Nutrition and Dietetics MS

Major: Nutrition and Dietetics
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Minimum Required Credits:
Co-op Option: None
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 51.3101
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 29-1031

About the Program

The Nutrition and Dietetics program is designed to provide both the didactic coursework and experiential learning necessary to prepare students to become registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN). Using knowledge of nutrition science, biology, chemistry, physiology, biochemistry, psychology and statistics, RDNs address the nutrition needs of individuals or groups through the prevention or management of illness or chronic disease. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to sit for the entry-level exam to become an RDN. This program fulfills the requirements of the Accreditation Council on Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) Future Graduate Education Model.

Students spend the first two quarters in the program in the classroom taking foundation courses. Beginning in the third quarter, in addition to taking six credits of didactic coursework, students enroll in three credits of supervised practice (24 hours per week) to develop and demonstrate competency in dietetics practice. Experiential learning is completed at locations in and around the Delaware Valley or in locations outside of the area with approval from the program director.

During the last four months of the program, students complete experiential learning and a capstone project in a chosen concentration area. Concentrations are available with the Drexel Center for Nutrition and Performance, Eat Right Philly and at a wide variety of other facilities and programs with whom the department has relationships.

Students have the option to complete a research thesis. Applicants are encouraged to visit the program website to review the research programs of the department's faculty.

The program is offered on a full-time basis. Students are admitted in the fall term.

Program Mission: Drexel University’s Department of Nutrition Sciences graduate program in dietetics integrates didactic coursework with experiential learning to provide the knowledge, competencies and professional values needed to prepare students to become entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists. 

Program Goals and Objectives

Program Goal #1: To provide quality classroom and experiential learning to prepare graduates to become registered dietitian nutritionists and be employed in the field of dietetics.

  • Objective #1: At least 80 percent of students complete the program within 32 months (150 percent of the planned program length).
  • Objective #2: Of graduates who seek employment, at least 80 percent are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
  • Objective #3: Graduates of the GP will rate ten aspects of their didactic and learning experiences an average of "4" or better, on a scale of 1=poor to 5 =excellent.
  • Objective #4: Employers of graduates of the GP will rate ten aspects of the student's preparation for employment an average of "4" or better, on a scale of 1=poor to 5 =excellent within 12 months of graduation.

Program Goal #2: To prepare graduates to take and pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) credentialing exam.

  • Objective #1: At least 90 percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
  • Objective #2: The program's one-year pass rate on the CDR credentialing exam for registered dietitian nutritionists is at least 90 percent.

Program Goal #3: To increase diversity in the profession by facilitating the success of students from underrepresented groups.

  • Objective #1: At least 25 percent of students will be from underrepresented groups.

Additional Information

For more information, visit the College's MS in Nutrition and Dietetics webpage.

Admission Requirements


A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in the United States or an equivalent international institution. Must have a GPA of 3.0 or above.


Official transcripts must be sent directly to Drexel from all the colleges/universities that you have attended. Transcripts must be submitted in a sealed envelope with the college/university seal over the flap. Please note that transcripts are required regardless of number of credits taken or if the credits were transferred to another school. An admission decision may be delayed if you do not send transcripts from all colleges/universities attended. Transcripts must show course-by-course grades and degree conferrals. If your school does not notate degree conferrals on the official transcripts, you must provide copies of any graduate or degree certificates.

If your school issues only one transcript for life, you are required to have a course-by-course evaluation completed by an approved transcript evaluation agency.

Use our Transcript Lookup Tool to assist you in contacting your previous institutions.


You must complete the following prerequisite courses with a grade of B or better before starting the program:

  • 1 year English composition and/or literature
  • 1 semester general biology with lab to include cell and genetics
  • 2 semesters general chemistry, including an introduction to organic chemistry with lab, OR 1 semester general/inorganic chemistry with lab AND 1 semester organic chemistry with lab
  • 1 semester biochemistry
  • 1 semester human physiology or 2 semesters anatomy and physiology
  • 1 semester basic and quantity food preparation
  • 1 semester general psychology
  • 1 semester statistics
  • 1 semester introductory nutrition

References: Two letters of recommendation. You may use our electronic letter of recommendation service. If a recommender prefers to submit an original, hard copy letter, please remind them that it must include an ink signature and be submitted in a sealed envelope.

Personal statement/essay: Approximately 500 words explaining your reasons for pursuing a degree from Drexel, your short- and long-term career plans and how your background, experience, interest, and/or values—when combined with a Drexel degree—will enable you to pursue these goals successfully.

Interview/portfolio: Admissions interview is not required.

CV/resume: Required

International Students: International applicants, as well as immigrants to the United States and United States permanent residents whose native language is not English and who have not received a bachelor's degree or higher in the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom, must show proficiency in English speaking as well as listening, writing and, reading. American citizens born on U.S. military bases abroad may be waived from the TOEFL requirement after providing documentation of this status. Otherwise, applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

If you take the TOEFLiBT exam, you must have a minimum combined score for listening, writing, and reading sections of 79 plus a speaking section score of 26 or higher.

