About the Program

The Master of Nutrition Science and Policy (MNSP) degree program spans the biological aspects of nutrition, the design and impact of nutrition programs, and applied analytical methods used to solve nutrition and lifestyle related problems and challenges. Following the closely-held Friedman School tenet that nutrition affects whole populations and regions, the program also extends into domestic and global policy areas that affect both nutrition and food security. The program is the only US-based nutrition program taught in a combination of on campus and online learning. View the complete MNSP curriculum.

Graduates from the Master of Nutrition Science and Policy program emerge with an understanding of nutrition policy and science, the skills needed to analyze and communicate nutrition-based research, and the ability to apply their learning to solve nutrition and lifestyle-related challenges. This program is ideal for professionals seeking career advancement or continuing education, those working in community-based or international nutrition programs, Registered Dietitians who would like a masters degree with a less-clinical curriculum and more basic science and policy, those with a DPD preparing for their internship, persons relatively new to the field of nutrition, and for individuals looking to further their understanding of nutrition so they can have a positive impact on their communities. Learn more about careers in nutrition.


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Blended Learning: On Campus + Online Learning

The Master of Nutrition Science and Policy degree is taught through a combination of campus-based residencies in Boston and interactive, online learning. This format gives students who are unable to attend school full time in Boston the opportunity to earn a masters degree in nutrition from Tufts University with minimal interruption to existing career and/or family obligations.

Students have the option to complete the program in 12 months, but are able to extend their studies if they choose to take fewer courses each semester. Learn more about how the MNSP program utilizes blended learning.

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Admissions Timeline and Deadlines

Applications are accepted for both fall and spring admission to the MNSP program. 

Please visit the Admissions page for prerequisite information, application requirements, deadlines and contact information.


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In 2007, the Friedman School joined with Ras Al Khaimah, one of the seven Emirates in the United Arab Emirates to participate in establishing Ras Al Khaimah as a hub for nutrition education that would serve populations in the UAE, neighboring Gulf States and South Asia.

Among the projects was the establishment of a unique masters degree program taught in a low-residency format. The MNSP program, which began in the UAE, continues today with additional course offerings and residencies on Tufts University’s Health Sciences Campus in Boston.

The MNSP Program Director, Dr. Lynne Ausman, is the Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi Professor in International Nutrition, a professorship endowed with a gift from the government of Ras Al Khaimah and given in acknowledgement to Dr. Ausman for her contributions to the success of the masters program in Ras Al Khaimah.

The Master of Nutrition Science and Policy (MNSP) degree program offers an interdisciplinary curriculum of advanced study in nutrition science, global and US food policy, global nutrition programs, statistics, applied research skills, plus a two-course concentration area selected by the student.

Students will complete ten credits* of coursework consisting of a required core curriculum, two electives and a one-credit research or project based thesis. The electives allow students to concentrate in a specific field as perceived important for the student’s education or career objectives. The curriculum is designed to enhance the study of nutrition at both the science and policy levels.

Required Courses

Science & Policy Core-4 credits, Research Skills Core- 3 credits, Electives-2 credits, Thesis-1 credit
*Please note that one-credit courses at Tufts are equal to four credits in other institutions.

Science and Policy Core

NUTB 205-Nutritional Biochemistry with Community/Clinical Applications: Macronutrients

Students will explore the fundamental roles of nutrients in biological systems and the implications of macronutrient biological functions on food and nutrition policy. Emphasis will be placed on the function of nutrients as defined by their chemistry, interrelations among nutrient functions, mechanistic approaches in the analysis of nutrient‐disease relationships, and recent advances in the basic sciences related to nutrition and nutrient function. The course will integrate examples of community, clinical and public health policy applications throughout the term. Published journal articles from the peer reviewed literature, case histories, and public policy documents will form the basis for critical review and discussion. This is the first of a two course sequence (NUTB 205 and NUTB 305 – may be taken in either order).

Offered annually in fall
NUTB 305-Nutritional Biochemistry with Community/Clinical Applications: Micronutrients

Students will continue the exploration of the fundamental roles of nutrients in biological systems and the implications of micronutrient biological functions on food and nutrition policy. As with NUTB 205, emphasis will be on the function of nutrients as defined by their chemistry, interrelations among nutrient functions, mechanistic approaches in the analysis of nutrient-disease relationships, and recent advances in the basic sciences related to nutrition and nutrient function. This is the second of a two course sequence (NUTB 205 and NUTB 305 maybe taken in either order).

Faculty: Ausman
Offered annually in spring
NUTB 238-Economics for Food and Nutrition Policy

This course equips students with the principles used for economic analysis of food and nutrition policies around the world. We use the graphical methods taught in standard, one-semester courses on the principles of economics, but our motivation, examples and applications are focused on food and nutrition problems in the United States and elsewhere. On completion, students will be able to obtain the data and apply the analytical methods needed to:

  1. explain and predict consumption, production and trade in agriculture and food markets
  2. evaluate the social welfare consequences of market failure, collective action and government policies including regulation, taxation and enforcement of property rights in agriculture and food markets
  3. measure poverty and inequality in income, wealth, nutrition and health, as influenced by changes in markets and policies; and
  4. describe macroeconomic relationships, fluctuations and trends in incomes, employment, economic growth and development.
Faculty: Masters
Offered annually in fall
NUTB 206-Global Food and Nutrition Policy

Varying global and national forces drive food production and consumption within and among nations. The possibilities and limitations facing nutrition professionals in any given situation require an understanding of policy and the basic principles of policy formation. In order to be effective, professionals need an understanding of the indicators that are available to diagnose the situation, the skills to seek out information, and the ability to correctly interpret the results. Students will examine and apply these skills to specific case examples and evaluate the range of programs used to address over and under-nutrition, and which interventions are appropriate in varying circumstances.

The class will cover: a) how science influences the policy agenda, and how policy debates influence the scientific and programmatic agenda; b) the scientific underpinnings of food and nutrition policies and development of normative guidance; c) how empirical findings in scientific research and operational programming make their way into policy and law; d) global debates and controversies in nutrition; e) how to evaluate what works best and what the alternatives should be considered; f) a review of key organizations involved in global food and nutrition policy and programming.

Faculty: Kennedy
Offered annually in summer

Research Skills Core

NUTB 250-Statistical Methods for Health Professionals

Students will critically evaluate, compare, interpret, judge, summarize and explain statistical results published in research articles in health and nutrition journals from the United States and around the world that are influencing the practice of nutrition science, policy and research. Students learn and use Stata® statistical software for their homework.

Faculty: Houser
Offered annually in fall
NUTB 350-Statistical Methods for Health Professionals II

The purpose of this course is to help students gain proficiency applying statistical concepts and procedures for the analysis of health and nutrition data. Statistical analysis techniques used for the analysis of data from experimental and non‐experimental research studies covered in this course will include multiple regression assumptions, diagnostics, transformations and robust standard errors, multiple logistic regression, analysis of variance and covariance and analysis of data from cluster randomized trials. In this course students critically evaluate, compare, interpret, judge, summarize and explain statistical results published in research articles in health and nutrition journals that are influencing nutrition science, research, policy, and clinical practice. Students will learn how to formulate research questions, how to identify appropriate statistical techniques, how to perform the analysis with Stata® statistical software and report results in tables, text and figures.

Faculty: Houser
Offered annually in spring
NUTB 204-Epidemiology for Nutrition Professionals

This course covers basic epidemiologic concepts and methods and introduces students to techniques, including dietary assessment methods, which are used in human nutrition research. Students will learn to calculate and interpret basic measures of disease frequency and measures of effect, will be introduced to methods for recognizing and addressing sources of error in human studies, and will learn the basics of study design and implementation for nutrition research.

Offered annually in spring


NUTB 316-Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy

This course aims to expand student’s knowledge on a variety of common pathophysiological conditions and integrate this knowledge with the intervention of clinical nutrition therapies. Students will learn about the basic elements of medical nutritional therapy. These include nutritional assessment, which incorporates the use of anthropometric, biochemical and clinical data to determine nutritional status. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding energy expenditure and body composition and their components, and how these may change during physiological stress or illness. Students then learn about enteral and parenteral nutrition and fundamental aspects of nutrition support. These core elements are then applied in the study of various disease states and clinical nutrition therapy. Students also have the opportunity to explore diet and disease in an approved area of their interest through written and oral presentation.

