Master of Science in Nutrition for Wellness

A woman leads a cooking demonstration.

Quick Facts


San Diego, California campus

General Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Cumulative 3.0 GPA minimum in undergraduate coursework and nutrition classes
  • 3.25 GPA in prerequisite classes and science coursework. See the prerequisite page for more information

Length of Program

2 years, full-time

Tuition and Financial Aid

Program Performance Fact Sheet

Pursuant to the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009, prospective students are encouraged to preview Bastyr University California's Performance Fact Sheet for this program. New students will be required to sign this prior to enrolling.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the nutrition for wellness program are prepared to serve as leaders in whole-food nutrition education. They have the skills to translate nutrition science into meaningful, accessible information in diverse fields:

  • Corporate and employee wellness programs
  • Public health programs
  • School-based and senior health and wellness programs
  • Grocery chain nutrition education programs
  • Health insurance company education programs
  • Independent nutrition writing, public speaking, program development, consulting and entrepreneurial projects

See examples or how our graduates use their nutrition degrees.

PDF icon Bastyr_U_CA_BPPE_Performance_Fact_Sheet_2016_MSNW.pdf


The Master of Science in Nutrition for Wellness program prepares students to serve as leaders in whole-food education. Students gain a scientific foundation for understanding the vast world of nutrition. They learn to evaluate new studies and parse good information from bad.

But students gain more than just knowledge. They develop tools for communicating complex information in simple ways that transform peoples' lives. Students develop advanced skills in writing, public speaking, cooking demonstrations, creating innovative nutrition programs, motivating behavior change and other tools for bringing their knowledge to people who need it.

Distinct Niche

The nutrition for wellness program teaches skills to deliver effective food and nutrition education for groups through a variety of media. In an era when obesity and related chronic diseases are on the rise, this degree trains professionals who can motivate groups to make positive lifestyle changes. Graduates are prepared for careers in corporate wellness programs, public health programs, grocery store chains, schools and senior centers.

Areas of Focus

The program is grounded in the whole-food philosophy that guides all of Bastyr University’s nutrition education, emphasizing eating a broad variety of foods in their least-processed forms. The program reflects the University’s holistic understanding of mind-body-spirit health, teaching students to draw connections between food, exercise science and health psychology. It also focuses on food for disease prevention, behavior change and development of nutrition programs.


Classes take place Monday-Friday at Bastyr University California’s campus in San Diego. Students take one class online each quarter, taught by a Bastyr University nutrition faculty member in Washington.

Second-year students complete capstone projects that model the kinds of programs they might develop in their careers — such as a workplace wellness program, cooking demonstration series or video series.


Graduates will qualify as nutrition professionals under current California Code, and will be eligible to become Certified Nutritionists (CN) in the state of Washington. Other states may offer similar options.


Bastyr University California’s campus includes a new culinary and nutritional teaching kitchen, along with newly expanded study spaces, classrooms, and library and laboratory facilities. The campus in San Diego's Torrey Pines area is just minutes from the beach, with a canyon nature preserve next to campus. Learn more.

As part of Bastyr University California, students share a campus with students of naturopathic medicine and other natural health fields, learning from each other during their programs.


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, and Biochemistry 
  • 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.

Prerequisite Coursework

Human Physiologyfull 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)
Introduction to Psychology1 course
College Algebra1 course
Nutrition1 course (5 quarter credits or 3 semester credits)

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.  All applications are reviewed on an individual basis and decisions regarding admissibility are made by the Admissions Committee. Please contact the admissions office for more information.

*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 MSNW advisor for questions.

Want to take these prerequisite courses with us? Find out more about our Post-Baccalaureate program, offered at the Kenmore campus.

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


First-year students take one online/hybrid class each quarter, taught by a Bastyr University nutrition faculty member.

Second-year students complete a capstone project that models the type of program they would develop in their careers — such as a workplace wellness program, grocery store consumer education program, or a school-based cooking class series.

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 MSNW.pdf
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