May 28, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Certificate in Nutrition Science


The Department of Nutrition offers a Graduate Certificate in Nutrition Science. Graduate level coursework in the certificate focuses on providing continuing education opportunities in nutrition for healthcare professionals. Course offerings include the opportunity to conduct and analyze research, enhance critical thinking and effective communication skills, and participate in experiential learning opportunities.

Mission and Goals

The mission of the Graduate Certificate in Nutrition Science is to prepare diverse students to become nutrition leaders who practice effectively and contribute solutions for human health and healthcare challenges. The program’s goals are to:

  • utilize experiential opportunities to prepare students to use evidence-based nutrition practice in their chosen profession
  • prepare students to secure advanced nutrition-related employment in healthcare, government, industry, education or not-for-profit programs

Application Deadlines

Please check the Nutrition Department website ( for current application deadlines.

Admission Requirements

To apply for the Graduate Certificate in Nutrition Science, the following items must be submitted:

  • Graduate admissions application
  • Graduate application fee
  • Official transcripts - Students must submit official transcripts from each college or university attended (transcripts from MSU Denver are not required). Official transcripts must be mailed directly from the previous colleges/universities in a signed, sealed envelope. Institutions may also send official electronic transcripts to
  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA

Full program acceptance requires prerequisite coursework with a grade of C- or higher in:

  • chemistry
  • organic and biological chemistry (minimum of 1 semester combined)
  • anatomy and physiology (equivalent of 6 credit hours)
  • upper division human nutrition course with macronutrient and micronutrient metabolism as the focus of the course (minimum of 3 credit hours)
  • medical nutrition therapy (minimum of 3 credits of a combined medical nutrition therapy I and II or equivalent)

Admissions Decisions

Applicants may be regularly admitted, regularly admitted with requirements, waitlisted, or denied acceptance. Applicants admitted with requirements typically have obligations to fulfill either before starting the Graduate Certificate in Nutrition Science program and/or within the first year of enrollment. Applicants admitted with requirements may have not graduated with their undergraduate degree at the time of admission, may be missing prerequisites, and/or may have an undergraduate GPA below the minimum requirement for admission. Applicants may be waitlisted in the case where program capacity has been reached and will be notified if space becomes available in the program.

Confirmation of Enrollment

Accepted students must confirm their enrollment into the program according to the process as outlined in their admissions letter.

Admissions Deferral

Applicants who are admitted to the Graduate Certificate in Nutrition Science program may defer their start semester up to two semesters or one academic year from the term that acceptance was originally offered. Applicants who choose to defer their start date must notify the Department of Nutrition Graduate Program and follow additional steps as outlined by the program.

Transfer Students

For the Graduate Certificate in Nutrition Science, students may transfer in up to three (3) credits of graduate level coursework from a regionally accredited university. Each transfer course must have a minimum grade of “B” and have been completed within 5 years of admission to the program.

Non-Degree Seeking Students

Students admitted to the Graduate Certificate in Nutrition Science are non-degree seeking students. Non-degree seeking students do not qualify for financial aid and must re-apply and pay a new application fee in order to become degree seeking. Completing coursework as a non-degree seeking student does not guarantee admission into a degree program. Students accepted into the Graduate Certificate in Nutrition Science may take up to 12 credits of graduate level coursework in the program. These credits may also be applied to the Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics degree.

Prior Learning Assessment

In general, no credit is given for prior learning experience derived from employment or other life experience.


Students not enrolled for three (3) consecutive semesters, including summer, must reapply to the University. Students requesting readmission must be in good academic standing and must submit their application for readmission to the master’s program in which they have been enrolled.

Students who are readmitted to the Graduate Certificate in Nutrition Science will be held to policies and curriculum for the term which they are readmitted.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is not available for non-degree seeking students in the Graduate Certificate in Nutrition Science.

Academic Standing Policies

All students accepted into the program must adhere with the following academic policies:

Minimum Grade and GPA Requirements

  • Students must complete the required coursework while maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater. Any student falling below a 3.0 in any given term will be placed on academic probation and be required to develop a remediation plan with an academic advisor for raising the GPA above a 3.0. Students who fail to complete the requirements of their remediation plan may be dismissed from the program.
  • No grade lower than a “C” counts toward degree completion. Students receiving a “C-” or below will be required to repeat the course. Students who do not successfully complete a course with a “C” or better after the second attempt may be dismissed from the program.

Course Load

  • Students may enroll in no more than 15 credits per semester for fall and spring semesters without departmental approval. The maximum load for a two-week Winterim or Maymester term is 3 semester hours, excluding short-term study abroad courses.

Duplicative Coursework

  • No course may count toward both a graduate certificate and a bachelor’s degree.

Time Limit on Completion of Certificate

  • Students must complete the Graduate Certificate in Nutrition Science within five (5) calendar years from their initial enrollment term.

Electives (6 credits)

Select two of the following courses: