Graduate Studies

Nutritional Science (MS)


  • Nutrition Education
  • General Nutritional Science
  • Dietetics (Fall admission only; priority given to applicants with a Bachelor's degree from Chico)

Application Deadlines

  • Fall: May-1 (March-1 for International applicants; December-1 for Dietetics option)
  • Spring: November-1 (October 1-for international applicants)

Two letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, department pre-requisite course clearance form, writing sample, and resume.

Program Coordinator
Keiko Goto

student portrait

Is nutritional science for you?

Do any of the following describe you?

  • Passionate about living a healthy lifestyle.
  • Successful at building strong relationships.
  • Communicate effectively with diverse groups of people.
  • Like analyzing and interpreting data.
  • Interested in developing and organizing projects.
  • Want to identify and solve complex problems.
  • Okay with math that goes beyond simple arithmetic.

faculty member helping students

Do these jobs sound interesting to you?

Our alumni are:

  • Clinical dietitians
  • College/university instructors

Other possibilities are:

  • Business and management dietitian
  • Community dietitian
  • Educator or research dietitian
  • Humanitarian/public health dietitian
  • Health coach

student teaching nutrition to children

Is this the kind of salary you are seeking?

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows the following outlook for Dietitians and Nutritionists(opens in new window):

Median Pay

  • $61,650 per year
  • $29.64 per hour

Job Outlook
7% (As fast as average)

Dietitians and nutritionists work in many settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, cafeterias, and for state and local governments.

Kendall Hall in Fall

What if my bachelor’s isn’t in nutritional science?

If you completed your undergraduate degree in another discipline but are interested in becoming a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), you must complete our undergraduate courses in the option in general dietetics or the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and complete the requirements for the MS in nutrition and food science. Talk to your graduate coordinator for details.

Holt Hall exterior

How long will it take?

  • The MS in nutritional science is a 30-unit program that can be completed in two years.
  • Completing both the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and the MS coursework typically takes three years.

What is it like to be an nutritional science master’s student?

student wearing lab coats in the nutrition lab

Evidence-Based Practice

  • Opportunities for evidence based practice in your chosen profession.

students collaborating

High Completion Rate

  • Undertake pre-professional practice that benefits the North State community.
  • 95 percent program completion rate.

Nutrition department faculty member

Small Class Sizes

  • Close mentorship from dedicated faculty and advisors.
  • Benefit from a student to faculty ratio of 2.3 to 1 and small class sizes of 10–15 students. 

Here's What Our Students are Doing

Breanne Lencioni

Helping Create and Teach a Pantry-to-Plate Pilot Course Series

Breanne Lencioni is working towards her Master's in Nutrition Science at Chico State. Her Pantry-to-Plate pilot course series taught students who make use of the Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry, how to cook simple meals, from creating a balanced dinner to simple kitchen skills. When faced with ingredients like gourds or winter squash, she found many didn’t even have the knife skills to know how to cut one.

Read about Breanne - Hope For The Future: Education As A Way Out Of Poverty

Katherine Jensen

Researching How the Phytochemicals in Broccoli and Other Foods Can Fight Against Breast Cancer

Katherine Jensen received an Office of Graduate Studies Research and Conference Award to help fund travel to present, at the American Society for Nutrition conference in Baltimore, her graduate research on the effect of a broccoli phytochemical on breast cancer cell invasion.

Katherine works closely with her faculty mentor, Lauren Housely, as a research assistant and has developed an additional skill set as a teaching associate training undergraduate students in the lab. She plans to continue her research at the doctoral level.

Annie Hsuan

Nutritional Science Outstanding Graduate Leader

Knowing first hand, from her own undergraduate experience, the impact teaching associates have on their students, Annie Hsuan, Nutritional Science Outstanding Graduate Leader, rose to the challenge of teaching and mentoring undergraduates while working on her own graduate research. She plans to work with students again as a registered dietitian after completing her dietetic internship.

Carina Chiodo

Working as a Registered Dietitian

Carina Chiodo won Nutritional Sciences Outstanding Professional Paper honors for her research analyzing food attitudes, mindful eating, and satisfaction with food-related life among Italian and American university students. Chiodo is now a registered dietitian working with several San Francisco Bay Area worksite wellness companies.