Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any upcoming open houses or other events that I can attend to learn more about the MS in Nutrition program?
There are two open houses arranged by The Graduate School, one in the Fall and one in the Spring. Please visit this website for more information: http://www.montclair.edu/graduate/.
I would like to schedule time to talk with someone over the phone or face-to-face about the program. Who can I talk to?
We encourage you to first demonstrate your readiness for graduate-level education by finding answers to as many of your questions as you can on your own by carefully reading the questions listed below and by exploring these websites:
If, after careful review of the information provided, you still have questions, you are welcome to email or call:
Dr. Shahla Wunderlich
Graduate Program Coordinator
Ms. Maddy Antosiewicz
Department of Nutrition and Food Studies
Keep in mind that the kinds of questions you ask when you call will give us our first impression of you -- so don’t call to ask us what the application deadline is!
Is there an application deadline?
The M.S. in Nutrition and Food Science program does not have a specific application deadline; the program has rolling admission and accepts students starting in both the spring and fall semesters. However, we require 4-6 weeks to review a completed application and render an admissions decision, so please plan accordingly based on the opening date of the semester in which you would like to begin the program.
After earning the M.S. in Nutriton and Food Science, what kinds of jobs will I be qualified to do?
You will be able to work in the following areas, among others: food industry, nutrition education, government agencies, private practice.
After earning the M.S. in Nutrition and Food Science, will I be eligible to become a Registered Dietitian?
No. Students who are interested in becoming registered dietitians must complete an undergraduate curriculum known as the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). Students wishing to complete the Didactic Program in Dietetics at Montclair State must complete either the Second Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Food Science with a concentration in Dietetics or the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) Certificate program. Please visit this website for further information:
Can I complete the M.S. in Nutrition and Food Science and the Didactic Program in Dietetics simultaneously?
Yes. Students wishing to complete the M.S. in Nutrition and Food Science and the Didactic Program in Dietetics simultaneously should apply separately and simultaneously to the M.S. in Nutrition and Food Science program and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) Certificate program through The Graduate School. Please be advised that there are courses you will take as part of the Master’s program that can be substituted for undergraduate courses required as part of the AND Certificate program. Careful advisement is required so that you don’t take extra courses unnecessarily and/or take the wrong courses.
What are your admissions standards?
Our admissions committee reviews each application individually. There are no GPA or GRE cut-off scores; however, when considering an applicant for admission, strong candidates for admission generally meet the following criteria:
- can show strong overall performance across all areas
- can articulate an understanding of what nutrition and food science are and clear reasons for wanting to earn a degree in this area of study
- can define clear career goals
- can show a record of academic success or potential for academic success
- can show evidence of productivity, independence, and accountability
Can I submit MCAT or LSAT scores instead of GRE scores?
Yes, a substitution can be made if approved by The Graduate School and the Graduate Program Coordinator. Please contact The Graduate School at 973-655-5147 for further information.
Are there any circumstances that would exempt me from having to take the GRE?
If you have completed Montclair State University’s Certificate in Nutrition and Exercise Science with a GPA of 3.2 or better OR if you have already earned a Master’s or higher-level degree from an accredited institution, you do not have to submit GRE scores as part of your application, but you must still apply for a GRE waiver, as per instructions under the “Admissions Information” section of the website.
I graduated from college a number of years ago and don’t expect to do that well on the GRE test. Will low GRE scores prevent me from being accepted into the program?
Our admissions committee reviews an applicant’s entire application package and takes into account life circumstances when evaluating a candidate for the program. As important as GRE scores or undergraduate GPA are a student’s personal statement, professional/voluntary/school experiences, and letters of recommendation. Many of our students have returned to school after having pursued careers in other fields.
While I am waiting to find out whether or not I am accepted, can I take a few courses, just to get started?
Students can take up to two courses prior to admission to the M.S. in Nutrition and Food Science program. Registration for non-degree coursework is by permission of the Graduate Program Coordinator only. These courses will apply to the degree program, if the student is ultimately admitted to the program. Successful completion of non-degree or pre-decision courses, however, does not guarantee acceptance to the program. Students who are interested in taking courses on a non-degree basis should visit this website to submit an online application (separate from their application to the Nutrition and Food Science program):
Can coursework I completed elsewhere be substituted for courses I must take as part of the M.S. in Nutrition and Food Science program at Montclair State?
Students can transfer in up to 6 credits of Master’s-level coursework from another institution, only if that coursework has not already counted toward another completed Master’s Degree. If a student has taken more than 6 credits worth of equivalent courses, course substitutions can be made so that students don’t have to repeat coursework; however, the student will still have to complete at least 26 credits of coursework at MSU.
Do I have to have an undergraduate degree in nutrition or chemistry in order to apply to the M.S. in Nutrition and Food Science program? Do I have to take prerequisite courses?
The M.S. in Nutrition and Food Science program accepts students with a variety of undergraduate degrees and professional backgrounds. Our current students and alumni have had undergraduate degrees in nutrition, biology, chemistry, sociology, anthropology, psychology, public health, history, justice studies, the arts, and a range of other majors. Students who do not have an undergraduate degree in nutrition should take a basic undergraduate nutrition course (such as NUFD192 here at Montclair State) and a basic research course (such as NUFD304 here at Montclair State) prior to applying to the M.S. in Nutrition and Food Science program.
Can I apply to start the Master’s in Nutrition program in the Spring semester?
Can I earn the M.S. in Nutrition and Food Science online?
No. Although there may be a few courses offered in hybrid format, the M.S. in Nutrition and Food Science program at Montclair State is not an online degree.
Can I complete the M.S. in Nutrition and Food Science part-time?
Absolutely! Our program is designed with the working adult in mind. Courses are offered in the evenings, most running from 5:30 to 8:00 PM, and occasionally on Saturdays. Currently, about half of our students are completing the program part-time. In addition, many of our full-time students also hold full-time jobs.
What is the estimated time-frame for completion if a student attends full-time or part-time?
The M.S. in Nutrition and Food Science is a 32-credit program. Full-time graduate students generally complete 9 credits per semester and most courses are 3 credits each; therefore, a full-time student could complete the program in two years (or less, if he/she completes some coursework during the summer). A part-time student who took at least 6 credits per semester would take 5 semesters (approximately 3 years) to complete the program.
Can I take classes in the summer?
We offer some graduate electives and a 3-credit practicum during the summer months, mid-May through August. Otherwise, coursework must be completed during the Fall and Spring semesters.
I have specific career goals. Will the program meet my needs?
The M.S. in Nutrition and Food Science program is designed to be flexible. Students can center their practicum, research, and elective courses and projects around specific subject areas in order to further prepare for specific careers in the field of nutrition and food science.
I am an international student. Are there specific requirements for me?
Please visit this website to learn about specific application requirements for international students: