Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions about the Master of Science, Clinical Nutrition program
Cost and Financial Aid
General Application
Pacific MSCN Pre-Requisite Courses
Admissions Process
Other Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions about the Master of Science, Clinical Nutrition program

How long is the program?

This accelerated candidacy program is designed to be completed in four trimesters (16 consecutive months). The required 1,110 supervised clinical practice experiential hours are included in this 59-unit program, embedded in coursework to meet all Commission on Dietetic Registration requirements to be eligible to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians.

Is the program accredited?

The University of the Pacific Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition program is the first program in California that has been granted the candidate status for Graduate Program (GP) in Nutrition and Dietetics by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
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A new program that has been determined to be eligible to enroll students due to an on-site evaluation visit but has not had a graduating class may be granted candidate status. The granting of candidate status denotes a developmental program, which is expected to mature in accordance with stated plans and within a defined period. Reasonable assurances are expected to be provided that the program may become accredited as programmatic experiences are gained, generally, by the time the first class is graduated. Graduates of a class with candidate status have the same rights and privileges as graduates of an accredited program.

Learn more about ACEND® Candidacy for Accreditation.

Are courses online or in-person?

Most of Pacific's MSCN courses are delivered via in-person classroom instruction on our Sacramento campus, but some also include hybrid courses (a combination of in-person and online instruction). Students Supervised Clinical Practice Experience (SCPE) courses (NUTR 287A&B) occur at clinical education sites throughout California and some out-of-state facilities.

Do I have to locate my own supervised experiential learning sites and/or preceptors?

The MSCN program is responsible for identifying SPCE clinical education sites and preceptors and creates the rotation schedule for each student depending on site availability and student needs. It is not the student's responsibility to secure clinical placements. However, students are responsible for making arrangements for their housing and/or commuting plans to assigned clinical education sites at the student’s expense.

Can I complete my supervised clinical practice experience (SCPE) rotations near my hometown?

The MSCN program determines clinical education site placements for each trimester depending on site availability, preceptor availability, and student needs. While students’ interests and residence location are elicited and reviewed, the MSCN program cannot guarantee placements near their residences. MSCN students can expect to be placed at clinical education sites throughout California. Out-of-state placements can also be considered and discussed with the student at facilities affiliated with Pacific. The program aims to provide adequate notice of placements so students can make their arrangements for commuting or temporary housing, which is at the student’s expense.

Cost and Financial Aid

How much does it cost to attend the MSCN program?

Our program provides a helpful at-a-glance summary of Tuition and Estimated Expenses. Excluding living expenses, which vary by student (housing/meals/transportation), our program expenses are approximately $71,057 for the 16-month program.

What kind of financial aid is available?

Financial aid packages are tailored to each individual's qualifications and program of study. Students will receive financial aid information once they are admitted and have accepted admission to the program. Applicants can contact the Office of Financial Aid department at 916.739.7158 or for answers to specific financial aid questions.

Are scholarships available?

The MSCN Program has different scholarships available. Please get in touch with the program director for more information.

Do you offer teaching or graduate assistantships?

At present, teaching or graduate assistantships are not available.

General Application

Is it possible for me to visit the campus and talk with an advisor?

Our program offers information sessions and webinars throughout the year to help answer prospective student questions and tour our facilities. See our Events Page.

What is the deadline for submitting my application?

Our program is rolling admissions, so we review applications continuously. We publish a priority deadline, ensuring your application is considered first. Students who apply after the priority deadline will be admitted on a space-available basis.

Does the Pacific MSCN program participate in the D&D Digital Computer Matching process like dietetic internships?

Our program does not participate in computer matching. Applications to the Pacific MSCN program are reviewed based on rolling admissions.

Do I need to submit an application to DICAS (Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Services)?

To apply to our program, you will submit an application in Slate. Our future education model program does not use DICAS.

I am currently enrolled in an ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and am still completing my program's final quarter/semester. Can I still apply?

Yes. DPD students must submit a Declaration of Intent to Complete form signed by their DPD program director with their application in Slate.

Do you offer admission in the spring semester?

No. Due to the prescriptive nature of our program, we only admit students into the fall term.

Do I need to submit official transcripts to Slate and Pacific when I apply?

You only need to submit official transcripts to Slate during the application process.

Pacific MSCN Pre-Requisite Courses

I am a student from an ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). Do I still have to enter my courses in the Slate Pacific MSCN Prerequisite Coursework section?

DPD and non-DPD students must complete Slate's Pacific MSCN Prerequisite Coursework section. The cumulative GPA of all Pacific MSCN Prerequisite Courses is used as the program’s Admission Requirement and must be 3.00 or higher.

I still have Pacific MSCN Prerequisite Courses that I need to complete. Does Pacific offer these courses?

