Master of Science in Applied Nutrition — Frequently Asked Questions

Getting your MSAN online at University of New England

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How can I get started?

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis three times per year. Contact an Enrollment Counselor at (855) 751-4447 or for program and enrollment information.

What kind of educational requirements are there for admission?
  • Applicants are required to have an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  • Applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA requirements can still apply, as applications for the Applied Nutrition program are reviewed holistically.
  • The GRE is not required as part of the admissions process. If you have taken the GRE, you are welcome to provide your score as part of your application package, but it is not a requirement.
When can I start?

The online Master of Science in Applied Nutrition offers three start terms per year: spring, summer and fall. Each term consists of two 8-week sessions. Students take one course per 8-week session.

Can I transfer previous course credits?

To request consideration for transfer credit, the student must provide an official transcript, a course syllabus, and complete the transfer credit form. For a copy of the transfer credit form, contact your enrollment counselor. Transfer credit is awarded at the discretion of the Applied Nutrition Program Director.

Master of Science in Applied Nutrition

Can I complete my degree while working full-time?

Yes, this program is specifically designed with the working professional in mind. In fact, in a recent poll of UNE Online alumni, the vast majority (90%) reported that they were working while completing their degree, and 78% reported working full-time in their intended field of study during their academic program.

Are any campus visits required?

No. The Master of Science in Applied Nutrition is completely online and asynchronous with no campus visits required. 

How long does it take to complete the Master's of Science in Applied Nutrition program?

The flexibility of our program allows you to complete your degree in as little as two years. If you are interested in tailoring your academic plan, please contact an enrollment counselor at (855) 751-4447.

How would you describe typical class assignments?

In our experience, for best results, we recommend that students log in to their course three to five times per week. Assignments will vary for each course may may include online discussion boards, reading assignments, written papers, exams, and/or group work.

What is ‘Applied Nutrition’ at UNE Online?

At UNE Online, “applied nutrition” means that students directly and immediately apply the knowledge they gain from their advanced studies to the nutrition field. This application can take the form of projects, compiling an ePortfolio, and other assignments.

Does UNE work with the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists?

UNE Online’s M.S. in Applied Nutrition is recognized by the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists as fulfilling some of the academic requirements (namely, the graduate degree and some additional coursework requirements) that nutrition professionals need in order to achieve the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) certification.

That being said, the Board for Certified Nutrition Specialists does not accredit institutions. Instead, “the BCNS fosters human health by setting and overseeing the highest science-based standards for nutrition professionals” and evaluates each CNS candidate individually.


  • Has achieved NCCA accreditation for its Certified Nutrition Specialist certifying program
  • Sets competency standards for advanced clinical nutrition professionals
  • Creates and administers the rigorous, science-based Certification Examination for Nutrition Specialists™
  • Sets and maintains substantial education, experience, and continuing education requirements for its certificants
  • Advocates for the advancement of nutrition practice in healthcare via its Center for Nutrition Advocacy (


Is UNE accredited?

Yes, the University of New England is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE). NECHE is now the federally-recognized regional accreditor for the six New England States after assuming the business functions of the Commission previously managed by NEASC. The Commission states that its “dual role of quality assurance and quality improvement remains in place.” This is the same accrediting body that accredits most non-profit New England colleges and universities, such as those found on this list.

Regional accreditation is generally intended for non-profit academic schools (public or private), whereas national accreditation is generally for for-profit schools that offer vocational, career, or technical programs. Regional accreditation bodies tend to be older, more prestigious, and their standards are typically more stringent than national accreditation bodies.


How will completing the M.S. Applied Nutrition program prepare me for the eligibility changes taking effect in 2024?

In April 2013, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) moved to “change the entry-level registration eligibility requirements for dietitians, beginning in 2024, from a baccalaureate degree to a minimum of a graduate degree” ( 

When you complete the M.S. Applied Nutrition program, you will earn the graduate degree that will be required for all nutrition professionals to practice nutrition counseling after 2024. As many nutrition professionals are already preparing for this change, it may be prudent to get started on your graduate degree sooner rather than later in order to remain competitive in the field.

Are there varying professional and educational requirements by state to practice nutrition?

Yes, regulatory laws vary from state to state. Be sure to check the licensing requirements in your state before committing to any program.

What credentialing can I earn after completing the M.S. Applied Nutrition program?

The University of New England’s M.S. in Applied Nutrition program fulfills part of the current academic requirements for the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) certification. The Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS) requires a graduate degree in the field of nutrition from a regionally accredited university, specific coursework, and 1,000 hours of supervised experience before they will consider a candidate for the CNS certification.

