Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist Preparation
Forward-thinking faculty at Teachers College created, in 1982, the first U.S. graduate program combining nutrition and exercise sciences. Today, offered jointly with the Applied Exercise Physiology Program, the MS-RDN degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology provides our students with a comprehensive foundation in both nutrition and exercise physiology based on the most current research evidence—alongside a practical environment where they can apply these learned skills.
In addition to master’s courses and supervised experiential learning that prepare students for the Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist (RDN) credential, students may be eligible for American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) certifications including Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) and Certified Exercise Physiologist (EP), as well as the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s (NSCA) Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), depending on courses completed. In addition, students are provided training in sports nutrition and participate in a practicum with collegiate athletes. Students also have the opportunity to participate in on-going research projects.
This cross-discipline program provides graduates with the knowledge and skills to implement both nutrition and exercise or physical activity programs for a variety of audiences and to work in sports nutrition.
More specifically, this degree prepares graduates to address the many preventive health and disease management issues that are more satisfactorily attended to by the complementary roles of both nutrition and exercise than by either one alone; to apply the principles from both fields to sports performance and physical fitness; and to provide relevant and accurate information about sports nutrition to athletes and other exercising people.
To fulfill these different roles, this degree also prepares graduates to use educational and behavioral change theories and strategies to provide individual counseling and group education in sports nutrition with professional, collegiate, and high school athletic teams as well as other exercising individuals, and to design and implement exercise and nutrition programs for the public in weight control centers, work sites, fitness centers, community centers, healthcare settings and private practice.
* For details about rolling deadlines, visit our admission deadlines page.
* Updated on 1/11/2021
Integrated Master of Science: General Requirements
The major program emphases are in the fields of Nutrition Education, Nutrition and Public Health, and Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. All three integrated MS-RDN degrees require the following core courses:
All three Master of Science degrees require a substantial integrative departmental project or thesis.
Master of Science: Nutrition and Exercise Physiology
Students working toward the 57-credit Master of Science degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology will also complete five additional courses:
Tuition & Fees for integrated MS-RDN degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology
The full-time integrated MS-RDN degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology consists of 57 credits distributed over two 12-month years as follows:
Fall semester (16 credits)*
January session (1 credit)
Spring semester (12 credits)
Summer session #1 (4 credits)**
Summer session #2 (4 credits)* **
Fall semester (13 credits)
January session (3 credits)
Spring semester (8 credits)**
Summer session #1 (4 credit)**
*Two 4-credit graduate courses will be completed at Lehman College of the City University of New York. These courses are Ethnic and Therapeutic Meal Patterns and Food Science. These 8 credits are in addition to the 57 credits completed at Teachers College.
**For students who need full-time status, a certificate of equivalency will be issued. Despite a low credit total for a few of the semesters, the associated supervised experiential learning hours at various work sites equate to full-time status.
In addition to the cost of the Teachers College courses**, students should budget for the following:
**Information regarding tuition and fees (updated annually) can be found at: https://www.tc.columbia.edu/admissions/tuition-and-fees
Information about financial aid, scholarships, stipends can be found at:
Master of Science: General Core Requirements
The major program emphases are in the fields of Nutrition Education, Nutrition and Public Health, and Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. Students in all three M.S. programs may qualify for the Dietetic Internship through coursework for the M.S. degrees and the completion of additional academic prerequisites and requirements specifically for the Dietetic Internship. All three M.S. Nutrition degrees require the following core courses:
HBSV 4010 Food, Nutrition, and Behavior
HBSV 4013 Nutritional Ecology
HBSV 4014 Community Nutrition
HBSV 5010 Advanced Nutrition I
HBSV 5011 Advanced Nutrition II
HBSV 5013 Strategies for Nutrition Education and Health Behavior Change
HBSV 5014 Analysis of Current Literature and Research in Nutrition
HBSV 5015 Nutritional Epidemiology
HBSV 5033-5034 Nutrition Care Process and Medical Nutrition Therapy I and II
HBSV 5036 Nutrition Counseling
HBSV 5231 Extended Fieldwork (Nutrition and Public Health only)
BBSR 5582 Research Design in the Movement Sciences, or
HBSS 5040 Research Methods in Health and Behavior Studies , or
HBSS 6100 Measurement and Program Evaluation
Additional course requirements are listed below for the M.S. in Nutrition Education, Nutrition and Public Health, and Nutrition and Exercise Physiology programs. A substantial integrative departmental project or thesis is also required.
Master of Science (M.S.): Nutrition and Exercise Physiology
The Program in Nutrition and the Program in Applied Physiology, offer a joint course of study leading to a 55-point Master of Science degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology (NEP). In addition to the core courses in nutrition, students are required to take a core of courses in applied physiology. The program prepares students to provide individual counseling and group education in nutrition and exercise and to design and implement exercise and nutrition programs in weight control centers, work sites, fitness centers and with Olympic, professional, collegiate, or high school athletic teams as well as health centers, community centers, and hospitals.
In addition to the M.S. General Requirements, students in the M.S. Nutrition and Exercise Physiology program are also required to take:
HBSV 5314 Practicum in sports nutrition
HBSV 5593 Seminar in exercise and sport
BBSR 4095-4195 Applied physiology I and lab I
BBSR 5094 Applied physiology II
BBSR 5194 Applied physiology lab II
BBSR 5096 Advanced exercise & physical activity prescription for health
BBSR 5095 Exercise & Health