Clinical Nutrition Student Handbook

Updated December, 2020

Online Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition

Program Director
Mindy Haar, Ph.D., RDN, CDN, FAND

Academic Coordinator
Lorraine Mongiello, DrPH, RDN, CDE, BC-ADM

The Program

The clinical nutrition graduate program at New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) was created in traditional format in 1984. In 2007, this program transitioned to a flexible, completely online, asynchonous format to meet a variety of professional needs. This clinically-focused program integrates biomedical and nutrition sciences to develop an understanding of medical nutrition therapy.

Many students in our program have undergraduate backgrounds in nutrition and wish to increase their level of expertise in the field. Others come from strong science foundations and intend to practice as physicians, dentists, physician's assistants and other health professionals. Our program does NOT include all didactic and educational requirements for becoming a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RDN); however, coursework meets the requirements for the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) credential while students seek the clinical hours for that credential on their own.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Examine nutrient characteristics, food sources, bioavailability, and utilization of nutrients within the body.
  2. Formulate plans for maximizing wellness and prevention of chronic disease.
  3. Assess pathophysiology, risk factors, and clinical manifestation of diseases related to nutrition.
  4. Evaluate the normal and therapeutic nutrition needs of adults and children, and design appropriate dietary plans based on individual and group needs.
  5. Review, evaluate, and critique professional nutrition research and resources.
  6. Compose written and oral presentations geared to lay and professional audiences.

Prerequisites for Admission

Required are at least one semester each of introductory chemistry, organic chemistry, anatomy, and physiology—all with labs—and introductory nutrition. An undergraduate GPA of at least 2.8 is required but students with lower GPAs may be considered based on an interview. Letters of recommendation are not required. Students with GPAs below 2.8 may be asked to take the GREs but GREs are not required if the GPA is above 2.8.

We have rolling admissions which means that we will accept qualified students up until the week before the fall or spring semester starts if all official transcripts have been submitted in time for departmental review.

Transfer credit from another graduate program will be accepted if the coursework did not count towards another degree, grade received was at least a "B", course was taken at a regionally accredited college, and NYIT offers a comparable course. No more than six transfer credits will be considered.

36 Credit Curriculum

Descriptions of all courses can be found on our website.

Below is a checklist for program completion: Please note that some courses are offered only during the Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters. Program sequence and semester course loads are worked out between student and advisor on an individual basis based on previous background and professional and personal needs.

The Nutrition Science Core (6 credits)

  • CLNU 610-F01: Molecular Biology of the Nutrients I – Fall, 3 credits
  • CLNU 680-F01: Molecular Biology of the Nutrients II – Spring, 3 credits

The Clinical Core (18 credits)

  • CLNU 635-F01: Community Nutrition – Spring, 2 credits
  • CLNU 640-F01: Critical Care/Nutrition Support – Spring, 2 credits
  • CLNU 650-F01: Nutritional Pathophysiology I – Fall, 3 credits
  • CLNU 670-F01: Clinical Nutrition Assessment – Fall, 2 credits
  • CLNU 720-F01: Nutritional Pathophysiology I – Spring, 3 credits
  • CLNU 750-F01: Clinical Nutrition, Theory and Practice I – Fall, 3 credits
  • CLNU 770-F01: Clinical Nutrition, Theory and Practice II – Spring, 3 credits

Elective Credits Choose (12 credits)

  • CLNU 615-F01: Topics in Applied Nutrition – Spring, 3 credits
  • CLNU 625-F01: Techniques in Epidemiology and Biostats – Spring, 3 credits
  • CLNU 630-F01: Critical Issues in the Food Supply – Summer, 2 credits
  • CLNU 645-F01: Nutritional Contributions of Food – Fall, 2 credits
  • CLNU 710-F01: Special Topics in Clinical Nutrition – Summer, 2 credits
  • CLNU 774-F01: Exercise Physiology for Nutrition – Fall, 3 credits
  • CLNU 772-F01: Nutritional Pharmacology – Summer 3 credits
  • CLNU 779-F01: Nutrition Oncology – Summer 4 credits
  • CLNU 787/8/9-W01: Independent Study – Fall + Spring + Summer, 1 credit each

