Each course in this program provides a true intersection of nutrition, health, and science. Two concentrations provide students with a unique area of study. Each concentration and relevant courses are outline below.
The online MSNS program is a 30-credit-hour program with two concentrations:
- Theories of Nutrition Behavior
- Nutrition Through the Life Cycle
- Nutrition and Disease Prevention
- Study Design and Research Methods
- Biochemical Nutrition: Nutrition as Medicine
- Nutrition and Cancer
- Nutrition and Immunology
- Study Design and Research Methods
Courses in the online MSNS are taught by full time Nutritional Sciences faculty in their area of research or interest.
This course covers advanced knowledge of the metabolic and physiologic pathways involved in the utilization of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
This course extends knowledge of nutritional biochemistry and metabolic pathways with a focus on the role of vitamins and minerals in energy metabolism, health, and disease etiology.
This course utilizes epidemiological methodology as the basis for selection of study design and data collection tools in nutrition research. Elements of study design, such as dietary tools, biomarkers of diet or disease, and anthropometric measurements, are explored. Emphasis is placed on interpretation of study results in nutrition research.
This course examines the prevalence, prevention, and treatment of adult and childhood obesity and the metabolic disorders related to obesity. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to: a) summarize the epidemiology of obesity; b) identify health risks of obesity with an emphasis on type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer risks; c) examine how culture, socioeconomic status, and the built environment in the community effects obesity and related diseases; d) discuss key issues related to obesity, including treatment and prevention; e) delineate the role of nutrition and physical activity in obesity and health risk; f) describe and apply methodology related to obesity research; and g) apply behavioral science and health education to designing an obesity prevention program in the community.
How many times have you ever heard a claim such as, "Research shows that this supplement (take your pick) is associated with weight loss/increased energy/reduced appetite/protection from cancer/etc."? The amount of information related to nutrition, especially to nutrition-based health claims, is overwhelming. This course is designed to provide the knowledge to evaluate such claims and the research on which the claims are based. The course includes applications of statistical analysis methods for nutrition-based data, including principles of hypothesis testing, experimental study design, distribution theory, confidence limits, regression analysis, correlation, analysis of variance, non-parametric statistics, survival analysis, factor analysis, nutritional epidemiology, and statistical power. The course will include analysis of data sets and interpretation of results.
This course provides a general overview of the regulation of gene expression by diet, lifestyle, and nutrition and the resulting modulation of disease development. The material will focus on the basic tenets of gene regulation and how nutrient intake affects gene expression and tissue metabolism and conversely how genetic inheritance affects metabolic nutrient requirements. Students will be taught how their own lifestyle and diet choices, as well as those of their parents’ and grandparents’, impact their current health status and their risk for future disease development (and potentially their children’s risk), especially in the context of personalized medicine.
This course is focused on the interactions between nutrition and multi-level "omics" (e.g., genome, transcriptome, methylome) as they relate to chronic disease and health. The course includes a focus on gene-diet interactions in the context of population genetic variation and the bidirectional molecular interactions that influence gene and protein expression as well as epigenetic modification.
This course outlines the molecular and nutritional mechanisms associated with the development and progression of cancer. Nutritional influences on cancer development at all stages of the cancer process, including the role of nutrition in chemotherapies and state-of-the-art molecular methods in cancer research, are also explored.
This course explores the role of nutrition as a critical preventive measure for both acute and chronic disease. The current research supporting the role of nutrition as a preventative therapy is examined and evaluated. Students work in teams to evaluate the validity of proposed nutritional therapies, and outcomes are shared in group presentations.
This course includes a multi-level exploration of the ways in which nutrition may affect the diagnosis and treatment of human disease. Functional foods, nutrition-drug interactions, nutrition therapy, nutrient deficiencies, and the role of the microbiome are discussed.
This course prepares students to make recommendations for improving health through immune modulation using dietary components. The course will cover the clinically relevant aspects of immunology including inflammation, immune surveillance, allergy, and autoimmunity. Students will also learn the current dietary strategies recommended to modulate the different aspects of immune function as well as understand clinical immune assessment and critically analyze and interpret current research findings.
This course covers the changing nutritional needs throughout the human life cycle. The role of nutrition in growth, mental and physical development, special needs of life transitions (e.g., puberty, pregnancy, menopause), and aging are discussed.
This course covers research methods, study design, and ethics and professional development for nutrition professionals. The course includes a focus on the systematic expression of ideas and the acquisition of scientific writing skills through the development of a full grant-based proposal.
This course will explore and examine nutrition-related behavior through the application of health behavior theories and models. Theories/Models to be discussed will include theories such as the Health Belief Model, Theory of Planned Behavior, Social Cognitive Theory, Diffusion of Innovations, Transtheoretical Model, Social Support, and Social Ecological Model. Course content will emphasize understanding of theoretical constructs, benefits and limitations of each theory/model, considerations needed for unique populations or behaviors, and how to develop a theory-based program plan.
Certified Nutrition Specialist
The University of Texas at Austin’s MS in Nutritional Sciences program fulfills part of the current academic requirements for the Board Certified Nutrition Specialist (BCNS) certification. BCNS requires a graduate degree in the field of nutrition from a regionally accredited university, specific coursework, and 1,000 hour 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 https://nutritionspecialists.org/.
Learn more about Admissions and Application.
For questions, email admissions@nutrition-