Master of Science in Nutrition

With an emphasis in community nutrition and food sustainability

NOTE: The program is not accepting admissions to the Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics for fall 2019. Admission will resume in spring 2020.

Mission & Overview

Prevention of illness is a main focus in healthcare today. There is no discussion of prevention without understanding the role food plays in human health. UDC is an urban, land-grant university located in the District of Columbia where policies which affect communities are created and regulated. One of the missions of our land-grant college is to improve the health, wellness, food, and water security of the local and global community.  This affords students a unique opportunity to conduct research in food sustainability with leaders in the field of urban sustainability such as the impact of current agricultural practices on the nutritional content of food. Between our urban farms, rooftop garden, aquaponic and hydroponic sites, there are unlimited opportunities for students to study the impact of agriculture on nutrition and ways to improve the nutritional quality of food while preserving the integrity of the environment we all share.


The mission of the Master of Nutrition program is to ensure students are well-positioned to promote healthier food choices, develop educational programs which promote healthy lifestyles, design and implement dietary strategies and nutritional therapy, and ensure the nation’s food supply remains safe and sustainable.


Upon completion of the master of science degree in nutrition, graduates are able to:

  1. Apply an understanding of environmental, molecular factors, and food in the development and management of disease.
  2. Apply knowledge of patho-physiology and nutritional biochemistry to physiology, health and disease.
  3. Apply knowledge of pharmacology to recommend, prescribe and administer medical nutrition therapy.
  4. Apply an understanding of the impact of complementary and integrative nutrition on drugs, disease, health and wellness.
  5. Apply knowledge of nutritional health promotion and disease prevention for individuals, groups and populations.
  6. Gain a foundational knowledge on public and global health issues and nutritional needs
  7. Apply a framework to assess, develop, implement and evaluate products, programs and services.
  8. Utilize program planning steps to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate community and population programs.
  9. Engage in legislative and regulatory activities that address community, population and global nutrition health and nutrition policy.
  10. Lead quality and performance improvement activities to measure, evaluate and improve a program services, products and initiatives.
  11. Apply scientific methods utilizing ethical research practices when reviewing, evaluating and conducting research.
  12. Apply current research and evidence-informed practice to services.

Degree Requirements

The master’s in nutrition degree is a two-year, four-semester, 35 credit-hour program (38 if you need to take English Writing Proficiency). Students are required to complete either a thesis research paper or a non-thesis project. Students have a wide-variety of researcher from which to choose to work with specialties in community nutrition or food sustainability. Students are expected to begin working on their thesis or non-thesis research project in their first year, during the summer(s), and defend their thesis during the last semester before graduation. Students defend their thesis in a formal presentation to their committee; students and faculty.



Students who possess a bachelor’s degree in nutrition or dietetics do not need to complete prerequisite courses. Students holding degrees in majors other than nutrition or dietetics must complete the following prerequisites:

Nutrition Courses

  1. Advanced Nutrition
  2. Food Chemistry

Science Courses

  1. General Chemistry with lab (one semester)
  2. Organic Chemistry with lab (one semester)
  3. General Microbiology with lab (one semester)
  4. Anatomy and Physiology I with lab (one semester)

Career Options

  1. Public Policy Analyst
  2. Public Health Specialist
  3. Nutrition/Health Educator
  4. Community Health Specialist
  5. Corporate Wellness Specialist
  6. Food Sustainability Consultant/Private Practice

Cost & Financial Aid

Tuition rates for the University of the District of Columbia can be found here. Financial Aid information for the University of the District of Columbia can be found here.

Faculty Contact

Dr. Elgloria Harrison
Interim Chair, Department of Health, Nursing and Nutrition


Nutrition and Dietetics Brochure
Master of Nutrition Fact Sheet

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