Mar 18, 2018  
2007-2008 Graduate Catalog 
2007-2008 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics

The M.S. in nutrition and dietetics is designed to prepare students interested in community nutrition to work as registered dietitians in a variety of public and private health organizations in county, state, and government agencies or as patient-care dietitians in hospitals and other health-care settings. The program also prepares students to continue their studies in doctoral programs.

Students in this program may select additional courses in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, and psychology for a concentration in biochemistry or biophysics. (For details, see “Center for Biochemical and Biophysical Studies.”)

Students planning to qualify for the Registration Examination of the American Dietetic Association must meet both academic and experience requirements. Completion of the Dietetic Practicum may be used to satisfy the experience requirements. The academic requirements for the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) of the American Dietetic Association must be completed before students initiate the practicum hours. A list of courses may be obtained from the student’s adviser. Any deficiency in courses required for admission must be removed within the time limitation determined by the admission committee.

Post-baccalaureate students requesting DPD verification must complete a minimum of 9 semester hours of approved course work at NIU with a grade of C or better. Consult with the DPD director prior to NIU enrollment to determine required course work.

Students-at-large intending to take courses required by this program should meet with the program coordinator.


Applicants are required to have completed a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) or have had courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology or bacteriology, human biology, human physiology, science of nutrition, applied nutrition, two semesters of nutrition in clinical care, principles of food preparation, and statistics. A minimum 3.00 GPA in these courses is required. Applicants will be admitted according to the vacancies in the program. Vacancies are determined by the number of graduate students completing degrees each semester. Applicants with the highest GPA and GRE scores will be given priority for available positions.

A combined total of no more than 12 semester hours of graduate credit earned as a student-at-large plus transfer hours will be counted toward the M.S. degree.

The majority of vacancies in the program are filled shortly after February 15 for summer session, April 15 for fall semester, and September 15 for spring semester.


Students must complete the required courses listed here and fulfill the thesis or non-thesis option, with corresponding requirements listed below:

One of the following (3)

  • Three semester hours selected in consultation with the assigned graduate program adviser (3)

Thesis Option Requirements


In addition to the requirements listed above:

Graduate Credit

A minimum of 32 semester hours of graduate credit is required for the degree with the thesis option.

Non-Thesis Option Requirements


In addition to the requirements listed above, complete:

And 3 additional semester hours

And 3 additional semester hours from the following in consultation with the assigned graduate program adviser.

Graduate Credit

A minimum of 35 semester hours of graduate credit is required for the degree with the non-thesis option.

Dietetic Internship

The dietetic internship offers on-site experiences in dietetics, nutrition, and food service; completion fulfills the practice requirements to qualify to take the Registration Examination of the Commission of Accreditation in Dietetic Education (CADE). Interns may request one of the three CADE emphases: community, general, or food service. The internship is accredited through the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and is available only to majors simultaneously enrolled in the M.S. program in nutrition and dietetics.

The internship involves four terms: an orientation term in which the student takes an internship workshop, FCNS 551A, and course work toward the degree and two semesters and a summer during which the student spends 20-40 hours per week in practice sites and continues graduate study. Students in the internship must have completed at least 9 semester hours toward the degree before they can be placed in a practice site, ordinarily these hours are taken during the orientation term. Interns must be enrolled in at least 4 semester hours of graduate course work toward the M.S. degree while enrolled in spring and fall on-site experiences.


Admission is limited and competitive; admission to the major does not constitute admission to the internship. Although a student may apply for admission to the internship while acceptance to the major is pending, internship acceptance cannot be finalized until the student is accepted into the major.

Applicants must have completed the academic requirements for the DPD of the ADA. A B average in key course work is required. These courses are identified in the applications packet.

Applicants must be certified in food sanitation prior to initiation of on-site practice experiences, and must have successfully completed 150 clock hours of paid work or volunteer experience related to the profession.

Students may apply in the fall or spring semester. Applicants should inquire about application deadlines. Applications will be screened and ranked with the highest ranking applicants being invited to interview. Following the interviews, students are matched to this program through the ADA computer-matching process. Late applicants will be considered if openings are available after computer matching.


In addition to the courses required for the M.S. in nutrition and dietetics, including FCNS 551 (2), students electing the practicum must complete the following.