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Program Curriculum

Degree requirements include 19 semester hours of core courses, eight (8) or eleven (11) semester hours of supportive and elective courses, a three (3) semester hour clinical practicum, and either six (6) semester hours of thesis credit (for thesis option) or three (3) hours of research (for non-thesis option), for a total of 36 semester hours. A list of required and potential elective courses appears below. A combined maximum of twelve (12) semester hours of course work may be transferred from the UAMS/CAVHS dietetic internship and a maximum of six (6) semester hours from other accredited colleges and universities. A specific degree plan will be prepared for each student.

All MSCN students are required to successfully complete the following core courses:

Course  Hours
NUTR5033/5033Advanced Clinical Nutrition/Advanced Clinical Dietetics 3
NUTR5103Nutrition and Metabolism:  Macronutrients 3
NUTR5153Nutrition and Metabolism:  Micronutrients 3
NUTR5032Assessment of Nutritional Status 2
NUTR5143Nutrition Research and Statistical Methods 3
BIOM5013Statistics 3
NUTR5161Advanced Nutrition Seminar 2
TOTAL19

Students may choose either a thesis or non-thesis option, both of which require 36 hours for  program completion.  In addition, students elect one of the following areas of emphasis as a subspecialty:

  1. Geriatric Nutrition
  2. Pediatric Nutrition
  3. Community Nutrition
  4. Nutrition in Health, Wellness and Sports

NUTR 5032 Assessment of Nutritional Status (online)

A study of nutritional assessment systems and methodology including the latest technology in dietary, biochemical, anthropometric, and clinical evaluation. Emphasis is placed on the design of systems, the interpretation of indices for all age groups in health and disease, and the application of data in nutritional counseling and consultation.  Prerequisites: undergraduate courses in biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, nutrition, food science or equivalents.

NUTR 5033 Advanced Clinical Nutrition

Integration of principles of biochemistry, physiology, pathology, anatomy, psychology, anthropology, epidemiology, nutrition, and food science into therapeutic use of foods and nutrients in disease prevention and treatment through a case oriented approach.  Prerequisites:  Biochemistry, Diet in Disease, Nutrition, Anatomy and Physiology, or consent of faculty.  NUTR 5333 in the Dietetic Internship program may be substituted for this course.

NUTR 5043 Diet and/or Cancer Prevention

Focuses on clinical and preclinical studies that address how dietary-related factors, such as nutrients, bioactive food components and obesity, influence cancer development. Major mechanisms by which dietary factors modify cancer risk are covered.  Prerequisites:  A previous course in nutrition, biology, biochemistry, or physiology, and consent of faculty.

NUTR 5063 Medical Nutrition Therapy (online)

Online course introducing nutrition as a medical specialty from the perspective of disease prevention and treatment including assessment, patient interviewing strategies, medical terminology, nutrition care plan techniques, and prevention strategies.  Prerequisites:  a course in nutrition and inorganic biochemistry or equivalent and consent of faculty.

NUTR 5073 Practicum in Clinical Dietetics

Supervised learning experience in clinical dietetics designed to meet specific objectives and achieve identified clinical nutrition competencies. Experiences scheduled in a variety of health care and community settings. This course is an elective in MSCN program and a required course in the internship program.

NUTR 5083 Practicum in Administrative Dietetics

Supervised learning experiences in administrative dietetics to meet specific objectives and achieve identified management competencies. Experiences scheduled in a variety of units within health care facilities. This course is an elective in MSCN program and a required course in the internship program.

NUTR 509V Independent Study in Clinical Nutrition (1-6)

This option may be used by students seeking to define a thesis topic or to pose a research question about a specific aspect of clinical nutrition.  The student will prepare a written report following designated guidelines.

NUTR 5102 Management Principles in Dietetics

Application of current higher level management skills in clinical nutrition and dietetics.  Emphasis on incorporation of latest technological developments, management theories, and future trends in legal aspects, cost analysis, personnel and resource management, quality control, and reimbursements.

