Master of Science in Nutrition and Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology

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

Length of Program  

3 years, full-time, including two summer courses

Tuition and Financial Aid

Career Opportunities

  • Mental health counselor
  • Lifestyle/behavior change counselor
  • Counselor for patients with eating disorders
  • School counselor
  • Mental health and substance abuse social worker
  • Rehabilitation counselors
  • Marriage and family counselor
  • Nutrition consultant
  • Nutrition educator
  • Prevention and wellness coach or consultant
  • Corporate wellness consultant

See examples of how our graduates use their nutrition and psychology degrees.

Where are nutritionists licensed?

Most states have statutory provisions regarding professional regulation of nutritionists. To find specific scopes of practice for individual states, go to the state’s Department of Health Professional Licensing information page.  Prospective and current students may also access the University’s listing of contact agencies by professional programs, “Professional Licensing/Certification Agencies by State or District.”  

Where are mental health counselors licensed?

Every state has a specialized licensing program. In the state of Washington it is necessary to complete 3,000 post-graduate supervised hours before submitting an application to obtain licensure as a mental health counselor; however, you are eligible for employment as a counselor and to take the state licensing exam upon commencement.


In the Master of Science in Nutrition & Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology (MSN/MACP) dual-track program, you'll study the dynamic relationship between nutrition and mental health.

The MSN/MACP program integrates training in nutritional counseling and mental health counseling, leading to licensure as a mental health counselor. The program includes clinical training with a range of patient contacts.

Graduation Requirements

MSN/MACP sutdents must:

  • Complete at least 149.5 credits (100 credits in residence) with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Complete their degree within six years following matriculation into the program.
  • Complete 600 hours of supervised counseling (including hours in counseling classes at BCNH and its satellites and external practicum sites), including 88 hours of nutrition counseling.

In addition to the didactic and clinical experience, MSN/MACP students are required to complete 10 hours of individual counseling or therapy before their counseling shift at the BCNH. Documentation of these hours is required.

Exit Exam

Successful completion of a clinical competency exit examination is a requirement for students in the third year of the MSN/MACP. This examination tests the minimal knowledge and skills required to perform nutritional and mental health counseling with diverse clients. The examination does not cover the whole curriculum and cannot substitute for any part of regular course requirements. Students are eligible to schedule the exit exam if they are in good academic standing, have completed or are concurrently registered for all required (non-elective) courses by the end of the term in which the exam is offered, and are making satisfactory progress in the practicum.

Expected Competencies

Students are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA in their graduate course work. Bastyr graduates are qualified to provide exceptional nutrition and counseling services to individuals and institutions and contribute positively to the nutritional and mental health education of the community.

Students are expected to stay on track with the counseling curriculum. Students who wish to go off track must have permission from the director of clinical training.


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 have completed the following courses:

Human PhysiologyA full series of anatomy and physiology will meet this requirement.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)
College Algebra1 course
Introduction to Psychology***1 course
Microbiology3 quarter credits
Nutrition5 quarter credits or 3 semester credits

NOTE: 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.

*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.

***Must achieve a B or better in this course.

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).

Expected Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a solid theoretical foundation in counseling and health psychology.
  • Provide culturally appropriate nutrition and mental health assessment and individualized intervention strategies
  • Effectively utilize a breadth of counseling and health behavior change skills for individuals and groups.
  • Develop the capacity for receiving and integrating feedback, ongoing self-reflection, continuous professional learning and self-care.
  • Display ethical and professional behaviors in all aspects of counseling practice, case management and interdisciplinary collaboration of care.

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

PDF icon 2019-20 MSN.pdf

Clinical Training

Your education at Bastyr University will include real-world clinical training at Bastyr Center for Natural Health, the university’s teaching clinic, providing practice in both nutrition and mental health counseling.  This unique training approach allows student to practice counseling skills with a range of clients, and supports each student in being well-prepared for the counseling practicum.   The practicum experience which is built into the third year of the program, offers students the opportunity to spend 16-20 hours/week at a community agency for a full 9 months, gaining ongoing counseling practice.

From time in the classroom to clinical training, you will be guided by Bastyr faculty members who are experienced dietitian nutritionists, psychologists, counselors, researchers and experts on body-mind integration.


Can I add the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) coursework to this program?

Yes. It will take an extra year to complete your degree but it is possible. Because the DPD program has slightly different admission requirements it is recommended that prospective students speak with an Admissions Advisor about this consideration early in the application process.

Can I add the thesis coursework to this program?

Yes, although students should be aware that class-schedule conflicts could arise. Adding the thesis coursework would be an appropriate consideration for any students considering future doctoral programs.

Is the MSN/MACP program CACREP-accredited?

No. CACREP (Counsel for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs) is an organization that aims to standardize licensure and education for mental health counseling since mental health licensure requirements vary substantially from state to state. Our program was designed to meet the Washington and California state mental health licensure requirements and to prepare students to take the National Counseling Examination, which certain states require for licensure. Since licensure is governed by each individual state, students are encouraged to inquire directly on the individual licensing requirements for their state.

What is the underlying psychological philosophy or emphasis of the program?

Bastyr University’s MSN/MACP program does not rely solely on one paradigm, though the program has a unique focus in health psychology and as such incorporates the biopsychosocial model across all areas of curriculum. The curriculum also incorporates an array of theories so students can decide as providers what to offer their clients. The program also includes attention to diversity issues across the curriculum.

Is the Certified Nutritionist credential recognized outside of the state of Washington?

The Certified Nutritionist (CN) credential and scope of practice is fairly unique to the state of Washington. Students planning to practice outside of Washington state following graduation are responsible for contacting the Department of Health or other governing agency for the state(s) in which they plan to practice, as each state may have unique requirements for attaining either licensure or certification in order to practice nutrition services.  Prospective and current students may access the University’s listing of contact agencies by professional programs, “Professional Licensing/Certification Agencies by State or District.”   

Will I be a licensed mental health counselor upon graduation?

No, you will be required to work as a mental health counselor with a supervisor signing off on your hours. In the state of Washington it is necessary to complete 3,000 post-graduate supervised hours before submitting an application to obtain licensure as a mental health counselor. However, you are eligible for employment as a counselor and to take the state licensing exam upon commencement.

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.
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