Master of Science in Nutrition (Online)

NUNM’s online Master of Science in Nutrition (MScN) program stands apart from other nutrition programs. Our unique program is built around our longstanding philosophy— food is medicine. We know that nutrition plays a significant role in health and wellness. Many of today’s health challenges, from chronic disease to obesity, can be managed through nutrition and lifestyle changes. Our program highlights the benefits of whole, unprocessed foods, individualized diets, and teaches students the culinary skills to create delicious and healthy meals. All of this is delivered to you in the comfort of your own home and conveniently completed according to your personal schedule—there are no in-person classes. Learn through an online learning management system that supports live and recorded videos; readings and group projects; solo cooking assignments; discussions and live office hours. Our two-year online program allows you to earn your degree while balancing other life commitments.

Areas of Focus

Clinical Nutrition – Explore biomedical, nutrition science and how it impacts health and metabolism. Learn the interactions that take place between nutrients and phytochemicals within the human body and how nutrient deficiencies can result in disease. Design nutritional interventions to reduce disease and support quality of life for your future clients.

Community Nutrition – Analyze the factors that contribute to the health outcomes of diverse and underserved populations. Explore economic, cultural and social influences—including food justice, food access, education and policy.

Culinary Nutrition – Attain cooking skills, recipe development and meal planning, all based on nutritional requirements. Program requirements include a kitchen or space to cook—an oven, stove and basic cookware. You’ll receive recipes and ingredient lists upon enrollment, but we encourage our students to focus on the regional foods available in your geographic area; utilize the concepts of seasonal eating; incorporate your own food preferences and dietary restrictions.

Environmental Nutrition – Examine local and global food systems, paying specific attention to organic and sustainable practices. Explore farm-to-table principles, including the relationship between food production and utilization, while considering environmental, social and economic factors in designing healthy communities.

Online Learning Environment

Choosing the best online learning environment is a big part of deciding which online nutrition program is right for you. Ours is designed from the ground up to help you succeed. Here’s what sets our program apart from the rest:

  • 100% asynchronous. You will complete your weekly coursework according to your own schedule. There are no weekly class meetings that must be attended. If you need to meet online with your instructor, your advisor, or your classmates, you will be able to schedule these meetings at times that work for you.
  • No proctored exams. Other online programs sometimes require proctored midterms or final exams where you will be monitored and recorded on your webcam while taking the exam. During these exams, you may not even be allowed to take any breaks or look away from your screen. Our program doesn’t have any exams like this. Instead of high-stress, high-stakes exams, your performance will be assessed based on your ability to perform practical, real-world tasks that reflect the skills you will need to succeed after graduation.
  • Video discussions with VoiceThread. Most online programs utilize text-based discussion forums where you will simply read and respond to written posts by other students without ever hearing their voice or seeing their face. Our program utilizes the VoiceThread platform for video-based discussion forums that will offer you a chance to really connect with your fellow students in a meaningful way. Learn more about VoiceThread.
  • Hands-on cooking. You will be able to learn and practice hands-on cooking skills. Your courses will include video demonstrations of different kitchen techniques, as shown by faculty members in our on-campus teaching kitchen. You’ll then be able to practice these techniques in your own kitchen at home, and share pictures or videos of your work to receive feedback from your peers and instructors.
  • Virtual office hours. You’ll have the same opportunities to connect with your instructors that are available for on-campus students. Your instructors and advisors will be available to meet with you in live video sessions where you can ask questions or get feedback.
  • 24/7 support. We are committed to making sure that you don’t have to worry about any technical difficulties in our program, so that you can focus on what really matters; learning all about nutrition. In our program, you’ll have 24/7 access to technical support, with live phone and chat support during peak hours and fast e-mail responses at any time, day or night.

Student Experience

“Helping people become holistically healthy,” Amber Anderson, MScN (’16), talks about her experience at NUNM and learning a holistic approach to nutrition.

