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Rena Zelig, DCN, RDN, CDE, CSG Assistant Professor, Director, Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition Program

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Program Director
Dr. Rena Zelig  

M.S. in Clinical Nutrition

Registered Dietitian Masters Program Is Offered Online

Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition is an advanced-level, clinically focused, graduate degree program designed exclusively for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). We prepare graduates with the advanced knowledge, expanded skills, and intellectual maturity necessary to become progressive, innovative, and interprofessional practitioners and leaders in the dynamic health care environment.

Our masters in nutrition is offered as a hybrid program. Courses are completed online and supplemented with virtual face-to-face meetings and limited campus visits for in-person workshops.

New starting in fall 2021, both thesis and non-thesis options will be available.

Please note the application deadline is March 1 for Fall admission and October 15 for Spring admission.

“Completion of the Rutgers MS in Clinical Nutrition provided me with the tools and confidence to engage in research projects and present at professional conferences. The knowledge that I gained from the program enhanced my leadership skills and career growth,”Heather Stanner, MS, RD, LDN, CNSC

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Students gain the critical thinking and scientific skills needed for advanced-level clinical practice, management, and leadership positions.  Our M.S. in Clinical Nutrition program instills an appreciation for interprofessional collaboration and education, and provides opportunities to achieve expanded roles in health promotion, disease prevention, and intervention for a 21st Century multi-cultural society.

We offer:

  •  A graduate-degree program exclusively for RDNs, with part-time and full-time options
  • A curriculum integrating advanced clinical practice topics, critical thinking, scientific writing, evidence-based practice and research
  • A Nutrition Focused Physical Examination (NFPE) course that integrates online learning with an in-person workshop
  • Students have the option of selecting a thesis or non-thesis option starting in fall 2021
  • A university ranked #1 in best colleges for health professions education by College Factual in 2018
  • Advances knowledge and expands skills necessary to execute the role of innovative and progressive dietetics practitioners
  • Provides an outcomes-oriented, student-centered approach to graduate education
  • Promotes collaboration and interdisciplinary education through advanced level courses
  • Promotes the design, conduct, and analysis of clinical nutrition/dietetics research
  • Advocates professional leadership and service

Upon graduation, students will have the skills to:

  • Provide medical nutrition therapy, utilizing the Nutrition Care Process model inclusive of standardized language for nutrition diagnosing, assessment, care planning, and monitoring of medically complex patients with acute, chronic, and terminal illnesses;
  • Collaborate with health care team members in the interdisciplinary and interprofessional management of specialized nutrition modalities, conditions and illnesses;
  • Establish nutrition practices for health promotion, disease prevention, and management independently or in collaboration with health care provider organizations;
  • Design and conduct dietetics/nutrition research in a variety of settings;
  • Become intelligent, critical consumers of research and scholarly work, able to incorporate the current scientific knowledge and emerging trends in science into practice;
  • Utilize effective management, leadership, and information technology skills to guide dietetics practice into the future.
  • Interpret and apply evidence-based research literature in clinical practice;
  • Design, implement, and evaluate health and medical nutrition therapy interventions in a multi-cultural society;
  • Assume roles as competent clinical practitioners;
  • Become lifelong learners, using self-assessment and continuing education to persistently advance individual knowledge and skills;
  • Comply with the Code of Ethics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and display ethical behavior in practice, education, and scholarly activities.

Graduates of the MSCN have many career options and opportunities available after completing the program.  They are prepared to assume leadership roles and receive recognition for excellence in clinical practice and leadership.

Alumni publish in peer-reviewed journals, present at international and national forums, conduct research, and hold leadership positions in professional organizations. Graduates practice in diverse care settings, including acute care, ambulatory care, and long-term care.

The MSCN prepares students to be advanced-level RDNs in practice.  Alumni work in clinical management, academia, industry, and specialty and advanced practice.

Based on our most recent alumni survey:

  • 58% of alumni have presented an oral or poster presentation at a national or international meeting
  • 54% of alumni have published a manuscript in a peer-reviewed journal or newsletter, authored a book, book chapter or other professional publication
  • 51% of alumni are involved in research activities
  • 21% of alumni received honors or awards since graduating from the MSCN program
  • 14% of alumni hold leadership positions in professional organizations

For Student and Alumni Abstracts, click here.
For Student and Alumni Poster Presentations, click here.

Join us at an Virtual Open House:

9/9-7:30 pm

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Admission is offered twice a year for the Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition program. The application deadlines are March 1 for the following Fall admission and October 15 for the following Spring admission.

Admission Requirements

  • Prospective students must be Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs).
  • International applicants must hold an equivalent credential that meets US standards set by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (
  • International students must submit additional materials including:
    – Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
    – Official copy of a transcript evaluation prepared by a recognized transcript agency such as World Education Services
  • A minimum GPA of 3.2 is required for admission. Applicants with a lower GPA may be considered on an individual basis.
  • At least six months of clinical experience as an RDN.
  • Application materials include
    •  SHP application
    •  An official copy of the transcript from the highest nutrition degree earned, and a certificate of completion/transcript from preprofessional practice program, if applicable
    •   Copy of RDN card
    •   Resume or CV
    •   A letter of intent describing short and long-term goals for completing the MSCN program
    •   One letter of recommendation from an individual with a graduate degree who is familiar with your professional work

    Applicants who meet the admission criteria for the M.S. in Clinical Nutrition will be scheduled for an interview with select faculty in the Rutgers SHP Department of Clinical and Preventative Nutrition Sciences.

The Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition can be completed on a part- or full-time basis. The courses are offered in an online learning environment, supplemented with face-to-face virtual meetings and a minimum of three on-campus visits. Our curriculum integrates critical thinking, scientific writing, and evidence-based practice in nutrition and dietetics. Requirements for graduation include successful completion of 31 credits, with a thesis or non-thesis option.

Course Requirements Course Credits Section Credits
Core Courses: 12 credits (4 courses) 12
NUTR 6100 – Scientific Writing and Interpretation for Nutrition and Dietetics Practice 3
NUTR 6260 – Nutrition Focused Physical Examination 3
NUTR 6400 – Leadership and Change 3
NUTR 6601 – Advanced Clinical Nutrition 3
Research Courses: 3 courses (7 credits). Choose from thesis or non-thesis options below: 7
Thesis Option:
NUTR 6481 – Statistics and Research Designs in Nutrition and Dietetics 3
NUTR 6482 – Applied Clinical Nutrition Research 2
NUTR 6483 – Thesis Seminar 2
Non-Thesis Option:
NUTR 6481 – Statistics and Research Designs in Nutrition and Dietetics 3
NUTR 6482 – Applied Clinical Nutrition Research 2
NUTR 6485 – Capstone Seminar 2
Health Sciences: 6 credits (choose 2 courses; 3 credits each) 6
Choose from:
NUTR 6300 – Vitamin and Mineral Metabolism 3
NUTR 6820 – Nutritional Genomics for Practitioners 3
NUTR 7210 – Human Metabolism and Body Composition 3
NUTR 7510 – Nutrition and Pharmacology 3
Elective Credits: 6 credits (2 courses; 3 credits each) 6
For a comprehensive list of elective courses please visit:

Quick links:

Canvas online learning platform

Rutgers online library

Department of  Clinical and Preventive Nutrition Sciences Facebook  page

The M.S. in Clinical Nutrition is an advanced-level, clinically-focused, graduate degree program designed exclusively for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), utilizing an online learning