Nutrition and Health Promotion (MS)

Our Master’s in Nutrition and Health Promotion program is designed for students with backgrounds in nutrition, biology, health sciences, health education, athletic training, exercise physiology and physical education. You'll be prepared for a wide range of careers as health educators, researchers and more. 

Whether you are in the field looking to enhance your skills, are motivated to increase your knowledge base on your way to becoming a Registered Dietitian, or have a desire to make an impact on health of those in your community, our program specializes in educating nutritional health and wellness professionals throughout our communities. Our traditional on-campus program provides a quality educational program for students in the greater Boston and eastern New England. Our online program offers the same quality curriculum in a convenient online format, perfect for working professionals, Registered Dietitians and Dietetic Interns across the country. 

Learn more about the MS in Nutrition program.

How to Apply

On-Campus & Online

To get started on your application for the on-campus program, click the link below:

On-campus Master’s in Nutrition and Health Promotion Fall 2020

On-campus Master’s in Nutrition and Health Promotion Spring 2021

To get started on your application for the online program for Fall 2020, click the link below:

Online Master’s in Nutrition and Health Promotion Fall 2020

Application Requirements

Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree (BS or BA) from a regionally accredited US college or university or an overseas institution of higher learning recognized by the Ministry of Education in the home country. An overall GPA of 3.0 or better is required in the prerequisite courses and the accumulative GPA.

Admission Options for MS Program

  1. Simmons undergraduate students (majoring in nutrition or dietetics, biology, public health, or exercise science) with an overall GPA of 3.3 or higher may apply for the Master's program at the end of their second semester junior year (deadline: February 15). Students must be approved by the Nutrition Department to pursue this pathway If accepted, such students may take graduate nutrition courses during the senior year. Thereafter, they would be enrolled exclusively in graduate nutrition courses and classified as a regularly enrolled graduate student. Do not use the MS in Nutrition application on the website. Contact the Nutrition Department for more information.
  2. Undergraduate degree candidates at other academic institutions may apply during their final year of study. Entry terms are for fall or spring.
  3. Applicants who already possess an undergraduate degree may apply for fall or spring. Please note, international students may only apply for the fall semester.

Application Procedure

  1. Submit an electronic application (see below) with an application fee (unless eligible for a fee waiver) and all required attachments by the deadline. Be sure to include the names and emails of your references so that an invitation can be sent to each person to submit an electronic recommendation and rating form.
  2. Request that all official transcripts for all courses taken are sent to the Office of Admission.
  3. Request ETS (Educational Testing Service) to send official TOEFL scores, if required (see below).

Once you submit our electronic application, please check the self-service portal to determine that all required application materials have been received. If something is listed as not received, it is because the materials have not yet been attached to your application. During peak application activity, it can take several business days to upload documents to applications. Call us at 617-521-2605 if you have questions about application materials.

If you wish to apply to the MS and DPD and/or CSN, please submit one application for all of these options. Do not submit a separate application for each of these programs. Use the drop-down box to select the program or combination of programs you wish to apply to. If you are applying to the Dietetic Internship (DI) and also want to apply to the MS and CSN, you must apply through DICAS, not a separate application for the MS or CSN.

If you are applying for September entry and will be enrolled in the fall semester just prior to the application deadline, it is imperative that you send a copy of your grades for that term since a final official transcript will not arrive until after the application deadline. You may scan and send these grades via email to [email protected] or fax them to 617-521-3137. Do not cut and paste your grades from your institutional online portal as this method in illegible.

Academic Records: Transcripts

Official transcripts are required for all courses completed (undergraduate and graduate) at regionally accredited U.S. post-secondary institutions, whether or not a degree was awarded or regardless of when the courses were taken or if the courses are specific to the program to which you are applying. This requirement includes courses which appear on another transcript as transfer or study abroad credit. If you attended a study abroad program and the grades appear on the transcript of your home institution, you do not need to submit a separate transcript. Check with the Registrar's Office of your undergraduate institution to confirm this. If there are no grades listed on your home institution's transcript, and a separate transcript exists, we require an official copy. Allow sufficient time to request/obtain this transcript so that we receive it by the application deadline. Educational documents should clearly indicate the degree and date awarded. Such transcripts must be received in signed/sealed envelopes. Photocopies or copies "issued to student" are not acceptable.

