Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences

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The Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences (MSNS) program is designed to educate and form servant leaders in the field of health and wellness. With a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) option and a Thesis option, the Nutritional Sciences MS degree program allows students to customize curriculum to fit their career goals and interests.

Students pursuing their master’s in nutrition  leading to the RDN credential at FranU will also experience the Nutrition Skills Lab and Simulation Environment Teaching Hospital (SETH), a state-of-the-art simulated learning environment where students can complete computer-based task training.

With diverse simulation suites and a number of debriefing rooms, students will find FranU’s facilities play a crucial role in our efforts to provide students with collaborative, hands-on learning experiences.

Closure of the DI:

The FranU Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences with Dietetic Internship program will be closing on December 31, 2025 and transitioning to the FranU Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences RDN track program. Alumni of the dietetic internship program may reach out to Dr. Kathryn Fakier to obtain a copy of their verification statement after program closure.

School
School of Health Professions
Career
Registered dietitians nutritionists (RDN) or nutrition and dietetic practitioners in various settings, as well as careers in food research, menu development, wellness, exercise and other related health practices.

Accreditation

Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Questions about accreditation of Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).

Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University's Future Education Model Graduate Program is granted full accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 312-899-0040 ext. 5400. For more information, visit their website at www.eatrightpro.org/acend.

Note: Prospective students should visit the State Authorization page to verify that Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University is authorized to offer online courses and programs in your respective state. Prior to enrollment, students are also encouraged to visit their state educational agency or licensing board to ascertain whether or not they can utilize their degree program for additional compensation, initial licensing or renewal, as well as any other benefits.

CAREER

Graduates can pursue careers as registered dietitians nutritionists (RDN) or nutrition and dietetic practitioners in various settings, as well as careers in food research, menu development, wellness, exercise and other related health practices.

Requirements and Process to Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)

1. Complete a minimum of a master's degree at a U.S. regionally accredited university or college or foreign equivalent, and coursework through an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredited Didactic (DPD), Coordinated (CP), Graduate Program (GP) or Foreign (FDE) program.

2. Complete required supervised practice/experience through an ACEND accredited Dietetic Internship (DI), Coordinated (CP), Graduate Program (GP) or an Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) offered through an ACEND- accredited program.

The MSNS program at Franciscan Missionaries or Our Lady University meets this requirement in the process to becoming an RDN.

3. Pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). For more information regarding the examination, refer to CDR's website at http://www.cdrnet.org .

4. Complete continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration. Some RDNs hold additional certifications in specialized areas of practice. These are awarded through CDR, the credentialing agency for the Academy, and/or other medical and nutrition organizations and are recognized within the profession, but are not required. Some of the certifications include pediatric or renal nutrition, sports dietetics, nutrition support, and diabetes education.

After fulfilling the requirements for becoming a registered dietitian nutritionist, some states may require further licensure. This program meets the requirements for Louisiana state licensure, as well as several others. For information on state licensure requirements, please visit the Commission on Dietetic Registration at https://www.cdrnet.org/licensure

MSNS Program Mission

The mission of the MSNS program is to educate and form entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists or dietetic practitioners to meet the core competencies for becoming servant leaders in health and wellness. With a concentration in community nutrition, graduates will be educated in the most rigorous, individualized, professional, and comprehensive manner.

MSNS Curriculum

Students in the MSNS program will follow a curriculum that builds a solid foundation in nutritional sciences with courses including advanced medical nutrition therapy nutrition education and counseling, community nutrition and policy and a capstone in nutrition.

In addition to this core curriculum, students will complete supervised experiential learning hours or Thesis, rounding out their studies and providing opportunities for hands-on experience or advanced research in the field.

Nutritional Sciences Program Highlights

  • Complete in 17 months - The MS in nutritional science is a full-time program consisting of 30-36 credits and can be completed in as few as 17 months.
  • No GRE required - Students can apply and enroll in the program without having to complete the Graduate Readiness Exam.
  • Online options - Many courses are offered online, but some in the RDN track are face-to-face primarily for the skills lab/simulation component of the program. *The thesis track is 100% online.
  • Interprofessional collaboration - Master's in nutritional sciences students will have the chance to work collaboratively with students in the Physician Assistant Studies program, the Family Nurse Practitioner program and the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
  • Supervised rotation - Students in the RDN track rotate through diverse settings, including hospitals, clinical and management settings, food service and administrative sites, community-based settings and entrepreneur and private practices.
  • Skills labs training - Students in the RDN track will receive training on utilizing telehealth, conducting swallow screens, inserting nasogastric feeding tubes, conducting point-of-care laboratory tests, completing routine health screening assessments and more.
  • A path to becoming an RDN - By completing the RDN track, students will meet the requirements to sit for the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists. Upon passage of the RDN exam, the graduate will be credentialed as an RDN.

Master's in Nutrition Track Options

Nutritional sciences majors can choose to complete the pathway to become an RDN or a Thesis. The RDN option is primarily for students who want to become registered dietitians nutritionists (RDNs), while the Thesis option is geared toward students who are already RDNs, students completing a stand-alone dietetic internship program, or students who are not seeking RDN status but wish to pursue a master's degree in nutritional sciences.

[RDN TRACK] [THESIS TRACK]

Core Faculty

Kathryn Fakier, PhD, RDN, LDN, FAND

Program Director, Nutritional Sciences

(225) 526-1984

Kathryn.Fakier@franu.edu

Aimee Serio, MS, RDN, LDN

Director of Clinical Education

(225) 526-1739

Aimee.Serio@franu.edu