Doctor of Clinical Nutrition

Overview


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Enrollment
Part Time
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NUMBER OF CREDITS
48
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Duration
8 trimesters
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Semester of Entry
Fall
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FORMAT
Hybrid

The Doctor of Clinical Nutrition (DCN) program integrates a systems biology approach with contemporary perspectives in functional nutrition. The program produces compassionate, skillful, and creative practitioners who are capable of working collaboratively to support individuals and groups with 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, 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 (two years).

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Audience


The Doctor of Clinical Nutrition program is designed for nutritionists, registered dieticians, 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 care plans for a wide range of health concerns and medical issues, conduct case-based clinical research, and publish original clinical nutrition manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.

This program is designed for two primary audiences and admissions entry pathways. The master’s entry pathway is designed for individuals who are practicing clinical nutritionists, dietitians, and other healthcare professionals seeking to deepen their clinical nutrition skills. The registered dietician (RD) entry pathway is for registered dieticians whose highest degree is a bachelor’s degree. For information about the different admissions requirements for this two entry pathways visit Admission Requirements.

Program Description


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 the only 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 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 and medical issues.

Learning Outcomes


Students who complete the Doctor of Clinical Nutrition program will be able to:

  • Apply principles of integrative and functional nutrition to provide advanced nutrition care in the areas of gastrointestinal, immune, cardio-metabolic, neurological, nutritional genomics, energy metabolism, and endocrine health.
  • Evaluate data from the client history, diet history, nutrition-focused physical examination, lifestyle, anthropometrics, genomics, environmental impacts, and laboratory findings to provide a comprehensive client assessment.
  • Synthesize didactic and clinical knowledge and skills and translate this into personalized nutrition care plans.
  • Apply principles of research methodology, bioethics, academic journal writing, and case studies in practice and research settings.
  • Promote nutrition and lifestyle interventions for disease prevention and health optimization as part of a collaborative healthcare team.

Curriculum


Required Courses

This program consists of 48 credits of required courses.

  • RSCH811 Case Reports in Integrative Health (3 cr)
  • RSCH821 Designing Research in Clinical Practice (3 cr)
  • MUIH550 Academic Research & Scholarship (0 cr)
  • NUTR800 Graduate Colloquium (1.5 cr)
  • NUTR801 Principles of Integrative & Functional Nutrition (3 cr)
  • NUTR802 Nutritional Approaches to Detoxification (3 cr)
  • NUTR810 Special Topics in Nutrition I (1.5 cr)
  • NUTR811 Special Topics in Nutrition II (1.5 cr)
  • NUTR821 Bioethics in Clinical Nutrition (3 cr)
  • NUTR822 Epigenetics and Nutritional Genomics (3 cr)
  • NUTR824 Research Literacy in Nutrition (3 cr)
  • NUTR831 Integrative and Functional Nutrition in Gastrointestinal Health and Disease (3 cr)
  • NUTR832 Integrative and Functional Nutrition in Immune Health (3 cr)
  • NUTR833 Integrative and Functional Nutrition in Cardio-Metabolic Health (3 cr)
  • NUTR834 Integrative and Functional Nutrition in Neurological Health (3 cr)
  • NUTR835 Integrative and Functional Nutrition in Endocrine and Energy Health (3 cr)
  • NUTR850 Nutrition Focused Physical Exam (1.5 cr)
  • NUTR8EXI Nutrition DCN Comprehensive Exam (0 cr)

Choose one of the following for 3.0 credits:

  • NUTR900 Advanced Clinical Nutrition Residency & Research Project I (3 cr)
  • NUTR902 Advanced Clinical Strategies in Nutrition I* (3 cr)

Choose one of the following for 3.0 credits:

  • NUTR901 Advanced Clinical Nutrition Residency & Research Project II (3 cr)
  • NUTR903 Advanced Clinical Strategies in Nutrition II* (3 cr)

*Course alternatives for students who live in states with internship restrictions

Course Descriptions

Course descriptions are available in the Academic Catalog.

Career Opportunities


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; in government and/or policy settings; and to be leaders in the field of integrative and functional nutrition. 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.” View more about career opportunities.

Program Format & Schedule


Program Format

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.

Program Schedule

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.

Trimester 1

  • NUTR800 Graduate Colloquium (1.5 cr)
  • NUTR801 Principles of Integrative & Functional Nutrition (3 cr)
  • NUTR821 Bioethics in Clinical Nutrition (3 cr)
  • MUIH550 Academic Research & Scholarship (0 cr)

Trimester 2

  • NUTR831 Integrative and Functional Nutrition in Gastrointestinal Health and Disease (3 cr)
  • NUTR833 Integrative and Functional Nutrition in Cardio-Metabolic Health (3 cr)

Trimester 3

  • NUTR824 Research Literacy in Nutrition (3 cr)
  • NUTR834 Integrative and Functional Nutrition in Neurological Health (3 cr)
  • NUTR850 Nutrition Focused Physical Exam (1.5 cr)

Trimester 4

  • NUTR832 Integrative and Functional Nutrition in Immune Health (3 cr)
  • RSCH811 Case Reports in Integrative Health (3 cr)

Trimester 5

  • NUTR835 Integrative and Functional Nutrition in Endocrine and Energy Health (3 cr)
  • RSCH811 Case Reports in Integrative Health (3 cr)
  • RSCH821 Designing Research in Clinical Practice (3 cr)

Trimester 6

  • NUTR802 Nutritional Approaches to Detoxification (3 cr)
  • NUTR810 Special Topics in Nutrition I (1.5 cr)
  • NUTR822 Epigenetics and Nutritional Genomics (3 cr)
  • NUTR8EXI Nutrition DCN Comprehensive Exam (0 cr)

Trimester 7

  • NUTR900 Advanced Clinical Nutrition Residency & Research Project I (3 cr) OR
  • NUTR902 Advanced Clinical Strategies in Nutrition I (3 cr)

Trimester 8

  • NUTR811 Special Topics in Nutrition II (1.5 cr)
  • NUTR901 Advanced Clinical Nutrition Residency & Research Project II (3 cr) OR
  • NUTR903 Advanced Clinical Strategies in Nutrition II* (3 cr)

Licensure, Certification, & Credentialing


Licensure

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 nutritionadvocacy.org.

Certification

  • 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. The Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS) also requires that applicants complete 1000 hours of supervised practice experience and pass the BCNS 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 nutritionspecialists.org.

  • Diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition

    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.

  • Certified Clinical Nutritionist (CCN)

    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.

Program Administration


Kathleen Warner, Ph.D.
Department Chair

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

Alexandra Wick
Department Manager

Nissa Lazenby-Wilson, M.S.
Cooking Lab Assistant Manager

Casey Simms, M.A.
Academic Advisor

Laura Steck
Academic Advisor

An MUIH education is not just for living, but for life.