A Registered Dietitian listens to a geriatric patient regarding nutrition concerns within a hospital.

The Healthcare System is Changing Rapidly

Health professions have increased educational standards beyond the bachelor’s degree; in fact, the Commission on Dietetic Registration has increased the requirements to be eligible to take the Registration Exam for Dietitians to the completion of a master’s degree beginning in 2024. To remain competitive in the field and obtain the advanced competencies and skills needed in the job market, completion of a master’s degree is becoming essential.

Curriculum Overview

The M.S. in Clinical Nutrition is focused on core nutrition, clinical nutrition, professional skills, and electives. 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 leaders in clinical nutrition and dietetics. The curriculum is designed to prepare students to translate research; recognize and formulate responses to evolving developments in clinical nutrition practice, policy, and research; and lead and manage professional teams to design nutrition-related services.

Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.

Fall Deadline July 15*
Spring Deadline November 1*
Summer Deadline March 1*
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency).
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

The Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition has a rolling admissions policy where applications will be considered after their respective deadlines listed below. Domestic applicants should submit their applications no later than 4 weeks prior to the beginning of the intended term. Applications from international applicants must be submitted 6 weeks prior to the beginning of the intended term. This additional 2 weeks is required for international transcript and matriculation processing.

General Admission Requirements

All applicants must:

Please note, the program cannot complete a transcript review unless we receive a completed application. Applicants may check course equivalency to UW-Madison via Transferology

Application Process

To ensure full consideration for admission into the Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition, it is strongly recommended that applications be completed by the deadlines noted above.  Applications received after their respective priority deadlines will be considered as space permits. 

Steps to apply are listed below:

1. Complete a UW–Madison Graduate School Electronic Application.

The electronic application includes:

a. Reasons for Graduate Study. Please include a brief statement about your professional goals, and reasons for applying.

b. Letters of Recommendation. Three letters of recommendation are required. All letters of recommendation are submitted electronically through the admission application.

c. TOEFL scores, if necessary.

d. Unofficial transcript, submitted electronically into the application. 

e. Supplemental Application. This component of the application asks applicants to identify the courses taken to fulfill the prerequisite coursework. 

2. Be sure to closely follow the Steps to Apply for Graduate School and watch your application status page through MyUW for missing checklist items or additional information.

For any questions or if you need additional information please go over the Graduate Admissions FAQ, or send an email to the Graduate Coordinator (see the Contact Information box on this page).

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Information

Students enrolled in this program are not eligible to receive tuition remission from graduate assistantship appointments at this institution.

Our program does offer scholarship opportunities. 

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements


Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
No No Yes No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students typically take enough credits aimed at completing the program in a year or two.

Evening/Weekend: ​Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules.  Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.

Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.

Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats.  Contact the program for more specific information.

Online: These programs are offered 100% online.  Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.


Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 15 credits must be graduate-level coursework. Details can be found in the Graduate School’s Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) policy (https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1244).
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
This program follows the Graduate School's policy: https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1203.
Other Grade Requirements n/a
Assessments and Examinations No formal examination is required.
Language Requirements No language requirements.