If you are enrolled in the fall (September to December) academic term, please send a copy of your grade report as soon as possible since the official transcript will not arrive until after the deadline. Do not cut and paste grades from your institution's online portal as this is not legible. You may fax these grades to 617-521-3137 or email them to [email protected] Be certain that your name and the school you attended are clearly indicated and indicate the program to which you are applying. Simmons is unable to accept electronic transcripts from other institutions.We will still need an official transcript from the institution but your grade report will allow the admission review process to proceed.

If you have earned a degree abroad, academic records must include end of year marks sheets for each year of attendance, not just final exam results or a copy of the degree. Educational documents should clearly indicate the degree and date awarded. Overseas post-secondary institutions must be recognized by the Ministry of Education in the home country. Academic records in the native language and an official English translation (if needed) are required. English translations must be provided by someone other than the applicant, family member or friend. It may also be necessary for the applicant to submit an interpretation by a foreign credential services agency. Interpretations of foreign credentials by an evaluation service do not replace official academic records. These evaluations are assessments of the curriculum and are not accepted in lieu of official academic documents. Contact our office at 617-521-2605 to determine if this is needed. When you call, please be prepared to provide the name of the institution and country where the degree was earned.

The Office of Admission also accepts electronic transcripts from certain vendors including eSCRIP-SAFE, Parchment, and National Student Clearinghouse.

Standardized Tests

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or Duolingo English Test scores taken within two years prior to the application deadline. This requirement is based on native language, not citizenship.

This requirement is waived for applicants who have graduated at the bachelor's or master's level from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or a post -secondary institution abroad that is recognized by the Ministry of Education in the host country in English-speaking countries only.

Official scores are required; copies of student score reports are not acceptable. The TOEFL code is 3761. We are unable to accept electronic scores. It takes 5-6 weeks for the office to receive scores from ETS. A minimum score of 570 (paper-based), 230 (computer-based,) or 88 (internet-based) is required. Further information about TOEFL can be obtained by contacting Educational Testing Service (ETS) by telephone at 609-771-7670 or by visiting their website.

Information about the Duolingo English Test can be found by visiting their website.

The GRE is not required for any of our graduate nutrition programs at Simmons University.


Three recommendations, written within six months of the deadline, are required. We do not accept recommendations from individuals with whom you have a personal relationship (family members, friends, religious personnel coaches or politicians). Instructions for the recommendation process can be found within the application

Enrollment Deposit

All accepted applicants are required to submit a non-refundable $750 enrollment deposit. This deposit is applied to the first term bill.

Deferred Entrance

An accepted student may request, in writing, to the Director of Admission a deferral of the entrance date for a maximum of one year. The student must indicate what he/she will do in the interim. If granted a deferral, a non-refundable enrollment deposit is required by the date stated in the letter of admission to ensure enrollment.

Reapplication Procedure

An individual who wishes to re-apply should call the Office of Admission at 617-521-2605 for details about this process. All re-applicants are required to submit any official academic transcript for courses completed since the initial application.

Transfer Credit

Accepted applicants who enroll in the M.S. program may petition to transfer a maximum of two graduate courses into the M.S. program provided the credits were not used for a previously conferred degree and were completed within five years of the petition. This petition must be approved by the Chair of the Nutrition Department and the Dean of the College of Natural, Behavioral and Health Sciences. The student must have earned a grade of B or better.

Course Waivers

Students who enter the program with a strong background in a particular content area may petition for a course waiver. Such waivers require demonstration of mastery of course content. Students receiving course waivers must still complete the required number of credit hours, accomplishing this by taking additional electives to replace the waived credits. The decision to accept waivers is determined by the Chair of the Nutrition Department.

The following prerequisite courses are required and may be taken at any U.S. regionally accredited colleges or universities or a higher education institution abroad which is recognized by the Ministry of Education in the home country. Courses may be in progress at the time of application, but, if accepted, the applicant must complete all prerequisites before the start of the program. F-1 visa applicants must have completed all prerequisites before applying.

  • Inorganic Chemistry with a lab (at Simmons, CHEM 111 or CHEM 113)
  • Organic Chemistry with a lab (at Simmons, CHEM 112 or CHEM 114)
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II with labs (at Simmons, BIOL 231 and BIOL 232)
  • Introductory Nutrition (at Simmons, NUTR 111* or NUTR 112)
  • Introduction to Community Nutrition (at Simmons, NUTR 237)
  • Introductory Biochemistry (at Simmons, CHEM 223)
  • Introductory Statistics (at Simmons, MATH 118)

An overall GPA of 3.0 or better is required in the prerequisite courses; the expectation is that applicants have earned a grade of B or better in each course.

All science courses, with the exception of Biochemistry, must include labs and must have been completed at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university or university at a post-secondary institution abroad that is recognized by the Ministry of Education in the home country within ten years prior to the application deadline. These prerequisite courses must be graded and may not be completed on a pass/fail basis or audited. CLEP or IB scores are not accepted for such required courses.

No pre-approval is needed in the following cases:

  • Any course with statistics in the title
  • One separate semester/term of human anatomy and one separate semester/term (sometimes 3 quarters are needed) of human physiology at one or more institutions. Animal physiology will not meet this requirement.
  • AP (Anatomy & Physiology) I & II (with lab) at the same institution.

Pre-approval via submission of a syllabus is always needed in the following cases:

  • All online prerequisite courses (provide the online syllabus for both the course and lab, not the on-site syllabus)
  • All accelerated courses
  • A/P I & II taken at more than one institution
  • All nutrition courses

To determine if courses taken the criteria to fulfill a prerequisite, please request approval in writing via email to [email protected]and provide the name and number of the course, where it was offered and when. All course approval decisions are made by the academic department based on course content, program curriculum requirements and applicable professional certification requirements. The approval decision will be communicated to the student via email. If additional information is needed before a decision can be made, you may be asked to complete the Prerequisite/Syllabus Review Process. 

If applicants are/were enrolled in institutions which used quarter or trimester systems, two or three quarters/trimesters may be required to equal one semester.

If an applicant plans to take any of the prerequisites at Simmons University, the prerequisite equivalents Simmons are listed below:

BIOL 231 Anatomy and Physiology I (4 sem. hrs.)

Prereq: One year each of college biology and chemistry.

Presents an integrated approach to the fundamental facts and concepts of human anatomy and physiology. Emphasizes the cellular basis of membrane excitability and hormone action, neurobiology, and musculoskeletal system and motor control. Laboratory includes histology, gross anatomy, and physiological experiments.

BIOL 232 Anatomy and Physiology II (4 sem. hrs.)

Prereq: One year each of college biology and chemistry; BIOL 231 recommended.

Introduces structural relationships and functional integration of major systems of the human body, with emphasis on reproductive, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and defense systems. Laboratory includes histology, gross anatomy, and physiological experiments.

CHEM 111 Introductory Chemistry: Inorganic (4 sem. hrs.)

Covers basic concepts with special reference to inorganic compounds, including chemical equations, the Periodic Table, chemical bonding, and equilibrium. Assumes no previous knowledge of the subject or sophisticated background in mathematics. Laboratory correlates with and amplifies the lecture material and presents fundamental laboratory techniques, including instrumental methods. Three lectures, one discussion period, and one laboratory per week.

CHEM 112 Introductory Chemistry: Organic (4 sem . hrs. )

Prereq: CHEM 111 or CHEM 113.

Covers nature of the covalent bond, structure of organic compounds, and their reactions and reaction mechanisms. Introduces structure and biochemical functions of compounds important to life. Three lectures, one discussion period, and one laboratory per week. For the concentrator in the paramedical or science-related field.

CHEM 113 Principles of Chemistry (4 sem . hrs.)

Prereq: A satisfactory score on the Simmons chemistry placement examination.

Provides a quantitative development of a few fundamental topics: connections between chemical behavior and molecular structure, with special reference to molecular modeling; dynamic chemical processes; and energy, entropy, and chemical equilibrium. Emphasizes applications of chemistry to real-world problems. Laboratory introduces quantitative techniques, including instrumental methods, for studying chemical systems. Three lectures, one discussion period, and one laboratory per week.

