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The Master of Science in Nutritional Science

Course Requirements for the Master's Degree: 30-32 units

Continuous enrollment is required. At the discretion of the academic program, a maximum of 30 percent of the units counted toward the degree requirements may be special session credit earned in non-matriculated status combined with all transfer coursework.  This applies to special session credit earned through Open University, or in courses offered for academic credit through Regional and Continuing Education.

Graduate Time Limit:

All requirements for the degree are to be completed within five years of the end of the semester of enrollment in the oldest course applied toward the degree. See Master's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements.

The MS in Nutritional Science provides an opportunity for students to:

  1. Specialize in nutrition, food science, clinical nutrition, or community nutrition.
  2. Complete a master's degree and concurrently qualify for membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  3. Increase competence in food and nutrition subject matter in preparation for college teaching, research, graduate study beyond the master's degree, and administrative positions in public and private agencies.

Prerequisites for Admission to Conditionally Classified Status:

1. Satisfactory grade point average as specified in Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Admission Requirements in the University Catalog.

2. Approval by the department and the Office of Graduate Studies.

3. An acceptable baccalaureate from an accredited institution, or an equivalent approved by the Office of Graduate Studies, which includes a minimum of 24 upper-division units among the subject areas of biochemistry, chemistry, nutrition and food science, mathematics, microbiology, physiology, and statistics. Computer literacy is also required. Students with deficiencies in undergraduate preparation may be required to take prerequisite course work at the discretion of the Graduate Coordinator after consultation with the student and faculty in the subject matter area(s) considered deficient. In addition, prerequisites for graduate-level courses must have been completed within the five years prior to taking the graduate courses. Outdated prerequisites must be validated either by examination or by registration (credit will not be earned for validating this course work).

4. Approval by the Nutrition and Food Science Graduate Coordinator.

Prerequisites for Admission to Classified Status:

In addition to any requirements listed above:

  1. Development and submission of an approved program plan in consultation with the Graduate Advisor and a faculty member of the student's choice.
  2. Completion of 12 departmentally specified units of letter-graded 400/500/600-level course work (of which 9 units must be in residence and part of the approved program) with a minimum grade point average of 3.0.

Advancement to Candidacy:

In addition to any requirements listed above:

Classified graduate standing and completion at the University of at least 15 units of approved course work.

Requirements for the MS in Nutritional Science:

Completion of all requirements as established by the program graduate committee, the graduate advisory committee, and the Office of Graduate Studies, to include:

  1. Completion of 30-32 units of approved 400/500/600-level course work as follows:
    1. 21 core units plus the units required for the selected option.
    2. At least 18 of the units required for the degree must be in 600-level courses.
    3. At the discretion of the academic program, a maximum of 30 percent of the units counted toward the degree requirements may be special session credit earned in non-matriculated status combined with all transfer coursework. This applies to special session credit earned through Open University, or in courses offered for academic credit through Regional and Continuing Education. (Correspondence courses and UC Extension coursework are not acceptable for transfer).
    4. Not more than a total of 10 units of Independent Study (697), Professional Paper (697P); not more than 3 units of Professional Paper (697P).
  2. Completion and final approval of a professional paper as specified by the graduate advisory committee.
  3. Completion of a comprehensive final oral examination in the field of study.
  4. Approval by the graduate advisory committee and the Graduate Coordinators Committee on behalf of the faculty of the University.

Culminating Activity:

  1. Professional Paper. The candidate shall submit an acceptable professional paper based on original research developed by the student and agreed to by the student's graduate advisory committee.
    1. Professional paper proposal: A proposal of the professional paper must be submitted and approved by the graduate advisory committee before the student begins the research. The proposal includes a literature review, a statement of the problem and purpose or hypothesis of the research, research design, and methods to be used. The proposal is a formal document that must have appropriate attention given to matters of format, documentation, and quality of writing.
    2. Registration in NFSC 697P, Professional Paper.
    3. Approval of professional paper: Members of the graduate advisory committee shall approve the professional paper.
    4. Oral defense: the candidate's graduate advisory committee shall conduct an oral defense of the professional paper. The oral defense is generally limited to matters within the scope of the paper.

Core Requirements

The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required of all candidates for this certificate.

