Pharmacists serve as the medication experts within today’s team-based approach to care, but as many pharmacists know, medication is not always enough when caring for patients with acute and chronic conditions. Instead, care requires a holistic approach, including educating patients about the impact of nutrition.

The management of diabetes is an example of where medication and nutrition go hand-in-hand. In many cases, nutrition education can be combined with medicinal treatment to help patients with diabetes control their blood glucose and improve health outcomes. Pharmacists with proper nutrition training can be better equipped to teach their patients in diabetes education classes how to manage their diabetes through a variety of approaches. In addition, pharmacists already support nutrition services in the inpatient care setting, for example, through parenteral (IV) nutrition. A pharmacist can even become a BPS Board Certified Nutrition Support Pharmacist (BCNSP) or credentialed as a Certified Nutrition Support Clinician (CNSC).

The joint Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and Master of Science (MS) in Nutrition program is coordinated between Samford’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy and School of Public Health. Through credit sharing, a student can earn two degrees in less time. This joint degree will apply 6 credits of pharmacy course work to satisfy work required under the regular MS in Nutrition curriculum. McWhorter School of Pharmacy will apply 4 credits of nutrition course work to satisfy the didactic elective course work required under the regular pharmacy curriculum. As a student in this program, you are required to complete 30 credits of MS in Nutrition course work and 142 credits of pharmacy course work. The MS in Nutrition courses are offered online and meet Quality Matters standards.

Students do not need to have a bachelor’s degree to be admitted to this joint degree program, but the bachelor’s degree must be earned to complete more than 12 credit hours of the master’s program.

The MS in Nutrition program welcomes and encourages students from all academic backgrounds.

This program does not provide eligibility to sit for the national registration examination to become a registered dietitian nor eligibility to apply for a dietetic internship.

General Policies

On graduation, you can receive both the PharmD and MS in Nutrition degrees in the same semester. In this program, you must complete the MS in Nutrition within five academic years of the original date of admission to the master’s program.
You will have two separate grade point averages, one for nutrition and one for pharmacy. Pharmacy school ranking and percentiles will be based on the pharmacy-only GPA. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in the MS in Nutrition program to be in good standing. Pharmacy students no longer interested in completing the MS in Nutrition program must communicate with the McWhorter School of Pharmacy Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Students may register for a maximum of 21 credits per full semester. If desired, you may petition the associate dean of academic affairs to exceed this maximum course load.

You may choose to drop the joint degree in order to earn the PharmD degree earlier. The School of Public Health will accept shared credit from the pharmacy school upon later readmission to the MS in Nutrition program as long as the student:

  1. Began the joint degree before graduating with the PharmD
  2. Was in good standing with the School of Public Health.
  3. Requests readmission to restart MS in Nutrition classes within one full semester after PharmD graduation.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for the joint PharmD/MS in Nutrition program, you must first be accepted to both McWhorter School of Pharmacy and School of Public Health. For detailed information on applying to McWhorter School of Pharmacy, visit our admission page for details on the process and required documentation.

To be considered for the MS in Nutrition portion of the joint degree program, submit the following materials to the School of Public Health:

  1. A completed School of Public Health joint degree application.
  2. A resume reflecting work experience and other accomplishments. Upload the resume into the application.

The application deadline is April 1.

For questions regarding the application, please contact Amber Kustos, the director of graduate and undergraduate student services for the School of Public Health, at or 205-726-4691.

Plan of Study