Required Courses

Core Nutrition Courses
Complete all courses - 9 credits
NUTR SCI 710 Human Energy Metabolism2
NUTR SCI 715 Micronutrients: Human Physiology and Disease3
NUTR SCI 720 Advanced Nutrition Assessment1
NUTR SCI 653 Clinical Nutrition Research3
Clinical Nutrition Courses9-18
Choose minimum of 9 credits, maximum of 18 credits:
NUTR SCI 650 Advanced Clinical Nutrition: Critical Care and Nutrition Support3
NUTR SCI 651 Advanced Clinical Nutrition - Pediatrics3
NUTR SCI 652 Advanced Nutrition Counseling and Education3
NUTR SCI 711 Personalized Nutrition: Genetics, Genomics, and Metagenomics1
NUTR SCI 721 Nutrition Informatics1
NUTR SCI 725 Advanced Community Nutrition1
NUTR SCI 726 Nutritional Management of Gastrointestinal Disorders3
NUTR SCI 750 Advanced Sports Nutrition2
NUTR SCI 875 Special Topics (Topics: Nutrition and Aging, Nutraceuticals for Health Professionals, Nutritional Management of Gastrointestinal Disorders, or Sport Nutrition)1-4
Professional Skills3
Complete minimum of 3 credits:
E P D 701 Writing for Professionals1
E P D 702 Professional Presentations1
E P D 704 Organizational Communication and Problem Solving1
E P D 708 Creating Breakthrough Innovations1
E P D 712 Ethics for Professionals1
E P D/​ACCT I S/​GEN BUS  781 Financial and Business Acumen1
E P D/​GEN BUS/​MARKETNG  782 Marketing for Non-Marketing Professionals1
E P D/​GEN BUS/​M H R  783 Leading Teams1
E P D/​GEN BUS/​OTM  784 Project Management Essentials1
E P D/​GEN BUS/​M H R  785 Effective Negotiation Strategies1
NURSING 772 Leadership and Organizational Decision-Making in Health Care3
NUTR SCI 875 Special Topics (Management in Dietetics)1-4
Elective Choices0-9
No elective credits are required, but if students are interested, a maximum of 9 credits may be taken. Students may choose additional Clinical Nutrition and/or Professional Skills course and/or choose from the elective options listed below.
Total Credits30

Optional Electives

NURSING/​PHM PRAC/​SOC WORK  746 Interdisciplinary Care of Children with Special Health Care Needs3
NURSING 702 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Diverse Communities3
LSC 560 Scientific Writing3
LSC 432 Social Media for the Life Sciences3
POP HLTH 795 Principles of Population Health Sciences1-3
POP HLTH/​SOC  797 Introduction to Epidemiology3
NUTR SCI 670 Nutrition and Dietetics Practicum I3
NUTR SCI 671 Nutrition and Dietetics Practicum II3
PUBLHLTH 710 Introduction to Global Health: History, Current Issues, and Health Statistics2
PUBLHLTH 711 Global Public Health and Healthcare Systems: Organizations, Governance, Financing, and Workforce2
PUBLHLTH 712 Global Health: Infectious Diseases, One Health, and Prevention Strategies2
PUBLHLTH 713 Global Health: Non-communicable Diseases, Poverty, Environmental Health, and Food Security2
NUTR SCI 991 Research Nutrition1-12

 Other Policy

Students in this program may not take courses outside the prescribed curriculum without faculty advisor and program director approval. Students in this program cannot enroll concurrently in other undergraduate or graduate degree programs.

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 6 credits of graduate prior coursework from other institutions.

UW–Madison Undergraduate*

No credits from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree are allowed to count toward the degree.

*Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences
With program approval, students may count up to six credits of undergraduate coursework, earned post-baccalaureate, from the Mayo Clinic Dietetic Internship program toward fulfillment of minimum graduate residence credit requirement. These credits cannot be counted toward the minimum graduate residence credit requirement. To request evaluation of prior coursework, a student will need to submit an official transcript from the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences to the Graduate Program Manager. 

No prior credit will be accepted if it was earned through supervised practice hours in a dietetic internship except those completed through the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and the Mayo Clinic Dietetic Internship. 

UW–Madison University Special

This program follows  the Graduate School's policy for Transfer from UW–Madison University Special Student Career at UW–Madison. 

The final decision of accepting any prior coursework is up to the discretion of the MSCN Executive Committee. 


This program follows the Graduate School's Probation policy.


This program follows the Graduate School's Advisor policy and Committees policy.


15 credits

Time Limits

This program follows the Graduate School's Time Limits policy.

grievances and appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences: Grievance Policy

In the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), any student who feels unfairly treated by a member of the CALS faculty or staff has the right to complain about the treatment and to receive a prompt hearing. Some complaints may arise from misunderstandings or communication breakdowns and be easily resolved; others may require formal action. Complaints may concern any matter of perceived unfairness.

