UConn Offers New Online Master Program in Personalized Nutrition

The Master of Science in Personalized Nutrition will prepare students for promising careers in health care, academia, and industry

Group of smiling students and professor gathered around a computer in a lab.

Associate professor of nutritional sciences Christopher Blesso (seated) with students in the Department of Nutritional Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. (Ji-Young Lee/CAHNR photo taken before the COVID-19 pandemic)

After a unanimous vote by the Board of Trustees, the University of Connecticut will launch an online Master of Science in Personalized Nutrition degree program. Enrollment for the program begins in the fall of 2021. The program responds to growing industry and clinical demand for trained professionals in personalized nutrition.

“We are excited to provide students with an opportunity to pursue a degree in this rapidly growing field of nutrition studies,” says Indrajeet Chaubey, dean of the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. “The Master of Science in Personalized Nutrition will prepare students for promising careers in health care, academia, and industry.”

Personalized nutrition leverages an individual’s personal health profile – genetics, physical activity levels, gut microbiome, and health behaviors – to develop precision strategies that can prevent or treat disease and optimize overall health. Specialists with training in personalized nutrition make individual diet and health behavior recommendations that go beyond standard, global guidelines.

Students enrolled in UConn’s new program will gain genetic, biochemical, physiological, pathophysiological, and clinical understandings of nutrient metabolism to assess the unique nutritional needs of individuals to develop personalized diet recommendations for the promotion of health and prevention of chronic diseases.

The program supplements traditional degree programs in this field and UConn’s current in-person MS in Nutritional Sciences, in that it requires a strong understanding of nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics, with particular focus on their link to clinical nutrition.

The new program’s online format is also designed to attract a different, mostly part-time student audience to a fast-growing and emerging nutritional specialization.

“There are currently 10 job offerings for every degree conferred nationally in human nutrition, so it’s clear job opportunities in personalized nutrition have increased significantly in recent years with trends indicating this growth will only continue,” says Ji-Young Lee, department head and professor of nutritional sciences. “We are excited to help students gain the specialized training they need to respond to the clinical and industry demand for personalized nutritionists.”

The Board of Trustees approved the new program in a meeting on February 24, 2021. To learn more, visit the Department of Nutrition Sciences Online MS in Personalized Nutrition website.