Master of Science in Nutrition

Quick Facts


Kenmore, Washington campus

General Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Cumulative 3.0 GPA minimum in undergraduate coursework and nutrition classes
  • 3.25 GPA in the prerequisite classes and science coursework. See the prerequisite tab for more detailed information
  • Recommended: volunteer experience relevant to nutrition

Length of Program

2 years, full-time

Tuition and Financial Aid

Career Opportunities

The primary purpose of this degree is preparation for advanced doctoral studies in nutrition or other health care-related fields. Graduates may also consider careers in:

  • Research and development
  • Research laboratories as research assistants
  • Nutrition writing
  • Nutrition advocacy work
  • Public policy
  • Prevention and wellness

See examples of how our graduates use their nutrition degrees.


In the Master of Science in Nutrition (MSN) program, you'll gain a solid overview of nutritional science, theory and research. You'll learn to balance a holistic perspective with a rigorous understanding of biochemistry and nutrient metabolism. This innovative program provides a broad education in preventive health and wellness, prepares you to critically evaluate scientific literature, and serves as a firm foundation for future education.

First year coursework encompasses areas such as nutrient metabolism, applied and therapeutic nutrition, research skills, and whole foods. Second year coursework includes community and global perspectives on nutrition, and thesis research.

Program Features

  • A rigorous science-based curriculum prepares graduates for a mainstream profession with a natural health perspective.
  • Highly qualified faculty coupled with small class sizes and a strong advising program.
  • A modern and fully equipped whole food nutrition kitchen where students develop their culinary skills and deepen their understanding of nutritional concepts.
  • Whole food Dining Commons featuring organic, local meals.
  • Bastyr nutrition students help maintain the University's Medicinal Herb Garden and its 350 species of herbs and seasonal crops. The garden serves as a laboratory for organic, sustainable and renewable agriculture.
  • Access to related elective classes within the broad Bastyr curriculum, including herbal sciences, naturopathic medicine and health psychology.


Priority consideration is given to applicants with the following GPA scores:   

  • 3.25 in prerequisite coursework (all classes listed as specific prerequisites)
  • 3.25 cumulative GPA in science prerequisites with a B or better in Human Physiology, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Microbiology
  • 3.0 in nutrition coursework
  • 3.0 cumulative undergraduate coursework

Exceptional candidates who do not meet these priority standards will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Entering students must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college/university and must complete the following courses:

Prerequisite Coursework

Human Physiology full series of anatomy and physiology will meet this requirement.1 course (5 quarter credits)

Chemistry (science-major level with lab) *

2 courses
Organic Chemistry (science level major) *1 course
Biochemistry (Biochemistry course(s) must be upper-division and must cover intermediary metabolism) **1-2 course(s)


1 course (5 quarter credits or 3 semester credits)
College Algebra1 course
Microbiology1 course

*Typical chemistry course progression: General Chemistry I, General Chemistry II, Organic Chemistry I, Biochemistry.  A minimum of one course must include an in-person lab
**If intermediary metabolism is covered in second course of a biochemistry series, both courses must be completed – please contact a MSN advisor for questions.

No grade lower than a C will be accepted for any prerequisite courses. Prerequisite science courses must have been completed within the last 7 years.

Want to take these prerequisite courses with us?  Find out more about our Post-Baccalaureate Program.

Want to know which classes fulfill these prerequisites? Check these lists: Course equivalency guides


The curriculum table below lists the tentative schedule of courses each quarter. Next to each course is the number of credits per course (Crdt.), the lecture hours each week (Lec.) and the lab/clinic hours each week (L/C). Course descriptions are available in the Course Catalog.

Expected Learning Outcomes

The Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science has established the following expected learning outcomes for all Master of Science in Nutrition programs:

  • Biological/Medical Sciences
  • Quantitative Reasoning/Critical Thinking/Research
  • Nutrition
  • Whole Foods and Natural Medicine
  • Communication
  • Physical Activity
  • Promotion of the University's and the Department's mission and vision

Expected learning outcomes specific to the MSN track are:

  • Perform basic biostatical analysis and utilize appropriate statistical software
  • Write a research proposal in an area of human nutrition
  • Design and conduct a scientific study, including obtaining IRB approval if needed
  • Effectively design, conduct, analyze, report and interpret results of an independent research project
  • Follow stated guidelines for manuscript preparation as a component of thesis completion
  • Present nutrition research to a peer audience

The attached PDF is the proposed curriculum for students starting in Fall 2019. Please note that changes to the curriculum may still occur before the start of the Fall 2019 academic year. For the 2019-2020 course catalog, click here.

PDF icon 2019-20 MSN.pdf

Kenmore Campus Location

The 51-acre Bastyr University campus, nestled among fields and woodlands on the northeast shore of Lake Washington, is uniquely suited for the study of natural health sciences.
Request more Information Now accepting applications  for summer and fall  2020 Now accepting applications for summer and fall 2020