Nutrition: The UDC Edge

UDC offers you a unique path to upgrade your career in the field of nutrition and dietetics. The graduate program facilitates the translation of general nutrition recommendations into actions and services, in order for to impact the health and well-being of the community and general population. Completion of this program will make a graduate eligible to become a licensed nutritionist.

As part of our landgrant mission of service to the community, the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences of the University of the District of Columbia has long been at the forefront of educating the next generation of nutrition specialists to combat nutrition-related diseases (e.g. obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart and kidney disease) and reduce health disparities among an urban and often underserved population

Master’s Degree (MS) in Nutrition

Nutrition is not an issue we can avoid. It is an issue that impacts our lives every day. Whether your motivation for studying nutrition comes from personal experience or simply a desire to change your community for the better, the University of the District of Columbia has a place for you.

The master’s degree program in nutrition in the Department of Health, Nursing and Nutrition in the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) trains you to address the health and nutritional needs of urban and ethnically diverse populations and to be a leader in implementing innovative and culturally competent community education programs to reduce health disparities.

The MSND program’s specific goals are:

  • To recruit and offer opportunity for ethnically diverse students to complete their dietetic education that culminates in a graduate degree in Dietetics/Nutrition.
  • Graduate students with critical and analytical skills needed to address nutrition issues and health disparities in minorities and underserved populations.
  • To retain and empower ethnically diverse students who will complete the graduate program in nutrition.
  • To attract national and international students of diverse backgrounds to the graduate program.


Curriculum and Requirements

The graduate program will require 32-35 credit hours. The entire first year offers course work and the second year will comprise of course work, research and thesis submission. Applicants should already possess a bachelor’s degree in nutrition. Otherwise, it may be necessary to take additional science prerequisites before gaining admission into the program.

General Admission requirements to UDC can be accessed on Any student interested in the Graduate Program in Dietetics is encouraged to apply. Application information is available on the web page Applications are considered on the basis of qualification of each applicant without regard to race, color, creed sex or national origin. Students seeking admission to the Graduate Program must fulfill the general Admission policies of the University. Any student, local, national or international, interested in the Graduate Program is eligible to apply and will have to submit the following:

  • Application Form
  • Application Fee
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE Scores- The GRE score should be above 4.0. If the GRE score is not above 4 the students are mandated to successfully complete the English Proficiency Writing course (ENGL-515) offered by the Department of English
  • Satisfactorily completed a baccalaureate degree in nutrition/related field or from an accredited university
  • Undergraduate minimum cumulative GPA of ≥ 3.0
  • An official copy of the transcript of the applicant’s academic undergraduate record. If the student attended more than one college/university attach copies of transcripts from ALL colleges or universities attended
  • An essay as to how the student will contribute to improving the health status of the minority population by getting involved with the legislative  process
  • International students should provide evaluation by World Education Services

The Graduate Program will not admit students that are unprepared for the graduate program. Students completing the accredited DPD Program will be eligible to apply for the Graduate Program. Students holding degrees in majors other than nutrition are expected to complete the DPD knowledge requirements prior to applying to the Graduate Program. All applications to the Graduate Program will undergo a two-phase review process.

Phase 1: Evaluation by the Graduate Selection Committee
Phase 2: Personal Interview


The two-year curriculum outlines the conceptual information that will deem necessary for a successful career in Nutrition and Dietetics. Students selected for the program work with leading experts in all areas of public health as they apply their education to real life scenarios. The program is designed to provide an opportunity for students of Nutrition and Dietetics to gain exposure to state-of-the-art health information while furthering their knowledge and skills. The curriculum will be thoroughly reviewed annually to update the program. The curriculum outlined below is designed to be a multi-disciplinary course work taught mostly by the graduate faculty of the University of the District of Columbia.

Select courses include:

  • Group Design and Intervention
  • Nutrition Epidemiology
  • Politics: Public Policy and Health Issues
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • Nutrigenomics
  • Leadership in Organization
  • Mass Media for Public Administration
  • Pharmacology for Nutrition Professionals
  • Nutrition Research Methods

Graduate students conduct original research in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Nutrition Research Center, Children’s Hospital of Washington, D.C. and the DC Water Resources Research Institute.

Student Organizations and Activities in the UDC Nutrition Graduate Program

The nutrition and dietetics program has active chapters of the Student Dietetic Association and Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANNRS), which participate in outreach activities such as community health fairs including the annual NBC 4 Health and Fitness Expo, and provide mentorship opportunities for students. Students also sponsor conferences through the local District of Columbia Metropolitan Area Dietetic Association and regional and national offices of MANNRS. Students also sponsor conferences through the local District of Columbia Metropolitan Area Dietetic Association and regional and national offices of MANNRS.

Faculty Spotlight: UDC Nutrition Graduate Program

Dr. Prema Ganganna, PhD., RD., LD., is chair of the Department of Health, Nursing and Nutrition, with more than 30 years of experience in nutrition from the clinical, management, research and academic perspectives. In 2006, Ganganna visited China as a delegate dietitian and nutritionist and participated in an Oxford University roundtable on health and nutrition policy issues. She was also a member of the technical advisory panel on dietary modifications charged with recommending strategies for dietary modifications published by the Department of Health and Human Services, Commission of Public Health, and Bureau of Cancer Control.

Career Pathways and Prospects

The master’s degree program in nutrition and dietetics will prepare you for the following careers:

  • Community nutrition educator
  • Researcher
  • Manager in health service delivery organizations and systems, managed-care programs, and other population-based organizations.

You may find work in a range of settings:

  • Federal, state or local government agencies (including the USDA, FDA, DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed)).
  • Nonprofit organizations (such as the American Heart Association, the National Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Association)
  • Management nutritionists to oversee meal-planning in healthcare facilities and company cafeterias

Additional Resources:

Contact info:

E: | T: 202.274.5516 | F: 202.274.5577