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UT Austin Offers Its First Online Master’s Degree in Nutritional Sciences

UT Austin Offers Its First Online Master’s Degree in Nutritional Sciences

The College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin has launched its first master's program offered completely online, a Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences. The program, open to qualified applicants for enrollment in the fall 2017 semester, is designed to provide a rigorous education to working professionals in nutrition or health education as they seek to advance in careers in dietetics that increasingly require a master's degree.

Credentialing requirements for registered dietitians are changing so that, by 2024, professionals wishing to sit for the exam to become a registered dietitian will need to have a master's degree to do so. UT Austin is one of several top universities to recently expand nutritional sciences graduate education offerings to include online content, as well as in-residence options, through supervised practice programs. The program's curriculum offers two tracks so that students can receive a degree with a concentration either in health promotion and disease prevention or in biochemical and functional nutrition. The full program can be completed in one to two years and is administered by the college's Department of Nutritional Sciences.

"As demand for mastery of the subject matter increases and since expertise in nutritional sciences is a necessity for many of today's health sector leaders, we structured our master's degree program's online content to fit the educational needs of today's professionals," said Molly Bray, department chair and a professor in the program. "Students will receive quality and rigor in their education while deepening their understanding of the role of nutrition in human health and disease prevention."

To qualify for the 30-credit-hour program, students must have a bachelor's degree in a nutrition- or science-related area. Applications are being accepted through Aug. 1 for enrollment for the fall 2017 semester. The program offers the professional development required or recommended for many positions, including registered dietitians, health and wellness professionals, nutrition instructors, public health administrators, and technical professionals in food, pharmaceutical and chemical laboratories. In addition to concentration-area coursework, all students take foundational classes in macronutrients, micronutrients, research methods, applied statistics and molecular nutrition.

"Graduate students will benefit from what the program offers, with world-class faculty, rigorous educational opportunities that capitalize on modern online learning technologies, and opportunities to network with outstanding fellow students in their cohort," said Sara Sweitzer, the director of the online program.

The program focuses on emerging nutritional science issues such as the role of diet on the gut microbiome, interactions between food and genetic functioning, and the impact of food processing on foods' nutrient quality.

For more information, visit: https://onlinenutrition.cns.utexas.edu/

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