Oct 27, 2020  
2017-2018 Graduate Bulletin 
2017-2018 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nutrition and Food Systems (Applied Nutrition and Food Systems), M.S.

Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems

Overview of Major

The Master of Science degree in Nutrition and Food Systems offers graduates opportunities to pursue careers in dietetics, school food service and child nutrition program management, food and nutrition services management, and community nutrition. The curriculum is designed to provide students with an understanding of research design and advanced knowledge in applied nutrition, food systems management, or both.

Requirements for Admission

Regular admission to the Department of Nutrition and Food Systems (Applied Nutrition and Food Systems) master of science degree program requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.75 in the last 60 hours of coursework, with no grade lower than a C; a 3.0 GPA in major; a 2.5 GPA on selected science prerequisites; submission of official test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and a statement of purpose; and three letters of recommendation from professionals familiar with the applicant's work and qualified to assess the applicant's readiness for graduate study. The letters of recommendation should offer clear support for the applicant's ability and potential for success in the program. Applicants whose native language is not English must have a minimum score of 7.0 on the IELTs, or the equivalent, for regular admission.  Performance in specific courses related to the desired major will also be evaluated. Graduate work in the major and minor fields of specialization must be preceded by coursework sufficient to satisfy undergraduate requirements or enough related work to indicate the student's ability to do graduate work in the major field. Students may correct academic deficiencies by taking or auditing recommended undergraduate courses. Members of all underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

Requirements for Graduation

In the Department of Nutrition and Food Systems, the minimum requirement for a master's degree is 33 semester hours (18 hours of 600 level or higher). The degree plan offers thesis and nonthesis options; the requirements for these options differ. All students will take comprehensive examinations as described in the departmental manual for graduate students. A 3.0 GPA is required for graduation.

Continuous Enrollment Requirement: Students must meet the requirement specified in the front section of this Bulletin.

Integrity Assurance Program (IAP)

All faculty holding Regular or Associate graduate faculty status must complete IAP training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments. All graduate students must complete the training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester they are enrolled in graduate school. The policy and training information can be found on the following website: http://www.usm.edu/research/research-and-scholarly-integrity-assurance-program

Requirements for the Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems

Core Requirements (9-12 hours)

Requirements for Emphasis in Applied Nutrition and Food Systems (21-24 hours)

  • NFS electives 12-15 hrs.
  • Directed electives (require advisor approval) 6-9 hrs.


The emphasis in Dietetic Practice is fully online and fulfills Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics requirements for supervised practice. Students in the Dietetic Practice emphasis must also be admitted to a dietetic internship accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). The emphasis in Management of Child Nutrition Programs is available as a fully online program.