Nutrition and Food Sciences

M.S., Combined M.S. Dietetic Internship Program, Ph.D. (Biological and Environmental Sciences)


Faculty: Professor Greene, chair; Assistant Professor Lofgren, director of graduate studies; Professor English; Associate Professors Gerber and Melanson; Assistant Professor Tovar; Adjunct Professor Sebelia; Adjunct Associate Professor Pivarnik; Professors Emeriti Caldwell, Constantinides, Fey-Yensan, Lee, Patnoad, and Rand.

Nutrition Specializations

Nutritional status and food behavior of high risk population groups; dietary behavior change to reduce chronic disease risk; nutrition issues related to aging and weight management; diet and exercise; energy and macronutrient metabolism; metabolic regulation and energy balance and lipid metabolism.

Master of Science

Admission requirements: GRE and bachelor’s degree. All applicants must have completed a minimum of two semesters of chemistry, and one each of biochemistry, anatomy or biology, human physiology, nutrition, and statistics. In addition, students must have completed an advanced nutrition course with a biochemistry prerequisite and an intermediate level statistics course. Students from other academic areas are encouraged to apply but must have physiology, biochemistry, nutrition, and statistics prior to admission.

Program requirements (30 credits): Thesis (6 credits), two credits of NFS 511; a minimum of three credits in 400- or 500-level science courses; NFS 505, 551, and 552; three credits in a 400-or 500-level statistics course. All resident students are required to be continuously registered in NFS 511 or 512, but no more than two credits of NFS 511 or NFS 512 can be used for program credit. Applicants without undergraduate training in nutrition may be required to make up background courses without graduate credit.

Combined Master of Science Dietetic Internship Program

This program is designed for students who want to become Registered Dietitians by including an accredited Dietetic Internship (DI) program with the M.S. degree requirements. The DI has a specialization area in applied nutrition science. The DI is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606, 312.899.0040, ext. 5400, website:

Admission requirements: students wishing to complete URI’s Combined Master of Science Dietetic Internship (MSDI) must have an earned bachelor’s degree with completion of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (“Academy”) Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) requirements including coursework requirements listed above for the M.S. as well as a GRE within 5 years. Applicants must submit an ADA verification form or declaration of intent form signed by their DPD director. Enrollment is expected to be limited to eight students. Program information and application deadlines can be obtained at

Program requirements (33 credits): Thesis (6 credits); NFS 505; NFS 506, 528, 551, and 552; two credits of NFS 511; one credit apiece of NFS 507, 508, 581, 582, 583, and 584; three credits in a 400- or 500- level statistics course. In addition to the program requirements for other M.S. students, MSDI students must complete 1,436 hours of supervised practice experience in health care and applied nutrition research facilities. Students must satisfactorily complete the experiential rotations as well as M.S. degree requirements including defense of their thesis in order to receive an Academy Verification Statement qualifying them to take the Dietetic Registration Examination as well as to apply for licensure to practice dietetics in Rhode Island.

Doctor of Philosophy

Students interested in a doctoral degree will complete the Ph.D. program in Biological and Environmental Sciences.