Nutrition and Food Sciences

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


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

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 – Nutrition

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, 553, and 554; 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,  553, and 554; two credits of NFS 511; one credit apiece of NFS 507, 508, 581, 582, 583, 584, and 591; three credits in a 400- or 500- level statistics course; three credits to be determined by the major professor. 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.

Master of Science – Dietetics (Online)

The M.S. in Dietetics Program is a 100% online program designed to provide academic training for students who are currently completing ACEND-accredited dietetic internship programs. The required courses will complement internship rotations to provide comprehensive study of each area of Dietetics. Registered Dietitians who have completed an ACEND-accredited dietetic internship program within the past 7 years may apply but will need to provide credentialing information. Additional program information can be found on our department website (

Admission Requirements: Concurrent enrollment in a dietetic internship program accredited by ACEND, and completion of a Didactic Program in Dietetics accredited by ACEND with an overall minimum GPA of 3.0. Students who are Registered Dietitians and who have completed a dietetic internship program accredited by ACEND within the past 7 years are eligible to apply but must complete an additional application.

Program Requirements: (36 credits): The following 11 courses are required: NFS 560 – Introduction to Clinical Practice (3 credits); NFS 561 – Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy in Dietetics 1 (4 credits); NFS 562 – Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy in Dietetics 2 (4 credits); NFS 563 – Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy in Dietetics 3 (4 credits); NFS 564 – Foodservice Operations (4 credits); NFS 565 – Community Nutrition and Health Promotion (4 credits); NFS 566 – Clinical Nutrition Management (3 credits); NFS 567 – Introductory Dietetic Research (2 credits); NFS 568 – Intermediate Dietetic Research (2 credits); NFS 569 – Advanced Dietetic Research (2 credits); NFS 570 – Research in Dietetic Specialization (4 credits). Successful completion of a comprehensive exam.

Doctor of Philosophy

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