Penn State World Campus offering nutritional sciences master’s degree online

October 31, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State is leveraging its faculty expertise in nutritional sciences to offer a master’s degree that can be completed entirely online.

In the new master of professional studies in nutritional sciences, students will learn and develop leadership skills in nutrition and dietetics that will prepare them to use evidence-based strategies to improve health and optimize quality of life. The degree is being offered online through Penn State World Campus, and the faculty from Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development will teach the courses.

Applications are being accepted for admission in Penn State’s summer 2017 semester, which begins in May.

“The new degree gives nutritionists and dietitians the opportunity to advance skills in evidence-based practice and leadership that they can immediately use in their workplaces,” said Gina Pazzaglia, associate professor of outreach, instructor and director of the new degree program. “We use problem-based learning, simulations and student-centered activities that will translate research into practice.”

Penn State is launching the degree at a time when the demand for nutritionist and dietitian jobs is expected to grow. As the rate of obesity and diseases caused by poor nutrition increases, more nutritionists and dietitians will be needed to provide care. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs for nutritionists and registered dietitians/nutritionists (RDNs) is expected to increase 16 percent through 2024.

In addition, starting in 2024, the Commission on Dietetics Registration will require a master’s degree to become a registered dietitian.

Students will take courses in clinical nutrition, community nutrition and education, nutrition counseling and more. Students will complete a final research-based capstone project related to their work or personal interest.

Penn State’s Department of Nutritional Sciences has long featured faculty who are leading researchers in the field of nutrition and dietetics. In addition to its accredited undergraduate program, the department also has a dietetic internship and graduate program ranked among the top institutions in the country.

“We are excited that our students will have the chance to learn from the faculty in such a highly respected program,” said Karen Pollack, assistant vice provost for online programs at Penn State World Campus. “This online degree gives working adults in this field a way to get a high-quality Penn State education, but online, in a way that is convenient for them and their busy lives.”

Visit the Penn State World Campus website for more information about the new master’s degree in nutritional sciences.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 28, 2016