Degree Requirements

Core Courses
NFS 525Nutritional Assessment Through the Life Cycle3.0
NFS 530Macronutrient Metabolism3.0
NFS 531Micronutrient Metabolism3.0
NFS 601Research Methods3.0
Required Courses
FDSC 506Food Composition & Behavior3.0
NFS 510Profession of Dietetics3.0
NFS 526Lifecycle Nutrition3.0
NFS 543Medical Nutrition Therapy I3.0
NFS 544Medical Nutrition Therapy II3.0
NFS 545Nutrition in Critical Care3.0
NFS 546World Nutrition3.0
NFS 550Foodservice Systems Management3.0
NFS 609Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway *15.0
NFS 630Nutrition Counseling3.0
NFS 660Capstone Project in Nutrition and Dietetics3.0
NFS 690Community Nutrition3.0
Elective **3.0
Total Credits63.0

Course is taken multiple times over several terms.


Students may select from the following options: NFS 625 Nutrition and Exercise Physiology; NFS 640 Nutrition of the Schoolchild; NFS T680 Special Topics; NFS I799 Independent Study; CIT 501 Foundations of Phytotherapy; CIT 502 Foundations of Complementary and Integrative Therapies.

In addition to the list above, any 3-credit, graduate-level course that is related to Nutrition and Dietetics may be used to fulfill the requirement with prior approval from the Program Director.

Sample Plan of Study

First Year
FDSC 5063.0NFS 5253.0NFS 5103.0NFS 5433.0
NFS 5303.0NFS 5263.0NFS 6093.0NFS 5503.0
NFS 5313.0NFS 6013.0NFS 6903.0NFS 6093.0
 9 9 9 9
Second Year
NFS 5443.0NFS 5463.0NFS 5453.0 
NFS 6093.0NFS 6093.0NFS 6093.0 
NFS 6303.0Elective3.0NFS 6603.0 
 9 9 9 
Total Credits 63

Nutrition Sciences Faculty

Nyree Dardarian, MS, RD, LDN, CSSD, FAND (East Tennessee State University) Director, Center for Nutrition & Performance. Clinical Assistant Professor. Energy expenditure; sports nutrition
Angelo Del Parigi, MD (University of Bari, Italy) Courtesy Appointment. Visiting Research Professor.
Jonathan Deutsch, PhD (New York University). Professor. Social and cultural aspects of food, culinary education, culinary improvisation, recipe and product development; food sustainability.
RoseAnn DiMaria-Ghalili, PhD, MSN, BSN, CNSC (New York University, School of Education, Division of Nursing). Associate Professor. Nutrition and surgical recovery to improve the care of older adults undergoing surgery; nutrition assessment, inflammation, and health outcomes.
Susan Ettinger, PhD, RD, DABN, CDN (Columbia University) Courtesy Appointment. Visiting Research Professor.
Beth L. Leonberg, MS, MA, RDN, CSP, FAND, LDN (Drexel University) Director, Didactic Program in Dietetics . Associate Clinical Professor. Pediatric nutrition.
Rachelle Lessen, MS, RD, IBCLC, LDN (Arcadia University). Instructor. Human lactation
Michael Lowe, PhD (Boston College). Professor. Prevention and treatment of eating disorders and obesity; effects of appetitive responsiveness and dietary restraint on eating regulation; psychobiology of obesity-proneness; empirical foundations of unconscious processes.
Brandy-Joe Milliron, PhD (Arizona State University). Associate Professor. The development and evaluation of modifications in the natural environment to promote healthier living; farm to table school initiatives
Jennifer Nasser, PhD, RD, FTOS (Rutgers University). Associate Professor. Dopamine-mediated mechanisms of food intake regulation in humans and its impact on metabolic homeostasis, especially as it applies to obesity, eating disorders and aging. Implementation of methods to maximize nutrient density of food provided in community food services.
Jennifer Quinlan, PhD (North Carolina State University). Professor. Food microbiology; microbiological quality and safety of produce, dairy and meat products in markets in high vs. low socioeconomics areas, Bacillus and Clostridium spores in food processing.
Patricia A. Shewokis, PhD (University of Georgia). Professor. Roles of cognition and motor function during motor skill learning; role of information feedback frequency on the memory of motor skills, noninvasive neural imaging techniques of functional near infrared spectroscopy(fNIRS) and electroencephalography (EEG) and methodology and research design.
Deeptha Sukumar, PhD (Rutgers University). Associate Professor. Vitamin D and magnesium and bone mineral density; obesity and bone mineral density.
Stella Lucia Volpe, PhD, RD, ACSM-CEP, FACSM (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) Visiting Research Professor, courtesy appointment. Prevention of obesity and diabetes across the lifespan; mineral metabolism and exercise; energy balance; sports nutrition.

Emeritus Faculty

Donna H. Mueller, PhD (Temple University). Associate Professor Emeritus. Clinical nutrition; pediatric nutrition; nutrition in pulmonary diseases, especially cystic fibrosis; nutrition in developmental delay; dental nutrition; dietetic education and professional development.
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