Graduate Certificate in Applied Nutrition

Enhance your knowledge about nutrition, health, and wellness and advance your career with a graduate certificate.


A hand holds a magnifying glass displaying nutrition information over a bowl of fruit and vegetables

In less than one year, you can enhance your knowledge and gain valuable skills in nutritional sciences to advance your career through the online Graduate Certificate in Applied Nutrition (GCAN) program.


The Graduate Certificate in Applied Nutrition (GCAN) provides a path to career advancement in the fields of nutrition, health, and wellness outside of a traditional MS degree.

The GCAN includes core courses in advanced nutritional sciences, including metabolism, disease, and applied nutrition, along with your choice of several elective courses designed to tailor your studies to your specific interests.

The GCAN is appropriate for a wide range of healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, chiropractors, medical assistants, health and wellness coaches, personal trainers, and more.

It's time to reach your goals - apply today!

*Note: This certificate is NOT a pathway to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RD/RDN). Please visit the PSM Dietetics page for information about this pathway.

Program Format

  • Online (through Arizona Online) 

Program Length

  • The program can be completed in less than 1 year.
  • Total Units: 14 (9 core units + 5 elective units) 

Program Cost



Learning Outcomes: Students enrolled in this program engage in learning opportunities that will enhance their ability to:

  1. Define and describe evidence-based nutritional science research methods and apply appropriate research methods to clinical case studies in research scenarios.
  2. Synthesize current scientific literature from various sources to produce a review paper written in the style of a nutrition journal and produce a presentation appropriate for health professionals.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the metabolism and genetic interactions of the macronutrients, including application to health and disease.
  4. Identify risk factors associated with the development of chronic disease and describe dietary management strategies for the prevention and management of the most common chronic diseases.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to critically review and evaluate the literature related to nutrition and topics covered in the certificate courses using methods established by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) Evidence Analysis Laboratory.
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of the metabolic influences of select class topics regarding anthropometric, biochemical, clinical, and diagnostic parameters used for assessing systemic and nutrition health status.
  7. Apply and evidence-based approach to examine medical nutrition therapy for the prevention and management of related class topics.
  8. Describe the fundamentals of data collection and measurement.
  9. Identify appropriate statistical models and software for quantitative data analysis.

Certificate Requirements: 14 units

  • Core Courses: 9 units
    • NSC 509: Advanced Nutrition and Metabolism (3 units)
    • NSC 519: Advanced Applied Nutritional Sciences (3 units)
    • NSC 610: Nutrition and Disease (3 units)
  • Elective Courses: 5 units
    • Students may select electives from a variety of approved graduate-level courses.

Program Cost: Courses in the GCAN cost $650 per unit, plus fees (see the Arizona Online Cost Estimator to calculate costs).

Qualified Tuition Reduction (QTR) may be applied to tuition for this program.

Through the Arizona Online Corporate Initiative, some students may qualify for tuition reimbursement from their employer.

Financial aid is not available for certificate programs. See Financial Aid Eligibility for more information.


Minimum Education Requirements:

  • Bachelor of science (BS) in nutrition or related field or bachelor of arts (BA) degree in nutrition; BS and BA degrees must be from an accredited institution.
  • Minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA.
  • Undergraduate coursework in physiology and biochemistry are prerequisites for GCAN courses.

English Language Proficiency:

Refer to the Graduate College Admissions - Acceptable English Proficiency Credentials.


The following characteristics are essential for success in this program

  • Self-directed, independent learner
  • Able to manage time effectively
  • Effective written and verbal communication
  • Able to utilize a wide range of resources effectively

Application Materials and Deadlines:

  • Applicants apply online through the University's GradApp portal.
  • Materials to be uploaded:
    • Statement of purpose
    • Transcripts
    • Resume
    • Names and contact information for at least 1 reference (references upload their letters into the system).
  • In addition, applicants respond to several questions to help the admissions committee in their review process.
  • Application deadlines:
    • Fall admission: June 1
    • Spring admission: October 1
    • Summer admission: March 1

How to Apply:

Follow the Graduate College instructions.

Note: Students must be admitted to the Graduate College prior to enrolling in courses. Refer to the Graduate College's application requirements and procedures.

For questions regarding the GCAN, contact:

Peggy Rupert, MA, MPH, RD
GCAN Graduate Program Coordinator

Due to the number of inquiries, please allow several business days for response.