Master of Arts in Nutrition and Wellness

Overview

Certificates

Benedictine University’s Master of Arts (M.A.) in Nutrition and Wellness program prepares students to become vital ingredients in community-based nutrition and wellness programs.

Designed for those who want to help others and make a positive difference in their communities, the M.A. in Nutrition and Wellness program develops one’s skills to educate people on preventative and health promotion concerns. The research component is descriptive and practice-based, fostering the development of skills needed in evaluating the outcomes of a health education assessment or intervention and translating peer-reviewed research into practice.

Online Program Format

The interactive online format offers students the flexibility to earn a master’s degree while continuing personal and professional pursuits. Students usually enroll in one eight-week course at a time, completing the degree in about two years. For more information, visit online.ben.edu.

The admissions process for the degree program is conducted throughout the year. Students begin the program in the fall quarter (August) or winter quarter (January) as part of a cohort.

Program Benefits

Benedictine University’s M.A. in Nutrition and Wellness is the only such program in the country.  The program is offered 100 percent online and tailored to the working professional. Students who complete the master’s degree also earn a research certificate. Benedictine embraces the cohort model for better progression of knowledge as students move through the program together and work in groups collaboratively.

Careers

Professionals benefiting from the M.A. in Nutrition  and Wellness include:

  • Private practice  dietitian/nutritionist
  • Community nutritionist/dietitian
  • Health educator
  • Health promotion specialist
  • Health promotion director
  • Health promotion consultant
  • Extension specialist
  • Health education coordinator
  • Health coach
  • Education coordinator
  • Employee health promotion coordinator
  • Community nurse
  • Community health consultant
  • Community health education coordinator
  • Community health worker
  • Public health educator
  • Exercise physiologist
  • Fitness center director
  • Exercise instructor
  • Wellness/health center coordinator
  • Wellness/health center director

Mission Statement

The master’s programs in Nutrition create and maintain a learning environment that encourages critical thinking, acquisition of evidence-based comprehensive knowledge of the interrelationships of science, food, nutrition and health, and development of ongoing professional skills that are necessary for preparing outstanding health professionals.

Objectives

Upon successful completion of the M.A. in Nutrition and Wellness, the student will:

  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and application  in key areas of nutrition science.
  • Apply critical-thinking skills.
  • Plan and design nutrition and wellness education  or training programs for individuals or groups.
  • Organize and conduct descriptive research.
  • Present evidence-based professional  communications.

Curriculum

Students take an active role in their own learning by shaping their curriculum. The M.A. in Nutrition and Wellness program requires 56 quarter credit hours of graduate coursework (equals approximately 37 semester credit hours), which consists of:

  • 20 quarter credit hours of Nutrition and Wellness foundation coursework
  • 16 quarter credit hours of Health Research Planning foundation and certificate
  • 16 quarter credit hours of either: Community Nutrition Engagement, Nutrition Entrepreneurship or Health Education and Promotion certificates. (Students choose only one).
  • 4 quarter credit hours of an elective targeted to career goals

Nutrition and Wellness Program (52 quarter credit hours)

Required - Nutrition and Wellness Program (16 quarter credit hours):

  • NTR 501 Health Promotion and Wellness (4)
  • NTR 581 Obesity: Theory and Practice Applications (4)
  • NTR 585 Complementary Nutrition Therapies (4)
  • NTR 699 Professional Communications (4)

Required - Health Research Planning Foundation and Certificate (16 quarter credit hours):

  • MPH 511 Biostatistics (4)
  • NTR 539 Health and Wellness Research Planning (4)
  • NTR 693 Descriptive Research (4)
  • MPH 604 Epidemiology (4)

Required - Certificate (16 quarter credit hours):
Select one of the following certificate programs.

Community Nutrition Engagement
The Community Nutrition Engagement certificate is designed for those who strive to understand the relationship between a client’s community and cultural ecosystem, and health and nutrition outcomes. This certificate prepares students to develop tailored health promotion and disease prevention programs and effectively translate policy to programs that strengthen health at the community level.

  • NTR 561 Maternal and Child Nutrition (4)
  • NTR 563 Nutrition in Aging (4)
  • NTR 564 Nutrition Health Policy (4)
  • NTR 640 Community Engagement (4)

Nutrition Entrepreneurship
The Nutrition Entrepreneurship certificate was created for those who think outside of the box and want to gain knowledge and expertise in complementary areas of nutrition and business. Students will gain valuable research skills they can use to best evaluate the success of business ventures.