Required at completion of program

  • CLNU 799: Comprehensive Exam – 0 credit

Faculty and Staff

Full time

Mindy Haar, PhD, RDN, CDN, FAND
Chair, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences/Clinical Nutrition
Assistant Dean, School of Health Professions

Riland Building, 366
Long Island Campus
Phone: 516.686.3818
Fax: 516.686.7804

Lorraine Mongiello, DrPH, RDN, CDE
Academic Coordinator, Clinical Nutrition
Associate Professor

Riland Building, 364
Long Island Campus
Phone: 516.686.1337
Fax: 516.686.7804

Part time

Diana F. Bowers, PhD, RN/BSN, RD/LD
Adjunct Assistant Professor

Dr. Bowers earned her doctorate from Ohio State University in nutrition and metabolism, with dissertation research focusing on the identification of acetyl Co-A carboxylase as a glycoprotein. Her clinical nutrition focus is in metabolic support and enteral and parenteral nutrition. At NYIT she teaches Molecular Biology of the Nutrients and Critical Care/Nutrition Support.

Colleen Chiariello, MS, RDN
Adjunct Instructor

Prof. Chiariello is the chief clinical dietitian at a Long Island healthcare facility with an interest in gerontology, diabetes, weight management, and nutrition research. She has also been active in improving the quality of school nutrition options. At NYIT she teaches three graduate courses: Issues in the Food Supply, Nutritional Contributions of Food, and Topics in Applied Nutrition.

Susan Ettinger, PhD, RDN
Adjunct Associate Professor

Dr. Susan Ettinger is the founder and first chairperson of the M.S. in Clinical Nutrition at New York Tech in the 1980s. Her recent research culminated in the textbook Nutrition Pathophysiology of Obesity and Its Comorbidities – A Case Study Approach. Dr. Ettinger has focused her career in development and implementation of translational curricula that integrate nutrition science with basic biomedical research and clinical practice.

Denise Donaldson Kaiser, MBA, MS, RDN
Adjunct Instructor

Prof. Donaldson Kaiser incorporates her many years of clinical nutrition experience into her graduate Nutrition Assessment course and undergraduate Introduction to Food Science course. A former dietetic internship director, she is presently chief clinical dietitian at a Long Island healthcare facility.

Catherine Gerweck, DMD, RDN
Adjunct Assistant Professor

After practicing dentistry for twelve years, Dr. Gerweck became a certified chef and registered dietitian. She has taught nutrition at the New England Culinary Institute, University of New Hampshire, and University of Nevada medical school. At NYIT, Dr. Gerweck teaches Nutrition Pathophysiology I & II and Nutrition Pharmacology in our graduate program, and Introductory Nutrition in our undergraduate program.

Somdat Mahabir, PhD, MPH
Adjunct Professor

A graduate of the NYIT MS in Clinical Nutrition program, Dr. Mahabir went on to complete a PhD in Nutrition, an MPH and a diploma in Cancer Prevention. Presently, he is the Program Director for Modifiable Risk Factors Branch in the Epidemiology and Genetics Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute. He teaches Nutrition Oncology at NYIT.

Sally Wong, PhD, RDN, CDN
Adjunct Assistant Professor

Dr. Wong received her doctorate in nutrition from New York University. She is presently the Associate Science and Medicine Advisor for the American Health Association National Center, where she supports the development of effective childhood obesity policy positions. At NYIT, she teaches Techniques in Biostatistics on the graduate level, and Health Informatics on the undergraduate level.

Online Education Q&A

What are my time constraints? If you are working full time, part time, and/or have personal obligations, take out your weekly calendar and realistically ask yourself how many hours you can devote to your studies. Decide how much of your leisure time you are ready to give up. You may want to start with just one course your first semester to get acclimated, especially if you haven't been in school in a while. While you may be eager to complete the program, taking fewer credits per semester may take longer to finish but assure success. On average, students devote 9–12 hours per 3-credit course. Be realistic and do not overextend yourself.

