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 Dietetic Internship 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 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 or virtual reality simulation.

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.

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.

Master’s in Nutrition Track Options

Nutritional sciences majors can choose to complete the Dietetics Internship (DI) or a Thesis. The DI 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.

In addition, LSU Didactic Program in Dietetics students may be chosen for early admission to the FranU MS in nutritional sciences program.

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.

In addition to this core curriculum, students will complete a DI internship 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 36 credits and can be completed in as few as 17 months, including the Dietetic Internship.
  • No GRE required - Students can apply and enroll in the program without having to complete the Graduate Readiness Exam.
  • Online options - While this is primarily an in-person program, and students will complete internship rotations in Baton Rouge, students can also opt to take many courses online. *The thesis track is 100% online, while the DI track is blended - most graduate courses are online but some in this track are face-to-face primarily for the skills lab/simulation component of the program
  • 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.
  • Intern rotation - Interns rotate through diverse settings, including hospitals, clinical and management settings, food service and administrative sites, community-based settings and entrepreneur and private practices.
  • Local preceptor training - Students will receive training on utilizing tele-health, 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 DI program and Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences, 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.

Nutritional Science Degree Features

MSNS-DI Admissions Requirements

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

  • Student is currently enrolled in an ACEND-accredited undergraduate Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) or has graduated from such a program within the last five years.
  • Student possesses a Verification Statement from the DPD Director OR student is in the final year of the DPD program with intent to graduate the following spring or summer prior to the fall semester when the MSNS-DI program starts.
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  • Minimum DPD GPA of 3.2.
  • Documented evidence of service and leadership through work and/or volunteer experiences.

*The GRE is not required for admission into the program.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The total cost (tuition/fees, course fees) of the master’s in nutritional science program is $25,996.13. Additional costs may be required for textbooks.

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.


Document TitleTypeFile Size
Document Title: Dietetic Internship Handbook 22-23Type: pdfFile Size: 767.577 KBDownload
Document Title: MSNS Thesis BrochureType: pdfFile Size: 966.341 KBDownload
Document Title: MSNS DI BrochureType: pdfFile Size: 1.001 MBDownload
Document Title: LSU Pre Select 2022 23 MSNS DI BrochureType: pdfFile Size: 663.4 KBDownload


Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s 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 (

The Nutritional Sciences Dietetic Internship 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.

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.

Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University has applied to the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) to open a new and innovative program to prepare registered dietitian nutritionists in August 2024.

Our eligibility application was accepted by ACEND and we are in the candidacy process for our proposed Future Education Model graduate program. The program is not accepting applications at this time but will do so upon successful completion of the eligibility application process if the program receives candidacy for accreditation status from ACEND.

Contact Dr. Kathryn Fakier at for more information.

*The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) released the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards for programs in nutrition and dietetics (see These accreditation standards integrate didactic coursework with supervised experiential learning in a competency-based curriculum designed to prepare nutrition and dietetics practitioners for future practice.