The master's in nutrition emphasizes a skill-set tailored to expanding nutrition-related needs. Students learn to assess, evaluate, and intervene in the most current and relevant nutrition issues. The curriculum prepares graduates to work for agencies, businesses, and organizations that seek to improve nutrition at the local, national, and global level. This program also prepares students to engage in further study for research careers in nutrition.



Applicants must meet the admission standards and application requirements specified in Graduate Admissions and must apply using the online Application for Graduate Admission. For application deadlines and detailed application requirements, refer to the CHHS Admissions website.  


For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Transfer of Credit

Transfer credit is governed by university transfer of credit policy and the university requirements for master's degrees, and transfer credit must be approved by the program director and the dean. Students who enroll initially through non-degree studies should seek course advising through the department prior to taking a course and plan to submit their application to the MS in Nutrition program in their first semester of study.

Banner Code: HH-MS-NUTR

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 39

Nutrition Core Courses

NUTR 651Nutrition Assessment, Monitoring and Surveillance3
NUTR 620Nutrition Education3
NUTR 522Nutrition Across the Lifespan3
NUTR 515Fundamentals of Cooking3
NUTR 642Macronutrients3
NUTR 644Micronutrients3
NUTR 670Nutrition Research Methods3
NUTR 675Nutrition Program Development, Interventions and Assessments3
NUTR 626Food Systems3
GCH 601Introduction to Biostatistics3
or HAP 602 Statistics in Health Services Management
NUTR 583Food and Culture 13
Total Credits30-33


All electives must be approved by advisor.

Select one from the following elective courses in any topic area.3
Cultural Competency:
Introduction to Wine and Beer
Global Nutrition
Contemporary Issues in Sociocultural Anthropology 1
Nutrition Intervention, Programs, and Policy:
Nutrition and Weight Management
Perspectives on Food Security
Food Safety and Defense
Food and Nutrition Security Policy
Nutrition Research:
Nutritional Epidemiology
Biostatistics for Public Health I
Biostatistics for Public Health II
Advanced Statistics in Health Services Research I
Applied Physiology I
Applied Physiology II
Total Credits3

Capstone Experience

Students must complete either the Practicum or Thesis option.

Practicum Option

The practicum option entails a supervised practical application of previously studied theory through fieldwork. Students will be required to engage for a minimum of 200 contact hours per practicum in a nutrition-related organization under the guidance of a preceptor and a faculty advisor. Students must attend one seminar course, complete a project while working in the agency, and produce a formal report and presentation during the practicum. Students will enroll in the Pre-Practicum course the semester prior to conducting the practicum. In their final semester, students will enroll in the Nutrition Practicum.

NUTR 788Pre-Practicum Seminar0
NUTR 790Nutrition Practicum3
Total Credits3

Thesis Option

The thesis option is a research project incorporating an original design to test a theory and resulting in a final written thesis. The topic must fall within one of the areas of faculty expertise within the department, including: food science, food studies, global nutrition, public health nutrition, nutrition policy, nutrition assessment, and chronic disease and nutrition. Students may register for the thesis only with approval from their advisor and after they have completed at least 18 credits of the program.

Students in the master’s thesis option are required to work with a committee of three faculty members. It is the responsibility of the student to form a committee at least 9 months before the desired graduation. The thesis director and at least one of the committee members must be members of the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies faculty, but the third member may or may not be from the Department. Students must take two thesis classes (6 credits total) while working on their thesis. Students must develop a proposal and have it approved by their committee and by the appropriate University committees, such as the Human Subjects Review Board, before undertaking the project. The thesis must conform to the format stated within Mason’s University Libraries guidelines.

Six credits of6
Thesis Research
Total Credits6

Bachelor’s Degree (any)/Nutrition, Accelerated MS


Qualified undergraduates may be admitted to the bachelor's/accelerated master's program (BAM) and obtain a bachelor’s degree in any program and an MS in Nutrition in an accelerated timeframe after satisfactory completion of a minimum of 147 credits.

See AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees for policies related to this program.

Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master's degree. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

BAM Pathway Admission Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions Policies and Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees policies. For information specific to this accelerated master's program, see

Students will be considered for admission into the BAM Pathway after completion of a minimum of 60 credits, completion of NUTR 295 Introduction to Nutrition (Mason Core) or equivalent, completion of BIOL 124 Human Anatomy and Physiology or BIOL 213 Cell Structure and Function (Mason Core)or equivalent, and a minimum overall GPA of 3.25.

Students who are accepted into the BAM Pathway will be allowed to register for graduate level courses after successful completion of a minimum of 75 undergraduate credits and course-specific prerequisites.

Accelerated Master’s Admission Requirements

Students already admitted in the BAM Pathway will be admitted to the MS in Nutrition program, if they have met the following criteria, as verified on the Bachelor’s/Accelerated Master’s Transition form:

  • Overall GPA of 3.25
  • Successfully completed NUTR 295 Introduction to Nutrition (Mason Core) or equivalent.
  • Successful completion of BIOL 124BIOL 124 Human Anatomy and Physiology or BIOL 213 Cell Structure and Function (Mason Core) or equivalent.
  • Successfully meeting Mason’s requirements for undergraduate degree conferral (graduation) and completing the application for graduation.

Accelerated Pathway Requirements

To maintain the integrity and quality of both the undergraduate and graduate degree programs, undergraduate students interested in taking graduate courses must choose from the following:

Advanced Standing course:

NUTR 515Fundamentals of Cooking3
NUTR 522Nutrition Across the Lifespan3
NUTR 642Macronutrients3
HAP 602Statistics in Health Services Management3

*other courses as approved by department chair.

Reserve credit courses: (optional)

NUTR 644Micronutrients3
NUTR 670Nutrition Research Methods3

For more detailed information on coursework and timeline requirements, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees policies.