Jun 19, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 

Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics

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The M.S. in nutrition and dietetics is designed to prepare both students and current professionals who are interested in community nutrition. Applicants who have previously completed a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) prior to admission into this program can go on 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. Applicants who have not previously completed a DPD, can go on to work in food science, dietary supplement development, food service management or food and nutrition related research.

Applicants interested in becoming a registered dietitian, post-baccalaureate students who do not have DPD verification may earn this credential by consulting with the NIU undergraduate DPD director to determine the required course work needed to fulfill DPD verification. To earn DPD verification through NIU, post-baccalaureate students must complete a minimum of 9 semester hours at NIU with a grade of B or better. Note that the post-baccalaureate students who complete DPD requirements at NIU may be eligible for a second bachelor of science degree. Consult with the College of Health and Human Sciences undergraduate academic adviser for degree requirements.

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

Check departmental information for any additional requirements.

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at http://www.niu.edu/assessment/clearinghouse/outcomes/index.shtml.


Applicants must have had at least 3 credit hours courses in general chemistry, 3 credit hours in organic chemistry, 3 credit hours in biochemistry, 3 credit hours in microbiology or bacteriology, 3 credit hours in human biology, 5 credit hours in human anatomy and physiology, 3 credit hours in nutrition, and 3 credit hours in 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 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. 


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

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:

Additional requirements:

3 additional semester hours 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 internship is accredited by the Accreditation Council for the Education of Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) and is available only to majors enrolled in the M.S. program in nutrition and dietetics. The dietetic internship offers on-site supervised practice experiences in dietetics, nutrition, and food service; completion fulfills the practice requirements to qualify for the Registration Examination of the Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR). 

The combined M.S. and internship program involves six terms: two orientation terms comprised of course work only, and four terms comprised of both on-site supervised practice experience (20-40 hours/week) and graduate study. Students in the internship must have completed at least 15 semester hours toward the degree before they can be placed in a supervised practice site. 

Special Requirements

See the Clinical Requirements HERE. 


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 ACEND. A grade point average of 3.00 or better in key DPD course work is required. These courses are identified in the applications packet.

Applicants must have successfully completed 150 clock hours of paid work or volunteer experience related to the profession.

Students may apply in the 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 through the online Dietetics Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS) of the Academy. Late applicants will be considered only if openings are available after computer matching. 


In addition to the courses required for the M.S. in nutrition and dietetics, including NUTR 652 (1) and NUTR 653 (1), students electing the practicum must complete the following internship courses: 

Program Completion

When all requirements of both the M.S. degree and dietetic internship have been met, students will be issued the ACEND Verification Statement of dietetic internship completion. 

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