2023-2024 Graduate Course Catalog 
    May 26, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Course Catalog

Nutrition Science, MS


Sudha Raj, Director of Graduate Programs in Nutrition
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. The master’s degree may also serve as a preparatory step toward more advanced study at the doctoral level.

Students must complete either a master’s thesis or master’s project as part of the MS program. Students should discuss these options with their academic advisor in the first semester of the program to determine which one is a best fit. The thesis involves investigative work on a specific topic, extensive examination and interpretation of nutrition literature on that topic, and the presentation of results in a clear and logical form. Completion of the thesis may require an additional year of study beyond completion of coursework.


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.

Part-Time Study

Students are able to 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.


The M.S. degree requires the completion of a minimum of 30 credits, including a thesis or master’s project.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Critically examine and interpret current research and evidence-informed practice findings to determine the validity, reliability, and credibility of information.
2. Analyze research data and chooses appropriate statistical methods, perform statistical analysis and interpret results in various data analysis situations.
3. Analyze and formulate a professional opinion based on current research and evidence-based findings and experiential learning to translate and communicate research findings and conclusions through a variety of media.
4. Select and implement nutrition assessment tools for individuals, groups, and populations.
5. Collect, retrieve and analyze data using a variety of methods (qualitative, quantitative) and technologies to develop interventions to affect change and enhance wellness in diverse individuals and groups.
6. 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 as well as an understanding of environmental, molecular (e.g., genes, proteins, metabolites) and food in development and management of disease.

Course Requirements

Core Courses (19 credits)

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination for the M.S. 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.