What type of student are you? Those who are motivated, independent learners, and good at time management have the odds on their side starting out; however, those who in the past had difficulties in this area, with proper expectations and preparation can succeed. Since you are not actually "there" it is very easy to push aside work and procrastinate. Some instructors penalize for late submission of assignments and will only give grades of "incomplete" to those with extenuating circumstances, while other instructors may be more liberal with adhering to assignment due dates.

How do online courses work? Courses are asynchronous, which means that students are never told a specific time they must login each week; however, each week instructors expect that students complete a specific amount of work. This usually includes specified reading, viewing PowerPoint presentations, participation on the discussion boards where students and instructors interact, and/or doing an assignment which may be answering questions on a case study or analyzing information on a website. View more information about online learning.

The Admission Process

Check that you have met the admissions requirements, U.S. students should apply online by filling out a graduate application. All transcripts (and other documents, if applicable) should be sent to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
New York Institute of Technology
Northern Blvd
Old Westbury, NY 11568

The admissions office will contact you if there is missing information from your file. Any questions about the program can be directed to Dr. Mindy Haar, director, at Once you are admitted, you will be contacted by the admissions office and asked to:

  1. Contact the program director, Dr. Mindy Haar at, or call 516.686.3818. Dr. Haar will assign you a full-time faculty member as an advisor throughout the program.
  2. If you are missing introductory nutrition or up to one of the science prerequisites, you may be conditionally admitted. You may take up to eight (8) credits in the programs while completing the prerequisites. There are graduate courses that you may be advised not to take until you've completed all prerequisite coursework.

The Registration Process

Setting up email account
Your NYIT email account allows you to conduct academic and financial business with NYIT. Once you know your NYIT ID#, you can set up your password and email account by going to my.NYIT. This is the gateway to email, registration tasks, and Blackboard, the online course delivery platform. Your NYIT email is the main form of communication for students about academic and collegewide notices and/or changes, and allows you to register for classes, obtain grades, and academic progress reports. You can also forward your NYIT email to your personal email.

To register
Once you've spoken to your advisor about semester classes and they have confirmed that you have been cleared by the registrar to register online, log into my.nyit (it is also accessible via the homepage, -> click on Current Students in the top meu -> my.NYIT). Use the Schedule Planner tool to prepare your schedule. Send your selected schedule to your shopping cart and follow the steps to complete your course registration. If you have difficulty, you can contact the Enrollment Services Center or Dr. Haar at

While any add/drop changes can be done through the Student Service HUB as well, please note that withdrawal from courses CANNOT be done over the Student Service HUB after the second week of the semester. You must inform your instructor of your desire to withdraw from the course according to the NYIT Withdrawal policy.

Satisfy your Tuition Bill
View current academic year tuition and fees. Questions about payments and/or financial holds can be addressed to the Office of the Bursar. Please visit the Office of Financial Aid for information about financing your education.

Logging onto Online Classes

Previously, the graduate credit components of the courses have required the use of a learning management system called Blackboard for accessing the course materials and submission of assignments, but are now transitioning to a new LMS called Canvas.

To use online services, you will need your NYIT student ID. The courses you are registered for will not show up on your Canvas page until the first day of school. Many instructors do list their textbooks in advance so this information may be accessible in advance of the start of the semester.

You can enter Canvas by first logging into myNYIT and pressing the appropriate tile. On the left Navigation panel, click Help. Click "Passport to Canvas" student training module to become more comfortable working in Canvas.

If you have technical difficulty you can seek help through the Canvas Support hotline via phone or chat. You can also get live help from the ITS Help Desk.

NYIT live help: Zoom at, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

If you are uncertain about taking a course after you've registered for it, please contact your advisor by phone or email to discuss the matter. Once you've logged in and participated, you are considered as having attended the class, which will affect your refund if you decide to drop the course during the first three weeks.

