Master of Science in Dietetics
An online advanced degree program for registered dietitians or individuals who are registration-eligible.
("Registration-eligible" means the required supervised practice experience or internship has been completed, but the individual has not yet taken the R.D. examination).
Offered through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA).
The online Master of Science in Dietetics is one of the most innovative in the country, taught through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA), a consortium of universities who have banded together to offer online graduate programs. Our online MS in Dietetics brings together 8 universities. Kansas State University was the lead institution in starting this program.
How will the Master’s Degree in Dietetics benefit me?
Upon successful completion of this degree program, you should be able to:
- apply cutting-edge information in food, nutrition, food service management, and wellness to enhance dietetics practice
- think independently and critically to evaluate and apply new research concepts and theories to advance the profession of dietetics
- understand public policy and current systems of health care delivery with particular reference to the role of the dietitian
- advance the profession of dietetics by contributing to evidence-based practice
Who are the universities participating in the online Master’s Degree in Dietetics?
- Kansas State University
- University of Kansas Medical Center
- Oklahoma State University
- University of Nebraska
- Iowa State University
- South Dakota State University
- North Dakota State University
- Colorado State University
How many credits are required?
The Master of Science in Dietetics is a 36-credit hour program.
How is the program structured?
- There are 9 credit hours of core courses, 21 credit hours of electives, and 6 credit hours of thesis research. Or, if you prefer, you may choose the non-thesis option and take 6 additional credit hours from the list of elective courses. Thesis students write their research thesis and defend it orally before their supervisory committee. Non-thesis students sit for a comprehensive written examination followed by an oral examination with their supervisory committee.
- Core courses taken by all students include:
- A current issues in dietetics course
- A basic research methods course
- A basic statistics course
- Elective courses cover a wide variety of topics to meet the needs of the diverse dietetics profession including clinically-oriented nutrition courses, community or nutrition and health courses, health care administration, management-oriented courses, food science, food service management, etc. By choosing a specific set of elective courses, students may even earn a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration or a Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership through K-State’s College of Business Administration.
During your degree program, you will take courses from a variety of the participating universities. You will enroll for all courses through your home institution, but the actual courses will be taught online from any of the participating universities and their faculty members.
Do I need to come to campus for any part of my degree program?
No, you do not need to travel to Kansas State University to complete your degree. However, we would be delighted to have you come to campus at any time and meet our faculty and resident graduate students! And we'd love to have you come to campus and participate in commencement exercises when you complete your Master's degree!
How long will it take to complete my degree?
The speed of program completion will depend on how much time you can devote to taking classes. Many students in this program may be working professionals with job and family responsibilities which may limit the number of courses they can take each semester.
The number of courses available each semester will grow as the program matures and more students enter the program. Taking two courses a semester (including summers) should allow you to complete the program in approximately 3 years. The more courses you take each semester, the quicker you can finish!
To see the current schedule of course offerings, check out the GPIDEA web site.
What are the costs? How expensive is it to work toward a degree online?
The cost for the 2013-2014 academic year (August 2013 - July 2014) is $500 per credit hour. The GPIDEA Board of Directors evaluates and sets this common price per credit hour each year.
This cost per credit hour is the same at any of the 8 participating institutions. Also, the price is the same whether you are an in-state or out-of-state student.
Other costs incurred would include:
- A computer that meets the recommendations of the KSU Division of Continuing Education (DCE):
- Desktop or notebook system (PC or Mac) with Dual-core processor or better
- Operating system: Windows XP, Service Pack 3 or newer; Vista, Service Pack 2 or newer; or Mac OS X10.5 or newer.
- Processor (CPU): 1 GHz Pentium III or Athlon or newer; or 1 GHz Intel or newer for Macs
- Monitor and video card: LCD 1024x768 resolution or higher
- Video Card:
- Window XP, NVDIA GeForce 6600 or newer, or ATI Radeon 8500 or newer, or Intel 945 chipset
- Window Vista NVDIA GeForce 6600 or newer, or ATI Radeon 9500, or Intel 945 chipset
- Mac ATI Radeon 9200 and above, or ATI Radeon X Series, or NVDIA GeForce 2, GeForce 4
- Memory (RAM): 1 gigabyte or more
- Required: K-State antivirus software, available via free download at http://www.k-state.edu/its/antivirus/ or the CatPack
- Basic office suite (word processing, database, spreadsheet, and presentation) such as:
- Microsoft Office 2003 or better for PCs or Macs
- Free tools, like OpenOffice, that are compatible with Microsoft Office file format.
- Tool with the ability to read and create PDFs, such as CutePDF Writer, PDFCreator, or Adobe Acrobat Professional
- Basic office suite (word processing, database, spreadsheet, and presentation) such as:
- Networking: At least one of the following is required - check with your Internet provider to determine what type of connection is available:
- Ethernet card: for on-campus, residence hall, and broadband access
- Wireless card: 802 11 a/g recommended for wireless access
To test whether your computer is properly configured to access K-State Online courses, be sure to run through the DCE Readiness Test.
