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 (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 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.

Fall Deadline February 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 (
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

General Admission Requirements

All applicants must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or its equivalent and a minimum grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale
  • Have completed the following prerequisite courses:
    • General chemistry
    • Organic chemistry
    • Biological sciences
    • Physiology
    • Biochemistry
    • Statistics
    • Human nutrition
    • Clinical Nutrition

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:

  • Fall semester: February 15
  • Spring semester: November 1
  • Summer semester: March 1

Applications received after their respective deadlines will be considered as space permits. Review of applications for admissions are reviewed immediately after respective deadlines, applicants can usually expect to be notified a month after deadlines.

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.

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 program coordinator: Katie Butzen,

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 processes related to funding.

Program Resources

Students enrolled in these programs are not permitted to accept teaching assistantships, project assistantships, research assistantships or other appointments that would result in a tuition waiver.

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


Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Half of degree coursework (15 credits out of 30 total credits) must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements Students must earn a B or above in all core curriculum coursework.
Assessments and Examinations No formal examination is required.
Language Requirements No language requirements.

Required Courses

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 653 Clinical Nutrition Research3
NUTR SCI 710 Human Energy Metabolism2
NUTR SCI 711 Personalized Nutrition: Genetics, Genomics, and Metagenomics1
NUTR SCI 715 Micronutrients: Human Physiology and Disease3
NUTR SCI 720 Advanced Nutrition Assessment1
NUTR SCI 721 Nutrition Informatics1
NUTR SCI 725 Advanced Community Nutrition1
Total Credits21

In addition, students are required to complete 4 credits of “Professional Skills” from the following:

Select one of the following:4
Connected Learning Essentials
Writing for Professionals
Professional Presentations
Managing Digital Information
Ethics for Professionals
Marketing for Non-Marketing Professionals
Leading Teams
Project Management Essentials
Total Credits4

Students are also required to complete 5 credits from the following (Note: A maximum of 3 credits from E P D courses may be used to fulfill this requirement):

Select a total of 5 credits:5
Evidence-Based Decision-Making
Health Systems, Management, and Policy
Principles of Environmental Health: A Systems Thinking Approach
Public Health Policy and Politics
Special Problems
Organizational Communication and Problem Solving 1
Change Management 1
Creating Breakthrough Innovations 1
Key Legal Concepts for Professionals 1
Financial and Business Acumen 1
Effective Negotiation Strategies 1
Interdisciplinary Care of Children with Special Health Care Needs
Nutrition and Dietetics Practicum I 2
Nutrition and Dietetics Practicum II 2

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

Graduate Program Handbook

A Graduate Program Handbook containing all of the program's policies and requirements is forthcoming from the program.

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 5 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

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

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval and payment of the difference in tuition (between Special and graduate tuition), students are allowed to count no more than 14 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison University Special student. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.


The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.

  1. Good standing (progressing according to standards; any funding guarantee remains in place).
  2. Probation (not progressing according to standards but permitted to enroll; loss of funding guarantee; specific plan with dates and deadlines in place in regard to removal of probationary status).
  3. Unsatisfactory progress (not progressing according to standards; not permitted to enroll, dismissal, leave of absence or change of advisor or program).

Students must be in good academic standing with the Graduate School, their program, and their advisor. The program director and the Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who received grades of BC, C, D, F, or I in courses numbered 300 or above, or grades of U in research and thesis. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment, and the student may be suspended from graduate studies.

The program director and the Graduate School may also put students on probation for incompletes not cleared within one term. All incomplete grades must be resolved before a degree is granted.


All students are required to conduct a yearly progress report meeting with their advisor, scheduled by December 17 and completed by April 30.

Failure to do so will result in a hold being placed on the student’s registration. The meeting may be held via telephone, skype, or in person.


15 credits

Time Constraints

Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence.

Students may count the coursework completed before their absence for meeting graduate degree credit requirements; the Graduate School will not count that work toward the Graduate School’s minimum residence credit minimum.


Students enrolled in these programs are not permitted to accept teaching assistantships, project assistantships, research assistantships or other appointments that would result in a tuition waiver. Students in these programs cannot enroll in other graduate programs nor take courses outside the prescribed curriculum.

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.


Dave Eide (Department Chair), Ph.D. 1987

Richard Eisenstein, Ph.D. 1985

Associate Professor

Eric Yen, Ph.D. 2000

Faculty Associate

Michelle Johnson, M.S., R.D.

Nathan Johnson, Ph.D.

Julie Thurlow, DR.PH., R.D.

Program Coordinator

Makayla Schuchardt, M.S., R.D.N., C.N.S.C.

Graduate Coordinator

Katie Butzen, MS.Ed.,