Online MS Degree

Online MS Degree

100% Online MS in Nutrition & Food Systems

Enhance your education and career at your own pace with this fully online MS degree program. Explore how food systems impact diet and wellness and further your clinical nutrition knowledge through an evidence-based research project. The skills and knowledge gained from this program will prepare you for careers in a variety of settings including healthcare, private practice, community organizations, education, government, industry, non-profit, and more! You will explore evidence-based strategies to improve the health of individuals and the communities where they live and will gain knowledge and experience to support and grow your career and reach in the field of nutrition.

View the Recording of Our Virtual Open House

Learn More About Our Online MS Program

In case you were unable to attend our virtual open house, you can view the recording here. In this video, you will be able to meet our faculty, review coursework and learn about the application process.

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Fast Facts


Credit Hours


GRE Requirements



Program Courses

You will take core classes in nutrition and food systems, chronic disease management, advanced community program development, and global food diet, and culture.  Our Online MS program also allows flexibility in taking elective courses offered through our department and/or from other related disciplines.  In DHN, we offer graduate elective coursework in obesity, food related behaviors, culinary medicine, and more!  Our students also take elective courses from departments such as kinesiology and health promotion, communications, public health, sociology, sustainable agriculture, and others.  Make your graduate degree unique to your interests and professional goals.

Review Free Elective Options

During the course of their online MS degree, students will complete an evidence-based practice (EBP) project that has been developed based on their professional or personal interests. The EBP project experience provides students with the research skills they need to deliver services using the highest levels of evidence-based practice. This project will take into consideration the scientific evidence, the expertise of the health professionals, and the needs of the stakeholders.

Review Core Course Descriptions

Admissions Requirements

Admission to the Online MS in Nutrition and Food Systems program is selective and competitive.

  • Students must have a relevant undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. A relevant degree includes degrees in nutrition science/dietetics, exercise science, public health, biology, chemistry, nursing, public health, or other health-science related degrees.

    • Alternatively, the applicant may be asked to complete pre-requisite courses such as, nutrition, physiology, or biology courses as deemed necessary by the DHN graduate program admissions committee.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required with conditional admittance considered.
  • The GRE is not required to apply.

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Online Graduate Certificate in Applied Nutrition & Culinary Medicine

In collaboration with the College of Medicine and College of Health Sciences, we offer this 100% online Graduate Certificate. You can use elective hours to fulfill the 12 credit hours required for the certificate.

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Culinary Strategies to Promote Health

Discover evidence-based strategies to address your patients' and clients' specific nutrition needs as well as their toughest questions, explore nutritional approaches to various disease states, and learn practical culinary strategies to bridge dietary recommendations with application. Connect with nutrition educators at the University of Kentucky to learn about nutritional approaches and practical culinary strategies to promote health. This graduate certificate is designed for all health professionals.

Learn More About the Degree Program and Apply

  • Handbook
  • Explore Courses
  • Apply for the Program

Core Courses (12 Hours Total)

  • Food Systems and Society
  • Chronic Disease Management and Process
  • Advanced Community Program Development
  • Seminar in Nutrition and Food Systems

Review Core Course Descriptions

Guided Electives (6 Hours Total)

  • Thesis Option: for in-person learning

    • Research Methods in Nutrition and Food Systems
    • Regression Analysis and Design of Experiments
  • Non-Thesis Option: for online learning
    • Global Foods, Diet and Culture
    • Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice in Dietetics OR Research Methods in Nutrition and Food Systems

Free Electives (6-12 Hours Total)

  • Based on your interests and professional goals, choose from a wide variety of courses offered in DHN and at the University of Kentucky. Make the program work for YOU.
  • Elective courses can be used to earn a Graduate Certificate in Applied Nutrition & Culinary Medicine.
  • Elective options available in DHN:
    • Introduction to Culinary Medicine
    • Food Related Behaviors
    • Obesity and Food Insecurity Paradigm: From Cell to Society

Review Free Elective Options

Evidence-Based Practice Project Coursework (6 Hours Total)


Effective January 1, 2024, the minimum degree requirement to be approved for eligibility for the registration examination for dietitians will change from a bachelor's degree to a graduate degree. This decision was made by the Commission on Dietetic Registration based on the recommendations of the Council on Future Practice Visioning Report (2012). Learn more here.

Connect With Us

Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition

204 Funkhouser Building
Lexington, KY 40506


Dr. Dawn Brewer

Director of Graduate Studies

Contact Dr. Dawn Brewer

Woman reviews handouts about nutrition

UK Online

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Contact Information

Dr. Tammy J. Stephenson, PhD, FAND
Department Chair & Professor

202 Funkhouser Building Lexington, KY 40506-0054

+1 (859) 257-3800