CHEM 114 Organic Chemistry I (4 sem . hrs.)

Prereq: CHEM 111 or CHEM 113.

Covers fundamental concepts of atomic structure, hybridization, molecular orbitals, and structure of organic molecules. Surveys functional groups, classes of organic compounds, and their reactions. Provides in-depth mechanistic study of those reactions, involving energies, stereochemistry, equilibrium, and reaction rate theory. Three lectures, one discussion period, and one laboratory per week.

CHEM 223 Introductory Biochemistry (4 sem. hrs.)

Prereq: CHEM 114 or CHEM 112.

Covers chemical processes in living organisms, with special emphasis on human nutrition. Studies carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and enzymes; their function in living systems; and their metabolic pathways and regulation. Three lectures per week.

MATH 118 Introductory Statistics (4 sem. hrs.)

Prereq: High school algebra and completion of the competency in basic mathematics requirement.

Intended primarily for students in the biological, behavioral, or social sciences. Covers elementary principles of probability, binomial, and normal distributions; sample statistics; estimation and testing of statistical hypotheses; and linear regression and correlation. Does not count toward the mathematics major. Please note: a special section (MATH 118MG) is designed for management students.

NUTR 111 Fundamentals of Nutrition Science (4 sem. hrs.)

Studies these basic concepts: functions of nutrients in the human organism, nutrient needs at varying stages of the life cycle, and nutrition status. Examines the health effects of nutrient inadequacies and excesses. Discusses the scientific basis of recommended nutrient intake and dietary guidelines for the US population. Includes lecture and laboratory. Laboratory experimentation demonstrates or tests the nutrition principles presented in the lecture.

NUTR 112 Introduction to Nutrition Science (4 sem. hrs.)

Studies the functions of nutrients and their requirement in the body, their effects on health, and nutrient needs during different stages of the life cycle. Discusses the effects of nutrient deficiencies and excesses as well as the dietary reference intakes and guidelines for the US population.

NUTR 237 The Practice of Community Nutrition (4 sem. hrs.)

Prereq: NUTR 111 and consent of the instructor.

Studies community nutrition, the practice of applied nutrition and nutrition education in both health care and other settings. Emphasizes the principles of education that are basic to effective learning by the clients. Examines federal programs aimed at nutrition-related health problems. Includes assignments to community fieldwork placements (outside of regular class time). Requires proof of MMR vaccination and a negative TB test.

The School of Nursing and Health Sciences (SNHS) welcomes applications from international students for the Master's in Nutrition and Health Promotion for September (fall) semester entry only

Visa Requirements and Full-Time Academic Status

Due to immigration stipulations, international students requiring a student visa to study in the U.S. must be enrolled full-time in a degree-granting academic program. 

Additionally, if you are currently in the U.S. and have any visa other than an F-1, you must check with the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services regarding procedures for changing your visa status. International students requiring an F-1 visa cannot enroll in non-degree courses nor can they be admitted provisionally pending completion of admission requirements.

Application Deadlines

It is imperative that students who have or are studying abroad begin the application process at least six months prior to the deadline. If residing abroad and the applicant earned a degree abroad, he/she must have completed all prerequisites before applying to the program. Please allow ample time for the pace of international postal systems, obtaining visa documents, arrival in the U.S., and transitioning to a new environment. International students will not be allowed to enroll if they arrive after the official start of the term.

Required Academic Records

In the U.S. academic records or mark sheets are called "transcripts" (this is the term used throughout this website). All applicants who have studied abroad must submit official (signed in original ink and stamped with a seal) academic records for study completed at all universities (including schools where no degree or certificate was earned by the student). These documents should include end-of-year result sheets for each year of university study, national exam results, and a copy of degrees or certificates, both in the native language and English translations. Photocopies or facsimiles of mark sheets and exam results for the final year alone are not acceptable. Additionally, the academic records may need to be evaluated by an agency specified by the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Degrees earned abroad must be from an institution of higher learning which is officially recognized by the home country's Ministry of Education.

