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The Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics (RD Track) at Arkansas State University is administered by the Dietetics Program in the College of Nursing & Health Professions. The program provides for the achievement of knowledge and performance requirements for entry-level dietitians through integration of didactic instruction with a minimum of 1,080 hours of supervised practice.

Students must apply for admission to the graduate school and the master’s program. The Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics degree (MSND) consists of a minimum of 53 hours beyond the Bachelor’s degree.  Upon successful completion of the MSND, students are eligible to take the national credentialing examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). After passing the examination, they become registered dietitians. The MSND is available online. Further information on distance education components and technology requirements can be found in the Student Handbook.

In addition to RD credentialing, many states have regulatory laws for dietitians and nutrition practitioners. Frequently these state requirements are met through the same education and training required to become an RD. In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For example, to apply for Arkansas state licensure, applicants must submit a yearly application and renewal fee and complete twelve (12) hours of continuing education (CE). For more information visit the CDR website.

Goals and Objectives

The successful graduate will: 

    1. Perform as a knowledgeable, competent entry-level dietitian.
        *At least eighty percent (80%) of program students complete program/degree requirements
          within 3 years (150% of the program length).
        *Of graduates who seek employment, eighty percent (80%) are employed in nutrition and
          dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation
        *Eighty percent (80%) of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian 
          nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
        *The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one
          year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least
          eighty percent (80%).

   2. Pursue service to the profession of nutrition and dietetics.
      a. At least 70% of program graduates will pursue service to the profession of dietetics as a preceptor, leader, through civic engagement, or through active participation in professional organizations within 3 years post-graduation.

Outcomes data are available upon request.

*Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) required objectives.

Fees and Expenses

Tuition and Fees Estimate

Student Category Estimated Total
Professional Program Only
MS Degree $18,020.00

Additional Program Estimates

Category Program Expenses Additional Information
Graduate Application Fee          $30          Prior to acceptance
Criminal background check          $95          Upon program acceptance
Immunizations (TB test/Flu included)        $300          Upon program acceptance
2nd year TB skin test $10 Cost vary by insurance plan
Child maltreatment check $10 Beginning of program
CPR Healthcare Provider Certification $50 Beginning of program
Drug screen $45 Required by some clinical facilities
Physical examination  $35  Required by some clinical facilities
Flu vaccine (2nd year) $20 Costs vary by health insurance plan; required at clinical facilities
Scrubs and slip-resistant shoes $150  Varies by brand
Lab coat $30 White
Student name tag $10 Upon program acceptance
Typhon Group Scheduling System $100   Semester 1
TB Mask $25 If applicable per clinical facility
Computer $500  Estimate; brand dependent
Books $1025    As priced through A-State bookstore
Health Insurance $1800   Annual estimate; costs vary by plan
Automotive Insurance $1800   Annual estimate; costs vary by plan
Transportation/parking  $550   Costs vary by supervised practice location
Student professional liability insurance   $25  Annual cost
Exam review course $400  Final semester
Registration examination $200  Follow program completion
TOTAL $25,230        Tuition + Program Expenses


Financial Aid

Students may qualify for financial aid or scholarships through Arkansas State University. Consult the web site at www.astate.edu/a/finaid/ for more information.

Admission Requirements

    To be considered for admission to the 100% online MSND degree program, applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate school and the specific program requirements. Meeting program requirements does not guarantee admission into the program. The Nutrition and Dietetics program admits students on a space-available basis. Current resume, personal statement, and letters of recommendation are used in the selection process.

    Applicants seeking admission to the MSND program must have successfully completed an undergraduate degree including the following courses: lifecycle nutrition, nutritional biochemistry, nutrition assessment, food science, nutrition counseling, community nutrition, medical nutrition therapy, and an applied statistics course (junior level or higher). Transcripts can be reviewed for similar courses.

    • ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification.
    • Cumulative GPA 3.0 or higher.
    • Personal statement consisting of 500-1,000 words with attention to the applicant's professional goals, past experiences, and contributions the applicant expects to make in the field of nutrition and dietetics.
    • Two letters of recommendation/rating forms, which should be from former supervisors or faculty.
    • Applications can be submitted here.
  • Students are responsible for identifying their own rotation sites and potential preceptor contact information should be provided to dietetics@astate.edu upon program admission.

    Please see the Student Handbook (Pages 16-18) for more information on student-identified rotation sites and policies and procedures used to evaluate and award credit for prior learning experiences.

  • The Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics requires 53 semester hours

    Core Requirements (12 credits)
    NS 6123 Health Care Delivery in the U.S.
    NS 6303 Nutrition and Dietetics Research
    NS 6313 Nutritional Epidemiology
    NS 6033 Data Analysis in Health Professions
    Major Requirements (15 credits)
    Nurs 5113 Leadership in Health Professions
    NS 6243 Metabolic Nutrition
    NS 6253 Nutrition in Critical Illness
    NS 6253 Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy
    NS 6843 Ethics of Health Care
    Other Requirements (9Credits)
    NS 6033 Topics in Food Service
    NS 6013 Management of Nutrition Services
    NS 6113 Nutrition and Dietetics Research

    Supervised Practice Hour Requirements (17 credits)

    NSP 6123

    Practicum I

    NSP 6223

    Practicum II

    NSP 6323

    Practicum III

    NSP 6424

    Practicum IV

    NSP 6524

    Practicum V

    Academic and Program Schedule

    During the program, students will have holidays consistent with the ASU academic calendar. Individual course syllabi and the Supervised Practice Rotation Schedule will provide additional information about the program schedule. Policies and procedures specific to the dietetics program including supervised practice rotations will be available in the Student Handbook.

    Graduation and/or Program Completion Requirements

    In order to receive a M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics from Arkansas State University that signifies completion of the Coordinated Program in Dietetics, a student must:

    • Complete academic course requirements with a grade of C or above in all degree courses (A degree course is any course that is listed in the graduate bulletin as a Major Requirement for the Master of Science Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics (http://www.astate.edu/a/registrar/students/). This includes Dietetics courses and one
      Statistics course.)
    • Complete all education and university requirements pertaining to the major
    • Maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale
    • Have no outstanding financial or other program obligations (examples include exam review course attendance, self-assessment tool survey completion, exit survey completion, etc.)

    Based on the ACEND benchmark for program completion (within 150% of the time planned for completion), this would equal a period of 3 years to complete the M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics.

    Program Delay/Interruption

    If progress in the CP is interrupted for health or other reasons, the student must meet with the program director to discuss the circumstances and options for program completion. This situation may take the student outside of the benchmark window.

    If the student withdraws from the university, he/she must apply for readmission to the program. Readmission status will be dependent upon space available. See the undergraduate/graduate bulletin for additional information.

    Verification Requirements

    After January 1, 2024, once students complete the MS in Nutrition and Dietetics with 1,080 supervised practice hours, they will have completed the requirements for receipt of a verification statement. Upon successful completion of the CP, each student will receive Verification Statement form(s). This is the form used by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics to verify that the student has met all academic and supervised practice requirements for program completion in accordance with Arkansas State University and accreditation guidelines. The verification statement is also required by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) for eligibility for the Registration Examination for Dietitians. Once the required paperwork is completed, the program director submits the registration eligibility applications to CDR. Upon notification from CDR, it is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements to schedule and take the Registration Examination.