Nutrition and Health Promotion

Simmons University’s Master of Science in Nutrition and Health Promotion program is designed to help students develop an advanced understanding of nutrition, fitness, and wellness. The program provides training in nutrition science and health promotion strategies to prepare students to be leaders in the dynamic field of nutrition.

Nutritionist examining client

Students can choose to enroll in our fully online program or attend classes in the campus-based program with state-of-the-art facilities surrounded by the world-renowned teaching hospitals along Longwood Avenue in Boston.

Our faculty members are experts in their respective fields and are committed to providing a comprehensive education that is both evidence-based and practical. Our students come from backgrounds in nutrition, dietetics, exercise physiology, biology, health sciences, and public health. Upon graduation, they are prepared for a wide range of careers in areas such as research, community nutrition, and private practice. Combining the MS with a didactic program in dietetics (DPD) and a dietetic internship, graduates of the program are prepared to work in the field of dietetics and clinical nutrition as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

"Great classes with interesting latest-to-date material, awesome faculty that were very approachable, able to create a sense of community in an online classroom setting even though my cohorts were all in other states (in fact, I still keep in touch with many of them!). "
- Online graduate student in nutrition.

Why study Nutrition and Health Promotion?

The World Health Organization defines health promotion as the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. It moves beyond a focus on individual behavior towards a wide range of social and environmental interventions designed to promote wellness by addressing and preventing the root causes of poor health, rather than focusing on treatment and cure alone.

As more people become interested in healthy eating and preventive health, the demand for nutrition professionals is growing. By studying nutrition and health promotion, you can position yourself to pursue a rewarding career in a growing field and make a positive impact on the lives of others.

Nutrition Student Alexa Cosgrove in front of bulletin Board for project

What will you learn?

Throughout the program, students study the science behind nutrition and its role in health promotion, as well as the social and behavioral factors that influence dietary behavior.

Students learn about the theory and application of nutritional wellness and health promotion, including how to critically evaluate scientific evidence to inform their practice.

"The core curriculum is very well rounded. When I entered my internship I was more prepared and had been exposed to more (clinical, community, research experiences) than my peers. I credit the program and professors for that."
- Graduate student in nutrition.

Students also develop skills to effectively communicate nutrition messages to diverse audiences.

Students customize their plan of study by choosing one of two tracks (or concentrations): Research or Entrepreneurship.


The Research track is designed for students interested in original research in nutrition and wellness. Students gain knowledge and skills that will prepare them for research applications in clinical, community, or academic settings. The curriculum culminates with the completion of an original thesis research project, resulting in a manuscript for publication.


The Entrepreneurship track is designed for students interested in developing entrepreneurial ventures in the nutrition field. Students gain knowledge and skills that will help them formulate a new creative venture or innovation for the for-profit, not-for-profit, or government sector. The curriculum includes courses from the Simmons School of Business and culminates with the development of a business plan that aligns with the student's career goals.

"It was really cool to try to see ourselves as future business leaders…I appreciate the new awakened curiosity of imagining a future where we could be our own boss."
- Entrepreneurship Student

Our Nutrition master's program can be completed in one academic year including one summer session, or in two to three years of part-time study (for U.S. students only). On-campus classes are offered in the evening with some individual courses offered online, and students enrolled in our fully online option take all courses online. Students pursuing the online degree have the same opportunities to customize their program as students in the on-campus program by selecting from either the Research or Entrepreneurship tracks.

Pathways to the Master's in Nutrition and Health Promotion

  1. Master's program only
  2. Combined MS/DPD program
  3. Combined MS/DI programs
    1. Simmons DI
    2. DI Partner Programs
  4. Accelerated BS/MS 4+1 program

What can you do with a Master's degree in Nutrition and Health Promotion?

Graduates of the program have pursued a variety of career paths in the field of nutrition and health promotion, working in venues such as public health organizations, hospitals, schools, community-based organizations, private practice, and the food industry. They seek to improve the health of individuals and communities through roles such as nutritional counseling, program management, and community research.

Learn more about our Master's in Nutrition and Health Promotion

Our traditional on-campus program provides a high quality education for students in the greater Boston and eastern New England area. The online format offers the same quality curriculum in a convenient format, perfect for working professionals and busy individuals across the country. Ready to learn more? Request more information or visit our Admissions page today!

Our nutrition master’s program can be completed in one academic year including summer session, or two to four years of part-time study (for U.S. students only).

On-campus classes are offered in the evening with some individual courses offered online, and our new online program offers all classes fully in the online format.

Students can customize their program to acquire more research training and experience or to acquire the skills and training for an entrepreneurial endeavor (e.g., a private practice or an innovative nutrition business). 

Simmons MS/DI Partnerships

Simmons has partnered with select dietetic internship programs to offer an expedited pathway to applying for our Master of Science in Nutrition and Health Promotion program.

Applicants to the dietetic internship programs at Be Well Solutions, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Wellness Workdays can apply for the Simmons Master of Science in Nutrition and Health Promotion program through the DICAS application process. Benefits of the partnership include:

  • Earning your MS from Simmons through either the campus-based program or our fully online format. Both will allow students to fulfill the new eligibility requirement. Effective January 1, 2024, the minimum degree requirement for eligibility to take the registration examination for dietitians will change from a bachelor’s degree to a graduate degree.
  • Our MS degree is customizable with research and entrepreneurship tracks. The curriculum also offers a clinically-focused course, Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy.
  • Some coursework can potentially be used as part of your dietetic internship competencies. If you have any questions about this, please speak to the affiliated DI program of interest.
  • We will waive your application fee, use your DICAS application (no separate application for Simmons needed), and if you are admitted we will reduce your enrollment deposit to $200 (a $550 reduction!) which will be credited towards the first semester of tuition.
  • All applications will be reviewed for a scholarship, ranging from $6,000 - $16,000. Tuition for the Master of Science in Nutrition and Health Promotion can be found on our financial aid website.

Preselect Options with Partnering Dietetic Internship Programs

Current students in the Simmons Master of Science in Nutrition and Health Promotion program can benefit from our partnerships with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Hebrew Rehabilitation, and Massachusetts General Hospital. Simmons MS students are eligible to apply as a pre-select student for the dietetic internship programs with these partners before the DICAS match process. This is a great opportunity to be admitted early and complete your dietetics training at some of the top medical centers in the country!

If you have any questions, please reach out to Director of Admission, Danielle Navarro, at [email protected].

Ready to take the next step? We'll guide you through the requirements and deadlines — and get you started on your way.

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Nutrition Programs at Simmons University

Our programs are designed to extend beyond acute care issues to promote community health and the practical aspects of working in the field of nutritional wellness.

Graduate Program Videos

Our Faculty

Lisa Brown photo

Lisa Brown

  • Associate Professor and Director of the Dietetic Internship Program
Teresa Fung photo

Teresa Fung

  • Professor and Director of Didactic Program in Dietetics
Sharon Gallagher photo

Sharon Gallagher

  • Professor of Practice and Assistant Director of the Dietetic Internship Program