What to Expect in the Nutrition Traditional MS Program

Thinking about joining our program? Here's what you can expect at UIC

Our Traditional Master of Science in Nutrition provides a personalized path that focuses on your specific interests to further your understanding of the relationships between nutrients and human health.

Depending on your specific interests, our Traditional Master program can provide:

  • Understanding of the impact of poor diet on health and chronic disease risk.
  • Practical and effective skills to address diet and lifestyle changes.
  • Biochemical and pathophysiological aspects of nutrition
  • Coursework in Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • Practical application of Food as Medicine
  • Health counseling techniques to enhance compliance with behavioral change
  • Community nutrition resources and patient centered cultural competence
  • Understanding of research methods and research ethics
  • Participation in research projects

The Traditional Master of Science in Nutrition provides an excellent background to individuals interested in pursuing a research career, obtain a PhD, MD, or other health-related post-MS graduate degrees.

Although the Traditional Master of Science in Nutrition does not fulfill the requirements to sit for the Registration Examination for Dietitians, as of January 2024 the Commission on Dietetic Registration will require students to have a Masters’ degree to sit for the Registration Examination for Dietitians.

Students interested in fulfilling the requisites to become a Registered Dietitian should apply to the MS Coordinated (MS/CP) program.

Content Section

Required coursework

The Traditional HN MS degree is personalized to the specific interests and goals of each student. Therefore, there are no required classes for this degree. Students work with their assigned advisor to design coursework that fulfills their specific interests and goals.

Any 400- or 500-level class offered by any program at UIC counts towards the Traditional MS degree as long as it’s directed at complementing Nutrition-related knowledge. For example, students interested in physiology or psychology of exercise can take classes from the Kinesiology program (KN rubric), students interested in public health-related issues can take classes from the UIC School of Public Health (PUBH rubric), students interested in clinical nutrition can take classes offered by the UIC Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, or Pharmacy, students interested in the anthropology or sociology of Nutrition can take classes from the Anthropology (ANTH) or sociology (SOC) programs, etc.

When designing their personalized coursework in consultation with their advisor, students should keep in mind that at least 9 credits should be from 500-level classes listed under the Human Nutrition (HN) rubric with A-F grading (thus HN596, HN597, HN598 and any other class with Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading do not count).

Completion of the HN MS degree requires 36 credits at the graduate level. This means that only 400- and 500-level classes count towards the MS. Any 100-, 200- or 300-level class (for example classes taken to fulfill prerequisites) will not count towards the required 36 credits or GPA calculations.

HN classes descriptions are at https://catalog.uic.edu/gcat/course-descriptions/hn/

Required Project

A project is required for the completion of the Traditional HN MS program. To fulfill this requirement, students should register for at least 5 credits of HN597 Master’s Project Research. Project credits and work can be completed in a single semester or spread across multiple semesters, typically in the second year of the program.

The project is typically completed under the supervision of the student’s main advisor. However, if appropriate, a different UIC faculty member can act as the project’s supervisor as long as the student’s main advisor is involved in the decision and agrees to oversee the appropriateness and completion of the project.

Whereas a thesis is always based on original scholarship, a Traditional HN MS project can take many forms. Examples of projects completed by Traditional HN MS include:

  • Participation in an ongoing research project
  • Analysis of data obtained as part of previous research projects
  • Writing of a scientific review article
  • Designing a novel Nutrition-related coursework
  • Designing a novel Nutrition-related educational program or material

Completion of the project is certified through a certificate that must be signed by the Advisor and by the Director of Graduate Studies before submission to the Graduate College: https://uofi.app.box.com/s/2uos0pjfimqeol4ziv4smyr758jg3bgw

Please note that the Traditional HN MS program does not require a committee review or defense of the project.

Content Section

UIC’s Disability Resource Center (DRC) ensures the rights of college students with disabilities to have full and equal access to their college experience. DRC staff members do so by working one-on-one with students to identify barriers in the campus environment and to create a plan of reasonable accommodations that removes those barriers. Any student with a documented disability can register with the DRC. DRC services are completely free and do not require U.S. citizenship or a Social Security Number.

All prospective students are asked to review the Technical Standards provided via the link below. The Technical Standards describe the performance abilities and characteristics that are necessary to successfully complete the requirements of MS Traditional Program curriculum and provide effective and safe health care. Students matriculating into the MS Traditional Program and seeking reasonable accommodations due to a disability or wanting to explore the accommodation options at UIC are asked to contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) in advance of the Fall 1 semester. To set up or explore accommodations, complete the steps described on the DRC website: https://drc.uic.edu/students-2/new-to-drc/. The steps involve completing the online Student Registration Form and calling the DRC at (312) 413-2183 to schedule an intake appointment.