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MS in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology - Emphasis in Nutritional Sciences

Application deadline for the MS program is Feb. 15.

lab workThe Nutritional Sciences Emphasis provides training in the distinct core nutrition knowledge described by the Graduate Nutrition Education Committee of the American Society for Nutrition: general research skills; structure and biochemical and metabolic functions of nutrients and other dietary constituents; food, diets, and supplements; nutritional status assessment; nutrition and disease; nutrition interventions and policies; and, analytical skills. Graduate students also receive training in laboratory research, seminar preparation and delivery, scientific writing, problem solving and research grant writing.

The Nutritional Science Masters does not provide a route to become a Registered Dietitian, however the department does offer the only Coordinated Program in Dietetics within the state of Missouri, which does include a Master’s degree.

Graduate study in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Missouri offers the advantage of interdisciplinary nutrition research that is facilitated via the many research centers at MU, including the Botanical Center and the Life Sciences Center. The graduate program is administered by the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology in association with the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the School of Medicine.

Teaching and research assistantships are available to MS degree candidates on a competitive basis.


Entering graduate students are expected to have undergraduate training in chemistry and biology, including a two-semester course in biochemistry and an upper-level nutrition course. Some prerequisites can be met during the first year of graduate school.

Course Title & Number Hours
General Chemistry (CHEM 1310, 1320) 8 hours
Organic Chemistry w/Lab (CHEM 2100, 2130) 5 hours
Biochemistry (BIOCHM 4270, 4272) 6 hours
Introduction to Biological Systems w/Lab (BIO SC 1500) 5 hours
Human Nutrition I (NEP 2340) 3 hours
Course Title & Number Hours
Human Nutrition II (NEP 7340) 3 hours
Biochemistry (BIOCHM 7270, 7272) 6 hours
Nutritional Biochemistry of Lipids (NEP 8310) 3 hours
Nutrition in Human Health (NEP 8340) 3 hours
Vitamins and Minerals (AN SCI 9442) 3 hours
Statistics 6 hours
Masters Seminar (NEP 8087) 2 hours
Research Thesis (NEP 8090) 4 hours

Graduate students may elect to take the suggested courses from the following emphasis areas within nutritional sciences. The emphasis areas are not degree programs, nor are the course lists all inclusive; rather, they serve to guide course selection

Human/Clinical Nutrition

Course Title & Number Hours
Etiology of Obesity (NEP 8030) 3 hours
Sports Nutrition (NEP 7970) 2 hours
Exercise Metabolism (NEP 8870) 3 hours
Nutritional Assessment (NEP 7360) 3 hours
Nutrition Therapy I (NEP 7370) 3 hours
Nutrition Therapy II (NUTR 7380) 2 hours
Human Nutrition II Laboratory (NEP 7330) 2 hours
Endocrinology (AN SCI 8420) 3 hours
Immunology (V PIO 8451) 3 hours

Public Health Nutrition

Course Title & Number Hours
Community Nutrition (NEP 7590) 3 hours
Epidemiology and Biostatistics (V PBIO 8455) 2 hours
Endocrinology (AN SCI 8420) 3 hours
Immunology (V PBIO 8451) 3 hours
Human Nutrition II Laboratory (NEP 7330) 2 hours
Addiction Treatment and Prevention (SOC WK 7330) 3 hours
Sociology of Health Systems (SOCIOL 7400) 3 hours
Principles of Epidemiology (F C MD 8420) 3 hours
Epidemiology and Community Health (V PBIO 6678) 2-6 hours

Behavioral Science

Course Title & Number Hours
Neurobiology (BIO SC 7500) 3 hours
Sensory Physiology and Behavior (BIO SC 7560) 3 hours
Behavioral Biology (BIO SC 7640) 3 hours
Developmental Neurobiology (BIO SC 8450) 3 hours
Functional Neuroscience (PSYCH 8210) 3 hours
Addiction Treatment and Prevention (SOC WK 7330) 3 hours

Food Science

Course Title & Number Hours
Food Chemistry and Analysis (FS 7310) 4 hours
Food Chemistry and Analysis Lab (FS 7315) 3 hours
Food Microbiology (FS 7370) 3 hours
Sensory Analysis of Foods and Beverages (FS 7380) 3 hours
Food Product Development (FS 7970) 3 hours
Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals (FS 8440) 3 hours
Technology of Dairy Products and Ingredients (FS 7331) 3 hours

Biochemistry/Cell Physiology

Course Title & Number Hours
Exercise Metabolism (NEP 8870) 3 hours
Biochemistry Lab (BIOCHM 7274) 2 hours
Molecular Biology Lab (BIO SC 7374) 2 hours
Enzymology and Metabolic Regulation (BIO SC 8432) 3 hours
Vet Cell Biology (VB SCI 7333) 4 hours
Vet Physiology (VB SCI 8420) 6 hours
Mammalian Cell Function (VB SCI 7310) 3 hours
Transmembrane Signaling (VB SCI 9426) 3 hours
A written thesis, based upon original research, that is student’s own work and that demonstrates a capacity for research and independent thought is required. In addition, the graduate student must present their thesis research in a seminar that is open to the general faculty and successfully defend their thesis to their committee.

Program Faculty

Graduate faculty members who teach in this program hold appointments in the departments of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, Animal Sciences, Biochemistry, Child Health, and Food Science.

This rich environment offers a wide range of interdisciplinary research opportunities for the degree candidate.

Faculty within the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology include: