Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness


In our dynamic health care environment, it is essential for health practitioners to develop skills for fostering improved health outcomes. The M.S. in Nutrition and Wellness program at Benedictine University provides a powerful foundation in nutrition and health risk assessment, motivation, intervention and evaluation. This degree serves as a portal to careers in health promotion and risk reduction, therapeutic intervention and community education. In addition to professional preparation, the program also provides an excellent background for those who plan to pursue a doctorate. The research component is applied. For example, a team of students examine the outcomes of a health education assessment or intervention or conduct empirical research.

This master degree program is unique in providing a life science-based foundational core, as well as an opportunity to select a concentration to best meet one's own learning needs.

For more information, refer to the MS Curriculum link on this website and the M.S. Nutrition & Wellness Program Guide.

On Campus (Lisle) Program

Our traditional M.S. in Nutrition and Wellness Program is designed for working adults. Foundation courses are offered as an evening program, meeting once per week on the Lisle campus, so that a students' professional life can continue. Students typically enroll in two courses per quarter, completing the degree in about two years. Students can select from three concentrations: an accredited Dietetic Internship (Community Emphasis), Health Education, or Nutrition Entrepreneurship. Students may begin their courses in the program in any of the four quarter terms; however, summer or fall terms are best. Students may begin with the foundation courses or may move directly into their areas of concentration.

This is the only Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness in the country that is combined with a Dietetic Internship program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Academy). Acceptance into the Dietetic Internship concentration is by separate application (from the M.S.) at times designated by the ACEND of the Academy. Students accepted into the Dietetic Internship program start the program with online courses in the summer and then full-time beginning each the fall. In addition to completing the foundation courses in the evenings, students in this concentration complete the dietetic internship practice experience full-time four days a week, as well as some day or weekend courses. Dietetic interns normally complete the program in 19 (nineteen) months. We do not offer a distance dietetic internship program.

For more details about the application and acceptance process refer to the M.S. Nutrition & Wellness Program Guide.

Online Program

Benedictine University offers a high quality, fully online M.S. in Nutrition and Wellness program with the choice of a concentration in Health Education or Nutrition Entrepreneurship. The interactive online format offers one the flexibility to earn a master's degree from an established, reputable university while continuing personal and professional pursuits.

For more information about the online M.S. in Nutrition and Wellness, visit the Masters in Nutrition & Wellness Overview and refer to the M.S. Nutrition & Wellness Program Guide and the online MS FAQ.

Previous MSNW Research Presentations

Please click on the following titles listed below to view some of Benedictine University's MS in Nutrition & Wellness Research Presentations.

2014 - Associations with stress:  a cross-sectional comparison of wellness in older adults

2014 - Effects of theory-based nutrition intervention using learner-centered activities on bone health knowledge, intent, and influences of school-age children

2015 - Batter Up For Bone Health: Education intervention to improve bone health knowledge in school-age children

2015 - Dietary Pattern and Lifestyle Factors Associated with Menopausal Symptoms

2015 - Health and Wellness in the college population: factors affecting mental health



Upon successful completion of the Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness foundation courses, the student will:

  1. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and application of key areas of nutrition science.
  2. Effectively communicate health education and health promotion.
  3. Plan and conduct evaluation and outcomes-based research.
  4. Apply critical thinking skills.


Designed for those who want to help others and make a positive difference in their communities, this program develops one's skills to educate and counsel people on preventative and therapeutic concerns. The research component is applied, fostering development of skills in evaluating the outcomes of a health education assessment or intervention (possibly within one's own work setting) or conducting community-based research.

This program is unique in that it is a life science-based health promotion program. The program provides the opportunity for students to select a concentration in nutrition:  Health Education, Nutrition Entrepreneurship, or Dietetic Internship.  [NOTE:  The Dietetic Internship requires additional application and acceptance into this program and concentration.]

Students take an active role in their own learning process through shaping their curriculum. The M.S. in Nutrition and Wellness program requires a total of 64 quarter hours (approximately 43 semester hours) of graduate coursework, which consists of:

38 quarter hours of required Nutrition and Wellness Foundation Courses
26 quarter hours of coursework in one concentration:

Nutrition and Wellness Foundation Courses (38 quarter hours)

  • NTR 539 (4) Health and Wellness Research Planning
  • NTR 581 (4) Obesity: Theory and Practice Applications
  • NTR 585 (4) Complementary Nutrition Therapies
  • NTR 633 (2) Advanced Nutrition Topics in Micronutrients
  • NTR 644 (4) Advanced Metabolism:  Lipids and Carbohydrates
  • NTR 647 (2) Advanced Metabolism:  Proteins
  • MPH 511 (4) Biostatistics
  • MPH 632 (4) Public Health Education

On campus students are required the following:

  • NTR 694 (2) (previously required course)....CURRENTLY, NTR (2) approved elective
  • NTR 697 (4) Research I [on campus course] *
  • NTR 698 (4) Research II [on campus course] *

Online students are required the following:

  • NTR 693 (4) Data Analysis Interpretation [online course]
  • NTR 695 (4) Applied Research [online course]
  • NTR 696 (2) Research Communication [online course]


The M.S. Checklist allows you to record completion of the Foundation Courses and those required in your chosen Concentration. You are encouraged to utilize this M.S. Checklist, available in the M.S. in Nutrition & Wellness Program Guide.