NUTR 5103 Nutrition and Metabolism: Macronutrients (Online)

Reviews cell function, including acid-base balance, utilization of macronutrients in metabolic processes, and roles of specific nutrients in human metabolism.  Relationship of physiology and organ system functions to nutrition is addressed.  Alteration in metabolic processes caused by specific diseases will be discussed.

NUTR 5112 Nutrition Counseling

Provides an understanding of the methods, strategies, and evaluation of nutrition and diet counseling to modify eating habits for health promotion and increase compliance with therapeutic regimens.  Consideration of learning styles, nutritional anthropology, and effective application of instructional technology in the health care setting.  Prerequisites:  NUTR 5033: Advanced Clinical Nutrition or equivalent and consent of faculty.

NUTR 5122 Principles of Advanced Nutrition Support

Advanced study in the art and science of nutrition support explored through a comprehensive review of the literature; discussion of the biochemical, physiological, and medical aspects of nutrition support; and application of principles in clinical practice through case study presentation. Students participate in the literature analysis and case discussions. Prerequisites:  NUTR 5033: Advanced Clinical Nutrition or equivalent. NUTR 5103: Nutrition and Metabolism or equivalent, NUTR 5032: Assessment of Nutritional Status or equivalent and consent of faculty.

NUTR 5143 Nutrition Research & Statistical Methods (Online)

A study of research designs, statistics, and data collection methods used in nutrition research. Emphasis on planning metabolic, epidemiological, educational, and clinical studies including food composition and nutritional assessment surveys with basic and advanced statistical applications.  Prerequisite:  Graduate level course in Statistics (BIOM 5013) and consent of faculty.

NUTR 5153 Nutrition and Metabolism Micronutrients (II)

Reviews the roles of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements in metabolic processes and their roles in human metabolism.  Alterations in metabolic processes caused by specific vitamins deficiency diseases will be discussed.  Metabolism of common drugs and drug-nutrient interactions will be reviewed.  Prerequisites: NUTR 5103 or equivalent.

NUTR 5161 Advanced Nutrition Seminar

Graduate seminar of important current research in clinical nutrition to reflect content, application to practice, and study parameters and design.  Students will read original papers, write critiques, and make presentations for discussion.

NUTR 5203 Geriatric Nutrition (Online)

Examines the relationships between nutrition and physiologic aging.  The impact of aging on nutritional requirements, effects of chronic and acute disease, effects of nutrition on the aging process, and nutrition programs for older adults are explored.  Students will actively analyze and discuss research literature.  Prerequisite: graduate course in metabolism, nutrition assessment, and advanced clinical nutrition and consent of faculty.

NUTR 5213 Pediatric Nutrition

Describe the relationship of growth and development to nutrient requirements from infancy to adolescence.  The assessment of feeding practices, food habits, and nutritional status in growth problems, health and disease will be discussed.  Nutritional interventions and therapies for specific conditions will be planned.  Prerequisites:  NUTR 5103, NUTR 5153, NUTR 5033 and consent of faculty.

NUTR 5223 Nutrition in Health Promotion, Wellness, and Athletics (Online)

Describe the application of advanced principles of normal and preventive nutrition in health and fitness, physical performance, disease prevention, and health promotion in dietetic practice.  It relates clinical research in exercise physiology to decision-making in wellness and sports nutrition counseling.  Prerequisites:  NUTR 5103, NUTR 5153, NUTR 5033 and consent of faculty.

NUTR 5243 Community Nutrition (Online)
This course will provide students with a framework to approach, analyze and work with community nutrition problems.  Needs of different populations and various resources within the community will be discussed.  The course will cover areas such as community needs assessment, nutrition education, public policy, grant writing and communication skills needed for various audiences.  Prerequisites include either NUTR 5103 or NUTR 5153 or NUTR 5333 or consent of the faculty.  Off-site activities will be necessary to fulfill the requirements for this course.

