Students desiring an M.S. degree in nutrition and dietetics who do not have a bachelor's degree may take this three-year course of study at Loma Linda University. The first two years of the curriculum offer the opportunity to complete the undergraduate portion. Students complete the graduate courses during the third year after which they will be eligible to take the registration exam. The bachelor's and master's degrees will be awarded simultaneously.

Program learning outcomes

By the end of this program, the graduate should be able to:

  1. Integrate scientific information and translation of research into practice.
  2. Demonstrate beliefs, values, attitudes, and behaviors consistent with the professional dietitian nutritionist level of practice.
  3. Develop and deliver information, products, and services to individuals, groups, and populations.
  4. Apply principles of strategic management and systems in the provision of services to individuals and organizations.
  5. Plan, process, and perform nutrition-related research while protecting the public.
  6. Demonstrate an ability to translate evidence-based literature into formats that the lay public can understand, including use of videos, writing articles, and counseling.
  7. Evaluate emerging trends in nutrition and give competent, evidence-based answers to the public.
  8. Use metabolic pathways to determine patient and client nutritional needs.

Admission is based on a selective process.  In addition to Loma Linda University and School of Allied Health Professions admissions requirements, the applicant must also complete the following requirements:

  • A 3.0 G.P.A. (on a 4.0 scale) or above (science and non-science)
  • An interview
  • Program prerequisites
  • A 3.0 cumulative G.P.A. at completion of undergraduate courses in order to progress to the graduate level

Listed below are the admission and prerequisite requirements to obtain a bachelor's degree from Loma Linda University. These are listed in general education domain order.


Domain 1: Religion (8 quarter units)

(completed during enrollment at LLU)

Domain 2: Arts and humanities (minimum 16 quarter units)

Units must be selected from at least three of the following content areas: civilization/history, art, literature, language, philosophy, religion, or general humanities electives. A minimum of 3 quarter units in an area are required to meet a "content area."

Domain 3: Scientific inquiry and quantitative reasoning (minimum 12 quarter units)

  • College algebra, pre-calculus, or calculus
  • Human anatomy with laboratory and human physiology with laboratory, complete sequence (two terms)
  • General chemistry with laboratory, 3 quarters/2 semesters
  • Microbiology with laboratory

Domain 4: Social sciences (minimum 12 quarter units)

  • Psychology elective (one course minimum)
  • Sociology elective (one course minimum)
  • One course (or components integrated into several courses) dealing specifically with issues of human diversity is required.

  • Select additional units, as needed, from: anthropology, economics, geography, political science, psychology, and sociology

Domain 5: Written and oral communication (minimum 9 quarter units)

  • English composition, complete sequence that meets the baccalaureate degree requirements of a four-year college or university.
  • Additional courses may include information systems, critical thinking, and public speaking

Domain 6: Health and wellness

  • DTCS 301 Human Nutrition or equivalent
  • Physical education. Must include at least two separate physical activity courses totaling a minimum of one quarter units or military discharge papers (DD214).

For total unit requirements for graduation, see LLU General Education Requirements.


As necessary, to meet the minimum total requirement of 82 transferable quarter units. These units added to the 110 undergraduate units required in the program fulfill the 192 total units required for the bachelor's degree.

For total unit requirements for graduation for the B.S. degree, see Division of General Studies, LLU General Education Requirements.

Junior YearUnits
AHCJ 305Infectious Disease and the Health-Care Provider1
AHCJ 3281Wholeness Portfolio I1
DTCS 302Food Selection and Presentation5
DTCS 3042Community Nutrition4
DTCS 305Professional Issues in Nutrition and Dietetics1
DTCS 321Nutrition and Human Metabolism4
DTCS 329Organic Chemistry with Applications for Nutrition4
DTCS 334Biochemistry with Applications for Nutrition4
DTCS 340Nutrition through Life Stages3
DTCS 371Quantity Food Purchasing, Production, and Service5
DTCS 372Food Systems Organization and Management4
RELE 457Christian Ethics and Health Care2
Senior Year
AHCJ 407Financial Management2
AHRM 471Statistics and Research for Health Professionals I3
AHRM 472Statistics and Research for Health Professionals II3
DTCS 338Introduction to Clinical Nutrition2
DTCS 342Medical Nutrition Therapy I5
DTCS 343Medical Nutrition Therapy II5
DTCS 395Nutrition and Dietetics Practicum12
DTCS 445Nutrition Care Management4
DTCS 446Nutrition Counseling and Education3
DTCS 452Advanced Nutrition4
DTCS 461Food Science4
DTCS 476Exercise Physiology in Medical Nutrition Therapy3
REL_ 4__ Upper-division religion4
RELT 415Christian Theology and Popular Culture2
RELT 436Adventist Heritage and Health2
Graduate Year
AHCJ 548Human Resource Management in the Health-Care Environment3
AHRM 604Research-Proposal Writing3
DTCS 506Professional Seminar in Nutrition and Dietetics1
DTCS 526Pharmacology in Medical Nutrition Therapy2
DTCS 546Introduction to Integrative and Functional Medical Nutrition Therapy3
DTCS 554Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy3
DTCS 694Research4
EPDM 509Principles of Epidemiology3
NUTR 506Nutritional Metabolism3
NUTR 517Advanced Nutrition I: Carbohydrates and Lipids4
NUTR 518Advanced Nutrition II: Proteins, Vitamins, and Minerals4
NUTR 519Phytochemicals2
Electives: Any graduate-level course approved by advisor7
REL_ 5__ Graduate-level religion3
 Total Units: 141

Affiliation and practicum units are required in addition to the didactic units listed above.

DTCS 778Clinical Nutrition Affiliation12

Register three times to fulfill unit requirement


Fulfills service learning requirement

Comprehensive Examination

The written comprehensive examination is designed to establish that the student has a broad understanding of nutrition and dietetics, statistics, and basic research methodology.  The comprehensive examination will be administered after students have successfully completed the majority of required courses—typically during the Spring Quarter of the student's graduate year. 

Normal time to complete the program

Three (3) years— two (2) years (seven [7] academic quarters) of undergraduate work for the B.S. plus one (1) year (four [4] academic quarters) of graduate-level courses at LLU — based on full-time enrollment; part time permitted.