Master of Science in Dietetics Degree Requirements
Customize your path to success by choosing to specialize in one of four areas of Mount Mary University’s Master of Science in Dietetics program:
- Counseling: This emphasis merges advanced counseling skills with advanced nutritional knowledge. This concentration better enables you to provide nutritional counseling to your clients, particularly clients with psychosocial issues that accompany chronic diseases and eating disorders. You’ll learn the roles, functions and relationships of nutrition counselors to their clients, and become more proficient in counseling through simulated and experiential learning.
- Management: Gain in-depth knowledge and advanced skills emphasizing leadership and communication within a global environment. Courses in this concentration are most relevant if you are pursuing or working in a clinical, food service management or private practice.
- Nutrition and fitness: Expand your knowledge and skills related to energy capacity, exercise performance, body composition, energy balance, weight control, fitness assessment and exercise programs. This concentration prepares you to effectively communicate the role of exercise in disease prevention and health promotion to the general public, and to converse with athletes about nutrition’s role in improving their performance.
- Professional writing: This emphasis prepares you to communicate information effectively and innovatively. You’ll create proposals and grants, informational manuals, brochures, newsletters, dynamic website content, technical documents for health professionals, peer-reviewed articles for academic journals and intriguing articles that translate scientific information for publication in consumer newspapers and magazines.
You must be a registered dietitian or be eligible to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians to apply for and enroll in the Master of Science in Dietetics program.
(Note: If you’re accepted into the post-baccalaureate dietetic internship program, you are automatically accepted to the master’s degree program and can complete your master’s degree after completing the dietetic internship.)
Degree Requirements & Completion Time
Degree requirements and time to completion depend on the area of emphasis you choose, and how many credits you take each semester. The degree program requires a minimum of 33 credits. You also can choose to pursue a thesis or non-thesis degree option. The degree requirements are comprised of three components:
Component 1: Graduate General Studies (3 credits)
All dietetics master’s degree students take a course on issues and problems in health care to broaden and deepen understanding of the social, cultural, political and economic systems in relation to health care and how they impact ethical dietetic practice.
Component 2: Specialized Knowledge in Dietetics (21-27 credits)
This component focuses on your targeted area of emphasis, as well as on specific areas for dietetics professional development. It requires a minimum of 8 credits of nutritional science courses and 9 credits in your professional development area of emphasis (see list above for emphasis options). You also need to take 4 to 6 credits in elective courses (depending on whether you do a thesis or non-thesis option) that meet your interests and goals.
Component 3: Application of Specialized Knowledge to Dietetic Practice (7-9 credits)
This component consists of two courses on research design and analysis followed by guided research and professional writing that demonstrates application of the specialized knowledge you’ve learned to dietetic practice. You can choose a thesis (if you’re interested in a professional career involving research) or non-thesis (if you wish to apply your knowledge to your professional practice) option to fulfill this requirement.
See complete degree requirements and a listing of courses in the Graduate Bulletin (PDF).
A maximum of 9 credits or 30 percent of total program credits, whichever is greater, may be transferred from other regionally accredited institutions with the approval of the program director. All transfer credits must be at a grade B or better, and must be documented with official transcripts. Credit earned prior to admission will be evaluated during the admission process only.
Take Courses Before Formal Admittance
If you’re looking to take continuing education credits to maintain your registered dietitian status, you can enroll in graduate dietetics courses before being officially accepted to a graduate program. Find current or upcoming courses in the MyMountMary Course Search and then apply to Mount Mary using the online Graduate Special Student Application.