The 52 credit hour Master of Science program in Clinical Nutrition is open to any student who meets the admission requirements. Students not retaining a background in the sciences or allied health may take a longer period of time to complete the prerequisite requirements prior to entrance into the graduate program. In the majority of cases, prerequisite requirements can be fulfilled through the College of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies at Life University.
All students must have taken at least one college level course with a grade of “B” or better in each of the following disciplines to be admitted into the program:
- Anatomy and Physiology (may be a combined course)
- Chemistry and Biochemistry
- Microbiology (may be taken while enrolled in the MS Clinical Nutrition program)
Note: The nutrition/science grade point average of successful applicants is generally at or above 3.25.
Students in the M.S. graduate program in Clinical Nutrition are required to pursue a thesis or research project as part of their culminating graduate study experience. This scholarly learning experience provides the student with an opportunity to explore a specific area of clinical and/or research interest using statistical analysis and research design.
Students are encouraged to pursue projects that are evidence-based practice in design. Each study will be supervised by a faculty member and all research projects will require the proposal be submit to the Institutional Review Board prior to the start of the investigation. All research projects requiring use of Human Subjects must be approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Life University before the student starts working on the project.
Students must establish a thesis committee which consists of major advisor and 2 other departmental faculty (one outside the department is allowed). The thesis committee will supervise the graduate student reserach project until the student is officlaly completed and submitted the thesis as part of the M.S. requirement.
Following the completion of the research/project, the student will be required to complete a full written thesis or project submission. Submission of a peer-reviewed research article will satisfactorily substitute for a written thesis or project submission.
All students must also present their findings in a formal research presentation with a group of their peers and attended by department and Life University faculty. These formal presentations will be scheduled on a quarterly basis and open to the academic community.
Guidelines for thesis and project submissions can be obtained within the Department or the College of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies.
Written Comprehensive Examination
In exceptional situations, an M.S. graduate student may be granted status as a non-thesis candidate and permitted to take a written, comprehensive examination. Given that the field of Nutrition and Dietetics is an evidence-based field, the thesis or project route to degree is the preferred route of a culminating experience in this program.
Comprehensive examinations will be drawn from all the required courses (60 percent core and 40 percent research, critical thinking, research and analysis) and designed to measure the student’s ability to critically analyze clinical data, evaluate research protocol as well as apply the knowledge acquired through the program to practice.
- Completion of the Comprehensive Exam Application
- Completed all core and required courses
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above
- Student must be current with their financial obligations to the University
- All required application materials are on file
To be eligible to take the Written Comprehensive Examination, the student must complete an application with the Nutrition Department, which has been approved by the student’s advisor, and the Department Chair. This application must be filed with the department the quarter before the comprehensive exam will be completed.
Once approval has been granted, the student will be registered for MNTR 699. The deadline for registration is Week 1 of the quarter. Students will be notified in writing as to the date and the time that the examination will be given.
The exam will be graded by all faculty members who teach in the M.S. graduate nutrition program. The faculty members are given at least two weeks for reading and grading. The student will be notified by mail the outcome of the exam.
Written Comprehensive Exams will be offered in two sections, the core content and the research and critical analysis section. Students will be provided a period of proctored time in which to complete each section.
The following evaluative standards for comprehensive exams are given:
- Pass with specific remedial work (may include coursework, other)
- Failure – Students may retake the written comprehensive one additional time after a six-month waiting period.
If the student does not pass the written comprehensive examination after remedial work or after retaking the examination, he or she will be considered academically dismissed from the M.S. graduate program in Clinical Nutrition.