Health Sciences

Master of Science: Nutrition

The Department of Health Sciences offers a Master of Science degree in Nutrition. Thesis research studies completed by graduate students in nutrition have consistently been presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo). In addition, graduate students in our department have won awards and have been nominated for Best Master’s Thesis Oral presentation. Our Program offers small classes, opportunity to work closely with faculty, an excellent learning environment, and an opportunity to conduct research.

Central Washington University is located in historic Ellensburg, Washington, 100 miles east of Seattle. Outdoor recreation enthusiasts enjoy hiking, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, fishing, bicycling, rafting, camping, and more in the beautiful Kittitas Valley and nearby Cascade Mountains.

Admission Requirements:

Baccalaureate degree in Nutrition or related fields
Minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA (last 90 credits)
Graduate Record Examination
Three letters of recommendation;
A written statement of purpose

Minimum Requirements:

Generally speaking, most applicants have completed an Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and many applicants have completed or are completing a Dietetic Internship (DI). Applicants with degrees outside of Nutrition are encouraged to apply. However, these applicants who also seek to complete the DPD requirements to qualify for later application for admission to a DI should consider completing those courses as a post-baccalaureate student at CWU as it is less expensive and most of those courses would not be part of their graduate course of study.


$16,000-$17,000 Academic Year Award

Graduate Assistantships are available to outstanding graduate candidates. Graduate assistants (GA’s) teach discussion sections of the basic nutrition course as well as undergraduate food laboratory courses. GA’s may also assist the faculty in other courses and work on nutrition related projects. The award consists of a monthly stipend, health insurance, and a tuition waiver.

MS in Nutrition Curriculum:

The M.S. degree consists of 45 quarter hours of approved study.

Course # Course Title Credits

NUTR 543 Advanced Nutritional Biochemistry (3)
NUTR 545 Advanced Studies in Developmental Nutrition (4)
NUTR 547 Nutrition Update (3)
EXSC 556 Inferential Statistics in Exercise and Nutritional Studies (4)
EXSC 557 Research Methods & Design in Exercise and Nutritional Studies (4)
HHPR 700 Master’s Thesis (6)
Approved Electives (21)

Total 45

Possible approved elective courses:

BISC 513 Developments in Cellular Biology (3)
CHEM 511 Advanced Biochemistry (3)
CHEM 512 Biochemical Toxicology (3)
NUTR 596 Individual Study (approved by advisor) (1-6)
NUTR 541 Application in Dietetics (5)
HED 412 Health Aspects of Aging (3)
HED 422 Methods for Health Promotion (4)
EXCS 450 Physiology of Exercise (5)
EXCS 455 Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription (5)
EXCS 551 Advanced Physiology of Exercise I: Metabolism and Skeletal Muscle (3)
EXCS 552 Advanced Physiology of Exercise II: Pulmonary and Cardiovascular Systems (3)
EXCS 555 Environmental Stress and Human Performance (3)
EXCS 556 Ergogenic Aids and Human Performance (3)

Examples of Nutrition Research Conducted by Past Graduate Students:

Nutritional and economic impact of school nutrition policies on vending machine purchases. (M. Erickson, 2007)

Predictors of success of a chronic disease management curriculum for Mexican Americans. (A. Clem, 2007)

A comparative study of nutrient intakes, anthropometrics, and blood pressure data in Mexican-American women living in Central Washington and their counterparts living in Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico. (L. Wiseley, 2007)

Creatine supplementation impairs jumping performance in female athletes. (N. Melvin & A. Clem, 2007)

Effectiveness of a chronic disease self-management program on Mexican Americans with diabetes (K. Lund, 2006)

Impact of school policy changes on a la carte purchases in central Washington schools. (K. DesPortes, 2006)

Attitudes and beliefs towards diabetes goal setting in Spanish-speaking Mexican-Americans. (C. Van Tassell, 2005)

The effect of media images on the nutritional and dietary behaviors in healthy adolescent girls. (J. Mitchell, 2004)

Training Effects on Nutrient Intake in Male Collegiate Cross Country Runners. (E. Ellsworth, 2004)

Didactic Education received and treatment competency level of eating disorders in Registered Dietitians. (L. Hennig, 2004)

The Effect of Dietary Changes on Plasma Homocysteine in Japanese Exchange Students. (K. Karatsu, 2003)

Plate Waste and Nutrient Consumption in Elementary School Lunch Participants. (L. Barnett, 2003)


Graduate Faculty in Nutrition

David Gee, Ph.D. University of California, Davis

Nutrition and Prevention of Chronic Disease
Sports Nutrition: Dietary Supplements
Body Composition Analysis

Ethan Bergman, Ph.D. Washington State University

Food preferences of elementary school children participating in the National School Lunch Program
Dietary behaviors of Mexican women and second generation Mexican American women
Mexican influenced school lunch meals: impact on plate waste and caloric consumption

Susan Hawk, Ph.D. University of California, Davis

Clinical Nutrition
Embryonic Development
Trace Minerals and Metabolism
Fatty Acids and Breast Cancer Progression
Vegetarian Diets and Hematological Changes


Director, Graduate Studies
Department of Health Sciences
Central Washington University
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7571
(509) 963-1911/2746

Dr. David L. Gee
Director, Food Science and Nutrition
Department of Health Sciences
Central Washington University
Ellensburg, WA 98927-7571
(509) 963-2772

Request for Graduate Application Forms here