Master's Programs

M.S. in Nutrition: Thesis


A Master of Science in Nutrition (thesis option) is recommended for students who are interested in gaining research experience related to any one of the numerous areas of study in nutrition. Students who receive a MS in Nutrition (thesis option) often use their training to obtain a research technical position within a company and/or as a step to obtaining a PhD in Nutrition Science.

The Nutrition program is an interdepartmental program, including the:

  • Department of Food, Bioprocessing & Nutrition Sciences;
  • Department of Animal Science;
  • Department of Youth, Family and Community Sciences;
  • Prestage Department of Poultry Science

Students may complete their thesis work with faculty in any one of these departments as chair or co-chair of their advisory committee.

Research activities are as diverse as the Nutrition faculty and range in level from the molecular to the whole animal. Students majoring in Nutrition are affiliated with and housed in one of the departments mentioned above. The choice of department, as well as faculty adviser, depends on the research interests of the student. The choice of department and faculty adviser should start with a review of the research interests of the faculty; prospective students are encouraged to contact the faculty whose programs most closely match their research interests. Nutrition students frequently co-major with the program from the department of their adviser.

Note: North Carolina State University does do not offer the Certification in Didactic Program in Dietetics for students seeking to become a Registered Dietitian.

Admission Process

To be considered for admission, you should:

  • Hold a B.S degree in a science-related area, including course work in biology and organic chemistry;
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0;
  • Score at or above the 30th percentile in all categories on the GRE; and
  • Have a TOFLE score of 80 or higher and/or IELTS of 6.5 or higher (for international students only).

**NOTE: We recommend higher scores to increase competitiveness within the program.

Once you decide you are interested in applying for a Master of Science in Nutrition (thesis option), please:

  • Submit your application to The Graduate School. In your statement of purpose, make sure to include specific research interests and/or identify specific faculty members with whom you would like to work.
  • Either before or after you receive your letter of admission (we recommend before), contact faculty members whose research is of interest to you. In your e-mail specify why you would be a good fit for their program, including your resume, GRE scores and/or transcripts. Please, do not send a form e-mail. View links to the faculty web pages in each department, to see the research interest of each faculty member. The number of students that can be admitted to the program is limited by the availability of time and financial resources for faculty to direct student research.
  • Once you are accepted and have found a faculty mentor, work with that mentor to enroll in your first semester’s courses. Course requirements will vary by student and research plan.

Degree Requirements

Master of Science in Nutrition (thesis option) students must complete the following course work (at least 30 total credit hours):

  • BCH 451 Principles of Biochemistry or NTR 501 Advanced Nutrition and Metabolism, or equivalent (3 credit hours);
  • ANS/BCH 571 Regulation of Metabolism or another 500 level course in Biochemistry (BCH);
  • NTR 601 MR Seminar (1 credit hour);
  • At least 8 credit hours of NTR courses at the 500 level or above; and
  • Elective courses from NTR or other programs
  • Total credits to include 20 credits at 500 and 700 level, and up to 6 credits of research (NTR 693/695)

A minor in another program or department is encouraged. Course selection for a plan of work is by agreement between the student and their faculty advisory committee. For more information, please contact Dr. Jon Allen (Director of the Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Science Graduate Program) or Ms. Judy Cooper (Graduate Administrative Support).

Nutrition Graduate Handbook

Review our guide to the nutrition graduate programs:

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My name is Kimberly Spence and I am originally from Clemmons, North Carolina. I have a Bachelor’€™s degee in Human Biology, and am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. After graduating from college … the field of lactation was attractive because it encompasses public health, human biology, psychology, economics, social norms and ethics.  Finding a place to pursue my public health passion in a scientific way was challenging for me, until I came to this department.  I am currently pursuing my Master’€™s of Science in Nutrition under Dr. April Fogleman.

 As a graduate assistant, I have had opportunities to practice the skills of lesson planning and grading.  I have been given opportunities to travel across the country and world sharing our research on human milk. In the lab, I have been able to plan my research according to real world problems; I am honored to contribute to the way we feed our most vulnerable infants.

I have been able to contribute to the lactation community through my research and am delighted to have accepted a position at UNC Hospitals as a lactation consultant. I am excited to share with others my new knowledge of human milk in a clinical and academic setting.Hopefully in the future I will be able to continue teaching on a broader scale by starting more lactation consultant training programs and expanding my clinical skills.

All of this has been possible only through the support of my wonderful Wolfpack family. I consider the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutritional Sciences at NC State University to be the most supportive educational environment I have ever experienced.