Each instructor has varying requirements for each course. In general, students must log on a minimum of twice weekly, but most log on more frequently.


Please be aware that you are expected to log in and participate in your course a minimum of twice weekly. At the beginning of the third week of the semester, instructors send the Registrar "Final Attendance" where they note students who have not "attended" the course. These students are then dropped from the online course by the Registrar and no longer have access through Canvas. Attending an online course requires more than just logging in: You must participate in discussion boards and submit required assignments and exams.

Using the NYIT Library

All students registered in online courses have virtual access to our library. When accessing the library from outside of NYIT, you may be prompted at some points for login information. This is the same info you use to access NYIT email.

You can go to the library by:

  1. Go to the NYIT homepage at, and on the bottom left click "Libraries"
  2. Or go directly to the library by clicking

The NYIT Library has created excellent resources for doing research at In addition, our department has worked with the library to prepare a lib-guide of hundreds of nutrition resources at

Please note: if you find a research article through a database search but only the abstract is directly available from the database, check to see in the abstract if NYIT subscribes to that journal. If so, go back to the main library page and search directly for that journal.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism Policy

The MS in Clinical Nutrition follows the policies for students that can be found in the NYIT Student Code of Conduct. Please also be especially aware of any NYIT Academic Integrity Policies.

Probation and Academic Standing

As per the NYIT policy for graduate students, a student must achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better to graduate. Students whose cumulative GPA falls below a 3.0 will be placed on academic probation.


Please refer to grading policies set forth in the NYIT Academic Catalog. Please note in particular, the school policy on awarding a grade of Incomplete:

  • Incomplete – A grade given at the discretion of the instructor when a student has completed at least two-thirds of the course work and is unable to complete the requirements of the course because of uncontrollable and unforeseen circumstances. The student must convey these circumstances in writing from their NYIT email account to the instructor prior to the final day of the course. If an instructor decides that an "Incomplete" is warranted, the instructor must convey the conditions for removal of the "Incomplete" to the student in writing. An "Incomplete" is not assigned when the only way the student could make up the work would be to attend a major portion of the class when next offered.

If an Incomplete grade is given, the student must complete the work according to the schedule set forth by the instructor. The instructor must then fill out a "Change of Grade Form" and submit to the registrar.

Withdrawing from a Course

Please refer to the policies set forth in the NYIT Academic Catalog.

Grade Appeal

Students who are not satisfied with their grade must follow the grade appeal process as described in "Grade Appeals Policy and Procedure" of the NYIT Student Handbook.

Maintaing Matriculation in the Program

Once admitted, students can take anywhere from 2–15 credits per semester depending on their other obligations. Students may take up to five years to graduate from the time they started the program. If, for some reason a student cannot take any courses during a fall or spring semester, they must register for CLNU 699-W01, Maintain Matriculation. Failure to do so results in requiring readmission to the program at the point they wish to return.

Students are required to maintain a GPA of 3.0 while in the program. Students with GPAs falling under 3.0 are placed on probation and confer with their advisors to develop strategies for improvement. Please note that after two semesters on probation, a student may have difficulty in continuing to get any type of financial aid. After three semesters of inability to maintain a 3.0, and little probability of reaching that required GPA for graduation, a student may be strongly advised to leave the program.


To graduate, a student must complete 24 credits of required courses, 12 credits of elective courses, and must pass a Comprehensive Exam during the last semester of enrollment. The Comprehensive Exam is an online, 100 question, multiple-choice exam that is taken during the last semester of attendance (grade is pass/fail). A minimum overall program GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation. An application to graduate must be made to the registrar through the Student Service HUB by the second week of the last semester of enrollment. Students are invited to attend graduation ceremonies taking place each May at our main campus in Long Island. Students graduating in December or August are also included at the May graduation. All information is sent through the NYIT email address, so graduates should keep checking that address for updates.

Students take anywhere from two years to five years to complete the program depending on how many credits are taken each semester. Each semester, students can assess what an appropriate credit load would be to assure they can successfully move through the program at their own pace.