Master of Science in Applied Nutrition — Frequently Asked Questions

Getting your MSAN online at University of New England


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. Contact an Enrollment Counselor at (855) 751-4447 or for program and enrollment information.

  • Applicants are required to have an undergraduate degree or above from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  • Applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA requirements are encouraged to still apply. Your personal enrollment counselor can share some ways to strengthen your application before review.
  • 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.

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

Yes, the MSAN program is specifically designed with the working professional in mind. In fact, in a 2019 poll of UNE Online students and alumni, 90% reported that they were working (79% full-time, 11% part-time) while completing their degree.

MSAN, Dietetics focus students are advised that continuing full-time employment, in addition to coursework and required Supervised Experiential Learning hours, can be overwhelming. Working full- time outside the program may result in difficulty completing the requirements of the program in a timely and satisfactory manner. For students needing or choosing to accept employment, they will need to arrange their work, academic, and Supervised Experiential Learning schedules to avoid potential conflicts.

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

The flexibility of our program allows you to complete your degree in as few as two years.

Students take one online course per eight-week session. There are two 8-week sessions per term, and three terms per year (Summer, Fall and Spring). This allows students to complete 6 or more courses per year. Courses are generally 3 credit hours, and students must successfully complete 36 credit hours in order to earn the Master of Science in Applied Nutrition degree.

If you have any questions about the curriculum, we encourage you to reach out to an Enrollment Counselor to learn more at (855) 751-4447.

At UNE Online, a focus area is a suggested bundle of electives in a specific area of interest. While this bundle of electives will be listed on the student’s transcript and the area of interest can be emphasized on a personal resume, please note that the focus area title will not appear on a student’s transcript or diploma.

Assignments will vary for each course and may include discussion boards, reading assignments, written papers, case studies, and/or group work. It is recommended that students log in to their course three to five times per week for participation in course activities.

At UNE Online, “applied nutrition” means that students directly and immediately apply the knowledge they gain from their advanced studies to the nutrition field. The program uses an Authentic Intellectual Work model and curricula that utilizes project-based learning; this approach is designed to teach students relevant career skills. Using this method, over the course of their degree students create and curate an e-Portfolio that can be used to showcase their work to peers or prospective employers.

This program uses the Brightspace D2L Learning Management System.



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.

The University of New England Master of Science in Applied Nutrition, RDN focus has been granted candidate status by the Accreditation Council for Education (ACEND) in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, (312) 899-0040 ext. 5400.

UNE Online’s MS in Applied Nutrition is recognized by the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists as fulfilling the academic requirements (specific courses required) that nutrition professionals need in order to achieve the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) certification. 

Candidates for the CNS must complete 1,000 hours of supervised practice experience outside of coursework, which are not part of UNE MS in Applied Nutrition.


  • 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 (



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” (

For  current RDN’s with a BS, earning your MS in Applied Nutrition may help you to stay competitive within the job market once the 2024 changes take effect. 

For those interested in obtaining the RDN credential, completing our ACEND accredited MS program allows you to earn your MS while completing your Supervised Experiential Learning hours.  Upon successful completion of the program graduates are awarded a DPD verification statement, which allows them to sit for the RDN exam.

Yes, regulatory laws vary from state to state. Be sure to check our certification map to determine what your state’s requirements for practicing nutrition are before deciding if this program will be a great fit for you.

The University of New England’s M.S. in Applied Nutrition program fulfills all 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

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. This dedicated support runs parallel 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.

This will vary based on the students academic background and professional experience. For the best outcomes, our student support specialists recommend that you reserve at least 20-25 hours a week for coursework and studying.

In a 2018 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.



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

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

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



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)
  • Clinical nutrition manager
  • Nutritional health coach
  • Nutrition communications specialist
  • Health promotion specialist
  • Social media writer
  • Clinical brand manager
  • Food safety and nutrition specialist
  • Marketing 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

The importance of diet and wellness practice 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 MS in Applied Nutrition provides students with an advanced degree that helps them prepare for professional leadership roles in the nutrition field, such as becoming 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 allow our graduates to pursue the personalized career they’re passionate about.

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.

If you are currently a 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 fulfill continuing education units (CEU) for registration and licensure through the U.S. Commission of Dietetic Registration (CDR).

Our curriculum emphasizes evidence and research-based best practices to ensure our students learn current skills that are relevant to today’s industry. For that reason, we consistently have RD students enrolled in our program to deepen their knowledge, develop new skills, and enhance their professional experience.




If you have any questions about the Applied Nutrition programs, focus areas, coursework, or program requirements, please speak to one of our enrollment counselors at the email or phone number below.