Mother smiling at her baby

Master of Advanced Study in Maternal and Child Nutrition

At this time we are not able to accept applications from international students requiring an F-1 or J-1 visa.

* If you’d like to view an information session where you can watch an overview of the program, presented by the program director and program coordinator, please click here

If you have any trouble with your application or have further questions, please contact us at MCN@ucdavis.edu

Applications will open in October for the Fall 2025 Admissions 

As a targeted program focused on training graduate students for careers in health sciences, we provide learner-centered education and a strong scientific background in nutrition-related topics.

This program, offered by the UC Davis Department of Nutrition, is a part-time program designed to be completed in two years. For more information, please contact us at mcn@ucdavis.edu.

At this time we are not able to accept applications from international students requiring and F-1 or J-1 visas. Please revisit for the Fall 2025 application cycle.

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Who is this program for?

Graduate students seeking careers in health sciences, specifically:

  • pediatric nutrition specialists ​​​
  • maternal nutrition specialists
  • lactation consultants
  • lactation specialists within healthcare organizations
  • administrative positions in public health agencies at local, state and national levels

At this time we are not able to accept applications from international students requiring and F-1 or J-1 visas. Please revisit for the Fall 2025 application cycle.

What makes this program different?

  • Work While You Study
  • This program is designed to meet the needs of working professionals and most of our students work full-time. With evening courses and web-based resources, this program can accommodate busy professional schedules.
  • Study Part-time
  • This part-time program consists of six units (one course) per quarter. It takes two years to complete and there are no required summer courses at this time.
  • Participate Via Broadcast
  • Classroom lectures are broadcast, giving students the option to participate synchronously via remote classroom. 
  • Learn From Leaders
  • Faculty members are internationally known for their groundbreaking research in maternal and child nutrition. 
  • Stay Ahead of the Curve
  • Our program satisfies the upcoming requirement for a student planning to become a registered dietitian to first obtain a master's degree.
  • Advance Your Career
  • Graduates of the program will qualify for positions as pediatric nutrition specialists, maternal nutrition specialists, lactation consultants and lactation specialists within healthcare organizations, as well as administrative positions in public health agencies at local, state and national levels.

Curriculum

The program consists of four required core courses, six to eight units of special topics seminars, two to four units of electives and a six-unit student project/practicum for a total of 36 units. Students seeking hours to complete the clinical requirement to take the IBCLC exam may need additional units. 

  • Nutrition During Pregnancy 
  • This course provides students with an understanding of the anatomical, physiological and biochemical changes that occur during pregnancy and early development. Students will learn about nutritional and lifestyle factors associated with fertility and pregnancy outcomes. Nutrition programs and intervention strategies for women with normal and high-risk pregnancies will be evaluated. Students will learn how to assess and identify risk factors that may complicate pregnancy and to plan and participate in collaborative health care interventions. 
  • Lactation and Infant Nutrition 
  • This course provides students with an understanding of the physiological and biochemical processes underlying human lactation and growth and development of the infant. Nutritional needs and assessment of both mother and infant under normal and special circumstances will be discussed. Factors associated with infant feeding practices and the consequences of those practices will be discussed.  
  • Child and Adolescent Nutrition 
  • This course provides students with an understanding of the relationships among nutrition, growth, and development during childhood and adolescence. Nutritional assessment for normal and high risk groups will be discussed as well as the psychological, social and economic factors that contribute to nutritional status. Students will learn about the nutritional needs of groups such as overweight children and adolescents, athletes and those with eating disorders and will examine and evaluate intervention strategies. 
  • Applied Research Methods 
  • The objectives of this course are to provide students with the knowledge and skills to critically review, plan and implement research projects related to maternal and child nutrition.  Special aspects of nutrition research will be emphasized, including ethical concerns regarding human studies in cross-cultural settings; study design, sampling and methods for collecting different types of data; as well as management, analysis and reporting of data. 

Program Mission Statement

The educational mission of the Maternal and Child Nutrition Program is to provide excellent learner-centered education to a diverse body of graduate students, cultivating in them the confidence and passion to improve lives and transform the health of the communities in which they will serve as health care professionals. We will strive to cultivate an inclusive environment where individuals from diverse backgrounds feel respected and empowered to develop and implement culturally sensitive maternal and child health programs that provide the best evidence-based care for the diverse populations in the state of California. Learn more about UC Davis’ commitment to diversity.