The School of Nursing and Health Sciences may require an evaluation of an applicant's academic credentials from abroad. These evaluation reports do not replace the need for signed/sealed academic records. These reports are interpretations of a student's academic history and U.S. colleges and universities may accept all or partial information in these assessments.

A "college" abroad usually means a secondary institution whereas in the U.S., a college is an institution providing higher education. A college can be part of a larger university or represent a singular institution such as Simmons University. Academic records from overseas colleges which are actually secondary schools (high schools in the U.S.) are not required as part of the application process. Courses taken at the secondary level do not fulfill the prerequisite requirements for application and admission to a graduate program. A baccalaureate in the U.S. is a first university degree. Many overseas systems award baccalaureates which represent the completion of secondary education or a year beyond.

Required Standardized Test Results

Students whose first language is not English (regardless of citizenship) must submit official scores of TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), taken within two years prior to the application deadline. No other English proficiency exam is acceptable. The TOEFL requirement is based on native language not citizenship.

Applicants who have graduated from post-secondary institutions abroad (recognized by the Ministry of Education in the host country) in English-speaking countries only or applicants who have earned a bachelor's or master's degree at regionally accredited U.S. institutions do not need to submit TOEFL.

The minimum acceptable score is 570 (Paper Test) or 230 (Computer Test) or 88 (Internet based). Copies of student score reports are not acceptable. Please be certain to take the TOEFL 2-3 months in advance of the deadline to assure that we receive an official score report on time. The SNHS code is 3761.

Further information about this exam can be obtained by directly contacting TOEFL; Educational Testing Service; P.O. Box 6151; Princeton, New Jersey; 08541-6151; telephone: 215-750-8050 or their website.

Applications cannot be reviewed without the receipt of these test scores. It is very important that applicants register for these exams well in advance of applying for admission.

Required Financial Documentation

All non-U.S. citizens who will require a student visa for study in the U.S. must provide accurate and current  evidence of ability to pay for the cost of a Simmons education. These costs are variable (but include fixed and living costs beyond tuition) and outlined on the Certification of Finances Form. This form is available by calling the Office of Admission at 617-521-2605.

This form must be completed and returned directly to the SNHS Office of Admission. In addition, an original signed statement from the applicant's sponsor indicating a willingness to provide financial support and a statement from the sponsor's bank verifying the availability of sufficient funds must be received. All documents must be signed in original ink, written in English, and funds must be shown in U.S. dollars ($).

It is very important for the applicant to inquire about the regulations in the home country concerning transfer of funds. Applicants may submit these forms during the application process or after being admitted to the program. Please keep in mind that the documents cannot be older than six months. This information is required in order to process an I-20 to obtain an F-1 student visa.

Academic Year

For each academic semester, students receive grades for each subject (course) taken. The first (fall) semester generally begins in early September and ends in mid December. The second (spring) semester begins in mid January and ends in mid May. Additionally, there are summer sessions lasting from May to August. Most programs begin in the fall (September) semester.

Grading and Credit Hours

The School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Simmons University awards letter grades for all completed courses: A=Excellent, B=Good, C=Fair, D=Poor, F=Fail, and P=Pass. Each letter grade is assigned a value: A=4.00, B=3.00, C=2.00, D=1.00, and F=0. Each course carries a certain number of credit hours, where usually, one credit is equal to one hour of classroom instruction. Graduate courses are usually worth three credits although some are worth four, two, or one. The total number of credit hours required to obtain a specific degree will determine the number of courses a student needs to complete the program.

Arrival at Simmons University

It is important that international students plan properly to arrive at the required time to commence their studies. Allow ample time for obtaining immigration documents, shipping personal items and adjustment due to time and climactic changes. Students will NOT be allowed to enroll in classes if they arrive after classes have officially started. It is imperative that students allow adequate time for moving, student orientation, and establishing contacts.


Tuition and fees

Tuition and fees at Simmons are updated annually each spring. They are assessed each semester based on the number of credits enrolled, the level of degree, and the particular program of study.

Health insurance

All students taking 9 or more credits are required by Massachusetts State law to enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan or be covered by a health insurance plan with comparable coverage.

Contact us

Questions? Contact us via email or at 617-521-2605. We're happy to schedule visits and campus tours.

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