Master of Science in Applied Nutrition

Customize your degree and advance your career, 100% online

UNE Online offers this 36-credit Master of Science in Applied Nutrition 100% online with timely, relevant classes and optional focus areas for professionals looking to advance their careers.

All students take the six core courses of the curriculum, and then each student is able to select their own five electives plus one capstone, to complete the Master of Science in Applied Nutrition degree. This flexible offering allows you to customize your course plan based on your specific career goals. We have developed our Master of Science in Applied Nutrition to allow full customization based on your personal goals, with four optional focus areas:

  1. Business, Social Media, & Entrepreneurship
  2. Obesity and Health Promotion
  3. Nutrition and Disease Prevention
  4. Sustainable Nutrition
  5. Customize your degree plan

Note: Please review the UNE Academic Catalog for the full and most up-to-date course descriptions and program information.

Curriculum

Required core courses

APN 601 - Trends and Issues in Nutrition and Global Food Systems

Current trends and issues relating to nutrition, food, and food products are examined. Topics may include the organic movement, nutrition and health related product trends in modern society, food and the economy, food politics and food labeling. Global food systems and trends will be explored. Socio-cultural and socioeconomic impacts on food behaviors and health will be discussed. Students will apply course concepts to their practice and/or area of study and expertise.

APN 605 - Nutrition Across the Lifespan

Nutrition requirements and metabolism from preconception through older adulthood are examined. The impacts and effects of culture, environment, economy and mental and physical health on nutrition status across the life cycle are explored. Metabolism of macronutrients, nutrition assessment methodologies, and specific concerns for each life cycle stage are emphasized.

APN 610 - Research Methods

Research methods and research design commonly used in nutrition research are examined. Topics include defining research questions, developing hypotheses, writing research goals and objectives, reviewing and interpreting literature, choosing appropriate research designs and understanding and summarizing relevant data. Professional presentation of research findings is emphasized.

APN 615 - Nutrition & Metabolism

The normal and disordered metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, and water, and the physiological actions of these nutrients are examined. Topics include macronutrient and micronutrient absorption, transport, and excretion, the regulation of biochemical and enzymatic pathways, variability in the bioavailability of vitamins and minerals, and the impacts of nutrient toxicity and deficiency on human and animal models.

APN 620 - Nutrition Education and Health Behavior Change

Health behavior theories and practices utilized to facilitate healthful behavior change in a variety of nutrition education, counseling, and clinical settings are examined. Topics include motivational interviewing, practice of professional and engaged verbal and nonverbal communication, active listening, practitioner directed goal setting and group counseling. The design and evaluation of nutrition counseling and educational practices are explored.

APN 625 - Nutrition Practice For Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Nutrition and health promotion and the role of nutrition in disease prevention are examined. Topics include exploring theory-based approaches to lifestyle and behavior modification to advance the health and nutriture status of individuals and communities, development of culturally and age appropriate health promotion practices, current research on the ways diet, environment and nutrition influence the incidence and prevalence of chronic diseases at individual and population levels, and best-practices in health promotion. Students develop a practical approach to explore or address health promotion and disease prevention for a target population.

Elective courses

Choose any five 3-credit courses from the focus areas below, for a total of 15 credits, to complete your Master of Science in Applied Nutrition.

Capstone

Complete one Capstone course, either APN 725 or APN 755.


Focus Areas

Focus area: Business, Social Media, & Entrepreneurship

Students selecting this focus area will develop skills in and an understanding of the business of nutrition and the supporting of entrepreneurial nutrition-related start-ups with social media and marketing skills. Individuals selecting this degree focus area might have prior knowledge or experience in nutrition, wellness, food service, business, communication, or exercise science and be interested in a career in nutrition and wellness-related online and retail business, non-profits, and new business ventures.

Course Descriptions

APN 701 - Nutrition, Wellness, and Multimedia Communications

Strategic use of multimedia communications tools in the nutrition and wellness industry will be examined. Theories of mass communication, including contemporary perspectives and their application to current nutrition and wellness practice are emphasized. Topics include professional and ethical approaches to communication, multimedia writing, use of media for Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC), integration of marketing, and branding and public relations in multimedia and marketing campaigns.

