students in the MSDI will focus on Applied Food Systems Research. The second year of the program includes over 1,400 hours of practicum based learning in a variety of clinical, community and food service operations integrated with curriculum related coursework.

Requirements: The MSDI requires that students earn a total of 50 credits, reflecting practicum-based learning and related course work in food service, community and clinical experiences.  The majority of competencies integrated into the MSDI reflect those established by the Accreditation Council for Educators of Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).  Students will be required to earn a B- or better in graduate courses to earn credits toward their degree.  

Admission Requirements: Applicants must maintain GPA of 3.2 or better.  Student will be expected to present recent scores (within five years) from the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

In order to be considered for admission, students applying for the MSDI program will need to have been enrolled in an accredited undergraduate dietetics program that meets the requirements of the ACEND. Students may apply if they have already completed their undergraduate course work and have already been issued an ACEND Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) verification statement by their higher education institution, or they are in the process of completing.  If an applicant is currently enrolled in an undergraduate dietetics program, they will submit a Declaration of Intent that identifies the required remaining courses. In this latter case, a conditional acceptance to the MSDI may be awarded with the understanding that students need to submit the completed ACEND DPD verification statement once issued.

The MSDI will use the online Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Service (DICAS) (  Application must be completed for The University of New Hampshire program by the national due date (typically mid-February).  In addition, students also need to set up an account with the national match service (i.e. D&D Digital Systems  Students need to follow all directions as stipulated by DICAS & D&D.

MSDI applicants and participants will be required to provide satisfactory and ongoing documentation of health insurance, liability coverage, criminal background checks, drug screens, vaccinations and medical records to meet site specific contractual agreements between UNH and our mentoring partners.  

Questions? Contact:

Joanne Curran-Celentano, Ph.D.

Professor, Interim Department Chair
Kendall Hall, Room 204
Durham, NH 03824

Jen Surina

Academic Program Manager
Kendall Hall, Room 203
129 Main Street
Durham, NH 03824