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Clinical Nutrition

Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition

medical professional sits at a computer typing

In just four semesters, complete your Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition completely online as you build advanced skills to better serve people and communities.


Is this program right for you?

The University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition is offered totally online, so you don’t have to put your career or internship plans on hold while you gain the expertise employers demand.

Get ahead of increasing educational requirements and a growing market demand. Starting in 2024, a master’s level degree will be required for anyone applying to sit for the Registration Exam for Dietitians. The online Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition does not take the place of an ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics; therefore, will not lead to eligibility. Rather, our program is designed to build upon a student’s strong foundation in biochemistry, physiology, and human and clinical nutrition.

Leaders in clinical nutrition must understand and incorporate the latest research, be able to assess complicated disorders and diseases, and provide expertise to help people change their behaviors and their understanding of nutritional issues. You also need to be culturally competent and able to take a client-centered approach that reflects diverse individual and population perspective. Plus, you need critical thinking, communication, project management, and leadership experience. Employers want people with precisely this mix of expertise—yet perhaps less than half of current nutritionists are equipped to meet their requirements.

The Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition provides training in all of these areas, all while you continue to work in your current job. Your coursework is focused on core nutrition, clinical nutrition, professional skills, and electives (including public health). This is advanced learning at its best and is ideal for people with a strong background in clinical nutrition, confidence working at the graduate level, and a commitment to become a leader in the field.

Is this program right for you?

The University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition is offered totally online, so you don’t have to put your career or internship plans on hold while you gain the expertise employers demand.

Get ahead of increasing educational requirements and a growing market demand. Starting in 2024, a master’s level degree will be required for anyone applying to sit for the Registration Exam for Dietitians. The online Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition does not take the place of an ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics; therefore, will not lead to eligibility. Rather, our program is designed to build upon a student’s strong foundation in biochemistry, physiology, and human and clinical nutrition.

Leaders in clinical nutrition must understand and incorporate the latest research, be able to assess complicated disorders and diseases, and provide expertise to help people change their behaviors and their understanding of nutritional issues. You also need to be culturally competent and able to take a client-centered approach that reflects diverse individual and population perspective. Plus, you need critical thinking, communication, project management, and leadership experience. Employers want people with precisely this mix of expertise—yet perhaps less than half of current nutritionists are equipped to meet their requirements.

The Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition provides training in all of these areas, all while you continue to work in your current job. Your coursework is focused on core nutrition, clinical nutrition, professional skills, and electives (including public health). This is advanced learning at its best and is ideal for people with a strong background in clinical nutrition, confidence working at the graduate level, and a commitment to become a leader in the field.

Admissions requirements

All applicants must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • Have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
  • Have completed a Didactic Program in Dietetics or the following prerequisite courses (must be equivalent to the courses listed from UW–Madison); please note the prerequisites are only offered on campus in Madison, WI:
    • General Chemistry
      • CHEM 103 General Chemistry I and CHEM 104 General Chemistry II
    • Two courses in Biological Sciences
      • BIOLOGY/ZOOLOGY 101 Animal Biology and ZOOLOGY/BIOLOGY 102 Animal Biology Laboratory and MICROBIO 101 General Microbiology and MICROBIO 102 General Microbiology Laboratory or
      • ZOOLOGY/BIOLOGY/BOTANY 151 Introductory Biology and MICROBIO 101 General Microbiology and MICROBIO 102 General Microbiology Laboratory
    • Organic Chemistry
      • CHEM 341 Elementary Organic Chemistry or CHEM 343 Organic Chemistry I
    • Biochemistry
      • BIOCHEM 301 Survey of Biochemistry or
      • BIOCHEM 501 Introduction to Biochemistry or
      • BIOCHEM 507 General Biochemistry I and BIOCHEM 508 General Biochemistry II
    • Physiology
      • ANAT&PHY 335 Physiology
    • Statistics
      • STAT 371 Introductory Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences or
      • STAT 301 Introduction to Statistical Methods or
      • PSYCH 210 Basic Statistics for Psychology or
      • C&E SOC/SOC 360 Statistics for Sociologists I
    • Human Nutrition
      • NUTR SCI 332 Human Nutritional Needs
    • Clinical Nutrition
      • NUTR SCI 631 Clinical Nutrition I and NUTR SCI 632 Clinical Nutrition II
  • Submit evidence of English language proficiency, if applicable. The required proficiency scores are: TOEFL IBT 92, PBT 580; or IELTS 7.0.

