Master of Science in Nutrition, Healthspan and Longevity - USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology Admissions Skip to main content

Advance human health and wellbeing

The Master of Science in Nutrition, Healthspan and Longevity is a degree designed for those who want to pursue a career in nutrition and dietetics. It can lead to working in hospitals, long-term care university and school foodservice programs, lifestyle and wellness consulting, private practice, scientific research or in policy and advocacy. The program promotes health and longevity based on scientific evidence, integrating academic study with professional practice experience.

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Program Information

Delivery format

100% online or on-site

Typical Program Length

44 Units
Full-time: 21 months
Part-time: 24-36 months


January 15th every year

Is the Master of Science in Nutrition, Healthspan and Longevity Right for Me?

The Master of Science in Nutrition, Healthspan and Longevity degree is ideal if you want to become a registered dietitian nutritionist capable of providing excellent service to a variety of constituencies in a highly technical, constantly changing world with an emphasis upon nutrition, healthspan, and longevity.

How Do I Earn My Master of Science in Nutrition, Healthspan and Longevity at USC Leonard Davis?

The Master of Science in Nutrition, Healthspan and Longevity is a Coordinated Program (CP) in Nutrition and Dietetics that provides an academic curriculum that meets standards established by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). The CP accepts 22-24 graduate students each year including students attending the program full-time on-campus, full-time through distance education and a third group completing the program part-time over a 3-year period, through distance education. The Coordinated Program, includes didactic courses and supervised practice scheduled concurrently.

What Will I Study in My Classes?

The MSNHL program at USC Leonard Davis has strong relationships with community health professionals and programs serving individuals across the lifespan, and acknowledges that Registered Dietitian Nutritionists will be playing an increasing role in the health care arena. Thus, the goals focus on assuring that the program produces competent, well-trained professionals, who are attuned to the research evidence that has the potential to impact the delivery of nutrition services, appreciates the impact research evidence has on health issues in society and recognizes the need for evidence-based practice in the profession. The goals of this CP are tightly woven with expectations of its students to become actively engaged in healthspan and longevity research (basic, clinical, and translational) throughout both supervised practice and graduate studies.

You’ll explore these subjects through your required and elective courses:

  • Nutrition, Genes, Longevity and Disease
  • Communicating Nutrition and Health
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • Fundamentals of Nutrition (Micro and Macronutrients)
View the full curriculum

What are the program requirements?

Successful completion of 44 units is required for graduation (28 units of didactic course work, 10 units of supervised practice and 6 units of research). In addition to required didactic coursework, the program provides students with 1000 hours of supervised practice experience needed to meet competencies established by ACEND. The program’s concentration area is nutrition, healthspan and longevity (NHL), preparing graduates for entry-level dietetics. In selecting applicants for admission, the School of Gerontology considers both academic potential (as reflected in undergraduate study) and professional potential (as reflected in experience, references and career goals) along with in-person interviews (Skype can be used for distance).


Prerequisite courses must be completed before starting the program.

  • For the list of prerequisite courses, please view the Master of Science in Nutrition, Healthspan and Longevity program description.
  • All prerequisite courses cannot be more than 10 years old at the time of application (the exception is general psychology, math, and speech/communications).
  • All prerequisite courses must meet our minimum unit requirement on the semester system.  Courses taken on any other system, including the quarter system, must be converted to semester units.
  • Not required to complete all prerequisites at USC.
  • Complete the prerequisites table and upload it with your online application.
  • Program outcomes data are available upon request.
Admission Requirements
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Complete supplemental application included as part of university application
  • In your university application, you must upload your resume and statement of interest
  • 2 letters of recommendation, either uploaded in your university application or mailed separately by your recommenders
  • Official transcripts should be mailed directly to our office, or submitted electronically. Students must declare all schools on the application and submit transcripts from all institutions attended (even if it was for just one semester) after high school:

USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
Office of Admission and Student Services
3715 McClintock Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0191

On your university application, include your scholarship application—merit-based scholarships are available to qualified applicants. The GRE may be waived by having strong academics. If the GRE is required, you will be notified during the review process.

40 hours of experience with an RD
  • Summarize your experience, identify your mentor and contact information, obtain a signature for at least 40 hours, and upload it with your online application
Statement of Interest

Your statement of interest plays an important role in helping our faculty consider your application for graduate study. The following prompt is designed to help you but is not an exhaustive list of information you should include in your statement. We recommend that your statement is within three to five pages double-spaced pages. The statement should be uploaded as part of the university application.

  • Tell us why you chose to apply to the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
  • Tell us about your experiences in gerontology
  • Describe your educational and career goals
  • Please describe your strengths and weaknesses

The degree program and supervised practice are accredited (9/8/2014) by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) and the registration exam requirements are set by the Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR).  Graduates receive a verification statement that enables registration for the exam and upon successful completion receive the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential.

ACEND can be contacted at:

  • Mail: 120 South Riverside Plaza
    Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995
  • Phone: 800/877-1600, ext. 5400
  • Visit website
Student Handbook Program Objectives

Learning that Fits Your Life

Whether you live halfway across the world or have a busy career, we make this program work for you. You can earn the MSNHL degree online, through our robust digital course platform.

All your classes are streamed online, allowing you to interact with your classmates and professors in real-time. Learn more about our online education program.

“Gerontology is the new hybrid career... If you walk out your front door and look around, you will see older people everywhere. There is such a need for people educated in aging that the career opportunities are endless.”

Jolene FassbinderMSG graduate and program officer for the Archstone Foundation, which provides grants for innovative projects addressing the needs of older adults

The MAG program at USC Leonard Davis explores gerontology through a sophisticated, multidisciplinary approach. Your classes integrate research and concepts from different fields, providing connections and context as you pursue academic and career goals.

Cynthia HutchinsMAG graduate and director of financial gerontology for wealth management company Merrill Lynch

“The MASM program not only solidified my career opportunities, it also expanded my horizons in terms of personal well-being, appreciation of life’s stages and understanding of older adults. I thoroughly enjoyed the many walks of life my classmates brought to the program.”

Erik DoanMAASM graduate and program director of Family Adult Day Health Care in Lomita, California

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Stories and Spotlights

Educating leaders in nutrition & dietetics

Shauna Davis, MSNHL

Shauna Davis, who is focused on obtaining her Master of Science in Nutrition, Healthspan and Longevity (MSNHL), says the program has revealed a whole new world of possibilities.


Kayee Liu, MSNHL

Master of Science in Nutrition, Healthspan and Longevity (MSNHL) student Kayee Liu enjoys sitting down with patients and helping them develop healthy eating plans.

Alicia Miller, MSNHL

Shifting careers especially in the midst of the pandemic can be an incredible challenge, but for Master’s student Alicia Miller, nothing is more important to her than working on innovative ways to promote healthy aging.

Learn more and apply

Our community of ambitious students, eminent faculty and renowned alumni is waiting for you to join us. Our advisory team is ready to answer all your questions. Let’s continue the conversation.

Contact us Learn how to apply