Nutritional Sciences

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Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Pathway

The RDN pathway is primarily for students who want to become registered dietitians nutritionists (RDNs).

School of Health Professions
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.

MSNS Program Goals and Objectives

Goal #1 - The program will prepare graduates to be competent for entry-level practice as registered dietitian nutritionists.

  • Objective #1 - 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 80%.
  • Objective #2 - At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within 25.5 months (150% of the program length).
  • Program specific objective - 100% of students will pass the program's comprehensive entry-level nutrition and dietetics skills simulation exam with a score of no less than 80%.

Goal #2 - Graduates of the program will be compassionate, well-qualified professionals and servant leaders in health and wellness prepared to provide entry-level nutrition and dietetics services.

  • Objective #1 - Of graduates who seek employment, 80% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
  • Objective #2 - 80% of employers rank graduates as 'satisfied' or above in preparation for entry-level practice.
  • Objective #3 - 80% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
  • Program specific objective - 60% of graduates are involved as a leader in a community service and/or a professional organization in health and wellness.

Program Outcomes

Program outcomes data is available upon request.

MSNS Admissions Requirements

A new cohort of MS in nutritional science students begins each fall semester. The MSNS program follows FranU's academic calendar. Admission requirements* include:

1. Students must meet at least 1 of the following criteria and provide official transcripts:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences from a US Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) program


  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university with the following pre-requisites (equivalency determined by FranU MSNS Faculty):
    • Introductory nutrition course (3 credit hours)
    • Statistics (3 credit hours)
    • General chemistry (6 credit hours)
    • Organic chemistry (3 credit hours)
    • Biochemistry (3 credit hours)
    • Anatomy and physiology (6 credit hours)
    • Microbiology (3 credit hours)
    • Nutrition Assessment (3 credit hours)
    • Human Nutrition and Metabolism (3 credit hours)
    • Nutrition and Disease (3 credit hours)
  1. Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is strongly recommended
  2. Documented evidence of service and leadership through work and/or volunteer experiences

*The GRE is not required for admission into program.

Graduation and Program Completion Requirements

Graduation and program completion requirements include:

  • Successful completion of a Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences degree
  • No less than a 3.0 GPA
  • No more than 2 "C" in any of the graduate courses
  • A third "C" will result in dismissal
  • Submission and presentation of a Capstone Research Project
  • Completion of at least 1,000 hours of Supervised Experiential Learning approved by the Program Director, Director of Clinical Education (DCE), program faculty, and preceptors
  • Successful mastery of the required competencies for entry-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist as outlined in the Standards for Future Education Model Graduate Degree Programs.
  • Practicing, honoring, and portraying the Code of Ethics for Dietetics and the Standards of Practice.

Maximum amount of time allowed for completing program requirements is five years. Meeting all requirements is necessary for students to receive a Verification Statement.

How to Apply:

Deadline to apply is July 15, 2024.

1. Complete the Digital Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS) application by visiting You will need to upload the following items:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities
  • Name and contact information for three references (one from a professor, from an employer and from any other professional)
  • Resume to include work and/or volunteer experiences
  • Personal statement. Please address the following: Why did you choose dietetics? What sets you apart from other applicants?What are your short-and long-term goals and strategies for achieving them? What strengths will you bring to the program and what areas will challenge you? How have your past experiences prepared you for graduate school? Who has impacted your life the most? How or in what way? What characteristics of the University have drawn you to this graduate program?

Tuition and Financial Aid

The total cost (tuition/fees, course fees) of the master's in nutritional science program is $26,188.00. FranU is committed to providing students with the utmost care and respect in finding financing options for their education. Many of our students receive aid in the form of grants, scholarships or loans. To learn more about financial aid options and processes, visit the Office of Financial Aid page.

Technology requirements for distance education components found here on the Technology Requirements page.

Additional costs include:

Application Fee


Tuition & Fees

$26,188.00 (approx.)

AND Student Membership


Transportation-students encouraged to have own vehicle

$50-$100/week (approx.) + any insurance


$700-$1,200/month (approx.)

Books (depending on personal resources)

$150-$200/semester (approx.)

Physical Exams




Drug Testing / Level 1 Background Checks


CPR (Basic Life Support)

$65 (approx.)

Uniforms (Scrubs)

$30-$50 (approx. minimum of one each)

LAND State Conference (mandatory)

$100 (approx.)

2-week Professional Staff Experience

Varies per location

MSNS Curriculum

The nutritional sciences program is a 36 credit Master of Science degree program. Students in the MSNS program will follow a curriculum that builds a solid foundation in nutritional sciences with courses including methods of nutrition assessment, nutrition education and counseling, community nutrition and policy and a capstone in nutrition.

Curriculum Notes:

Curriculum Notes:

*IPGC classes are taught across graduate curriculum within the School of Health Professions

Didactic courses = 1 credit hour = 15 hours

Supervised practice courses = 1 credit hour = 180 hours

The MSNS program does not grant credit for prior learning experiences.