Pacific does not offer these courses at this time. You may complete these courses from any accredited college/university. Kansas State University offers online courses where non-degree-seeking students can take a class without enrolling in a program.

When do I have to complete all of my Pacific MSCN Prerequisite Courses to start the program in the Fall?

All Pacific MSCN Prerequisite Courses must be completed with official transcripts submitted before the program start date. Students cannot concurrently be finishing up prerequisite courses once the program has started.

Is the Food Preparation course I’ve already completed equivalent to Pacific’s prerequisite Experimental Foods course?

No. You must complete a food science course. This course is often called Experimental Foods (with lab) or Food Science (with lab) (4 units).

Can I count my Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) course for both the Macronutrient and Micronutrient Pacific MSCN Course Prerequisites?

This is a good question and often depends on your program's curriculum – and whether you are completing quarter or semester courses. Different programs also call these courses different names (for example, MNT, human nutrition, advanced nutrition). In general, you can only apply one of your courses completed towards one Pacific MSCN prerequisite course (you can’t list a single course to count as two prerequisites). You will need to carefully review the Course Descriptions and Course Objectives from your Course Catalog or class syllabi to determine which courses address macronutrient and micronutrient metabolism, and your department or major advisor may also be able to offer guidance on which of your courses best fulfill these prerequisites. If you still have questions, please get in touch with us at


Where do I go to access the Slate application?

Go to the Slate website.

What if my recommender does not want to fill out his/her letter of recommendation online?

Slate requires that all letters of recommendation be completed online. If your recommender does not want to complete the recommendation online, we suggest you ask another recommender. Do not use the recommendation forms found on the university's webpage. The university recommendation forms will not be accepted by Slate or the program.

Can I submit more than the two required letters of recommendation?

No. You can only submit two letters of recommendation.

Do I have to submit a personal statement?

You do not submit a personal statement in your Slate application. However, you will need to submit responses to three short essay questions

Is there a word limit for the Pacific MSCN short essay questions?

Each short essay should be no more than 300 words. 

What is a priority deadline?

A priority deadline ensures that your application is considered first. Students who apply after the priority deadline will be admitted on a space-available basis.

My application status still says "RECEIVED." Did I make the priority deadline?

To meet our Priority application deadline, your Slate application needs to have a status of "RECEIVED." Note that your application must be submitted to Slate by 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) on the deadline date to be considered "on time." If you check on your application and are at an "On Hold" or "Undelivered" status, please contact Slate regarding your application status at 617.612.2030.

What if my supporting documents (transcript, letters, etc.) don't get to Slate by the priority deadline?

Slate will continue to accept items (e.g. test scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.) until July 1 and the program will review applications on a space-available basis.


Which GPA is used for Pacific’s MSCN program Admission Requirements, and what minimum GPA is required to apply?

The GPA for Admission Requirements is the cumulative GPA of all Pacific MSCN prerequisite courses.  The cumulative GPA of all Pacific MSCN prerequisite courses must be 3.00 or higher. Please contact Pacific’s Graduate Admissions if you need assistance calculating your GPA. This GPA is also calculated in Slate.

GRE Exam

Is the GRE required?

The GRE is not required for admission. However, applicants may submit GRE scores if they have taken the exam.

What code must I use to have my GRE scores reported to Slate?

University of the Pacific's Slate code is 2447.

Are my GRE scores too old?

If you have taken the GRE within the past five years, your scores are considered current.

Admissions Process

When will I find out if I was admitted?

All applicants will receive an admission decision, sent via email, from the Graduate School. A decision letter can be expected within 30 days of completing your application (applications submitted and all supplemental materials received). The MSCN program's goal is to make admission decisions as soon as possible to provide applicants with sufficient time to make their graduate school plans.

If admitted to the program, when will I need to make my decision?

Student decisions (to confirm our offer of admission) are due two weeks after the date on your admission letter. A deposit of $200 is required when confirming our offer of admission. 

The Graduate School notified me that I have received Conditional Admission. What does this mean?

Conditional Admission applies to students who have not completed (or are not currently enrolled in) an ACEND accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and who have not yet completed all Pacific MSCN Prerequisite Courses. Once the student has completed all Pacific MSCN Prerequisite Courses with a grade “C” or above and provided official transcript(s) to Graduate Admissions, your conditional admission status will be changed to admitted.

What happens if I'm placed on the waiting list?

If you are placed on the waiting list, you will be asked to let our program know whether or not you want to remain on the waiting list by writing us at The admissions committee will meet and review those who remain on the waiting list and will begin notifying students on the waiting list as space becomes available.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

When do classes begin?

Classes typically begin the last Monday in August for the fall trimester.

Is it possible for me to work my full-time job while in your program?

This is an accelerated cohort-based program requiring more than 40 hours per week of committed time, so students cannot work a full-time job concurrently. Even part-time work may be challenging based on the rigorous curriculum and full-time course schedule.