Application materials required:

  • Online application
  • Resume/CV
  • Statement of purpose
  • Transcripts

Program highlights

  • Our program is completely online, so you can complete your degree from almost anywhere in the world.
  • Our courses are designed to be immediately applicable to the real world. You learn through project-based activities and actual case studies from UW Hospital, and develop a culminating research proposal applicable to your interests.

UW–Madison is named #6 in the nation in Best Online Master's in Clinical Nutrition programs from BestColleges.

How you'll learn

  • Fully online curriculum; you choose when you do most of your work each week.
  • Complete the program in four semesters of full-time enrollment or work part-time on your own schedule; if you already have your certificate in clinical nutrition from UW–Madison, you can finish your master’s degree in just two semesters.
  • Learn through project-based activities, actual case studies from UW Hospital and other programs, weekly web conferences, and discussion boards.
  • Develop a research proposal applicable to your interests or your employer’s needs.

Sample curriculum

Core Nutrition Courses

  • Human Energy Metabolism
  • Micronutrients: Human Physiology and Disease
  • Advanced Nutrition Assessment
  • Clinical Nutrition Research

Clinical Nutrition Courses

  • Advanced Clinical Nutrition: Critical Care and Nutrition Support
  • Advanced Clinical Nutrition: Pediatrics
  • Advanced Nutrition Counseling and Education
  • Personalized Nutrition: Genetics, Genomics, and Metagenomics

Professional Skills

  • Organizational Communication and Problem Solving
  • Writing for Professionals
  • Professional Presentations
  • Financial and Business Acumen
  • Leading Teams
  • Project Management Essentials
  • Ethics for Professionals

Electives

  • Research Nutrition
  • Principles of Population Health Services
  • Introduction to Global Health: History, Current Issues and Health Statistics

Want to sample an online course?

Test drive Canvas, our online learning platform, with modules from an actual UW–Madison master’s program.

Test drive Canvas

Job outlook

Top Job Titles
  • Registered dietitians
  • Dietitians
  • Clinical dietitians
  • Clinical nutrition managers
  • Nutritionists

Market Salary
$63.1K in 2021

Projected Job Growth
11.7% (2020-2030)

Job Postings
1,828 in 2021

Source: Burning Glass Technologies: Labor Insight. 2020.
Burning Glass Technologies’ Market Salary is an estimated expected salary. Market Salary uses machine learning algorithms to account for experience, skill, and education among other factors that may impact individual salaries.

Ready to learn more about Clinical Nutrition?
View the UW-Madison Guide

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Connect with our enrollment coaches

Our friendly, knowledgeable enrollment coaches are here to answer your questions. Contact an enrollment coach to:

  • Learn how to make this program work with your life/schedule
  • Verify credit transfers
  • Get help with your application
  • Determine if financial aid is available

Visit with our coaches on campus or at an upcoming student fair in your area. Search student fairs & events.

Connect with a coach

Jacqueline Suarez

The professors work hard to lend support and ensure you are challenged and learning. It was an engaging online program, where I never felt alone in any capacity. I appreciated the opportunity to learn from my peers, many who work as dietitians in diverse areas of the U.S. Thank you, UW! I am now a better version of myself as a pediatric dietitian.

Jacqueline Suarez | Clinical Nutrition Specialist II, Boston Children's Hospital