Nutrition and Dietetics

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Graduate programs

Master of Science, Nutrition and Dietetics

Hillary Roberts, Dietetic Internship Program Director
Professional Building, 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 to the Graduate College. There is a graduate program application fee per the MSU Graduate College policy. A complete application includes the following:

  1. Evidence of meeting the minimum academic requirements from an ACEND-approved Didactic Program in Dietetics by a "Verification Statement" or "Declaration of Intent to Complete Degree" and/or ACEND-approved "Minimum Academic Requirements.”
  2. Completion of the 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. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required taken no earlier than five years prior to application.  There is no minimum GRE requirement.  All completed applications are considered in full.
  5. A personal philosophy statement 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.
  6. Students for whom English is a second language must earn a minimum score of 79 on the internet-based within two years prior to application on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The TOEFL website is
  7. Three written recommendations received with the application must be without significant reservations/concern.
    1. Dietetic academic reference
    2. Work or volunteer reference
    3. Final reference is the applicant’s choice
  8. Resume which includes:
    1. Work experience in dietetics, including paid and volunteered work,
    2. Involvement in college and/or community activities,
    3. Evidence of being admitted to MSU’s DI certificate program or a copy of their RDN identification card.
Upon acceptance to the MSND program, additional requirements will include:
  1. Meet technical standards of the program in order to successfully undertake the course of study including evidence of good health. These standards are available upon request from the program.
  2. Evidence of immunization or vaccination for vaccine-preventable diseases to include MMR, tetanus, TB test, Hepatitis A, and a complete Hepatitis B series including a titer demonstrating immunity. Other vaccinations may be required such as a seasonal flu vaccine.
  3. Evidence of professional liability and health insurance, including hospitalization.
  4. Provide documentation of negative tuberculosis status or evidence of appropriate follow-up.
  5. Have reliable transportation and provide evidence of vehicle liability insurance that meets or exceeds the minimum requirements of the State of Missouri.
  6. Membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  7. Submit a drug screening test and criminal record check and receive response that the applicant has not been convicted of any crime pursuant to Section 324.217 or other disqualifications that would prohibit licensure as a registered dietitian nutritionist.

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.

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.