Jun 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nutritional Science, M.S.

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 OR submission of writing sample.
  3. Submission of resume and three letters of recommendation with at least two from instructors who have direct knowledge of the applicant’s scholastic ability and professional qualifications.
  4. Completion of all prerequisites for 500 level courses prior to admission.

Cal State Apply 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 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

Complete 9 units of graduate courses


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

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

Approval by the Graduate Coordinator

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

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 one of the following capstone courses (3 units):


*Students who complete the CSULB Individualized Supervised Practice Program (ISPP) are able to waive 6 units of coursework in the M.S. in Nutritional Science Program and may graduate with 30 units.

Defense of Research Proposal

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 (15 units):

Select 5 courses in the Food Science Emphasis:

Electives selected in consultation with Graduate Advisor (6)

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Accredited Internship Program:


The department offers a combined Master of Science in Nutritional Science and Internship Program in Nutritional 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 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 1,000 hours of practicum experience (NUTR 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 (NUTR 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 (fall and spring). 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 have been achieved:

  1. Completion of 1,000 hours of practicum (6 units in NUTR 591A ) with a minimum of satisfactory performance as evaluated by preceptors and receiving a credit grade in the course;
  2. Completion of 6 units in the Seminar in Dietetic Practice: NUTR 591B  with a grade of B or higher;
  3. Completion of all required graduate courses while maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  4. Completion of 18 units of core courses and one 3-unit elective;
  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.