Offered annually in summer
NUTB 242-Obesity and Energy Regulation

This course is a perspective from the intersection of food and biology and will build upon principles of energy balance that were developed in Nutritional Biochemistry. In the first section, physiologic regulation of body weight and its dysregulation leading to obesity will be explored. The interaction between hormonal/neuroendocrine systems and dietary factors will featured. In the second half of the course, lifestyle, pharmacologic and surgical approaches to obesity treatment as well as maintenance of lost weight will be presented.

Faculty: Das
Offered annually in spring
NUTB 241-Nutrition and Aging

This course will address the impact of nutrition on aging and the impact of aging on nutrient needs. The worldwide population is experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of elderly, due to socioeconomic improvements, and advances in science, technology, medicine and nutrition. It is of primary importance to determine both the nutritional needs of the elderly and to adequately determine long‐term nutrient needs that will prevent or ameliorate nutrition‐ related chronic diseases. Topics will include changes in body composition and their adverse effects such as frailty and sarcopenia, controversies about healthy weights for older adults, roles of micronutrients in ameliorating age‐related deterioration in bone health and immune function, and therapies that may prevent cognitive decline. Approaches to maximizing healthy aging from physiological and sociologic aspects of these problems will be presented.

Faculty: Saltzman
Offered annually in fall
NUTB 219-Food Science Fundamentals

The foundation of knowledge for any nutrition professional is a thorough understanding the nutritional components of food and foodborne pathogens that are linked with disease and issues affecting food safety. Students will become adept with the basic groups of foods in the food supply and their nutrient profiles, their harvesting, processing and storage procedures and policies. The course will provide students a broad overview of certain aspects of the food supply both locally and worldwide and will examine issues affecting food safety including some of the mechanisms by which foodborne pathogens that cause disease in humans, as well as the human consequences of infection by major foodborne pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter and Listeria.

Faculty: Ausman
Offered annually in fall
NUTB 208-Management of Health and Nutrition NGO's

Key concepts and principles for managing nutrition and health programs and organizations will be addressed to equip students to function as program directors and project managers. Case studies and readings will be used to convey a practical understanding of how to manage and coordinate business functions to achieve the goals and objectives of the organization. This course will deal with for‐profit and nonprofit organizations. Topics will include business and project planning, management control systems, financial management, budgeting, performance measurement, pricing and marketing of services, operations management, cost analysis, human resource management, and the development of management information systems. The course is designed to provide students with practical tools.. The course is designed to develop an awareness of how each management function interacts and impacts the organization. Residencies will be comprised of lectures covering specialized topics, case discussions with student presentations, and journal discussions.

Faculty: Hastings
Offered annually in summer
NUTB 227-Global Nutrition Programs

The goal of this course is to expose students to major global nutrition programs and strategies designed to lessen the global burden of nutrition related morbidity and mortality. Both prevention and treatment options for major nutrition related disorders that dominate contemporary populations will be discussed. This course will cover: a) current debates in the cause, prevention and treatment of global nutrition challenges, b) the range of options for interventions that exist, and actually implemented, c) the strength of the evidence base underpinning actions, d) approaches to problem assessment, (including the process of considering alternatives according to context), e) examples of successful nutrition interventions, f) constraints to success (what makes or breaks major program successes), and g) key global organizations involved in nutrition policy and programming.

Each session will seek to cover: a) main problems still needing to be resolved; b) priority/target populations; c) interventions used/not used. Students will examine solutions at the local, national, and international level, including policy impact on programs, public health interventions, and public health practices.

