Master of Science in Nutrition – Online

“Helping people become holistically healthy” is what drew Amber Anderson, MScN (’16) to pursue a nutrition degree at NUNM.

Food is medicine.

There’s increasing demand for nutrition professionals who understand how diet can be a powerful tool for treating disease and increasing wellness. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs for nutritionists to grow 8% by 2029, far outpacing other occupational growth.

Until recently, prospective nutrition professionals had limited educational choices: become a medical doctor (MD) or a registered dietician (RD). But in the U.S., a growing group of professionals are choosing another path – becoming nutritionists for individuals and communities. As clinicians, health coaches, advisors and educators, nutritionists take a whole-systems approach to food and health.

Online education provides rich educational opportunities in nutrition.

For so many students, uprooting life and relocating to a university is a barrier to pursuing nutrition study. At NUNM, our food-first master’s in nutrition program is available fully online, delivering a high-quality education wherever you are. 

Our online Master of Science in Nutrition (MScN) program is rooted in the philosophy that food IS medicine, and what we eat has a profound effect on health. Developed by naturopathic doctors, NUNM’s nutrition curriculum immerses students in the science behind the most fundamental building blocks of diet. This means that as nutritionists, our grads have the power to address chronic disease and wellness for individuals and communities.

A “kitchen-first” approach, in your home kitchen.  

The best nutrition professionals relate everything back to food. Food is more than just vitamins, proteins and calories. Food can be emotional connection, cultural exchange, environmental engine, and personal empowerment. While few people connect deeply with nutrients, everyone interacts daily with food. With food-first skills, you’re better able to meet patients and communities where they are and guide them to better health outcomes.

A unique component of our online program, we’ve adapted our on-campus teaching kitchen curriculum to work in your home. Our at-home kitchen curriculum is dynamic and flexes to incorporate each student’s region and culture. Just ask the Alaskan student who made moose-meat chili or the Floridian student who incorporated tropical fruit into their recipes. 

Join our online community.

Our online nutrition curriculum is based on our successful on-campus nutrition program, with digital tools intentionally added.

  • A class cohort. Being part of a cohesive class gives our online students learning partners and peers.
  • An intuitive online learning platform. We make the technology part easy so that students can focus on the material.
  • Videos! Short, casual videos give students a chance to connect during classes, lectures and coursework – from office hours chats, to peer cooking demos. 

Nutrition science for each individual.

Nutrition science is constantly evolving as evidence shows that individuals respond to foods in vastly different ways. At NUNM, you’ll study a rigorous scientific foundation in the physiology of nutrition and learn to thoughtfully evaluate new studies and emerging research. We’ll teach you how to sift through the overwhelming number of viewpoints on nutrition and find the best solutions for patients and communities. Since people respond to food in different ways, we center our education on developing personalized diets that consider each person’s unique biology, cultural traditions, and access to food. 

Food and physiology are just the beginnings of whole-systems nutrition.

Our program widens the lens on nutrition to give students a more nuanced perspective on eating and health. With curriculum focusing on four key areas, we empower our graduates to view each patient and community in a truly holistic way. 

Clinical nutrition. Clinical nutrition is evidence-based, personalized nutrition care for all nutrition-related conditions, including seven of America’s leading causes of chronic illness and death: Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases like asthma and COPD, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.

The clinical nutrition practice is integrative, using biomarkers (biological markers) to diagnose nutrition-related problems and manage health outcomes, and food as medicine to provide for the individual’s total health and well-being.

NUNM teaches the nutritionist how to deliver nutrition services in a clinical setting, providing direct client/patient care to diagnose, manage, cure, and prevent nutrition-related problems with nutrition-focused therapies and lifestyle modifications that are respectful of, and responsive to, an individual’s preferences and values.

Culinary nutrition. Learn the principles and application of food preparation in the teaching kitchen. Develop recipes and menus to support health. 

Environmental nutrition. Learn the landscape of local and global food systems, paying specific attention to organic and sustainable practices. Follow the seed-to-table journey, exploring the relationship between food production and utilization, while considering environmental, social and economic facilitators and barriers of designing healthy communities.

Qualify as a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS)

We believe that food is medicine, and that each person should be seen as an individual when it comes to food. So, we’ve created a program that fulfills the academic requirements to become a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS). The Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists evaluates each CNS candidate against a rigorous set of skills and competencies to determine eligibility and is broadly recognized nationally for those wishing to practice in a clinical setting. We believe being a CNS allows our graduates to practice nutrition in a more holistic, empathetic way.

