College of Agriculture, Food & Environment

Nutrition & Food Systems - Graduate


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thesis option master's


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non-thesis master's


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The field of human nutrition and dietetics is growing and in need of the expertise of graduate level educated practitioners.  The MS in Nutrition and Food Systems program seeks to educate students using a multidisciplinary approach which emphasizes the impact of the food system and diet on human health.  Students will learn strategies to reduce the risk and impact of chronic disease using multi-level approaches from the individual to the policy level.

Master of Science

Graduate education leading to a MS in Nutrition and Food Systems and replacing the MS in Hospitality and Dietetics Administration. The 17 hour graduate-level core emphasizes contemporary nutrition topics, such as research methods and health behavior theories, community programming and intervention development, food systems, chronic disease diagnosis and process related to lifestyle behaviors, statistics, and a nutrition and food systems seminar. The Master of Science program prepares students for careers in community, education, government, industry, non-profit, health care or private practice settings. A student may choose the Plan A - Thesis or Plan B - Project.

Application Requirements - MS

  1. CV
  2. Personal Statement
    • This document should be one or two pages and can include your background, your preparation and your purpose for going to graduate school, your career goal and your research and teaching interests.
  3. Writing Sample
    1. ​This can be a paper you have written for a previous class or for publication.​
  4. Three letters of recommendation
  5. Students pursuing a dual degree with the UK College of Law are required to submit LSAT scores.

The GRE is not required for admission to this program.

Applicants must meet the Graduate School admission requirements.

Application Deadlines:​

Fall Admission: March 1
Spring Admission: October 1

Our Students' Work...

To better understand the interests and areas of study available within the Nutrition and Food Systems Department, browse these recent dissertations and theses from our graduates:   

Pocuring Produce in Rural, Appalachian County: A Thematic Analysis of Community Member Experiences
Caroline Blincoe, M.S. 2021

Appetite-Regulating Hormones in Energy Compensation with Excersise Jack Moreland 
Jack Moreland, M.S. 2020

The Utilization of Technology as an Approach to Improve Meal Planning and Dietary Intake 
Alexa Lauren Kuziel, M.S. 2019



Highlighted Courses

  • DHN 515 Medical Nutrition Therapy: This capstone course explores changes in nutrient metabolism related to biomedical, physiological, and pathophysiological alterations in disease conditions, application of the Nutritional Care Process and Model and development of medical nutrition therapy intervention. Content includes case study evaluations, nutritional therapies for disease conditions, including enteral and total parenteral nutrition, and current research in the field.  
  • DHN 598 Global Foods, Diets, and Culture: This course provides a study of global factors influencing food habits, dietary patterns, and health. Students will examine the effects of cultural identity amongst people living across the United States as it relates to food choices, behaviors, and nutritional status. The nutritional value of global foods, strategies towards disease prevention, and interventions through nutrition to improve health outcomes will be discussed. 
  • DHN 607 Food Related Behaviors: This course focuses on the many factors that influence food-related behaviors at the individual level. For example, students will explore the development of eating behaviors from infancy into adulthood, as influenced by biological, psychological, social, cultural, environmental, and personal factors. The course will demonstrate the ways in which application of health behavior theories can guide individuals to adopt health-related diet changes. 
  • DHN 720 Dietetics Supervised Practice Medical Nutrition Therapy I: This course provides the first part of a supervised practice in medical nutrition therapy for students pursuing a career in dietetics. Students will gain experience in the work of health care facilities, including acute care, long-term care and/or outpatient settings. The internship experience provides students with the opportunity to conduct patient assessments, diet planning, nutrition care plan implementation, and nutritional assessment techniques. Students will use evidence-based guidelines and critical thinking skills to provide supervised care to patients while gaining a deeper understanding of the pathophysiology and treatment for various disease states.