Offered annually in spring
NUTB 243-Nutrition, Brain and Behavior

During the past two decades there has been an increasing awareness of the interaction between nutrition and behavior. To examine this interaction, two general themes will be pursued. First, we will investigate the effects of nutritional variables on brain functioning and behavior. Second, we will study the influence of psychological variables in determining food intake and nutritional status. Examples of topics to be covered includes: the effects of protein‐ caloric malnutrition on brain development and intellectual functioning; obesity and other eating disorders; food additives and behavior; the role of brain mechanisms in determining nutritional intake; food choice; food as an addiction; and the importance of vitamins and minerals for behavioral functioning.

Faculty: Goldsmith
Offered annually in fall
NUTB 211-Theories of Behavior Change

This course explores the theories of behavior change most commonly used in nutrition and public health. Includes an examination of several individual‐based, social‐based, organization‐ based and eco‐social theories, including the Health Belief Model, the Theory of Planned Behavior, the Trans‐theoretical Model, Decision‐Making, Social Support, Social Learning Theory, and Diffusion of Innovations. Understanding and being able to apply these theories will help researchers and practitioners design program interventions based on psychological, biological, social, cultural and organizational frameworks.

Faculty: Folta
Offered annually in spring


NUTB 300-Masters Thesis

This course is designed to train students how to conduct a literature review, how to summarize the information from the review, how to identify the gaps in the available information, and how to propose a study to fill one of the apparent gaps. This course combines classroom sessions, webinars, and individual synchronous tutorials with substantial individual work to create a proposal ready for submission for funding. Students will be taught how to perform each step and will be expected to apply it to a topic they have chosen for this one semester course. They will get feedback at each stage in the process. The final deliverable for the course will be a proposal for a research study.

Offered annually in summer

Students entering the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy come from remarkably diverse backgrounds and leave us to pursue careers in education, public relations, the government, healthcare, community-based food and nutrition programs, US and international non-governmental agencies, and the food industry. 

The common thread to their divergent paths is a desire - and the ability - to make meaningful differences in the health of individuals, communities, and nations.

Below is a list of what a few select MNSP graduates are currently doing:

  • Nutrition Cluster Coordinator – UN Agencies
  • Registered Dietitian
  • Adjunct Instructor
  • Doctoral Student
  • Clinical Research Coordinator at a long-term care facility
  • Nutritional Therapist and Pharmacist
  • Nutrition Specialist – USAID and bilaterals
  • Nutrition Promotion and Consultancy Service
  • Food and Nutrition Services Manager


Application requirements include:

  • Completion of the Online Application
  • Personal Statement (At least one page single spaced)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official copies of all post-secondary academic transcripts (translated into English)
  • Official scores of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • $70 Application Fee

For questions regarding the application requirements, please contact Richard Moyer, Associate Director of Admissions (617.636.0864,

Admissions Deadlines

For admission into the Spring 2016 program, the priority deadline for submitting a complete application is November 1, 2015.  Applications after the deadline are accepted as space allows. Please contact if you have questions.    

For admission into the Fall 2016 program, the priority deadline for submitting a complete application is May 1, 2016Applications after the deadline are accepted as space allows.  Please contact if you have questions.    

MNSP Program Prerequisites

Because the MNSP program is 10 credits instead of 16, students entering the program must possess a strong background in science.  The following prerequisites are necessary for a student to be successful with the program’s curriculum:

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (out of a 4.0 equivalent)

  • College-level courses in the following:
    • Principles of Nutrition Science (Tufts offers an online Nutrition course every summer and fall that fulfills this requirement)
    • General Chemistry
    • Organic Chemistry
    • Biochemistry
    • Human Biology or Physiology
    • Mathematics

Please be advised that students taking General Nutrition courses to fulfill program prerequisites must have those courses approved by the Friedman School in advance.

International Students

International students are welcomed into the Master of Nutrition Science and Policy program.  Due to the low residency nature of the program, international students should be advised of the following visa and immigration regulations:

  • Participation in the MNSP program allows international students to be in the US only during the required onsite residencies. 
  • Participation in the residencies on a tourist visa is not permitted.  International students are issued an I-20 form to obtain an F-1 student visa.  A new I-20 must be issued for each residency, at a cost to the student of approximately $200 US. 
  • To be eligible for the F-1 student visa, international students must register for a minimum of two academic credits each semester they are in the program.
  • In addition to meeting the standard admission requirements, applicants must possess a minimum TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 100 on the internet-based exam or a score of 6.5 on the IELTS exam.  
  • International students in the MNSP program are not eligible to participate in Optional Practical Training (OPT) upon completion of the program.

