Program Director - Michael Paalani, DrPH, MS, RDN, CDCES, CHES, EP-C
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MS Plant-based Nutrition
The first online Master of Science (M.S.) degree program in plant-based nutrition in the school of public health at Loma Linda University. This is a competency-based program developed in direct response to the increasing demand (registered dietitians and other health care professionals) for a graduate curriculum focused on plant-based nutrition. Over the past few years, there has been a steady increase in the number of people turning to plant-based diets or plant-based food choices for a variety of reasons which makes it critical to train registered dietitians and other health care professionals seeking to promote plant-based diets for the prevention of chronic diseases, health, and longevity.
If you are looking to complete your RDN, check out our Master of Public Health in Nutrition program.
This one-of-a-kind program in the United States aligns with the core legacy of vegetarian nutrition at LLU. It can also serve as a stepping stone for the PhD in Nutrition, focused on plant-based nutrition research at the LLUSPH or any other PhD Nutrition program. It is aimed to provide evidence-based didactic and research training to registered dietitians and other health care professionals on plant-based nutrition for the health of the individual, population, and the planet.
This program is completely online (combines synchronous and asynchronous classes) with didactic training in nutritional science with a focus on the role of plant-based diet patterns, plant foods, and nutrients with respect to promoting health, preventing disease, and sustaining the planet, along with the evidenced-based approach to applying the principles of plant-based eating for the health of the individual and population. The program culminates in a research project with a publishable manuscript or a written report.
The program provides background experience for those interested in research careers in academic or industry settings, provides advanced training in plant-based nutrition for physicians and other health professionals who want to apply this in their practice, is a stepping stone to pursue a PhD, trains health educators who want to promote health and prevent lifestyle diseases, and prepare those that want to work in programs on environmental sustainability.
This is not a coordinated program. It is for dietitians that are seeking a graduate nutrition degree focused on plant-based nutrition. The School of Public Health offers a coordinated Master’s program in public health nutrition. For more information about this program please visit the MPH in Nutrition program page.
A legacy of vegetarian nutrition of 50 + years at LLU
Pioneers and leaders in vegetarian nutrition research at LLUH. Our researchers have contributed to growing the science in this field from the early days of establishing the adequacy of vegetarian diets to on-going research on the role of plant-based diets, plant foods, and plant nutrients for health promotion and disease prevention, to more recently growing the research in the area of sustainability and planetary health.
Currently, the faculty in the nutrition program at LLUSPH are recognized as leaders in scientific inquiry and research related to vegetarian and plant-based nutrition.
- This stems from a 35-year history of organizing the quinquennial International Congress of Vegetarian Nutrition and publishing the Congress proceedings, as well as chairing and participating in numerous symposia on the benefits of plant foods in national conferences. Read the 7th ICVN published proceedings.
- Nutrition faculty and students have been involved in research and publishing-related to the Adventist Health Studies
- Nutrition faculty have conducted several funded clinical trials on plant-rich diets and publishing the work in peer-reviewed journals. Check out some of our most recent and high profile studies:
- Recent work spearheaded by Dr. Joan Sabaté on the sustainability and environmental benefits of plant-based diets has generated considerable interest in the topic in the wider community. Learn more about Environmental Nutrition and Sustainable Diets.
- Relevant textbooks edited by Dr. Joan Sabaté in the field of plant-based nutrition:
- PhD program with an emphasis in Plant-based Nutrition launched in 2018. Take a look at our PhD in Nutrition degree program.
From the Program Director
This MS program is designed to provide students with advanced training in nutritional science with an emphasis on plant-based nutrition, through both course work and non-course activities. The program offers a variety of courses in nutritional science with an emphasis on the role of plant-based dietary practices in human health and the environment. The program prepares students for careers in the field of nutrition, promoting plant-based nutrition for health in health care facilities, wellness industry, food service, educational institutions, for a leadership role in academia, government, or food industry, and careers involving evidence-based communication of plant-based nutritional science for the health and well-being of the individual, population and the planet.
The M.S. degree requires a minimum of 48 units and includes research, culminating in either a publishable manuscript or a written report. This is considered a non-thesis MS program. A written comprehensive examination is required.
The Online MS in Plant-based Nutrition
We are pleased to announce that the GRE requirement for both master level and doctoral level programs are being waived for this academic year. This applies to any applications for the Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Summer 2021, and Autumn 2021 terms.