To ensure a prompt and fair hearing of any complaint, and to protect the rights of both the person complaining and the person at whom the complaint is directed, the following procedures are used in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Any student, undergraduate or graduate, may use these procedures, except employees whose complaints are covered under other campus policies.

  1. The student should first talk with the person at whom the complaint is directed. Most issues can be settled at this level. Others may be resolved by established departmental procedures.
  2. If the student is unsatisfied, and the complaint involves any unit outside CALS, the student should seek the advice of the dean or director of that unit to determine how to proceed.
    1. If the complaint involves an academic department in CALS the student should proceed in accordance with item 3 below.
    2. If the grievance involves a unit in CALS that is not an academic department, the student should proceed in accordance with item 4 below.
  3. The student should contact the department’s grievance advisor within 120 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment. The departmental administrator can provide this person’s name. The grievance advisor will attempt to resolve the problem informally within 10 working days of receiving the complaint, in discussions with the student and the person at whom the complaint is directed.
    1. If informal mediation fails, the student can submit the grievance in writing to the grievance advisor within 10 working days of the date the student is informed of the failure of the mediation attempt by the grievance advisor. The grievance advisor will provide a copy to the person at whom the grievance is directed.
    2. The grievance advisor will refer the complaint to a department committee that will obtain a written response from the person at whom the complaint is directed, providing a copy to the student. Either party may request a hearing before the committee. The grievance advisor will provide both parties a written decision within 20 working days from the date of receipt of the written complaint.
    3. If the grievance involves the department chairperson, the grievance advisor or a member of the grievance committee, these persons may not participate in the review.
    4. If not satisfied with departmental action, either party has 10 working days from the date of notification of the departmental committee action to file a written appeal to the CALS Equity and Diversity Committee. A subcommittee of this committee will make a preliminary judgement as to whether the case merits further investigation and review. If the subcommittee unanimously determines that the case does not merit further investigation and review, its decision is final. If one or more members of the subcommittee determine that the case does merit further investigation and review, the subcommittee will investigate and seek to resolve the dispute through mediation. If this mediation attempt fails, the subcommittee will bring the case to the full committee. The committee may seek additional information from the parties or hold a hearing. The committee will present a written recommendation to the dean who will provide a final decision within 20 working days of receipt of the committee recommendation.
  4. If the alleged unfair treatment occurs in a CALS unit that is not an academic department, the student should, within 120 calendar days of the alleged incident, take his/her grievance directly to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. The dean will attempt to resolve the problem informally within 10 working days of receiving the complaint. If this mediation attempt does not succeed the student may file a written complaint with the dean who will refer it to the CALS Equity and Diversity Committee. The committee will seek a written response from the person at whom the complaint is directed, subsequently following other steps delineated in item 3d above.



Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

  1. Articulating and integrating specialized knowledge in the field of advanced clinical nutrition - including energy metabolism, micronutrient requirements, and nutrigenomics needed to meet the challenges of future careers and opportunities.
  2. Articulating and demonstrating advanced skills in nutritional assessment and nutritional care of patients with complicated disorders/diseases in a clinical or community setting.
  3. Demonstrating advanced skills in nutrition counseling and education needed to precipitate behavior and cognitive change.
  4. Formulating systems to gather, analyze and interpret data from a practice setting to develop appropriate protocols and care plans using the nutritional care process.
  5. Formulate problem statements and writing research proposals using appropriate study design.
  6. Demonstrating an ability to understand, interpret, evaluate, and design clinical nutrition research.
  7. Demonstrating high level problem-solving, critical thinking, and use of informatics required in advanced clinical nutrition practice.
  8. Demonstrating advanced professional skills in communication, information and project management, leadership, and ethics.


David Eide, PhD


Michelle Johnson, MS, RD
Nathan Johnson, PhD
Tara LaRowe, PhD, RDN
Amber Haroldson, PhD, RDN
Taiya Bach, MPH, RDN
Sylvia Escott-Stump, MA, RDN

Program Manager

Makayla Schuchardt, MS, RDN, CNSC mlschuchardt@wisc.edu

Graduate Coordinator

Katie Butzen, MS, kbutzen@wisc.edu