APN 705 - Online Research and Advanced Research Methods

Advanced research methods and conducting online research will be examined. Appropriate use of qualitative and quantitative research design, methodology, data collection, and analyses will be emphasized. Topics include determining appropriate research design, population size, recruiting research participants, the use of valid and reliable measurement instruments to address research question(s), use of statistical software in analyzing and interpreting data, and presentation of research findings.

APN 710 - Media and Ethics in Nutrition

Media organizations, their audiences, and the ethics of advertising will be examined. Best practices, transparency and risk mediation in advertising will be explored. Topics include communicating with potential clients in both industry and non-profit sectors, seeking grant funding for nutrition initiatives, accuracy in advertising, privacy and trust, and their application within the context of nutrition and wellness settings.

APN 715 - Measuring Social Media Impact

Social media metrics used to inform marketing campaigns and budgeting decisions will be explored. Analyzing social media metrics and developing strategies for viable advertising and social media information dissemination campaigns concerning nutrition and wellness will be emphasized. Topics include how to evaluate and manage the return on investment (ROI) of social media efforts and campaign strategy modification based on the outcomes of metric analyses and data visualization and presentation strategies.

APN 720 - Nutrition Branding Using Social Media

Branding strategies and Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) plans will be examined. Branding choice and graphic design, appropriate tools for branding and social media engagement and strategies to maximize the impact of social media on branding efforts will be explored. Topics include IMC analysis, mapping and auditing the competitive landscape approaches to increasing efficacy of social media engagement.

APN 725 - Business Development and Entrepreneurship

Small business development in the nutrition and wellness industry will be examined. Strategic decision making and leadership will be emphasized. Topics include the development of business plans, assessing the risk of business concepts, and identifying strategies for success in competitive, traditional and emerging markets. This capstone course will culminate in a business plan, feasibility study, market analysis report or other project or work-product approved by the Instructor.

*Please review the UNE Academic Catalog for the full and most up-to-date course descriptions and program information


Focus area: Obesity and Health Promotion

Students selecting this focus area will develop skills in and an understanding of the cultural, environmental, psychosocial, physical, and economic factors associated with obesity and how to work toward the alleviation of the impact of obesity in communities and individuals. Individuals selecting this focus area might have prior knowledge or experience in nutrition, health-related professions, dietetics, wellness, health promotion, psychology, or exercise science and be interested in a career in school nutrition, wellness coaching, weight management services, research, and community programs related to obesity.

Course Descriptions

APN 730 - Medical Nutrition Therapy

Nutrition principles, clinical nutrition assessment, the development, use, and monitoring of therapeutic diets, and nutrition support in the treatment and prevention of disease will be examined. Topics include lifestyle strategies and nutrition and therapeutic based interventions to correct nutrition insufficiencies, promote optimal health, and prevent, manage or correct medical problems.

APN 735 - Nutrition Leadership, Community Nutrition and Wellness

Nutrition behavior, public health implications of nutrition status, nutrition education initiatives and leadership in the nutrition and wellness fields will be examined. Development of educational materials and programs for a range of settings will be explored and dissemination of professional education materials for a variety of audiences will be emphasized.

APN 740 - Nutrition and Nutrition Information in the Media

Commercial and media influence on concepts of physical and mental health, wellness, nutrition and nutrition education will be examined. Commercialization and consolidation of food systems and the impacts on nutrition are explored. Topics include food labeling, food advertising, the impact of consumers and food businesses on food supply and policy, food lobbyists and policy practices impacting consumer habits, social influences of advertising on the impact of food choices, and media dissemination of nutrition information.

APN 745 - Overweight and Obesity

The epidemiology, etiology, and pathophysiology of overweight and obesity are examined. Complications in management of overweight and obesity are explored. Topics include public health, psychosocial and economic factors impacting overweight and obesity, current educational and theoretical models used to combat overweight and obesity, and emerging research on the causes of overweight and obesity.

APN 750 - Clinical Management of Overweight and Obesity

The management and treatment of overweight and obesity are examined. Treatment approaches including medical, behavioral, and lifestyle management interventions are explored. Current practices will be critically reviewed and appropriate research methodology for proposing clinical or behavioral research will be examined. Clinical management of overweight and obesity across the population will be emphasized. Topics include specific treatment strategies in managing overweight, obesity, and related disease processes, implementing best-practices in clinical and counseling environments and appropriate and effective counseling modalities.