Questions about prerequisites or eligibility?

Contact Dr. Lynne Ausman, D.SC., Program Director (, 617.636.3712). Dr. Ausman is available to discuss your eligibility for the program and answer specific questions about prerequisites.  Making up select prerequisite courses is easy to do. We can help with recommendations, so please don't hesitate to reach out to us.

Any material not submitted electronically must be sent via FedEx or DHL services and should be addressed to:

Office of Admissions,
Tufts University
Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
150 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02111 

All materials related to an application for admission become the property of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy upon receipt and will not be returned or released to the applicant, either in original or photocopy form.


“Blended Learning” Format: On Campus + Online Learning

Students get the best of both worlds in the blended learning format: the flexibility and on-demand access inherent to online courses, and the opportunity to engage with faculty and peers in a scholarly and immersive setting ~ Lynne Ausman, Program Director of MNSP and Saqr Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi Professor in International Nutrition

The 10-credit* Master of Nutrition Science and Policy (MNSP) degree program is offered in a blended learning format enabling students from around the world to continue living where they choose, while studying at one of the world’s premier research universities. The program is designed with working professionals in mind, combining intense residency sessions in Boston each semester with facilitated online learning.

*Please note that one-credit courses at Tufts are equal to four credits in other institutions. 

Unlike 100% online programs, MNSP students come together with Tufts faculty once a semester for approximately one week for interactive course work, lectures, seminars, and collaboration with their classmates. Following each residency session, the course continues in a highly facilitated online environment, building on knowledge and relationships that were developed on campus.

Benefits of Blended Learning

  • Tufts University Degree - The Master of Nutrition Science and Policy degree is conferred by Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston, Massachusetts. Friedman School alumni are sought after and employed in a wide range of careers. The Friedman School’s doctoral programs were ranked first among 44 US universities who participated in the 2010 National Research Council’s ranking of graduate schools.

  • World Class Faculty - Friedman School faculty design and teach the courses. Students will work and interact with faculty in-person throughout the residency sessions and will continue engaging with faculty and other students during the online portions of each course.

  • Flexibility and Convenience - The blended learning format affords students the ability to earn a degree without a permanent residency at the University. The program is designed to be completed in 12 months, but students are able to extend their studies if they choose to take fewer courses each semester.
Name Title General Research
Ausman, Lynne Professor

Effect of dietary fat, cholesterol, and fiber on coronary artery disease and colon cancer; nutritional primatology;...

Boyd, Erin Adjunct Instructor

Prevention of acute malnutrition 

Das, Sai Krupa Assistant Professor

Energy regulation in humans; obesity; energy expenditure; body weight regulation; caloric restriction.

Folta, Sara Assistant Professor

My research interests focus on public health nutrition, or the utilization of community-based strategies for...

Goldsmith, Marcy Adjunct Lecturer
Hastings, David Adjunct Professor

Organizational behavior and design, management control systems.

Hendricks, Kristy Adjunct Associate Professor

Pediatric nutrition, maternal and child health, clinical nutrition, clinical trials in international pediatric...

Houser, Robert Assistant Professor
Kane, Kelly Assistant Professor
Kennedy, Eileen Professor

Assessing the health and nutrition impacts of policies and programs; nutrient density and diet diversity;...

Lichtenstein, Alice Stanley N. Gershoff Professor of Nutrition Science and Policy

General research focus is on assessing the interplay between diet and heart disease risk factors.

Marino-Costello, Elizabeth Clinical Instructor, Frances Stern Nutrition Center
Masters, William Professor

Food policy and agricultural development, technology and markets

Prelack, Kathy Visiting Instructor
Saltzman, Edward Associate Professor

Obesity and body weight regulation in humans

Van Rompay, Maria Instructor

Investigation of dietary, sociodemographic, and cardiometabolic risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes and...