BCNS reviews each candidate individually, including current course descriptions, transcripts, and experience to determine eligibility. To learn more about becoming a CNS, read about the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) Credential on the Vision Blog.

Student Support

What kind of support will I receive as a student?

Our motto is "a successful student is a supported student." Upon entering the program, you will be assigned a dedicated Student Support Specialist to provide you with support and to answer any questions you may have.

Your Support Specialist is your on-the-ground advocate at the University – from questions on textbooks, to registration, to financial aid and more, they are there to help you make your academic journey successful. And of course, this dedicated support is provided in addition to the tremendous support you will receive from program staff, your academic advisor, course instructors and fellow classmates.

You can learn more about the kind of support you’ll receive by watching our “Student Support at UNE Online” webinar.

How many hours should a student reserve for each class weekly?

For the best outcomes, our Student Support Specialists recommend that you reserve 15-20 hours a week for coursework and studying.

In a recent survey, 44% of M.S. Applied Nutrition students reported that they spend about 10-12 hours each week completing coursework.

As an 100% online program, how accessible are UNE Online faculty and professors for support?

In a recent survey, 94% of M.S. Applied Nutrition students and graduates reported feeling satisfied with the availability of program faculty. They also rated ‘timeliness to responses’ and ‘ease of engagement’ as the highest reason for this satisfaction.


Which online learning platform is used?

This program uses the Blackboard Learning Management System.


What is the tuition?

Tuition for the Master of Science in Applied Nutrition can be found here on the Tuition & Costs page.

Can I receive financial aid?

More than 90% of our students receive some form of financial aid. Please visit our financial aid page for more information.

What is considered full-time student status?

Students taking one course per 8-week session are considered full time students, and eligible to receive financial aid.


My passion is nutrition and helping others lead healthier lives through food. What career options will earning my M.S. in Applied Nutrition offer me?

There are a lot of career possibilities and opportunities after completion of the M.S. in Applied Nutrition dependent on your previous education and credentials, the state you live in, and what your interests are. Some examples may include:

  • Industry consultant (product development, testing, branding, marketing)
  • Wellness and/or nutrition coach
  • Nutrition communications specialist
  • Health promotion specialist
  • Social media writer
  • Brand ambassador
  • Marketing specialist
  • Nutrition education specialist
  • Nutrition and wellness writer
  • Corporate or non-profit nutrition and wellness program manager
  • Curriculum consultant
  • Restaurant/catering/institutional food consultant
  • Weight management specialist

Career possibilities with previous education and credentials in fields such as education, nutrition, nursing, exercise science, chiropractic, social work and a variety of other fields further diversify the career possibilities associated with completion of the M.S. in Applied Nutrition and could include:

  • Health and nutrition teacher (K-12)
  • Nurse practitioner with a specialty in Applied Nutrition
  • Personal fitness and nutrition coach
  • Behavioral and disordered eating consultant
  • Registered Dietitian
  • Food service manager
I would like to begin a career as a nutrition professional. How can the M.S. Applied Nutrition degree help me achieve this career?

The importance of diet and wellness practices and the connection to personal and public health has become increasingly popular. As interest in these topics continues to rise, the demand for professionals who can guide the public towards best nutrition practices is growing accordingly.

The M.S. in Applied Nutrition provides students with an advanced degree that helps them prepare for professional leadership roles in the nutrition field, such as a Certified Nutrition Specialist. The Applied Nutrition program’s mission is to advance knowledge and expand skills that promote excellence and innovation in all areas of nutrition practice, and to emphasize evidence-based best practices to support the well-being and health outcomes of individuals, families, and communities through education, research, and service.

In addition to this job market demand, open-ended career possibilities and the application of our practice-oriented courses allows our graduates to pursue the personalized career they're passionate about.

I'm considering a change in careers to pursue a nutrition profession. Will I need previous nutrition education and professional experience to be successful in my transition?

Students do not need to have a bachelor's in nutrition to apply to this program. As with any program, prior experience is valuable and improves your chances at admission. However, the M.S. in Applied Nutrition program does not require previous experience in nutrition to be admitted, nor has it found that previous experience is necessary to be successful in earning your MSAN degree.

I am a registered dietitian. How will your masters degree program in Applied Nutrition help me?

If you are currently an Registered Dietitian (RD), the University of New England’s M.S. in Applied Nutrition can provide you with a graduate level education that will increase and diversify your knowledge in the field of nutrition, as well as help keep you competitive and current in the job market. There are RDs enrolled in the M.S. of Applied Nutrition that are interested in continuing their academic career to deepen their knowledge, build new skills and enhance their professional practice. 


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