NUTR 523V Advanced Clinical Practicum (I-III)

Based on individual needs and prior clinical experiences, the student may elect an area of advanced clinical nutrition practice for in-depth experiences after determining the goals, objectives, and major experiences desired.  A total of three semester credits (3SC) are required.  Prerequisites: NUTR 5033, NUTR 5032, NUTR 5112, and NUTR 5203 or equivalent, and consent of faculty.

NUTR 5333 Advanced Clinical Dietetics

Integration of scientific principles of nutrition and food science into use of foods and nutrients in disease prevention and treatment in accordance with clinical competencies for the entry-level dietitian.  Co-requisite: admission to Dietetic Internship and consent of faculty.

NUTR 551V Special Topic in Clinical Nutrition

Advanced work in selected topics of current interest and investigation in clinical nutrition.  Topics may include new research and guidelines in the use of nutrition or selected nutrients to prevent or treat a specific disease state, such as diabetes, digestive diseases, osteoporosis, obesity, or cardiovascular diseases.

NUTR 600V Master’s Thesis in Clinical Nutrition

Under supervision of graduate faculty, an original research study will be designed and conducted with a written thesis following graduate college guidelines.  Prerequisite:  consent of faculty.

NUTR 601V Clinical Nutrition Special Project

A capstone research project under direction of faculty advisor and project committee.  Prerequisite: completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, all core courses in Clinical Nutrition.  Co-requisite: approval of project advisor. A grade of “R” is given until requirements of all three hours are met.

NUTR 608V Research in Nutrition

Students will participate in a research project under the supervision of a faculty member.

Thesis Option

CoursesHours
Core Courses (Refer to Professional Curriculum Section)19
*Specialty Course3
**Electives5
NUTR 600V Master’s Thesis in Clinical Nutrition6
NUTR 523V Advanced Clinical Practicum3

* Specialty Course in student’s subspecialty area is taken.  Courses include NUTR 5203 Geriatric Nutrition, NUTR 5213 Pediatric Nutrition, NUTR 5223 Nutrition in Health, Wellness and Sports, NUTR 5243 Community Nutrition.

** Students choose from the following elective courses:  NUTR 5043 Diet and/or Cancer Prevention, NUTR 5063 Medical Nutrition Therapy, NUTR 5102 Management Principles in Dietetics, NUTR 509V Independent Study in Clinical Nutrition, NUTR 5112 Nutrition Counseling, NUTR 5122 Principles of Advanced Nutrition Support, NUTR 551V Special Topics in Clinical Nutrition, NUTR 601V Clinical Nutrition Special Project.

Non-Thesis Option

CoursesHours
Core Courses (Refer to Professional Curriculum Section)19
* Specialty Course3
** Electives8
NUTR 608V Research in Nutrition3
NUTR 523V Advanced Clinical Practicum3

* Specialty Course in student’s subspecialty area is taken.  Courses include NUTR 5203 Geriatric Nutrition, NUTR 5213 Pediatric Nutrition, NUTR 5223 Nutrition in Health, Wellness and Sports, NUTR 5243 Community Nutrition.

** Students choose from the following elective courses:  NUTR 5043 Diet and/or Cancer Prevention, NUTR 5063 Medical Nutrition Therapy, NUTR 5102 Management Principles in Dietetics, NUTR 509V Independent Study in Clinical Nutrition, NUTR 5112 Nutrition Counseling, NUTR 5122 Principles of Advanced Nutrition Support, NUTR 551V Special Topics in Clinical Nutrition, NUTR 601V Clinical Nutrition Special Project.

Comparison of Thesis vs Non-Thesis

The MSCN degree program requires a minimum of 36 semester hours of graduate credit. Students may elect the thesis or non-thesis option.  A specific degree plan is prepared for each student. Full-time students complete the program in two (2) years; part-time students may take up to five years to finish.

RequirementsThesisNon-Thesis
Total Credit Hours36 semester hours36 semester hours
Written Comprehensive ExaminationYes, with passing score of 80%Yes, with passing score of 80%
Writing RequirementThesisSubmit a written research project report
Oral Communication RequirementThesis DefenseResearch project
Faculty Guidance CommitteeThesis committee of three facultyAdvisory committee of three faculty