APN 755 - Applied Nutrition Capstone

The latest theories, research, policy, and practices relating to a variety of nutrition concepts, controversies and practice will be applied to a relevant area of the students choice and approved by the instructor. This capstone course will culminate in a paper or project such as: a proposal of and explanation for new research, a research investigation of an educational or clinical question or practice, a proposal to modify current policy or practice, or a proposal to research, develop and/or implement new approaches to the management and treatment of a nutrition or wellness concern.

 *Please review the UNE Academic Catalog for the full and most up-to-date course descriptions and program information


Focus area: Nutrition and Disease Prevention

Students selecting this focus area will develop skills in and an understanding of nutrition-related disease with a focus on disease prevention through evidence-based practice. Individuals selecting this focus area might have prior knowledge or experience in nutrition, health-related professions, dietetics, wellness, health promotion, business, psychology, or exercise science and be interested in a career in nutrition leadership, workplace wellness management, health coaching, community program development or research.

Course Descriptions

APN 730 - Medical Nutrition Therapy

Nutrition principles, clinical nutrition assessment, the development, use, and monitoring of therapeutic diets, and nutrition support in the treatment and prevention of disease will be examined. Topics include lifestyle strategies and nutrition and therapeutic based interventions to correct nutrition insufficiencies, promote optimal health, and prevent, manage or correct medical problems.

APN 760 - Micronutrients: Nutrition and Functional Applications

This course examines the role of micronutrients and micronutrient metabolism in human health and nutrition, specifically the digestion, absorption, transport, storage and excretion of vitamins and minerals. Homeostatic mechanisms and micronutrient interactions with dietary, organic and inorganic compounds will be explored. Topics will include micronutrients and medical nutrition therapy, micronutrient toxicity and deficiency, bioavailability of micronutrients and clinical implications of micronutrient status.

APN 765 - Nutrition Therapy for Clinical Practice

The epidemiology and etiology of nutrition-related disease will be examined. Dietary, lifestyle and behavior change approaches in chronic disease prevention and management will be emphasized. Disease prevention and management using dietary modification and specialized therapies will be emphasized. Topics include specialized treatment for the critically wounded or ill, nutrition-related disease prevention, nutrition therapies for genetic and chronic disease states and therapeutic approaches to disease management.

APN 770 - Nutrition Counseling and Communication

The role of the nutrition professional in promoting general health and wellness through a variety of communication methods will be examined. Theoretical models of nutrition counseling and behavior change and evidence-based nutrition intervention design strategies are emphasized. Topics include calculation of diet modifications for a variety of disease states, development of educational materials, techniques for communicating nutrition information to individuals, use of multimedia communication strategies, and culturally appropriate information dissemination strategies.

APN 775 - Advanced Nutrition Research

Critical review and evaluation of current nutrition and wellness literature will be examined. Development and presentation of nutrition related research will be performed. Quantitative and/or qualitative research methods including research design and methodology, data collection and analysis and interpretation of findings will be employed. Topics include appropriate use of statistical software, Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) processes, research design, implementation and evaluation methods for a variety of nutrition research initiatives, and professional presentation of research findings.

APN 755 - Applied Nutrition Capstone

The latest theories, research, policy, and practices relating to a variety of nutrition concepts, controversies and practice will be applied to a relevant area of the students choice and approved by the instructor. This capstone course will culminate in a paper or project such as: a proposal of and explanation for new research, a research investigation of an educational or clinical question or practice, a proposal to modify current policy or practice, or a proposal to research, develop and/or implement new approaches to the management and treatment of a nutrition or wellness concern.

 *Please review the UNE Academic Catalog for the full and most up-to-date course descriptions and program information


Focus area: Sustainable Nutrition

Students selecting this focus area will develop skills in and an understanding of global food systems and sustainable approaches to agricultural, production and consumer networks, as well as the interrelationship of socio-economic, environmental and political influences on various aspects of nutrition. Individuals selecting this focus area might have prior knowledge or experience in nutrition, agriculture, advocacy, health-related professions, dietetics, wellness, or health promotion, and be interested in a career in nutrition advocacy, policy, sustainable food systems and local and global approaches to solving issues in the field of nutrition.

Course Descriptions

APN 701 - Nutrition, Wellness, and Multimedia Communications

Strategic use of multimedia communications tools in the nutrition and wellness industry will be examined. Theories of mass communication, including contemporary perspectives and their application to current nutrition and wellness practice are emphasized. Topics include professional and ethical approaches to communication, multimedia writing, use of media for Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC), integration of marketing, and branding and public relations in multimedia and marketing campaigns.

APN 707 - Dietary Practices and the Environment

Diets, dietary practices, food choice and food patterns will be examined through the lens of sustainability at local, national and global levels. Consumer choices and their impact on food webs and global food systems will be explored, through analyzing the various inputs, outputs, and outcomes of food choices. Nutrient availability and nutritional status associated with a variety of dietary types will be considered through the context of dietary effects on personal and environmental health. Topics include policy, socioeconomic, cultural and ethical impacts of a variety of diets/dietary choices.

APN 712 - Global Food Systems and Sustainable Agriculture Policy

Global food systems, systems of agriculture, food webs, the influence of agricultural systems on climate change, and environmental impacts of food growth, processing, and distribution will be examined. National and International law and agricultural, trade and financial policies, and effects on food systems and food system sustainability will be investigated. Planning and management of large and small scale food production operations, food systems workforce, ethical treatment of production workers and livestock and genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) will be explored. Topics also include international dietary practices and food choices, and cultural and socio-economic impacts on local food systems.

APN 717 - Food Justice and Advocacy

Food access, food sovereignty, and the economics of food will be investigated. Local and international social justice and food advocacy initiatives will be investigated. Social feeding programs, community needs assessments and funding for food advocacy programs will be examined. Topics include access to food, the impacts of income inequality, discrimination, regional conflict and sanctions on parity in food choice and food availability, and food desserts.

APN 775 - Advanced Nutrition Research

Critical review and evaluation of current nutrition and wellness literature will be examined. Development and presentation of nutrition related research will be performed. Quantitative and/or qualitative research methods including research design and methodology, data collection and analysis and interpretation of findings will be employed. Topics include appropriate use of statistical software, Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) processes, research design, implementation and evaluation methods for a variety of nutrition research initiatives, and professional presentation of research findings.

APN 755 - Applied Nutrition Capstone

The latest theories, research, policy, and practices relating to a variety of nutrition concepts, controversies and practice will be applied to a relevant area of the students choice and approved by the instructor. This capstone course will culminate in a paper or project such as: a proposal of and explanation for new research, a research investigation of an educational or clinical question or practice, a proposal to modify current policy or practice, or a proposal to research, develop and/or implement new approaches to the management and treatment of a nutrition or wellness concern.

 *Please review the UNE Academic Catalog for the full and most up-to-date course descriptions and program information


Course planning

You will complete 18 credits of required core courses and 18 credits in your selected focus area for a total of 36 credit hours. The length of the degree is six semesters, which equates to two full years, assuming you take two courses per semester and do not take a leave of absence.

Regardless of your focus area, as a graduate of the Applied Nutrition program, you will be able to:

  • Develop and demonstrate the application of nutrition concepts and define best practices for health promotion and disease prevention.
  • Describe and apply core research ethics, principles, and analytical techniques of measuring the nutrition status and environment of individuals and communities.
  • Demonstrate adept communication and collaboration with representatives from various government, non-profit, community, and business entities.
  • Correctly interpret and modify explanations of complex nutrition concepts for various audiences through multiple communication channels.
  • Research, develop and disseminate evidence-based and theory-driven educational materials and work-products at an audience appropriate level for topics related to nutrition and health promotion.

Field experiences

There are no specific field experiences or clinical rotations in this degree program. In each capstone course, there is a culminating project as well as an e-portfolio development project- these projects require the student to take concepts mastered in the program and apply them to real-world problems, issues, or developments in the field of nutrition. However, any supervision that is required of a student in this course will be provided by the course instructor.

Defining academic success

Measurement of student learning outcomes will be accomplished through a combination of exams, written papers, and authentic real-world projects.