The University of Texas at Austin Online Master of Science in Nutritional Science (MSNS)
Stand out in the in-demand field of nutritional science with a graduate degree from a university dedicated to research and education that changes health care and the world. Gain a science-based and human-focused understanding of how nutrition impacts health and wellness.
About the program
- Certification opportunities: Fulfill part of the current academic requirements for the Board Certified Nutrition Specialist (BCNS) certification.
- Specialist concentrations: Focus your expertise on biochemical and functional nutrition, or on health promotion and disease prevention.
- Career preparation: Apply your new industry-aligned skills and strategies to academia, clinical, community and even research settings.
About The University of Texas at Austin
Founded in 1883, The University of Texas at Austin ranks among the 40 best universities in the U.S.Footnote 2 Its Department of Nutritional Science works at the nexus of epidemiology, genetics, public health, cell biology and medicine, examining the human organism from the molecular to the system level. The ultimate goal of nutrition teaching and research of the department is to improve the quality of life of individuals by minimizing morbidity and maximizing longevity.
The University of Texas at Austin’s Master of Science in Nutritional Science (MSNS) degree is a 30-credit-hour program (10 courses in total). This rigorous, yet flexible curriculum offers students the choice of studying over one or two years. You can also choose to specialize in health promotion and disease prevention or biochemical and functional nutrition, although you are not locked into either specialization. If you have an interest in nutritional science research, there is an option to complete a thesis. This MSNS degree highlights the link between nutrition and human health and disease.
As a learner in the MSNS program, you’ll address critical nutrition issues such as:
The impact of food preparation and processing on the nutrient quality of food.
The role of diet on the gut microbiome.
The interaction between what we eat and how our genes function.
The key to motivating nutritional behavior change.
The nutritional and environmental underpinnings of energy balance and weight gain.
This program also fulfills part of the current academic requirements for the Board Certified Nutrition Specialist (BCNS) certification. BCNS requires a graduate degree in the field of nutrition from a regionally accredited university, specific coursework, and 1,000 hours of supervised experience. This certification enables you to practice medical nutrition therapy and other aspects of nutrition care in many states. Learn more about eligibility .
Depending on your specific requirements, the MSNS program has two tracks, which you can choose based on your career or educational goals. The one-year track prepares students to study medicine, pharmacology, dentistry or physician assistant programs — students in the MSNS build a strong knowledge base in nutritional science. The two-year track is designed for working professionals, especially current registered dietitians in need of a master’s degree, and offers them the flexibility to successfully complete the program while continuing to meet job and personal life responsibilities.
All MSNS students are required to complete the five core courses below to graduate. All courses are worth 3 credit hours.
Advances in Nutritional Sciences I – Macronutrient Metabolism
Advances in Nutritional Sciences II – Micronutrient Metabolism
Molecular Nutritional Sciences
Experimental Design and Statistics
Advanced Experimental Design and Statistics
In addition to the five core nutrition courses, students who want to develop specialized knowledge in health promotion and disease prevention will complete the five courses below:
Theories of Nutrition Behavior
Energy Balance and Obesity
Nutrition Through the Lifecycle
Nutrition and Disease Prevention
Current Issues in Nutritional Sciences
Students who want to focus on learning more about biochemical and functional nutrition will complete the the core nutrition courses, as well as following five courses:
Biochemical Nutrition: Nutrition as Medicine
Nutrition and Cancer
Nutrition and Immunology
Current Issues in Nutritional Sciences
MSNS students are able to complete a research project and thesis; however, there are limits to the type of research and faculty approval is required. This option entails:
five core nutrition courses
three courses in your chosen concentration
two thesis coursework classes
Tuition and financial aid
The estimated tuition for the Master of Science in Nutritional Science (MSNS) degree program as of the 2023–24 academic year is $22,500. Tuition is $750 per credit hour. In addition, fees range from approximately $500 to $1,200 per semester based on the number of credit hours taken. A $500 deposit is required upon enrollment.
Please note that tuition does not include out-of-pocket expenses such as books, additional course materials or other fees. Learners can expect a moderate tuition increase each year.
At present, the MSNS is not able to offer or accept University of Texas scholarships.
There are a number of resources that may be available to help you finance your master’s degree. Resources include federal tuition assistance, private loans, employer tuition assistance, scholarships and veteran benefits.
Applying for federal student aid
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) , using a code for The University of Texas at Austin: 003658.
Sign the FAFSA electronically with your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID.
Apply for financial aid at the same time as you complete your program application.
The Master of Science in Nutritional Science (MSNS) at The University of Texas at Austin offers two start dates: one in spring and one in fall. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until the final deadline ahead of each start. In order to be considered, you must meet the minimum requirements for graduate study at The University of Texas at Austin. Admission is also based on grades, letters of recommendation, and the fit between the applicant’s goals and the goals of the program. GRE scores are not required.
December 1, 2023
June 1, 2024
July 15, 2024
To complete an application, you will need to submit the following materials:Apply Now
Admission is based on undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) grades, letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant's academic potential and/or professional experience, and a personal statement of goals from the applicant. Applicants who wish to turn in GRE results are welcome to do so, but the test is not required. The Admissions Committee also examines the fit between the applicant's goals and the goals of the program.
Applicants to the MSNS degree program must meet the minimum requirements for graduate study at the University of Texas at Austin. Admission requirements to the Graduate School and the graduate program in Nutritional Sciences are as follows:
A bachelor's degree from an accredited United States institution of higher learning OR proof of equivalent training at an institution outside the United States, as determined by the Office of Graduate Admissions.
A grade point average of at least 3.00 in upper-division course work (junior- and senior-level courses) and in any graduate work already completed.
Successful completion of a biochemistry course from an accredited institution prior to enrollment (conditional admission can be given, pending completion of this course). If an applicant does not have a bachelor's degree in a biological science field, success in the program will be enhanced by completion of the following additional courses but are not required:
Provided here is a list of universities that offer online courses that fulfill the prerequisites for this program.
US applicants must pay a $65 fee, while international applicants must pay $90 when submitting their application. However, U.S. citizens or permanent residents pursuing their first graduate degree qualify for a waiver through Apply Texas.
Applicants must include a personal statement regarding their research, professional experience and goals, and about how earning the MSNS would further those goals.
Applicants must include a résumé or CV detailing their relevant professional and academic experience.
Applicants must include three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with their academic potential and/or professional experience.
Applicants must upload PDF copies of official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended. If offered admission, they will be required to have official transcripts sent to the University of Texas Graduate Admissions and International Center. This can be done via posted mail or through Parchment. No other online transcript submission services are approved for use at UT Austin. For more information, see Graduate Admission.
International applicants must submit a TOEFL exam with a satisfactory score on the TOEFL exam — minimum score of 83 required. For more information, and for exceptions, please see: Graduate School Admissions for International Students.
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