Nutrition and Dietetics

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Graduate programs

Master of Science, Nutrition and Dietetics

Hillary Roberts, Dietetic Internship Program Director
Kampeter Health Sciences Hall, Room 408
Phone: 417-836-8884

Program description

The Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics (MSND) program provides knowledge and skills in the dietetics field with an emphasis on population health. This program will prepare dietetic professionals to work at various settings: community and government agencies, medical care facilities, and educational institutions. Graduates specialize in nutrition and dietetics of various population health issues, are able to assess population health needs, and design, implement and evaluate programs, systems or environments to aid in improving the health of diverse groups of population.

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics (MSND), a prospective student must be admitted to Missouri State’s Dietetic Internship Graduate Certificate Program (DI) or provide a copy of their Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist (RDN) identification card issued by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.

Final admission decisions will be based on a complete application form in GradCAS which includes the application fee per the MSU Graduate College policy. A complete application for RDN applications requires the following:

  1. Provide copy of Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist (RDN) identification card issued by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
  2. Completion of a baccalaureate degree from an ACEND accredited college or university.
  3. Cumulative GPA of 3.00 over the last 60 hours of academic work taken.
  4. A personal philosophy statement, two pages maximum, addressing the applicant's professional career goals and how the program will help accomplish these goals, in addition to discussing the applicant's strengths and areas of improvement.
  5. Students for whom English is a second language must earn a score of 79 or higher on the internet-based within two years prior to application on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The TOEFL website is
  6. Two written recommendations.
    1. Academic reference
    2. Work or volunteer reference
  7. Resume which includes paid and volunteered work experience in dietetics.
Requirements for Non-Registered Dietitian Nutritionists

If you are not a RDN, you must first apply to the dietetics internship (DI) graduate certificate program using the online centralized internship application, Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Process (DICAS). Once enrolled, you can choose to switch your degree program to the MSND program. Admission requirements for the DI graduate certificate program can be found on the DI website Admission Requirements.

Full admission to the MSND program is competitive; not all that apply will be admitted. Students who are not admitted into the program may apply for the next application deadline.

MSND Transfer of Credit Policy

On a case-by-case basis, Missouri State may accept graduate credit earned at other regionally accredited institutions or well-established international institutions. The Missouri State University Graduate transfer policy allows transfer credit to count for up to 30% of the program of study. Students who are RDNs may transfer hours for DTN 740, 741, 742, and 743. A student requesting transfer credit is responsible for providing an official transcript and copy of course syllabus from the school from which the student received the academic credit. Acceptance of transfer credits occurs through recommendation of the student’s major advisor and approval of the Graduate College. Grades on transfer courses accepted in the degree program are included in the overall graduate grade point average.

MSND Work Experience Related Policy

Work experience will not be awarded credits required to graduate from the MSND program.

MSND Prior Learning Assessment Policy

For students admitted to the MSND program who are registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs), and completed their Dietetic Internship practicum courses in a Bachelor of Science and Dietetic Internship coordinated program, prior learning assessment may be used to grant course credit for DTN 740, 741, 742, and 743.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) will be granted once the student submits their Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Professional Development Portfolio (PDP) logs to the Dietetic Internship Program Director. RDNs are required to complete 75-continuing professional education units (CPEUs) every five years to demonstrate currency in the field of nutrition and dietetics. All logs since the time of becoming credentialed must be submitted for review.

Retention requirements

After admission into the MSND Program, a student must achieve the following for retention in the program:

  1. Maintain a GPA of 3.00, with no more than 9 semester hours of graduate work below a grade of "B", and no hours of graduate work below a "C".
  2. Demonstrate acceptable levels of maturity and integrity, as well as behaviors and attitudes normally expected of healthcare professionals.
  3. Demonstrate acceptable professional progression in application of skills and knowledge.
  4. Maintain current health and liability insurance.

Students who fail to meet the retention criteria may:

  1. Be placed on academic or clinical probation in the MSND Program, or
  2. Be dismissed from the Program, based on the judgment of the majority of the MSND faculty. Students who fail to meet the probationary criteria or are dismissed from the program are not eligible for readmission into the MSND Program. Students have the right to follow the University's appeal process on any disciplinary sanction received.
  3. Students should refer to the Missouri State University Dietetics Graduate Student Handbook for additional policies and procedures.

Degree requirements (Minimum of 42 hours)

MSND with concentration in population health emphasis
Course Code Course Title Credit hours
DTN 740 Medical Nutrition Therapy I Practicum 3 hrs
DTN 741 Medical Nutrition Therapy II Practicum 3 hrs
DTN 742 Population Health Nutrition Practicum 3 hrs
DTN 743 Foodservice Management Practicum 3 hrs
DTN 744 Practicum in Area of Concentration 3 hrs
DTN 750 Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy 1 hr
DTN 752 Advanced Population Health Nutrition I 1 hr
DTN 762 Advanced Population Health Nutrition II 2 hrs
DTN 753 Advanced Food Service Management 1 hr
DTN 755 Advanced Nutrition Counseling 1 hr
MGT 701 Health Services Organization 3 hrs
PBH 710 Clinical Epidemiology 3 hrs
PBH 730 Biostatistics in Health Sciences 3 hrs
PBH 740 Health Behavior 3 hrs
PBH 760 Research Methods in Public Health 3 hrs
PBH 775 Principles and Skills of Public Health Administration 3 hrs
DTN 797 OR
DTN 799
Non-thesis Project OR
1-3 hrs OR
1-6 hrs
Elective courses

Students are not required to complete any elective courses but are welcome to work directly with their advisor and committee to determine if elective courses should be completed to strengthen their plan of study.

Culminating assessment of student learning

Students must demonstrate a culminating assessment of student learning by meeting one of the following:

1. Satisfactory completion of scholarly paper and formal community or professional presentation which are components of DTN 797; or

2. Satisfactory completion of a thesis and oral defense which are components of DTN 799.