Back to Results
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Department of Food Science and Nutrition

San Luis Obispo, CA


Interested in California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo? Admissions officers are waiting to hear from you!

Update my info
Your submission to Department of Food Science and Nutrition has been sent.
Update my info
Your submission to Department of Food Science and Nutrition has been sent.
Update my info
Your submission to Department of Food Science and Nutrition has been sent.


Master of Science in Nutrition Program at California Polytechnic State University

The Master of Science (MS) in Nutrition program at California Polytechnic State University prepares graduates for advancement in nutrition and other healthcare fields. It also prepares them for further education through allied health professions, dietetic internships, doctoral programs, and professional schools. 

The program encompasses a wide-range of nutrition subjects from molecular nutrition to public health. Its interdisciplinary nature allows students to work closely with faculty from several departments and choose research topics from a wide-variety of areas including the following:

- Animal Nutrition
- Business
- Human Nutrition
- Kinesiology
- Public Health
- Social Science 

It's part of the Food Science and Nutrition Department, which provides comprehensive education in nutrition and food science. The department's research-driven and practice-oriented approach ensures that students become highly skilled and well-prepared nutrition and food science professionals.

MS in Nutrition Curriculum

The MS in Nutrition curriculum consists of 24 units of required courses including a thesis and 21 units of elective courses. Students can choose one of three emphasis areas: health and wellness, molecular nutrition, and public health nutrition.

Upon graduation, students will have the ability to complete the following academic and professional activities:

- Apply basic principles of nutrition science to required coursework and research
- Explain, evaluate, and interpret fundamental scientific theories pertaining to thesis research
- Apply the scientific method to nutrition research by designing, conducting, and defending a thesis research project
- Use critical thinking skills to analyze published research literature and design and interpret a thesis research project
- Demonstrate strong oral and written communication skills
- Use creative and independent thinking skills to formulate, design, conduct, and interpret nutrition research
- Work productively in research teams and in other group settings
- Exhibit leadership skills, commitment to community values, and ethical conduct

Accomplished faculty

Graduate faculty members in the Food Science and Nutrition Department are committed to helping their students succeed. They integrate theory, research, and practice to provide extensive knowledge and training in nutrition and food science.

Faculty have expertise in child/global and clinical/maternal nutrition. They conduct nutrition research concerning developing countries and provide students with global nutrition experiences. The faculty also have expertise in education, communications, counseling, world/cultural foods, and food law. Some research focuses on the development of food products for nutritional purposes and the effect of nutrition on academic performance as well as consumer awareness of health behaviors.

Financial aid

Graduate students may qualify for federal loans, emergency loans, state grants, scholarships, and veterans' benefits.

Students may also pursue loans from private lenders, employer tuition remission programs, and scholarships from private sources.

Career opportunities

According to the US Department of Labor, employment of dietitians and nutritionists is projected to grow 16% from 2014 to 2024. This is much faster than the average for all occupations. Three factors will fuel this demand:

- Increasing numbers of dietitians and nutritionists will be needed to treat obesity and obesity-related conditions like diabetes and kidney disease.
- An aging baby-boom generation will require dietetic services to help them stay healthy.
- As the population ages, nursing homes will need to employ more nutritionists and dietitians.

Students in the MS in Nutrition program at California Polytechnic State University acquire the theoretical foundation and clinical experience to successfully address these needs. They graduate fully prepared to excel in a number of areas including the following:

-Clinical Nutrition
- Community Nutrition
- Food Industry
- Food Service and Management
- Postsecondary Education
- Public Health

California Polytechnic State University

California Polytechnic State University fosters scholarship, service, and teaching in a Learn by Doing environment. The application of theory to practice, active-learning methods, and field and laboratory work form the core of this academic approach.

The university offers approximately 21,300 students nearly 190 bachelor's, master's, minor, and credential programs. This large offering enables students to create programs of study that reflect their academic and career interests.

A Leading University

California Polytechnic State University's commitment to providing high quality education earns it top honors. In its 2017 guidebook, "US News & World Report" named it the best public, master's-level university in the west. This is the 24th consecutive year that the university has received this honor. The publisher also ranked it ninth among the best universities in the western region.


California Polytechnic State University is located in San Luis Obispo, California in the western region of the United States. According to Colleges in California, its campus is one of the most beautiful in the state.

The university is situated in an area known for its mild climate, natural beauty, and outdoor recreational options. Biking, hiking, and sailing are just some of the activities students can enjoy most of the year.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Master of Science (MS) Nutrition
Master of Science (MS) Food science

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Master's Degrees 3

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Master's Degrees Entrance Exam GRE
Thesis Required


Acceptance Rate



Application Fee - Domestic

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline April 1st Not reported No

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Master's Degree Exam GRE

International Students

Exam Details
TOEFL: Required TOEFL IBT score: 80

Tuition & Fees

Calculator icon

Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA
Application deadlines for financial awards March 2
Types of financial support available Health Care Benefits
Scholarship and/or loans
Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
Not Reported
International Breakout (representing other countries)


Hispanic/Latino 14.29%
Black or African American Not Reported
White or Caucasian 71%
American Indian or Alaska Native Not Reported
Asian 14.29%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander Not Reported
Two or more races Not Reported
Unknown Not Reported


Male (14%)
Female (85%)

Location & Contact

Address 1 Grand Avenue
San Luis Obispo, CA  93407
United States
Contact Dr. Johan Ubbink
Phone: 805-756-2660

Update my info
Your submission to Department of Food Science and Nutrition has been sent.
Update my info
Your submission to Department of Food Science and Nutrition has been sent.
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Update my info
Your submission to Department of Food Science and Nutrition has been sent.