The Master of Clinical Nutrition program inspires and educates students to be leaders in clinical nutrition through innovative and interprofessional graduate education as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).

The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).

The graduate Master of Clinical Nutrition (M.C.N.) requires 36 s.h. of credit. Students must maintain a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 2.50 in major coursework. The degree requires no thesis.

The M.C.N. is a 20-month program of study. After successful completion of the program, students earn the degree and receive a verification statement that provides eligibility to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) entry-level registration examination for dietitians.

The Master of Clinical Nutrition requires the following work.

First Year, Fall

DIET:9101Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy I3
DIET:9200Nutrition Assessment3
EPID:6360Nutrition Intervention in Clinical Trials Research2
EPID:6370Nutrition Intervention in Research Lab3

First Year, Spring

DIET:9102Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy II3
EPID:6330Global Nutrition Policy2
EPID:6350Nutritional Epidemiology2
HHP:6310Advanced Sport and Exercise Nutrition3

First Year, Summer

DIET:9300Critical Care and Nutrition Support3

Second Year, Fall

DIET:9501Supervised Experiential Learning I3
DIET:9600Management in Foods and Nutrition3

Second Year, Spring

DIET:9400Pediatric Nutrition3
DIET:9502Supervised Experiential Learning II3

Supervised Experiential Learning

All supervised experiential learning occurs on campus at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, with the exception of community nutrition which occurs in the greater Iowa City community. The rotation schedule is developed according to the following guidelines.

  • Clinical dietetics (disordered eating, oncology, cardiology, critical care, pediatrics, and outpatient counseling): 21 weeks.
  • Food service management (clinical management, food service, production, business and finance, patient services, and event planning): 8 weeks.
  • Community nutrition: 5 weeks.

Applicants to the M.C.N. program must either have completed a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) or meet the course requirements listed below:

  • have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States;
  • have a minimum cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.00 on a 4.00 scale;
  • have a cumulative science g.p.a. of at least 3.20 or a science g.p.a. of at least 3.20 on the most recently completed biological and chemical science coursework;
  • submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores to the University of Iowa from Educational Testing Services (ETS) and have a minimum test score at the 25th percentile or higher on each section (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing) taken within the last 10 years;
  • have health care or food service work experience in the field;
  • submit three recommendation letters (two from a collegiate academic reference and one from a health care or food service experience supervisor); and
  • meet education requirements (see below).

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit official test scores to verify English proficiency. They can do this by submitting official test scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). In order to review an application, official TOEFL scores must be received from Educational Testing Service. Only the iBT (internet-based test) is accepted. A minimum total score of 93 and a speaking score of 26 is necessary for entry into the program.

Education Requirements

Biological Sciences Coursework

  • At least one semester of biology (animal or human) or general zoology.
  • An animal, exercise, or human physiology course.
  • An animal or human anatomy course.
  • At least two additional courses in natural sciences. Examples of courses include cell biology, genetics, immunology, microbiology, molecular biology, pharmacology, embryology, endocrinology, histology, or neuroscience.

Chemical Sciences Coursework

  • At least one semester of inorganic chemistry.
  • At least one semester of organic chemistry.
  • An introductory or general biochemistry course. 

Statistical Sciences Coursework

  • A general statistics or biostatistics course.

Professional Coursework

  • At least one nutrition course such as introductory nutrition, lifespan nutrition, advanced nutrition, or medical nutrition therapy.

Recency of Education Requirements

Additional courses in dietetic or a related area are required to update a degree which was completed five or more years prior to the current application deadline. The number of required credits is outlined below:

  • 5-10 years (3 s.h. of medical nutrition therapy or clinical nutrition).
  • 10 or more years (3 s.h. of medical nutrition therapy, 3 s.h. of physiology, 3 s.h. of biochemistry).

Application Process

Application should be made through the Master of Clinical Nutrition program. All materials for the application, including official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, three recommendations, and college transcripts, must be received by June 1.

Official GRE scores, as well as Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores, should be sent to the University of Iowa using GRE Code 6681.

The University of Iowa online application for admission requires a nonrefundable application fee of $60 for U.S. applicants and $100 for international applicants.

The estimated tuition and expenses for the program are listed on the University of Iowa Health Care website; visit the Master of Clinical Nutrition Program Tuition and Expenses web page.

Students should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for information concerning monetary assistance.

The Master of Clinical Nutrition program prepares students to be competent as a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook released by the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, the employment of registered dietitians and nutritionists is projected to grow 11 percent from 2020 to 2030, at a faster rate than the average for all occupations.

The Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.