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Master of Science in Nutritional Science

This degree offers four emphases: Nutritional Science, Latino Health and Nutrition, Food Science, and Dietetic Internship.

Admission Criteria

Prospective applicants must comply with University requirements for admission to graduate studies as outlined in this catalog. Students must concurrently submit applications to the University Admissions and Records Office and the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Admission to the Master of Science in Nutritional Science is dependent upon the recommendation by the Graduate Coordinator and the College of Health and Human Services Associate Dean. The requirements for prospective graduate students for the Master of Science degree are:

1. A bachelor's degree in Nutrition, Dietetics, or related field with an undergraduate overall GPA of 3.0 and a GPA of 3.0 on the last 60 undergraduate units attempted.

2. A minimum score of 4 on the Analytical Writing section of the general GRE.

3. A passing score on the test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) if the applicant's native language is not English and preparatory education was principally in a language other than English.

4. Submission of the following to the Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences:

  • A. A copy of the completed application submitted to the CSULB Office of Enrollment Services.
  • B. Three letters of recommendation with at least two from instructors who have direct knowledge of the applicant's scholastic ability and professional qualifications.

5. Completion of all prerequisites for 500/600 level courses prior to admission. and Program Applications must be postmarked by the deadline as seen on the Graduate Advising home page for the fall semester to receive consideration for admission.

Additional Admission Criteria for Students Choosing the Dietetic Internship Emphasis

1. Completion of an ACEND accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics with an original Verification Statement from the Didactic Program Director;

2. Related volunteer or work experience in the United States;

3. Completion of the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS) application by the deadline as seen on the Graduate Advising home page for the fall semester to receive consideration for admission;

4. Additional application materials to Program Director postmarked by the deadline as seen on the Graduate Advising home page for the fall semester to receive consideration for admission which includes a nutrition-related experience worksheet and a GPA calculation sheet (both forms can be downloaded from the Internship Program website:; and,

5. Interview with Program Director and review committee.


1. Prerequisites for all courses carrying graduate credit must have been completed within five years of taking the graduate courses. If any prerequisite is outdated, it may be repeated or credit obtained by written examination.

Advancement to Candidacy

1. Complete 9 units of graduate courses, including FCS 696.

2. Maintain a 3.0 GPA for all course work attempted as a graduate student.

3. Complete a Program of Study in consultation with a faculty advisor.

4. Approval by the Graduate Coordinator of Family and Consumer Sciences and the Associate Dean of the College of Health and Human Services.

5. Enrolled in the semester in which the Advancement to Candidacy takes place.


1. Maintain a minimum of 3.0 GPA in all graduate work completed at CSULB and all graduate work transferred to meet graduate requirements.

2. Maintain satisfactory progress toward the degree objective.


Completion of a minimum of 36 units.

Take all of the following core courses (15 units)

  • EDP 519 or HSC 503 or statistics course approved by the faculty advisor.
  • FCS 530A Carbohydrates, Lipids and Proteins (3)
    Prerequisites: NUTR 436, NUTR 335, BIOL 260.
  • FCS 530B Vitamins and Minerals (3)
    Prerequisites: NUTR 436, NUTR 335, BIOL 260.
  • FCS 696 Research Methods (3)
    Prerequisite: Upper-division course in statistics.
  • FCS 697 Directed Research (3)
    Prerequisite: Advancement to candidacy.

Take one of the following capstone courses (3 units):

  • FCS 692 Directed Project (3)
    Prerequisite: FCS 697.
  • FCS 698 Thesis (3)
    Prerequisite: FCS 697
  • Oral Presentation of Thesis or Directed Project

Defense of Research Proposal, Oral Defense of Thesis or Directed Project to Committee, and Poster Presentation at FCS Department Poster Session

Complete one of the following emphases (18 units):

1. Select 6 courses for the Nutritional Science Emphasis.

  • FCS 531, FCS 539 , FCS 563, FCS/KIN 568, FCS 636; BIOL 570; EDAD 541, EDAD 677A; HSC 430, HSC 500; KIN 551, KIN 566
  • Or other courses selected in consultation with the Graduate Advisor.

2. Select 6 courses in the Latino Health and Nutrition Emphasis:

  • HSC 507; FCS or HSC 534; FCS or HSC 537; HHS 592A, HHS 634, HHS 635

3. Select 6 courses in the Food Science Emphasis:

  • FCS 532, FCS 535, FCS 592, FCS 597
  • Electives selected in consultation with Graduate Advisor (6)

4. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetitcs Accredited Internship Program:

  • FCS 591A Professional Practicum in Dietetics (3,3,3)
  • FCS 591B Seminar in Dietetic Practice (3,3)
  • One 3 unit elective course (3)

The department offers a combined Master of Science in Nutritonal Science and Internship Program in Nutiriton and Dietetics (IPND) supervised practice. The IPND is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Upon successful completion of the IPND, the student will be eligible to write the Registration Examination for Dietitians.

The IPND's mission is to provide contemporary training of the entry-level nutrition professionals who will become valued leaders in multi-ethnic communities, healthcare programs and food production settings for the years 2012-2022. Two major goals of the IPND are:

  • 1. To prepare entry-level dietitians who can apply the science of nutrition for the well-being of individuals throughout the lifecycle, and
  • 2. To prepare graduates of a Master of Science in Nutritional Science degree who are dedicated and confident in their profession.

The Internship Program has a "Nutrition Across the Life Cycle Communication" (NALCC) Concentration. The concentration is designed to develop unique communication, education and health promotion skills. These skills will enhance the ability of graduates to interview, counsel, and guide individuals with nutrition decisions and eating behaviors at all ages of individuals across the life cycle. In addition, the concentration prepares graduates with the ability to develop health promotion and chronic disease prevention programs for individuals and groups.

The IPND provides 1,200 hours of practicum experience (FCS 591A: Professional Practicum in Dietetics) within a broad array of disciplines including nutrition therapy, foodservice systems management, community and business/ entrepreneurial nutrition. The supervised practice is conducted off campus at a variety of excellent facilities including, but not limited to, medical centers, health departments, school districts and community service organizations. An additional didactic course (FCS 591B: Seminar in Dietetic Practice) supporting the practicum is taken and constitutes 276 hours of class time.

The student must enroll in a minimum of two full academic years to finish both the M.S. in Nutritional Science and the Internship Program. Graduate coursework is to be completed the first year (fall, spring, and summer). Supervised practice is to be completed the second year (second summer session, fall, spring, and summer). The thesis or project is to be completed by the end of the second year.

Dietetic Internship Completion

The student will complete the MS/IPND when the following has been achieved:

  1. Completion of 1,200 hours of practicum (FCS 591A) with a minimum of satisfactory peformance as evaluated by preceptors and receiving a credit grade in the course;
  2. Completion of the Seminar in Dietetic Practice: FCS 591B with a grade of B or higher;
  3. Completion of all designated graduate courses with a grade of "B" or higher;
  4. Completion of 15 units of core courses and one 3 unit elective course;
  5. A written Thesis or Directed Project; and
  6. Defense of Research Proposal, Oral Defense of Thesis or Directed Project to Committee, and Poster Presentation at FCS Department Poster Session.

When the student meets these requirements, he/she will receive an ACEND Verification Statement signed by the Program Director. The graduate will then be eligible to attempt the Registered Dietitian exam.

Students can view details of the dietetic internship at

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