2022-2023 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Dec 02, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nutrition Science, MA

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Sudha Raj, Nutrition Science Graduate Program Director
562 White Hall

Program Description

The program emphasizes critical evaluation of scientific information and evidence-based practice and research. Due to the varying backgrounds and professional interests of students, the master’s degree program is flexible.  For many practitioners in nutrition and dietetics the master’s degree represents the professional qualification and hence has become the terminal degree. However, the master’s degree may also serve as a preparatory step toward more advanced study.


Applications for the Nutrition Science Graduate Program are accepted until March 15th and admittance is for the fall semester only. All applicants must submit the following:

  • Application
  • Official transcripts of earlier academic degrees
  • Three letters of recommendation (preferably from faculty members)
  • Personal statement reflective of career goals and objectives (including research)

In addition to the general admissions requirements of the Graduate School, Nutrition Science Graduate Program applicants must document completion of the following:

  • WRT 105/205 Writing I & II - or equivalent 6 crs.
  • PSY 205 Psychology- or equivalent 3 crs.
  • Behavior/Social Sciences- or equivalent 6 crs.
  • BIO 121/123 General Biology I & II - or equivalent 8 crs.
  • BIO 216/217 Anatomy & Physiology I & II (plus lab) - or equivalent 8 crs.
  • CHE 106/116 Chemistry I & II - or equivalent 8 crs.
  • MAT 221 Statistics- or equivalent 3 crs.
  • NSD 225 Nutrition in Health - or equivalent 3 crs.

While no single factor determines entry to the program, competitive applicants typically have a minimum of:

  • G.P.A. of 3.00 or higher (undergraduate and/or master’s degree)

Admission decisions are made by the Nutrition Science Graduate Admissions Committee and are based on the student’s academic background (i.e., G.P.A.,), experience (e.g., research activity, related work experience), letters of recommendation, personal statement and areas of interests.

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. The evaluation might dictate classes you have to complete prior to starting the program.

Part-Time Study

Students can pursue the degree part-time.

Financial Support

Limited department financial aid is available in the form of graduate assistantships and scholarship credits for students enrolled in masters and doctoral programs. Financial aid is determined based on merit.

Additional information regarding graduate financial aid can be found at https://graduateadmissions.syr.edu/funding/  

Transfer Credit

A maximum of 30 percent of credits counted toward a master’s degree at Syracuse University may be transferred from another institution provided that the credits are an integral part of the degree program.

Students who complete their dietetic internship outside of Syracuse University may transfer up to 9 credits with the approval of the graduate committee. Of the 9 credits, only 3 of supervised practice may be transferred.


The M.A. degree requires the completion of a minimum of 36 credits.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Locate, interpret evaluate and use professional literature and information technologies

2. Develop and apply research designs that include statistical analysis methods

3. Demonstrate effective, assertive and professional oral, written and advocacy/negotiation communication and documentation skills and use of current information technologies when communicating with individuals, groups and the public

4. Demonstrate appropriate use and interpretation of nutrition assessment techniques

5. Use the nutrition care process to make decisions, to identify nutrition-related problems and determine and evaluate nutrition interventions, including medical nutrition therapy, disease prevention and health promotion

6. Develop interventions to affect change and enhance wellness in diverse individuals and groups

7. Explain the impact of a food/nutrition policy position on food/public health and nutrition programs, services and research

8. Apply the fundamental biochemical principles to evaluate and solve metabolic and physiologic problems related to macro-and micro metabolism in both health and disease states


Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination for the M.A. degrees consists of an essay test on advanced topics in nutrition and an oral examination.

Master’s students are required to complete the master’s Comprehensive Examination as part of their master’s degree and must pass this in order to receive their degree. The Master’s Comprehensive Examination is given to candidates who are in the final stages of completing all requirements for the master’s degree. This examination provides the master’s candidate an opportunity to demonstrate his/her capabilities for critical analysis and thinking and assimilation of information contained in the body of nutrition literature. If the student fails to pass the Comprehensive Exam, they will be given a second chance to complete it. Failure to pass the second time will result in suspension from the Nutrition Science Graduate Program.

Satisfactory Progress

Certification for an advanced degree at Syracuse University requires a minimum average of 3.0 for work comprising the program for the degree and a 2.8 average for all credits earned.

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