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In our dynamic health care environment, it is essential for health practitioners to develop skills for fostering improved health outcomes. The Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness program at Benedictine University provides a powerful foundation in nutrition science and wellness knowledge and applications. This degree serves as a portal to careers in health promotion and risk reduction, and community education. Learning at Benedictine University combines instructional expertise with individual initiative, creativity, and applications so that the adult learner will find the educational experience a stepping stone to professional success.
Benedictine University’s Master of Science 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, this program develops one’s applied knowledge on preventative and health-promotion concerns to diverse populations across the lifespan. The approach is evidence-based, fostering development of skills in analyzing and evaluating the outcomes of research studies, such as health and nutrition interventions. This program is not your traditional nutrition degree. It is unique by providing a strong evidence-based life science foundation coupled with a choice of a concentration. The health education and promotion concentration is aligned with Certified Health Educator Specialist competencies. In the true spirit of entrepreneurship, you get to tailor the Nutrition Entrepreneurship concentration to best meet your career aspirations.
The admissions process for the degree program is conducted throughout the year. Students typically begin their courses for the program in summer or fall term as part of a cohort.
Benedictine University offers a high-quality M.S. in Nutrition and Wellness program in an interactive fully online or blended online/face-to-face format. Either format offers one the flexibility to earn a master's degree from an established, reputable university while continuing personal and professional pursuits. Students usually enroll in one course at a time (eight weeks) with two courses per term, and 3 terms per year, typically completing the degree in less than two years. Students can complete this degree in as few as 16 months by completing more courses per term. Applicants with a bachelor degree in nutrition/dietetics may be able to progress at a faster pace since most course prerequisites would be met prior to entry.
Upon successful completion of the Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness foundation courses, the student will:
Designed for those who want to help others and make a positive difference in their communities, this program develops one's skills to educate people on preventative and health promotion concerns. This program provides a strong evidence-based life science foundation coupled with a choice of a concentration.
The M.S. in Nutrition and Wellness program requires a total of 33 semester hours of graduate coursework – 18 hours of foundation nutrition courses and 15 hours in a concentration. The health education and promotion concentration is aligned with Certified Health Educator Specialist competencies. In the true spirit of entrepreneurship, you get to tailor the Nutrition Entrepreneurship concentration to best meet your career aspirations.
Required Nutrition and Wellness Foundation (18 semester hours):
NUTR 5501 Introduction to Wellness (3)
NUTR 5539 Health and Wellness Research Planning (3)
NUTR 5557 Nutrition Communications through Technology (3)
NUTR 5561 Maternal and Child Nutrition (3)
NUTR 5581 Obesity (3)
NUTR 5585 Complementary Nutrition Therapies (3)
Health Education and Promotion Concentration (15 hours):
PBHL 5503 Public Health Program Planning and Evaluation I (3)
PBHL 6009 Cultural Context of Health (3)
PBHL 6200 Behavioral and Social Aspects of Public Health (3)
PBHL 6203 Public Health Programs and Skills (3)
NUTR 6640 Community Engagement (3)
Nutrition Entrepreneurship Concentration (15 hours):
NUTR 6658 Venture Planning in Nutrition (3)
Electives chosen with advisor from NUTR, PBHL, MBA, and/or MGMT (9)
Take at lease one of the following - PBHL 5506 Leadership and Management Organizations OR PBHL 6201 Health Communication and Marketing OR PBHL 6502 Public Health Grant Writing
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. (Please click here for possible Benedictine University scholarships available.)
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) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
If you are entering the university to pursue the Lisle campus degree program, contact a representative in the University Financial Aid Office 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 Advisor.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Academy) offers students the opportunity to apply for Academy scholarships. To qualify, students must be at least junior standing and enrolled in an accredited undergraduate nutrition program (Didactic Program in Dietetics), Dietetic Internship program, or master degree program, depending upon the scholarship. Due to the limited number of available scholarships, these are quite competitive and thus prestigious to receive. Refer to the September Supplement of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics or the Academy website for more information. Generally, you must be a member of the Academy to receive an Academy or local dietetic association scholarship. Membership information is available on the Academy website or through the Nutrition Department.
When is the application deadline?
The M.S. in Nutrition and Wellness program has rolling admissions. Students typically begin their courses for the program in fall (August) term as part of a cohort.
What are the prerequisites for applying?
Applicants to the M.S. in Nutrition and Wellness program are expected to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0-point scale.
GRE scores are optional but welcomed. Target scores for the GRE are at the 30th percentile for each section. Without the GRE included, more weight will be on references and the letter of application.
International students must provide scores from Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)/ International English Language Testing System (IELTS). International students should consult instructions for this and other requirements in the Benedictine University Graduate Catalog and at: https://www.ben.edu/admissions/international/graduate-admissions-process.cfm
Can I transfer graduate credits from another university into this program?
It is possible. Requests for transfer credit and/or course substitutions are evaluated by the Nutrition Graduate Program Director on a case-by-case basis.
How long will it take to complete the degree?
Students typically enroll in one course at a time (eight weeks) with two courses per semester term, and 3 terms per year, completing the degree in less than two years. However, students who start in the fall can complete this degree in as few as 16 months by completing more courses per semester. Since applicants with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition or dietetics have completed upper level nutrition courses and related science courses prior to entry, these students can double up on courses to complete the degree in one year.
What is the admissions process for the graduate program at Benedictine University?
Start the process of applying by completing an online or paper application, found online at: https://www.ben.edu/admissions/adult-graduate/admissions-process.cfm.
Request TWO instructors and/or employers to complete and submit letters of reference, found online at: https://www.ben.edu/admissions/adult-graduate/upload/SGAPE-LOR-18-19.pdf.
Submit a 1-2 pages well-written personal statement. Your reflective statement assists the program Admissions Committee in understanding your professional career interests and motivation, while demonstrating your writing skills. Your statement should answer the following questions:
Resumes or curriculum vitas are optional but can be submitted as part of the application
Submit all application documents, including official transcripts for all colleges/universities attended, to the correct address shown on the bottom of this webpage: https://www.ben.edu/admissions/adult-graduate/admissions-process.cfm. Where to submit your documents: If you want the option to take some courses face-to-face or hybrid on the Lisle campus, or would like to include applied research as one of your electives in the Nutrition Entrepreneurship concentration, you should apply to the ‘Main Campus’ program. If you are remote, and plan to pursue a fully online MS, submit your application materials to the ‘Online’ program address.
For graduate admissions inquiries, please contact: Admissions (630) 829-6300.
Is the Admissions Process different for International Students?
Yes, International students should consult instructions at: https://www.ben.edu/admissions/international/graduate-admissions-process.cfm.
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.
The Master's Program in Nutrition and Wellness focuses on creating and maintaining a learning environment that encourages critical thinking, acquisition of comprehensive knowledge of the interrelationships of food, nutrition, and health, and the development of ongoing professional skills that are necessary for becoming outstanding health professionals.
Caroline Pluta, M.S.
Graduate Admissions Counselor