Career Options:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dietitians and nutritionists is a growing field—a field projected to continue to expand in the next decade. Our graduates are providing vital and professional expertise in careers as varied as nutrition consultants and educators and counselors; therapeutic chefs; food and nutrition authors and writers, bloggers. You’ll find our graduates in integrative health centers and schools; non-profits; corporations and small businesses; wellness centers; health food stores and grocery stores…and that’s just for starters. This field is wide open as more people learn about the importance of nutrition. When you receive your online Master of Science in Nutrition degree, you will be highly qualified to launch a career in the growing field of nutrition including:

  • Discuss nutritional science and how it impacts human health and metabolism
  • Describe the digestion, absorption, distribution and metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients
  • Explain basic human physiological mechanisms and pathophysiology
  • Detail biochemical pathways influenced by macro- and micronutrients
  • Correlate nutrition’s influence on disease prevention and risk
  • Perform nutritional assessments
  • Analyze nutrient content of dietary patterns and facilitate dietary changes associated with optimizing health
  • Perform effective nutrition counseling resulting in a client’s successful implementation of lifestyle behavioral changes
  • Apply skills in cooking, recipe development and meal planning
  • Match nutritional therapies to medical diagnoses
  • Design individualized meal plans for clients
  • Develop and implement nutrition and cooking curriculum in one-on-one and group settings
  • Identify, assess and address the interactions among the many issues associated with nutrition and the community
  • Effectively communicate with healthcare practitioners, the scientific community and the general public in written documents and oral presentations

Learn more

NUNM’s Master of Science in Nutrition program fulfills the current academic requirements for the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS). The Board of Certified Nutrition Specialists (BCNS) requires a graduate degree in the field of nutrition from a regionally accredited  university, specific coursework, and 1,000 hours of supervised experience. BCNS reviews each candidate individually, including current course descriptions, transcripts, and experience to determine eligibility. To learn more about becoming a CNS, visit

Program News

Faculty Highlight

Andrew Erlandsen, ND

Dr. Andrew Erlandsen earned his Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree from National College of Natural Medicine in 2011 (now known as National University of Natural Medicine). As an associate professor at NUNM, Dr. Erlandsen teaches a variety of nutrition courses in the ND, MSOM, MSiMR and MScN programs. He also teaches courses in clinical research and mentors MSiMR students on their thesis projects.

Dr. Erlandsen also works with the Food as Medicine Institute at NUNM. The Institute provides nutrition education for individuals, families and communities in order to nourish healthy relationships with whole foods and the use of food as medicine to prevent and reduce chronic disease.

In addition to teaching at NUNM, Dr. Erlandsen maintains a private clinical practice in Beaverton, Oregon. He sees patients of all ages, for both acute and chronic concerns, and utilizes the principles of naturopathic medicine to lead his patients to better health.

  • MScN

    Admissions Requirements for MScN

    Completion of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college/university or its foreign equivalent

    A GPA of 3.0 or higher (strongly recommended)

    Prerequisite Courses

    Prerequisite courses are designed to ensure entering students are academically prepared for the curriculum of the program. Prerequisite courses may be substituted with comparable coursework if the learning objectives are met at the determination of the Admissions Committee, utilizing the evaluation procedures set by that committee.

    General Biology 1 Human-related biology course required; Anatomy & Physiology strongly recommended.
    General Chemistry 1 Biochemistry strongly recommended
    Mathematics 1 Algebra or Statistics preferred.
    Psychology 1 Any general psychology course 100-level or higher
    • General Biology — 1 Course
      Human-related biology course required; Anatomy & Physiology strongly recommended.
    • General Chemistry — 1 Course
      Biochemistry strongly recommended
    • Mathematics — 1 Course
      Algebra or Statistics preferred.
    • Psychology — 1 Course
      Any general psychology course 100-level or higher

    A grade of C or better is required for all prerequisite coursework. Candidates may apply while in progress.

    Documents & Essays

    Applicants are required to submit essays to be considered for admission. Essays provide applicants the opportunity to share their background, abilities, interests and experiences, and how these will make them a good candidate for the programs at NUNM. Applicants should share some personal experiences and genuine thoughts in their essays. Explaining why you are applying to NUNM and how you would enrich that community is also helpful. The Admissions Committee will look for writing ability, as well as content when reading the essays.

    Required Documents and Essays for the MScN Program

    • Resume

      A chronological resume of work, educational, and volunteer experience. Include work experience, internships, research, activities, publications, community service, and any honors/awards received.

    • MScN: Career Goals

      Speaking to your background in nutrition, interests, and philosophy around nutrition, please share how you plan to use nutrition in your career. (maximum of 1,600 words, double spaced)

    Estimated Program Cost

    First-Year Tuition & Fees for MScN*
    Credits 32
    Cost/Credit $464
    Tuition $14,848
    Fees** $660
    Total $15,508

    * The prices listed above reflect an estimate based on the 2020-2021 academic year.

    Total MScN Degree Credits

    • Core program credits


    • Elective credits


    • Total required credits