21 units required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisite: MATH 105 or MATH 315. Recommended: MATH 615.
An examination of quantitative and qualitative research methods via the analysis of data and the design and implementation of original research and evaluation studies. Activities are designed to develop skills in research design, sampling design, instrumentation, data collection, statistics analysis, presentation and interpretation of results, and the presentation of original research via poster boards and journal manuscripts. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. This course requires the use of a laptop computer and appropriate software. (006380)
Prerequisite: NFSC 600 (may be taken concurrently).
An examination of research methods used in nutritional epidemiological studies and a critical review of the current state of knowledge regarding diet and other lifestyle-related indicators as factors in disease. 2 hours seminar. (022133)
Prerequisites: NFSC 440, biochemistry.
Review of current scientific literature in select aspects of protein, carbohydrates, lipids, and micronutrients and their use by the body. 4 hours lecture. (022134)
Prerequisites: NFSC 440, biochemistry.
Review of current scientific literature in select topics related to nutritional genomics. 2 hours seminar. (022135)
Prerequisite: NFSC 465 or instructor permission.
A multidisciplinary examination of nutritional health promotion and disease prevention for individual, groups and populations. NOTE: The literacy requirement for graduate students in the MS in Nutritional Science must be met in this class. 3 hours lecture. (022136)
Prerequisites: NFSC 471, biochemistry or instructor permission.
A course designed to provide master's students with the opportunity to apply the theories and principles of medical nutrition therapy into clinical practice. 3 hours lecture. (022138)
Culminating activity for the MS degree. A professional paper is written based on original research. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. 9 hours supervision. Credit/no credit grading. (006386)

Completion of one of the following options:

The Option in General Nutritional Science

2 units required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: NFSC 600, Graduate Standing.
An examination of quantitative and qualitative methods via the analysis of data in students' graduate research projects. Activities are designed to develop skills in data analysis using software programs, presentations and interpretation of results and the presentation of original research via oral presentations. 1 hour seminar. Credit/no credit grading. (022139)
This course is a graduate-level independent study offered for 1.0-3.0 units. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. 9 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (006382)

7-8 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: BIOL 163, BIOL 360.
Detailed analysis of structure and related functions of cells with an emphasis on the molecular mechanisms of gene expression and gene regulation. Lectures and laboratory sessions focus on current theories and methodologies associated with cloning, nucleic acid analysis, gene expression, bioinformatics, and genomics. 2 hours lecture, 6 hours laboratory. (020282)
Prerequisites: BIOL 163, BIOL 360.
Detailed study of cellular function with an emphasis on intracellular and intercellular communication. Topics include protein structure and function, properties of biological membranes, signal transduction, protein trafficking pathways, vesicular transport, cell cycle, apotopsis and cancer. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001169)
Prerequisites: BIOL 162, BIOL 163; CHEM 108 or CHEM 270.
General features of vertebrate physiology. Function of muscular, nervous, respiratory, circulatory, excretory, and endocrine systems. 2 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001180)
Prerequisites: BIOL 161, BIOL 163, or faculty permission.
Principles and theories of animal development, emphasizing the vertebrate. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001188)
Prerequisite: BIOL 163.
The development and expression of the immune response, the basic principles of antigen-antibody reactions and their relevance to medicine, genetics, taxonomy, and evolution. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001220)
Prerequisites: CHEM 370 with a grade of C- or higher.
A general study of the chemistry of biomolecules. Conformation and function of enzymes and other proteins; metabolism, energy generation, and storage; brief discussion of important physiological processes. 3 hours discussion. (001900)
Prerequisite: CHEM 451.
Advanced topics in biochemistry. Biosynthesis of lipids, steroids, amino acids, and nucleotides. Comprehensive study of the chemical role of DNA and RNA in replication, transcription, protein synthesis, and viral activity. 3 hours discussion. (001901)
Prerequisite: CHEM 451 (may be taken concurrently). Recommended: CHEM 370L or CHEM 370M.
Separation, identification, and/or analysis of biological materials by modern procedures, such as spectrophotometry, chromatography (gas, TLC, column, ion exchange), electrophoresis, enzymology, fluorimetry, and high-speed centrifugation. Fulfills laboratory requirement for certain biological science majors. Does not fulfill requirement for biochemistry major. 3 hours laboratory. (021067)
Prerequisites: MATH 105, MATH 305, MATH 315, or MATH 350 (only one is required).
Introduction to common procedures used to analyze data. Single and two-sample inference, analysis of variance, multiple regression, analysis of co-variance, experimental design, repeated measures, nonparametric procedures, and categorical data analysis. Examples will be drawn from Biology and related disciplines. Statistical computer packages will be introduced. Appropriate for biology, agriculture, nutrition, psychology, social science, and other majors. 3 hours discussion. (005597)