Concentrations (26 quarter hours)

Refer to the Graduate Catalog or M.S. in Nutrition & Wellness Program Guide for courses required for each concentration (Dietetic Internship, Health Education, Nutrition Entrepreneurship).  Each concentration is 26 credits.

Certificates (quarter hours)

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. (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

  • Students must register for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) with the U.S. Department of Education. Your PIN will serve as your electronic signature. You can apply for a PIN online at:
  • Benedictine University's school code is: 001767.

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 web site 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 throughout the Nutrition Department.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the application deadline?

The M.S. program has rolling admissions, which means students may apply for any term of entry for the on campus (Lisle) program. However, a summer or fall start is best for the on campus program. Students entering the online program begin with the next 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 and GRE in the 30th percentile or higher (for each section). Applicants must also have a bachelor’s degree in a life science (e.g., biology, nutrition, dietetics, nursing, health, exercise physiology) or physical science (e.g., chemistry, biochemistry). The M.S. in Nutrition and Wellness program is life-science based. Academically strong students who have earned other bachelor degrees, but have already completed all the pre-requisite courses will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Nutrition and science course prerequisites, in which a grade of "C" or better must be earned, for the program include:

  • Principles of Biology course
  • Physiology course, or combined Anatomy and Physiology course
  • Biochemistry course (requires introductory or general chemistry and organic chemistry as prerequisites)
  • Basic nutrition course at the 200 level or higher.

Refer to the M.S. in Nutrition and Wellness Guide for a more detailed checklist of required materials for your application.

Is there a GRE exemption policy?

Applicants who have completed an advanced degree (master, doctoral) in the United States are exempt from the GRE requirement. Registered dietitians, nurses and physicians who provide a notarized copy of their USA credential status (e.g., for the RD it would be a notarized copy of the CDR card).

When is the application deadline for applying to the Dietetic Internship concentration?

Application and acceptance into the Dietetic Internship concentration of the M.S. program is by a separate process in December (for Benedictine University students seeking Pre-match) or February only.

Can Benedictine University students 'Pre-Match' into the Benedictine University M.S. Dietetic Internship program?

Yes. Current and former undergraduate and graduate students at Benedictine University may be eligible to apply for Pre-Match into the Benedictine University combined M.S./Dietetic Internship program. Interested candidates should carefully review the application criteria and procedures for both the M.S. in Nutrition and Wellness and Dietetic Internship programs.

If I will not have a Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics completed by the Dietetic Internship start date in the fall, can I still apply to the Dietetic Internship concentration of the M.S.?

No, you must have completed an accredited Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics in order to start the Dietetic Internship program. E.g., at Benedictine University this includes the completion of the Dietetics concentration, Nutrition major, and Bachelor Degree.

What are the prerequisites for applying to the M.S. Dietetic Internship Program?

Refer to the M.S. in Nutrition & Wellness Program Guide for the specific prerequisites and checklist of the combined M.S. Dietetic Internship program. For additional information about the dietetic internship centralized application system (DICAS) process, visit:

Can I transfer graduate credits from another university into this program?

It is possible. Requests for transfer credit are evaluated by the Director of the M.S. in Nutrition and Wellness program on a case-by-case basis.

USA CDR credentialed Registered Dietitians (RD) can be awarded up to 12 quarter credits towards the approved elective or general elective credits (i.e., not identified as required) in a concentration of the M.S. in Nutrition and Wellness program. To be awarded this credit, the RD must provide a current notarized USA CDR RD card. Refer to the M.S. in Nutrition & Wellness Program Guide for more details.

Where can I find the application forms?

The graduate application forms for the on campus programs are posted online at:

Forms for applying to the Dietetic Internship concentration are available online at: When you apply through DICAS (refer to the M.S. in Nutrition & Wellness Program Guide), you will use their online form.

Procedures and forms for application to the 100% online program are at:

For Admissions inquiries, please contact:  Alyssa Szynal,, (630) 829-6399.

I have some questions about the online program...

Refer to the M.S. online FAQ document.


Toby Mussman Smithson
Online M.S./Class of 2014

"I love the flexibility of the online program. Every course I have taken thus far has been relevant to my day to day job in public health, media interviews, and my business. It is exciting to bring what I am learning in the 'classroom' to the many conversations I have with clients, fellow RDs, media, and my employer."

"This master degree serves as a portal to careers in health promotion and risk reduction, community-based education programming and therapeutic intervention, as well as an excellent background for those who plan to pursue a doctorate."

Need More Information?

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.

For Admissions Inquiries:

Alyssa Szynal
(630) 829-6399

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

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