Nutrition Sciences

Master of Science

Why study Nutrition Sciences?

The goal of the Master of Science in Nutrition is to prepare graduates to make significant contributions to the field of Nutrition in professional research, practice, teaching, and leadership. To fulfill this goal, the program provides students with:

  1. a comprehensive knowledge in the biochemical and physiological aspects of human nutrition;
  2. knowledge of methodologies used in basic nutrition research, nutrition assessment and nutrition intervention;
  3. skills in research-design, implementation, evaluation, and interpretation.

Students can choose to do a thesis or non-thesis capstone project to fulfill research requirements.

The Master of Science in Nutrition is designed for students who have completed a baccalaureate degree in Nutrition or other science-related discipline (health sciences, chemistry, biology, psychology, and others) and wish to earn credentials to practice nutrition and/or wish to gain further knowledge in nutrition. The program is also open to practicing dietitians, nurses, physicians, or other health professionals seeking to enhance their knowledge and credentials. 

Admission Requirements

Prerequisites for admission are:

  1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. A cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 at the undergraduate level based on a 4.0 scale.
  3. A preferred Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score of approximately 150 in each of the two areas, Quantitative and Verbal, and a score of at least 3.0 in the Writing Assessment portion, taken within the five-year period preceding admission. See GRE waiver information below. 
  4. Completion of the following pre-requisite undergraduate course work is required for admission: an introductory nutrition course and one year of general chemistry with lab. In addition, the following undergraduate courses are necessary pre-requisites for graduate metabolism and clinical nutrition coursework: one year of anatomy and physiology, and one year of organic/biochemistry. These courses may be taken concurrently with graduate courses. 
  5. An applicant whose native language is not English is required to provide proof of English language proficiency through the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test scores. The TOEFL minimum university requirements include a score of 520 on the paper-based test, 190 on the computer-based test, or 68 on the internet-based test. TOEFL scores are valid for up to two years. An overall score of 6.5 on the IELTS is sufficient for graduate admission. As an alternative to TOEFL or IELTS, level 112 of Intensive English Instruction may be completed at the ELS Language Center at the University of Cincinnati.

GRE Waiver:

Applicants to the MS in Nutrition program who meet any of the following criteria may be eligible for a GRE waiver.

  • Applicant has University of Cincinnati undergraduate degree in a relevant field with cumulative 3.5 GPA or higher.
  • Applicant has successfully completed a graduate degree in a relevant field in the US
  • Applicant has completed at least 6 graduate credits at UC in a relevant field with a cumulative 3.5 GPA or higher
  • Applicant has entry level professional certification or license plus 2 years of relevant work experience 

Meeting these criteria does not guarantee receipt of the waiver. The MS Nutrition Admissions Committee may request GREs from eligible applicants at its discretion. Also, approval for the GRE Waiver does not guarantee admission to the MS Nutrition program. 

Applicants to the following programs are not eligible for the GRE waiver:

  • International applicants who completed BS or MS programs outside the United States or Canada
Students that are most successful in the program are those with strong critical thinking, and oral and written communication skills.  Many of the courses are provided in an online format; therefore to keep the pace of the online delivery, good computer and organizational and time management skills are necessary.  

When you graduate you can work in a variety of settings including community nutrition agencies, worksite wellness programs, school nutrition programs, emergency food organizations, food industry, international nutrition organizations, media/marketing nutrition, and research institutions. You may use the degree toward further graduate work at the doctoral level or pursuit of the registered dietitian credential. 

Upon confirmation as a student of UC, you will be assigned a graduate faculty advisor who will guide your coursework selection and serve as your project or thesis advisor and committee head.
A variety of scholarships are available for graduate students entering their first or second year of the program.  Assistantships, incentive awards and academic scholarships are available.  Descriptions of these are provided in the Graduate Handbook.  For more information, contact Dr. Sarah Couch at or 513-558-7504.
Completion of 37 graduate credit hours are required to graduate from the MS program. The thesis track includes 29 credits of core requirements and 8 credits of MS thesis guidance. The non-thesis track includes 27 credits of core requirements, 6 credits of graduate elective course work and 4 credits of capstone work. Students pursuing the thesis option must submit and receive approval of their electronic thesis by the Graduate Program Director and The Graduate School. Capstone projects must be received and approved by the Graduate Program Director.
Admitted students transferring from another graduate program may seek Advanced Standing Credit for coursework that is similar to graduate courses in the MS in Nutrition program.  Students must submit an official request that is approved by both the Graduate Program Director in Nutrition and The Graduate School.

Application Deadlines

The graduate faculty will start admitting students and awarding financial assistance beginning April 1.  If you would like to be considered for financial assistance, it is highly encouraged that you submit your application by mid-February so that your application can be considered before the April 1st deadline.  We will consider applications for admission for fall until August 1

The application deadline for spring semester is November 1. There are usually only a limited number of openings for students for the spring. Before filling out the application we encourage you to contact our program coordinator about admission.

In preparing your application for admission, you will need to submit the following electronically:

  • a graduate application
  • application fees, which must be paid by credit card (Visa, Discover, Master Card) or electronic check. Applications will not be processed until payment is received.
  • your resume which should include relevant academic and professional data. Resume should include: Name, address, phone, birth date, citizenship, colleges attended with degrees and dates, employment history, professional experience, present employment, and names of references that will be sending letters.
  • your statement of academic and professional goals. This statement will be used as one of the criteria for evaluating your application. This statement should include:
    • What are your career goals and interests?
    • What experience do you have in the nutrition discipline?
    • What experience do you have in research or teaching?
    • How are you at working independently?
    • Do you have any notable leadership skills?
    • State any significant writing pieces (i.e. honors thesis, project, University newspaper)
    • Why do you want to come to UC?
    • What type of nutrition research do you want to do?
  • your unofficial transcript. An official transcript will only need to be submitted after you have been accepted and confirmed as a student. 
  • test scores received on the Quantitative, Verbal and Written Tests of Graduate Record Exam (GRE) taken no more than five years before application date unless you have completed the GRE waiver. 
  • three current letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with your academic and professional ability (submitted electronically by recommenders). One letter should be from an academic source; one should be from an employer or other person who can comment regarding on-the-job (professional) performance; and the third may be from either an academic or professional source.
  • For all applicants whose native language is not English, demonstration of English proficiency. Most applicants fulfill the English requirement by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The University of Cincinnati now has an additional option available to demonstrate English language proficiency through the on-campus ELS Language Center. Successful completion of Intensive English Instruction (level 112) can fulfill the English proficiency requirement for admission, thus obviating the need for the TOEFL or IELTS.

Applicants with a baccalaureate or master degree from an accredited university in the United States, Canada, England, Australia, or other English-speaking country are exempt from the English proficiency requirement. A certified copy of the degree or transcript is required for such an exemption. In addition, applicants from select English-speaking countries are exempt from the English proficiency requirement upon submission of a request for a waiver of the TOEFL test by the admitting program.

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contact Information

Sarah Couch, PhD, RDN
Health Sciences Building
3225 Eden Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45267
(513) 558-7504