Food sitting next to a clipboard

Master of Professional Studies in
Nutritional Sciences

Program Summary

Enhance your leadership skills and prepare for evidence-based advanced practice in the field of nutrition. You can complete this online nutrition master's degree program with or without an optional Experiential Track, the pathway to the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential.
How To Apply
Apply by April 15 to start May 15

How To Apply 

Costs and Financial Aid

30-39 Credits $1,007 per credit

Costs and Financial Aid 

Online Master of Professional Studies in Nutritional Sciences

The role of nutrition and the decisions we make about the foods we eat have a critical impact on our quality of life and risk of chronic disease. As concern grows regarding the high incidence of obesity and other diseases caused by poor nutrition in various populations, there is an urgent demand for professionals who are proficient in the use of evidence-based strategies to improve health and optimize quality of life.

This master's degree in nutritional sciences is designed to help prepare you for evidence-based advanced practice. Our online program features a curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking and interactive technology to engage you in the learning process. The course work, focused on the development of leadership skills, can set you apart from your peers.

Earn Your Penn State Nutrition Master's Degree

The unique focus of Penn State's online Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Nutritional Sciences program gives you the opportunity to learn from expert faculty who are leaders in the field. The Department of Nutritional Sciences at Penn State has, in addition to its highly respected, accredited undergraduate program, a dietetic internship and graduate program ranked in the top-tier, compared to peer institutions.

This online professional master's degree is designed for a range of professionals looking to advance their skills and enhance their careers in the nutrition field. Specifically, our students include:

  • Current registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) who are looking to earn a master’s degree in nutritional sciences
  • Students who hold an undergraduate degree in nutrition, health, or science and are looking for a master’s degree pathway to earn their Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential
  • Health professionals looking for a career change who may or may not have a background in nutritional sciences

As a complement to the challenging but rewarding nutrition curriculum, the online courses provide you with the flexibility and convenience to study around your own schedule without sacrificing quality. You can skip the commute and prepare for more rewarding career opportunities without leaving the comfort of your home.

One Degree. Two Pathways.

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics logo

When you apply to the MPS in Nutritional Sciences, you can choose to complete the master’s degree with or without an optional Experiential Track. The Experiential Track is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) as a Future Education Model Graduate Program (FG). The Experiential Track offers both in-residence and distance location options for the supervised experiential learning components for three semesters of the program.

Completion of this optional Experiential Track may lead to the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential.

Your Online Courses in the Nutritional Sciences Master's Degree

Our curriculum has been developed to create a skill set that you can apply directly to your experiences and issues in the workplace. The courses in our online nutrition program are based on a student-centered, highly interactive learning model. We use diverse, innovative teaching and learning methods that consider various learning styles and can help you tailor your education to your career needs. Many of our teaching methods, such as simulation and gaming, make learning exciting and meaningful in real-life work settings.

Throughout the program, you will focus on evaluating the latest research, translating it to best practices in diverse practice settings, and becoming a leader in collaboration with other health care professionals and in the field of nutrition.

The program also includes a meaningful capstone project in which you will identify an issue or problem in your work setting and produce and implement an evidence-based solution. This culminating experience will build on a leadership-focused skill set that can advance your practice.

Penn State nutrition graduates occupy positions in academia, government, the private sector, and professional societies and organizations. As a graduate of this program, you could be well prepared for employment in many nutrition practice settings, including:

  • hospitals
  • clinics and outpatient care centers
  • medical group practices
  • federal, state, and public health agencies
  • the food industry
  • nutritional consultation services

Opportunity to Earn a Bachelor's Degree and Master's Degree 

This master's degree is also part of an Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate (IUG) program that provides undergraduate nutritional sciences students the opportunity to earn both a bachelor's degree and master's degree in approximately five years. Academically strong students who are pursuing their B.S. in Nutritional Sciences at University Park would typically apply to the online graduate program during the semester in which they will complete 60 credits. Current undergraduate students interested in the IUG pathway can contact the program office for more details. 

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