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Graduate Certificate in Human Nutrition Science

Promoting Health through Advanced Nutrition Study

Curriculum and Certificate Completion Information

Program Curriculum

Curriculum in the Graduate Certificate in Human Nutrition Science focuses on providing advanced nutrition education tailored to current RDN's, healthcare professionals, and individuals looking to grow personally or professionally through graduate level study.

Courses are offered in 8-week blocks and delivered in hybrid format. Hybrid format partners the best of online education and face-to-face learning. Engaging in the classroom with peers and faculty members will deepen your learning experience, broaden your perspective, and strengthen your professional network. Completing components of each course online will provide flexibility and allow us to meet your needs as a busy individual.

Graduate Certificate Coursework

The Graduate Certificate in Human Nutrition Science can be obtained through completing 12 credit hours of graduate level nutrition coursework at MSU Denver.

Required courses for the Graduate Certificate include (6 credit hours):

  • NUT 5010: Macronutrients in Health and Disease (3 credit hours)
  • NUT 5011: Vitamins, Minerals, and Bioactive Compounds in Health and Disease (3 credit hours)

Elective courses - select two of the following (6 credit hours required):

  • NUT 5020: Maternal and Child Nutrition (3 credit hours)
  • NUT 5030: Advanced Assessment and Intervention in Clinical Nutrition (3 credit hours)
  • NUT 5031: Advanced Clinical Practice Topics (3 credit hours; prerequisite - NUT 5030)
  • NUT 5050: Global and Cultural Topics in Nutrition (3 credit hours)

Coursework for the Graduate Certificate in Human Nutrition Science can be completed in as little as 8 months. All coursework must be completed within a 5 year timeframe.


NUT 5010 - Macronutrients in Health and Disease

Content focuses on energy containing macronutrients, fiber and water. Structural properties, digestion, absorption, metabolism and excretion are discussed.  Topics include the gut microbiome, physiology of energy balance and exercise, nutrigenomics, disease prevention, and lifecycle considerations. Dietary practices for promoting health and preventing disease will be discussed and analyzed. Emphasis will be placed on the integration of macronutrient metabolism on molecular, biochemical and physiological processes. Students will present on contemporary issues related to advanced macronutrient metabolism.

NUT 5011 - Vitamins, Minerals, and Bioactive Compounds in Health and Disease

Content focuses on advanced topics in vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds. The mechanisms of action, physiological functions, pharmacology and toxicology will be discussed along with structure, function, and metabolism of these compounds. Emphasis will be placed on the advanced integration of micronutrient and bioactive compound metabolism on molecular, biochemical and physiological processes in solving applied nutrition in health and disease issues. Nutrigenomics and dietary supplements will be discussed as appropriate. Case studies on contemporary issues will be utilized. The course is not intended to be a first course in micronutrients as the content will both apply and expand on basic micronutrient information.  

NUT 5020 - Maternal and Child Nutrition

This course focuses on the nutrition requirements, health issues, and diseases affecting pregnant and postpartum women, females of reproductive age, and infants and children. Epidemiology of maternal and childhood diseases in both developed and developing nations will be discussed. This course will integrate clinical and community evidence based guidelines and recommendations to provide a comprehensive overview of best practices in treating maternal and child nutrition issues. Counseling techniques and strategies for encouraging behavior change will be discussed for different socio-environmental domains.

NUT 5030 - Advanced Assessment and Intervention in Clinical Nutrition

Explores common pathophysiological conditions and diseases to provide an in-depth analysis of the role of diet in disease prevention, development, and treatment. Students will apply and evaluate assessment methods (e.g. anthropometric, biochemical, and clinical) and interpret assessment results to accurately diagnose nutritional status and plan interventions. Topics include the nutrition care process, evidence-based practice, coding and billing, and education in clinical settings. Evaluation of energy balance and nutritional needs during physiological stress or illness will be discussed. Course will be taught using case-based learning and application of primary research.

NUT 5031 - Advanced Clinical Practice Topics

Content focuses on advanced clinical practice topics to support clients’ self-management of diseases, nutrition care support program development, research analysis and communication, and clinical management. Clinical management topics include strategic and operational planning, analysis of clinical practices and procedures, effective leadership, and development of quality improvement and standards of care procedures. Students will evaluate published research and apply findings to clinical practice case studies. Prerequisite: NUT 5030.

NUT 5050 - Global and Cultural Topics in Nutrition

This course focuses on equipping students to work with diverse populations and provides students with a foundation of knowledge concerning historical, social, and economic factors driving global nutrition.  The current and future state of global nutrition will be discussed along with historical and future methods for addressing global malnutrition.  Topics include epidemiology of nutritional diseases and malnutrition, sustainable agriculture, ethics in food, analyzing cross-cultural communication skills, identifying and utilizing culturally appropriate strategies in counseling and client care, and exploring various cultural traditions.

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Important Deadlines

The priority application deadline for the Graduate Certificate for Fall 2020 is March 1. Applications for Fall 2020 will be accepted until the final deadline of July 1.

Contact Us


Campus Location:
West Classroom 240
Parking Map

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Advising Hours:
Call us at 303.615.0990 to schedule an advising appointment

Mailing Address:
Nutrition Department
MSU Denver
Campus Box 33N 
PO Box 173362
Denver CO 80217-3362

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