WCSU Graduate Catalog 2023-2024


Ethan K. Balk, Graduate Coordinator                                     Phone: 203 – 837 – 8985           balke@wcsu.edu

Therese Richardson, Dept. Secretary                                      Phone: 203 – 837 – 8612


Part-time Faculty: A. Giguere; M. Farrell

This program will not be accepting applications for the 2023-24 academic year.

Program Overview and Mission

The MS in Human Nutrition will prepare students for leadership, entrepreneurial, and/or academic roles in the rapidly growing area of nutrition and wellness. The program will provide students at WCSU with advanced training in nutrition through both course work and research to pursue areas of interest such as community nutrition, diet and behavior change, public health and food policy, and health and wellness. This degree focuses on training students in empirically validated and peer-reviewed research-centered advanced study of metabolic physiology, etiology of disease, best-practice assessment, and nutrition-based intervention strategies for treatment and prevention. The rigorous emphasis on evidence-based treatment, participation in peer-reviewed research, and subsequent dissemination of findings are the basis of this program and will be supported by faculty in the department. Successful completion of the M.S. in Nutrition will enable students to continue their graduate or professional education or pursue employment in academia, the government, or private industry. 

Admission Criteria:  

A student seeking admission to the M.S. in Human Nutrition program must hold a bachelor’s degree (B.S. or B.A.) from an accredited college or university with a combined undergraduate GPA of at least a 3.0 and: 

  • A minimum of 12 semester hours in sciences, including at least three to six semester hours in chemistry, organic chemistry, and anatomy and physiology as well as at least three semester hours in nutrition.  
  • A narrative statement describing the students’ career goals and academic aspirations with an explanation detailing why they seek graduate study and why they seek this particular study at Western Connecticut State University. 

If cumulative undergraduate GPA is below a 3.0, the applicant may submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (general) in support of their application. In that case, the undergraduate GPA and GRE scores will be taken into consideration for admission into the program.  Due to COVID restrictions, this exam is being waived for the fall 2021 applicants. 

Final admission requires approval by the program coordinator and the dean of the school of professional studies.  

Degree Pre-requisites    

BS or BA from accredited university, GPA of at least 3.0


GRE  (if GPA < 3.0)  

Verbal/Quantitative: ≥ 450; Analytical Writing: ≥ 450 (if GPA is under 3.0) 


Recommended Course Pre-requisites (must be taken prior to admission to the MS degree).  General Chemistry I & II + Lab 
Organic Chemistry I & II + Lab 
Intro to Microbiology or equivalent 
Anatomy and Physiology I & II + Lab 
Basic or Intro to Human Nutrition 


Courses Credits
General Chemistry I & II + Lab 
Organic Chemistry I & II + Lab  
Intro to Microbiology (or equivalent)
Anatomy and Physiology I & II + Lab 
Basic or Intro to Human Nutrition  
Total Other Credits Required to Issue Credential    38 


Program Core Courses (26 credits)

HPX 505 Metabolism I

HPX 506 Metabolism II

HPX 530 Nutrition & Disease

HPX 531 Nutrition Assessment, Intervention, and Evaluation

HPX 584 Research Methods in Nutrition

HPX 582 Community Nutrition in Action

HPX 590 Nutrition Research Colloquium


Additional Required Courses (3- 9 credits)

  • Electives 
  • HPX 591 Nutrition Capstone Comprehensive Project

Total Program Credits: 38


Certification Option

For those students interested in gaining licensure with their state, the program can serve to meet the nutrition course requirement for earning a Board-Certified Nutrition Specialist Credential (CNS). The CNS credential is the gold standard certification for non-dietetic professionals in the field of nutrition. The CNS is the only non-dietetic credential recognized by state nutrition licensure laws (particularly CT, NY, MA, NJ, VT, NH, ME), is listed by the US Government’s Department of Labor as an advanced nutrition credential in the definition of the “Dietetics and Nutritionists” profession in its Occupational Outlook Handbook, and is listed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid as among those potentially eligible to order therapeutic diets in hospitals.


In addition to the coursework listed above, a self-driven Clinical Practicum is organized with the guidance of the student’s advisor.

  • Structure of the Supervised Experience:
    • 1,000 hours supervised practice experience must include minimum hours in each of the following categories:
      • —Nutrition assessment (minimum 200 hours)
      • —Nutrition intervention, education, counseling, or management (minimum 200 hours)
      • —Nutrition monitoring or evaluation (minimum 200 hours)
      • —The remaining hours may be in any of the above categories
    • A variety of experience with multiple supervisors and settings may be combined to achieve the 1,000 hours.


  • Supervised practice experience setting may be any that facilitates the above requirements, including but not limited to:
    • —Internship, residency, or clinical rotation
    • —Clinical practice
    • —Institutional setting
    • —Community setting