Master of Science in Nutritional Science - USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology Admissions Skip to main content

Shape the future of healthy lifespans, longevity and nutrition

The Master of Science in Nutritional Science prepares graduates with advanced knowledge, skills, and intellectual maturity to become innovative leaders in healthspan and longevity. This program gives students who have completed an undergraduate degree in nutrition an opportunity to earn a master’s degree with an emphasis on aging and wellness.

Request Information

Program Information

Delivery format

100% online or on-site

Typical Program Length

Full-time: 12-18 months
Part-time: 18-36 months


Spring 2024: October 15, 2023
Fall 2024: March 15, 2024
Post priority deadline: Rolling basis

International Applicants

Students are eligible for a STEM Visa

Is the Master of Science in Nutritional Science (MSNS) Right for Me?

The Master of Science in Nutritional Science is ideal if you already have an undergraduate degree in nutrition (along with a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Verification Statement), or are a current Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), who wants to focus on aging and wellness, and to take advantage of the additional opportunities a master’s degree affords.  

The degree is designed for:

  • Future Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) with DPD verification statement
  • Current RDNs who want a master’s degree
Compare Nutrition Programs

Career Opportunities for MSNS Graduates

  • Deliver and administer nutrition and dietetics programs in the private and public sectors
  • Careers in nutrition and dietetics, including:
    • working in hospitals
    • long-term care, university, and school foodservice programs
    • lifestyle and wellness coaching
    • scientific research
    • policy and advocacy

How Do I Earn My MSNS at USC Leonard Davis?

The Master of Science in Nutritional Science can be completed online through distance education or in-person and on a full-time or part-time basis. For full-time students, the 32 unit curriculum can be completed in as little as one year. 

What Will I Study in My Classes?

The MSNS program at USC Leonard Davis has strong relationships with community health professionals and programs serving individuals across the lifespan, and recognizes that Registered Dietitian Nutritionists will be playing an increasing role in health care, aging and longevity. Thus, the goals focus on assuring that the program leverages advanced knowledge of nutritional sciences to  promote healthspan and longevity.  Coursework in this advanced degree prepares students to apply scientific methodology and analytical research to nutrition practice and enables graduates to assume leadership roles in the field of nutritional science with a focus on wellness and longevity.

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

  • Nutrition, Genes, Longevity and Disease 
  • Perspectives on a Changing Society an Introduction to Aging 
  • Current Topics in Clinical Nutrition 
  • Micronutrients, Health and Longevity 
  • Chronic Conditions and Older Adults
View the full curriculum

What are the program requirements?

Successful completion of 32 units is required for graduation (24 units of didactic coursework and 8 units of research).


Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Verification Statement or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (CDR) Registration

Application 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.

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 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
How to apply

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 MSNS 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.

Request Information

Step 1 of 3


Stories and Spotlights

Educating leaders in nutrition and 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