COVID-19 PANDEMIC UPDATE: This program is enrolling for the fall 2021 trimester. MUIH is planning for this program to be delivered in its standard hybrid format for students entering the program in the fall 2021 trimester. The program will be delivered primarily online with some on campus courses; students will be required to come to campus for their in-person classes. MUIH’s Health and Safety Plan describes the University’s protocols for ensuring safety on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccination for the COVID-19 virus is not required to enter or use MUIH’s facilities.
The Doctor of Clinical Nutrition (DCN) program focuses on contemporary perspectives in functional nutrition that take a holistic approach to personalized nutrition and seeks to determine the root causes of the symptoms. The program produces compassionate, skillful, and creative practitioners who work collaboratively to support individuals through personalized plans that move people to health. Students entering the DCN will receive advanced education in clinical nutrition to enhance their clinical skills, contribute to the current literature in the field through their clinical experience, and take leadership roles in this emerging field. This program is completed primarily online and requires students to come to campus for coursework on four extended weekends, as specified by the academic department, over the entirety of their program. The program can be completed in 8 trimesters.
New in Fall 2021! Registered Dietitians (RDs)/Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) can now work to get their Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition in a shorter time frame than before. This program provides RD/RDNs, whose highest degree is a bachelor’s degree, with the opportunity to receive a doctoral degree in a little over two and a half years and without having to first earn a master’s degree.
The Doctor of Clinical Nutrition program is designed for nutritionists, registered dietitians, other clinicians, educators, and researchers seeking the high-level knowledge and skills needed to work in cutting edge private practice and conventional and integrative medicine settings, conduct clinical nutrition client assessment and create care plans for a wide range of health concerns, conduct case-based clinical research, and publish original clinical nutrition manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals. The program is open to individuals who hold a master’s degree and to registered dietitians (RDs)/registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) whose highest degree is a bachelor’s degree. RD/RDNs can enter the program without having first earned a master’s degree.
The program prepares students with the opportunity to deepen their clinical nutrition skills and knowledge. Graduates will be equipped with the tools they need to expand the types of clients and cases they work with, including individuals with complex clinical conditions. Graduates will hold the title doctor (Dr.), enhance their stature with clients and other healthcare professionals, and expand their job opportunities and career paths.
The Doctor of Clinical Nutrition program is a professionally oriented, clinical doctoral program designed to educate students in all aspects of the field of integrative and functional nutrition. It is one of only two integrative Doctor of Clinical Nutrition program in the U.S. Students will acquire a clinical skill set and knowledge base that prepares them to work with individuals by creating respectful, personalized plans that move people towards health. Additionally, students will use their own clients as the basis for formal case studies and publish original clinical nutrition manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals. The curriculum includes core courses in functional nutrition and courses in research and publication, as well as courses on clinical nutrition client assessment and care plans for a wide range of health concerns.
The program is grounded in a functional nutrition approach. Functional nutrition uses a holistic, flexible, and personalized nutrition approach to address the unique health goals and needs of each individual. Functional nutritionists consider the root causes of symptoms, the relationship between environmental and lifestyle factors, genetic predisposition, core biological functions and imbalances, and disease expression to inform clinical assessment and recommendations.
|Trimester of Entry:||Fall|
|Application Priority Deadline:||Application deadline by Trimester|
|General Requirements (for both the Master’s Degree Pathway and RD/RDN Bachelor’s Degree Pathway):||
|Program Specific Requirements for the Master’s Degree Pathway:||
|Program Specific Requirements for the Registered Dietitian (RD) Bachelor’s Degree Pathway:||
This program consists of 48 credits of required courses.
Choose one of the following for 3.0 credits:
Choose one of the following for 3.0 credits:
*Course alternatives for students who live in states with internship restrictions
Course descriptions are available in the Academic Catalog.
Students who complete the Doctor of Clinical Nutrition program will be able to:
Licensing requirements for nutritionists vary by state. To learn the most up-to-date laws and regulations, please refer to each state’s board of dietetic practice, or go to https://theana.org/advocate..
The Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS) administers the advanced certification for personalized nutrition practitioners: Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS). Depending upon a student’s prior clinical training, the Doctor of Clinical Nutrition may complete the educational requirements needed for graduates to sit for the CNS exam. BCNS also requires that applicants complete 1000 hours of supervised practice experience and pass the CNS Certifying exam. The board reviews each applicant individually to determine eligibility. Interested individuals are encouraged to check for the most recent requirements with the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists at https://theana.org/advocate. certify.
Graduates of the Doctor of Clinical Nutrition are eligible to apply to become a Diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition. This board requires that applicants hold a professional doctorate and have at least 300 hours of nutrition education and a minimum of two years practice experience and write an article or paper on a nutritional topic that could be published. Interested individuals are encouraged to check for the most recent requirements with the American Clinical Board of Nutrition at acbn.org.
The Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (CNCB) reviews each applicant individually. They review all transcripts to determine eligibility. Interested individuals are encouraged to check for the most recent requirements with the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board at cncb.org.
The Doctor of Clinical Nutrition prepares students for careers in integrative health practices and health care organizations; to serve as educators in communities, in schools and in colleges and universities; to work in government agencies and/or policy settings; and to be leaders in the field of integrative and functional nutrition. Graduates will hold the title doctor (Dr.), enhance their stature with clients and other healthcare professionals, expand the types of clients and cases they work with, and expand their job advancement opportunities.
Graduates of MUIH’s nutrition programs are employed in a variety of settings including private practice; integrative group practices; nutrition clinics; health care systems; hospitals; community, non-profit, and outreach organizations; state and local health departments; school systems; culinary organizations; athletic and recreational organizations; and colleges and universities. Many graduates chose to have a portfolio career in which they have multiple positions and employers within one or more professions, rather than one full-time job. A portfolio career provides such individuals with variety in their work life and the opportunity to develop a wide and varied professional network.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates: “Employment of dietitians and nutritionists is projected to grow 11% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. The role of food in preventing and treating diseases, such as diabetes, is now well known. More dietitians and nutritionists will be needed to provide care for patients with various medical conditions and to advise people who want to improve their overall health.”
This program is offered in the hybrid format. Click here to view MUIH’s definition of online, hybrid, and on-campus course and program formats.
The Doctor of Clinical Nutrition program requires students to come to campus for coursework on four extended weekends, as specified by the academic department, over the entirety of their program. 36 of the 48 credits are completed through online courses and students are required to complete 6 credits on campus, offered as four 1.5 credit courses on weekends. The final 6 credits of the program require the completion of a clinical nutrition residency. The clinical residency may be completed where the student lives, or on the MUIH campus at the Natural Care Center. Students who live in states where MUIH does not have approval for distance learning internship/residency programs will complete a special case study projects and presentations in lieu of residency.
For trimester start and end dates, see the Academic Calendar.
Weekend class times for the Doctor of Clinical Nutrition program are typically 5 – 9 p.m. on Fridays, and 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Kathleen Warner, Ph.D.
Liz Lipski, Ph.D.
Director, Academic Development
Eleonora Gafton, M.S.
Program Director, Cooking Labs
Elizabeth Owens, M.S.
Director, Experiential Programs
Jennifer Swetz, M.S.
Nutrition Clinic Coordinator
Nissa Lazenby-Wilson, M.S.
Cooking Lab Assistant Manager
Casey Simms, M.A.