- Information technology services at K-State provides recommendations for buying a new computer.
- Cost of access for your internet connection or other delivery method (preferably a high-speed connection rather than dial-up). Course content may be delivered in a variety of formats including online, CD, DVD, e-mail lists, message boards, e-mail, videotape, audiotape, guided study, or Telenet 2 (videoconferencing). Basically, with Internet access and CD and DVD drives, you should be good to go! For a complete description of the course delivery methods visit the DCE web site.
- Cost of textbooks or other learning materials. This will vary from course to course.
What are the criteria for admission to the Kansas State University MS in Dietetics program?
- You must be credentialed as a Registered Dietitian by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the American Dietetic Association (ADA), submitting a copy of a current RD card as documentation.
- If you are not an RD, you must be Registration-Eligible, meaning you have completed both an accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics and an accredited dietetic internship or a Coordinated Program in Dietetics (which encompasses both the academic degree and the supervised practice). Required documentation would be a signed Verification Statement from the director of the supervised practice program.
- Undergraduate overall GPA of 3.0 or a minimum of a 3.0 on the last 60 credit hours of coursework.
Submission of an application packet including:
- Application for admission to the Kansas State University Graduate School
- Letter of intent, explaining why you are interested in our Master's Program, your professional goals, and how completion of the degree is expected to enhance your professional practice. Discussion of your area of interest for your graduate study and whether you intend to pursue the thesis or non-thesis option should also be included.
- Official copies of transcripts for all college/university coursework, showing granting of the minimum of a baccalaureate degree.
- Three recommendation forms (Adobe Acrobat) and accompanying letters of reference. At least two of these forms/letters should be from individuals who can speak to your academic ability and readiness to complete graduate study. The other form/letter should be from someone who can speak to your professional competence as a dietitian and your level of practice such as a work supervisor or administrator. For applicants who are RD-eligible or who have not had work experience, all three forms/letters can be from instructors and/or the director of your supervised practice program.
- A copy of your resume which includes, in addition to the usual items, the following:
- descriptions of projects for which you have provided leadership and achievement of project goals
- description of offices (elected or appointed) and responsibilities in professional associations or organizations
- other credentials held by the individual with a brief explanation of what had to be accomplished to achieve and/or maintain that credential
What are the Admission Deadlines?
Admissions to the Master of Science in Dietetics will be made two times per year. Application deadlines are:
- October 1 for Spring Semester admission
- March 1 for Summer and Fall Semester admission
How Does the Program Work?
Decide which of the participating universities you want to be your "home" institution – the university who will grant your degree. We hope you choose Kansas State University!
Apply for admission to the Graduate School of your chosen institution. Typically this can be done online.
If you are applying to the K-State program, be sure and check the box that indicates MS-Dietetics (not MS-Nutrition).
Note: You may take up to 9 credit hours of graduate course work without being formally admitted to the degree program. In this case, you would apply for admission to the Graduate School as a non-degree seeking student and indicate on the form that you wish to work in the MS-Dietetics program. However, after completion of 9 credit hours, you must apply and be formally admitted to the program.
Our administrative specialist handles the paperwork for those applying to our graduate program. Once the Graduate School has received your online or mailed application, it is forwarded to our office for the compilation of your paperwork. Once all the required documentation is received (application, letter of intent, resume, transcripts, recommendations), we notify the departmental Graduate Faculty members that we have an application to consider. The Graduate Faculty meet, review the application materials, and makes the admission recommendation to the Graduate School. We then communicates this decision to the Graduate School. The formal letter of admission comes from the K-State Graduate School.
- Contact information:
- Department of Hospitality Management and Dietetics
Kansas State University
104 Justin Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506
Phone: (785) 532-5521
Fax: (785) 532-5522
Once you have been admitted to the program, you will be assigned an advisor who will assist you with establishing your supervisory committee and enrolling in the appropriate courses. Once your major professor and supervisory committee have been established, you will work with these individuals to determine your personal Program of Study (POS) to be placed on file in the Graduate School. You will also decide if you plan to work on a thesis research project or complete the non-thesis version of the program. This committee meeting will take place via a video conference call, unless you would like to come to campus to have the meeting face-to-face. Students who elect to conduct research and write a thesis must select a thesis topic that supports the research agenda of the Department of Hospitality Management and Dietetics. Visit Dr. Canter for further details.
At the completion of your degree program, you will have a summative evaluative experience. For students completing a thesis project, this will involve the presentation of the results of your research in your written thesis and a teleconferenced, oral defense with your supervisory committee. For non-thesis students, your evaluative experience is a videoconferenced presentation of a major paper written during the program followed by an oral examination with your supervisory committee.
For further information about the online Master of Science in Dietetics at Kansas State University, contact:
Deborah D. Canter, PhD, RD, LD
Department of Hospitality Management and Dietetics
Kansas State University
Justin Hall 113
Manhattan, KS 66506-1404
Office Phone: 785-532-2216
Cell Phone: 785-341-6897