The Option in Nutrition Education

5 units required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisite: KINE 320 or NFSC 365 or faculty permission.
This course focuses on developing communication skill for nutrition counseling with Motivational Interviewing (MI) and other nutrition counseling techniques using the principles of Eating Competence, Health at Every Size and Intuitive Exercise. 2 hours lecture, 2 hours activity. (021844)
Prerequisites: NFSC 600, Graduate Standing.
An examination of quantitative and qualitative methods via the analysis of data in students' graduate research projects. Activities are designed to develop skills in data analysis using software programs, presentations and interpretation of results and the presentation of original research via oral presentations. 1 hour seminar. Credit/no credit grading. (022139)
This course is a graduate-level independent study offered for 1.0-3.0 units. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. 9 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (006382)

4-6 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: MATH 105, MATH 305, MATH 315, or MATH 350 (only one is required).
Introduction to common procedures used to analyze data. Single and two-sample inference, analysis of variance, multiple regression, analysis of co-variance, experimental design, repeated measures, nonparametric procedures, and categorical data analysis. Examples will be drawn from Biology and related disciplines. Statistical computer packages will be introduced. Appropriate for biology, agriculture, nutrition, psychology, social science, and other majors. 3 hours discussion. (005597)
Prerequisite: NFSC 431 or faculty permission.
Study and application of program and organizational management within the fields of food and nutrition, such as community nutrition and health programs, clinical nutrition administration, and school and hospital foodservice administration. 3 hours lecture. (021446)
Prerequisite: NFSC 663 (may be taken concurrently).
This course focuses on how skills and abilities in leadership and management can be developed and applied by individuals in order to make a difference in organizations, communities, and societies. This course also explores communication styles and the challenges involved when leaders attempt to affect change to achieve a goal. 2 hours lecture. (022137)
Prerequisites: NFSC 429W, biochemistry.
Review of international issues that influence nutritional status of individuals and populations, with emphasis on contemporary problems in less developed countries. 2 hours seminar. (004366)
This course is an internship offered for 1.0-6.0 units.You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. The internship is designed to provide semiprofessional field experience for graduate students in agencies which use application of theoretical knowledge in the discipline. May be repeated more than once for credit. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 15.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (004368)

Graduate Requirement in Writing Proficiency:

Writing proficiency is a graduation requirement.

Nutritional Science majors will demonstrate their writing competence through successful completion of a midterm and final exam where students critically evaluate the scientific literature in NFSC 663.

Graduate Grading Requirements:

All courses in the major (with the exceptions of Independent Study - 697, Comprehensive Examination - 696, Master's Project - 699P, and Master's Thesis - 699T) must be taken for a letter grade, except those courses specified by the department as ABC/No Credit (400/500-level courses), AB/No Credit (600-level courses), or Credit/No Credit grading only. A maximum of 10 units combined of ABC/No Credit, AB/No Credit, and Credit/No Credit grades may be used on the approved program (including 697, 696, 699P, 699T and courses outside the major). While grading standards are determined by individual programs and instructors, it is also the policy of the University that unsatisfactory grades may be given when work fails to reflect achievement of the high standards, including high writing standards, expected of students pursuing graduate study.

Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average in each of the following three categories: all course work taken at any accredited institution subsequent to admission to the master's program; all course work taken at CSU, Chico subsequent to admission to the program; and all courses on the approved master's degree program.

Graduate Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory each semester for Nutritional Science majors. Consult the Graduate Coordinator for specific information.

Dietetic Internship

A post-baccalaureate Dietetic Internship (DI) is available for students who wish to become eligible to sit for the registration examination to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs). The DI program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).

The DI program follows a pre-select process. It does not participate in the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Services (DICAS) match process. CSU, Chico graduate students are given priority. CSU, Chico undergraduate students who complete the option in General Dietetics may apply if there are any remaining slots available. The DI is a full-time non-degree program consisting of 1200 hours of supervised practice with an emphasis is Nutrition Education and consists of rotations in Medical Nutrition Therapy, Foodservice Administration, and Community Nutrition.

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