  • MBA 559 Entrepreneurship (4)
  • NTR 557 Nutrition Communication through Technologies (4)
  • MBA 622 Creativity and Innovation in Business (4)
  • NTR 658 Venture Planning in Nutrition (4)

Health Education and Promotion
The Health Education and Promotion certificate can help students (with appropriate course selection) prepare to become a Certified Health Education Specialist through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing.

  • MPH 601 Behavioral and Social Aspects of Public Health (4)
  • MPH 609 Cultural Context of Health (4)
  • MPH 632 Public Health and Health Education (4)
  • MPH elective (choose one):
    • MPH 634 Public Health Education Programs and Skills (4)
    • MPH 694 Grant Writing for Public Health (4)

Required - Elective (4 quarter credit hours):
Select one course. Courses in certificates listed above cannot be counted twice.

  • MBA 559 Entrepreneurship (4)
  • MPH 609 Cultural Context of Health (4)
  • MPH 632 Public Health Education (4)
  • NTR 557 Nutrition Communications through Technology (4)
  • NTR 561 Maternal and Child Nutrition (4)
  • NTR 563 Nutrition and Aging (4)
  • NTR 564 Nutrition Health Policy (4)

All courses (required and electives) to complete this degree require a grade of “B” or better to count toward the degree.

Financial Assistance

Many opportunities exist for Nutrition students in need of financial assistance. You are strongly encouraged to apply for grant money. Low interest bank loans and scholarships may be available from the government, corporations, community or civic groups, philanthropic and religious organizations. To view available Benedictine University scholarships for graduate students, visit the School of Graduate, Adult and Professional Education.

To start the financial aid process, please complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can access the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

  • Students must register for a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID with the U.S. Department of Education. Your FSA ID will serve as your electronic signature. You can apply for an FSA ID at: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/fsaid
  • Benedictine University’s school code is: 001767.

If you are entering the University to pursue the degree program on the Lisle campus, contact a representative in the University’s Office of Financial Aid at (630) 829-6100 for a consultation.

For more information on how to begin the financial aid application process for the online program, please request more information or call (866) 295-3104 to speak with an Admissions counselor.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers students the opportunity to apply for Academy scholarships.

To qualify, students must be at least in junior standing and enrolled in an accredited undergraduate Nutrition program (Didactic Program in Dietetics), Dietetic Internship program, or master’s degree program, depending on the scholarship.

Due to the limited number of available scholarships, they are quite competitive and prestigious to receive. Refer to the September Supplement of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics or eatright.org for more information. Generally, you must be a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to receive an academy or local dietetic association scholarship. Membership information is available on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Benedictine University Nutrition Department websites.

Admissions

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in a life science (e.g., biology, nutrition or dietetics, nursing, health, exercise physiology) or physical science (e.g., chemistry, biochemistry) or a Bachelor of Arts with minimum required courses. In addition, all prospective students must have completed all the prerequisite courses, with a “C” or better, prior to acceptance into this program.

Prerequisite courses for this master’s degree include undergraduate (or graduate) semester courses in each of the following: physiology (or anatomy and physiology) and 200-level basic nutrition. Recommended is a basic course in research principles. Prerequisite courses may be taken at Benedictine University. Applicants should have a minimum 3.000/4.000 cumulative GPA and a minimum score in the 30th percentile in each of the three areas of the GRE: verbal, quantitative and analytical.

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Vision

The Benedictine University Nutrition Programs will be recognized at the community, state, national, and international level for their leadership in developing optimal teaching and learning within nutrition programs. The programs will prepare future nutritionists, registered dietitians, and nutrition managers to address important food and nutrition issues that impact the quality of life of people.

Mission

The master’s programs in Nutrition create and maintain a learning environment that encourages critical thinking, acquisition of evidence-based comprehensive knowledge of the interrelationships of science, food, nutrition and health, and development of ongoing professional skills that are necessary for preparing outstanding health professionals.


For Graduate Admissions Information:

Graduate Admissions

For Graduate Tuition Information:

Current Graduate Tuition and Fees at Benedictine University


Department of Nutrition
Benedictine University

Catherine Arnold, MS, EdD, RD.
Department Chair

Egle Liutkus
Administrative Assistant

Email: eliutkus@ben.edu
Phone: (630) 829-6596

Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

By Mail:
Benedictine University
5700 College Road
Kindlon Hall, Room 224
Lisle, IL 60532

Fax: (630) 829-6595