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Health Sciences

College of Education and Professional Studies

Master of Science: Nutrition

Master of Science: Nutrition

The Department of Health Sciences offers a Master of Science degree in Nutrition with two options: a fourteen month option culminating in a project or a two-year option culminating in a thesis. 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 nominations, like the Best Master’s Thesis Oral presentation at CWU's SOURCE. Our Program offers small classes, opportunity to work closely with faculty, an excellent learning environment, and an opportunity to conduct research.  Our program HANDBOOK provides additional information for prospective and current students.

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 (scores above 25th percentile are recommended)
Three letters of recommendation;
A written statement of purpose identifying research interests and applicant’s preference for either or both program options.

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.


$19,000 Academic Year Award (approximate value and includes stipend, tuition waiver, health insurance, and fees)

Graduate Assistantships are available to outstanding graduate candidates in the two-year thesis option. Graduate assistants (GA’s) teach discussion sections of the Nutrition 101 course as well as undergraduate food laboratory courses. GA’s may also assist the faculty in other courses, grading, research and work on nutrition related projects. The award consists of a monthly stipend, health insurance, and a tuition waiver.

Please visit the Graduate School Application for additional details on program application.

Masters of Science in Nutrition Curriculum

Both the Thesis/Graduate Assistantship Option and the Project Option have a minimum of 48 credits and share the same core course requirements. Please view the current COURSE CATALOG to see a list of courses.


The culminating component of the MS in Nutrition is the completion of a thesis or a project.  For either the thesis or project, the student demonstrates competency in formal academic and technical writing, the research process, and the application of nutrition principles in the public health arena.  Although the goals of both a project and a thesis are similar, the processes, formats, and topics differ. The differences are briefly described below.



A thesis is a document that describes an original research study designed to answer a specific research question and contributes to the field of nutrition.  The scope of the study is broad enough that its findings can apply to a large population.  In addition, the depth of the study should include a sufficiently large sample size and contain enough data to produce a valid study.  The findings of a thesis should be of sufficient scope and depth to be potentially publishable in a professional peer-reviewed journal.

The final Thesis document will be publically available through ScholarWorks @ CWU, the institutional repository of Central Washington University.  In addition, the thesis can be submitted in manuscript form for publication in an academic journal and/or presented at a professional meeting as a poster or oral presentation. 



A project is a document that demonstrates a student’s ability conduct a research study, complete a thorough and novel review of a nutrition topic, or to complete and submit a competitive research or project grant. In contrast to a thesis research study, the project research study may often be considered a preliminary or pilot study.

The final Project document is submitted to the faculty of the Food Science and Nutrition program and the Department of Health Sciences at Central Washington University.  In addition, the project should be formally presented at an external conference as a poster or oral presentation.  In the case of a grant proposal, the grant must be submitted to the appropriate granting agency.


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


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