Postgraduate Clinical Nutrition Internship

Our six-month internship runs annually from July – December and provides CNS-approved Supervised Practice Experience (SPE) to prepare you for the Certified Nutrition Specialist® (CNS) credential. The CNS credential is a pathway to state licensure in Oregon and other states. Postgraduate interns deliver in-person and telemedicine nutrition services with experienced clinicians, gaining real-world practice experience and working with faculty mentors dedicated to developing professional skills, including nutrition-focused physical examination procedures, creating personalized nutrition care plans, health coaching, and nutritional counseling for individuals and groups. Make the most of your nutrition degree! Space is limited to 8 participants (must be located in Oregon). Learn more

We prepare you for a successful career helping people become holistically healthy.

Our curriculum helps you navigate the broad and dynamic field of nutrition with real-world experiences and skills. In your final year of the program, you’ll develop a capstone project with guidance from an experienced industry mentor to build your resume in your area of interest. This process helps students refine their career direction and network within their chosen field. Some example capstone projects:

  • An online nutrition coaching practice and website focused on mental, physical and microbiome health. 
  • An email series coaching mental health patients through “Wellness During Crisis” during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • A hormone health recipe book titled “Have a Peaceful Period.” 
  • A virtual cooking class called “Toast and Toppings” to inspire culinary exploration and fun with pantry ingredients. 

Wondering what your nutrition career after NUNM could look like?

  • A food educator teaching classes to support cancer patients at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City
  • Founder of a company selling award-winning cricket salts
  • A clinical nutritionist and GAPS-diet certified practitioner working in a naturopathic clinic
  • Co-owner and nutritionist at a Portland restaurant specializing in health-focused and diet-inclusive food

Nutrition in action.

As a Kaua’i, ‘āina-based educator, farm-to-school advocate and nutritionist, Tiana Kamen wants all children to have access to healthy foods, a garden, and nutrition and environmental education. She pioneered two farm-to-school programs, Farm to Keiki (a farm-to-preschool program) and the Kauaʻi School Garden Network. She’s also written a book to empower early childhood programs and families with young children throughout Hawaiʻi to teach about local, healthy food. Recognized by the Hawaiʻi Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, her book and training program, Farm to Keiki, has reached hundreds of early childhood educators in Hawaiʻi.

Learn more about Tiana here.


How is your online nutrition program different from your on-campus nutrition program?

In terms of content and degree, the two are identical. Students learn the same content, take the same exams, and are eligible for the same certifications. The experience of the two programs differs, our on-campus program offers a more traditional classroom setting, whereas the online program classwork is generally completed from home. Our on-campus students learn cooking techniques in our teaching kitchen, while online students adapt these lessons in their home kitchens. Learn about our on-campus Master of Science in Nutrition program.

Do you offer financial aid?

We do! Our financial aid office can help determine your eligibility for financial aid and provide you with resources to accomplish your educational goals.

What is the difference between a clinical nutritionist and a registered dietitian?

The clinical nutritionist can be a physician or non-physician with an accredited master’s degree in clinical nutrition. The Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) credential (obtained separately) is accepted for licensure of the non-physician nutritionist in many states to practice clinical nutrition. NUNM’s Master of Science in Nutrition program provides the prerequisites and a post-graduate supervised practice pathway to qualify for the CNS examination.

The dietitian is a non-physician with an accredited bachelor’s degree in clinical nutrition, dietetics, foods and nutrition or public health nutrition. After completing a dietetic internship (DI), Coordinated Program (CP) or Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) and passing the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) exam, the dietitian becomes a Registered Dietitian (RD) and obtains a state license to practice medical nutrition therapy.

As of 2024, dietitians must also earn a master’s or doctoral degree in any field of study to be eligible to sit for the CDR exam.

Do you teach vegan diets? What about paleo diets? Or keto diets? Or intermittent fasting? 

Yes and no. Our curriculum is grounded in individualized nutrition and whole foods. So, while yes, you’ll learn the components of healthy plant-based nutrition and other food philosophies, you’ll also learn that specialized diets might not be the best choice for your patient or the community you serve. 

Learn more

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 an 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 and 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 $504
    Tuition $16,128
    Fees** $550
    Total $16,678

    * The prices listed above reflect an estimate based on the 2022-2023 academic year.

    Total MScN Degree Credits

    • Core program credits


    • Elective credits


    • Total required credits