The online master's program consists of 10 asynchronous course units, including eight core courses and two elective courses. It aims to increase knowledge of nutritional science to improve public health through better health promotion and nutrition-associated disease management worldwide.
The program will offer both full-time and part-time options, with the full-time program lasting three semesters and the part-time lasting five to six semesters. Online masters students also have synchronous opportunities and virtual office hours for support with coursework, thesis development work, and faculty-student engagement.
According to a Penn Nursing press release, the online MSNS is “designed to meet the educational needs of multiple licensed health care professionals, trainees, and students seeking a rigorous graduate education in advanced nutrition science.” Making the master's program available online makes a Penn Nursing education "highly accessible for students with very diverse educational backgrounds," said Penn Nursing Dean Antonia Villarruel.
Director of Penn Nursing Undergraduate Nutrition Programs Charlene Compher said in a press release that the new online MSNS is “built upon Penn Nursing’s stellar reputation in rigorous, high-quality teaching of Nutrition Science and mentorship of interdisciplinary scholars in Nutrition Science research across the University.”
According to Penn Nursing's website, registered dietitians, students in other graduate programs, physicians, clinical psychologists, pharmacists, and dentists in training are ideal candidates for the online master's program.
Application requirements include an $80 application fee, a completed online application, transcripts, two letters of recommendation, two essays, a video interview, and verification of a completed basic nutrition, biology, or chemistry course.
According to Villarruel, Penn Nursing’s online MSNS program “will make a significant impact on nutrition-focused science, underpinning public health policy by advancing scientific understanding, developing policy strategies to reduce health disparities, and preparing a variety of professional leaders in the field of Nutrition Science.”