Online Master of Science in Dietetics | NDSU

The online Master of Science in Dietetics degree dives into in-demand, career-focused topics in nutrition, food service management, and wellness for individuals possessing their Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or RDN-eligible credential.

The Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences at North Dakota State University (NDSU) offers an Online Master’s program in Dietetics to students through its collaboration with Great Plains - Interactive Distance Education Alliance (Great Plains IDEA) member universities (a consortium of 19 universities). Each university brings a unique strength to the multi-institution academic programs.

What will I learn in the Dietetics master’s degree?

The Great Plains IDEA online master’s degree in dietetics is diverse, just like the dietetics profession. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) or RDN Eligible (RDNE) learners will apply cutting-edge information in food, nutrition, food service management, and wellness to enhance practice. This program will teach RDN or RDNE learners to think independently and critically to evaluate and apply new research concepts and theories to advance dietetics professional careers.


The Great Plains IDEA online master's degree in dietetics requires 36 credit hours of coursework. To see a full list of courses, visit the Great Plains IDEA Dietetics interactive Course Planner.

Core Courses (9 credit hours)

The three core courses include (1) current issues and trends; (2) basic statistics; and (3) research methods. These courses will ensure your success throughout the remainder of your program. See the Course Planner in the link above for course offerings by semester.

Elective Courses (21 credit hours)

Elective courses allow you to choose a focus that best fits your needs and interests. Electives include:

  • Clinically-oriented nutrition courses
  • Community or public health nutrition courses
  • Healthcare administration
  • Management-oriented courses
  • Food science
  • Foodservice management

Thesis, Comprehensive Paper, or Project (6 credit hours)

North Dakota State University offers Plan A (Thesis), Plan B (Comprehensive Paper), or Plan C (Internship/Capstone). Current students seeking supervisory committee members should contact their advisor for a list of available faculty members.

Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of jobs for registered dietitians and nutritionists will increase by 11% between 2018 and 2028. This projection indicates a significant need for more RDN’s in the field to help combat preventable disease and conditions on the rise such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, certain types of cancer and osteoporosis.

Studying Online through Great Plains IDEA

How it Works

The Great Plains IDEA master’s degree in dietetics offers flexibility, choice, and academic excellence. Our program is offered completely online which means you can complete your coursework when it is convenient for you. You are given the opportunity to build your own degree program. With 21 credit hours of elective courses, you have many options to create program that fits your needs and interests. While your degree will be granted through NDSU, you will have the benefit of having your courses taught by PhD/RDNs from around the nation. Learn More.

Common Price Cost: $590/credit hour

Admission Requirements

Eligibility for Admission

Applicants must possess either the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential or be Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Eligible (RDNE) to be eligible for admission.

  • RDN: Include a copy of the applicant’s Commission on Dietetic Registration of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics registration card or other official documentation of registration status must be submitted with the application.
  • RDNE: An applicant not possessing the credential of Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) must provide their verification statement issued by a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 (or alternately, a GPA of 3.0 on the last 60 hours of coursework in the undergraduate degree) is required for admission to this program.

Admissions Process

Please visit and follow the domestic and international application procedures.

  • Application Fee: $35
  • Statement of Purpose: In your statement of purpose, you will be required to include the following components: (1) reasons for pursuing graduate study; (2) special interests within the nutrition and dietetics profession; (3) background preparation/training in nutrition and dietetics; and, (4) relevant skills or experience that you have acquired.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three (3) letters of recommendation are required from persons familiar with your academic achievements. Recommendations must be submitted to the Graduate School via the online application system. Recommenders will receive an email with the link and instructions at the email address you provide for them on your application.
  • Official Transcripts: Submit one official transcript from each college or university at which you have been enrolled or are currently enrolled. Include both undergraduate and graduate coursework.

Advance your Dietetics career with NDSU’s Online Master’s Degree

A graduate degree prepares RDN’s to study a specific area of interest more in-depth. A master’s degree can provide RDN’s with more opportunities to obtain managerial or other high-level positions, which can help prepare you for advanced-level practice and see an increase in income. Obtaining a master’s degree may can lead to better prepare you to become a board-certified specialist, or obtain other advanced practice credentials.

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