Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to the questions we hear most often from students interested in the Master of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition.
I have a bachelor's degree in another field but now I want to become a nutritionist. What do I have to do to reach this career goal?
First, you need to decide if you want to be a registered dietitian or if you want to add graduate coursework in nutrition to your educational background. To help you decide, visit the area for students at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website.
What is the difference in the positions available to a registered dietitian versus a non-RD with a degree in nutrition?
Positions in health care organizations, physicians' clinics and some other organizations usually require an RD credential. Some other positions are available to both RDs and people with a nutrition degree such as positions in government agencies, food industry, research, community and public health settings, sports nutrition, wellness programs and public schools. Some individuals obtain an MS in Nutrition at KU to place them at an advantage to apply for medical school.
Do I have to be a registered dietitian to enter the Master of Science program?
The registered dietitian credential is not required for admission to the residential MS degree program. An undergraduate degree is required and may be in any field as long as the prerequisite courses have been completed with the minimum GPA. You will need at least one course in each of the following: biochemistry, physiology, and nutrition.
The registered dietitian credential is required to enter the online MS degree program through the Great Plains IDEA consortium.
Does an MS degree in dietetics provide eligibility for the registered dietitian credential or professional licensing?
Completion of the MS degree alone does not provide eligibility for the registered dietitian credential. Professional licensing standards vary by state and profession.
My grades are not quite good enough, or I don't have all the prerequisites or a GRE score. Can I begin the Master's program in Dietetics and Nutrition now?
For students with undergraduate GPAs <3.0 or who have not met prerequisites, contact the department for guidance to explore alternative options for enrollment. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.
Does KU offer a bachelor’s degree in dietetics?
KU does not offer a bachelor’s degree in dietetics. Students interested in obtaining the registered dietitian credential should obtain a bachelor’s degree at one of the accredited didactic programs. More information and a list of accredited programs can be found on the Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition website.
Is financial aid available?
Yes. Financial aid is available for degree-seeking students, and information can be obtained from Student Financial Aid. Submit applications for financial aid by March 1 for priority status. Students will be notified in April if they have been matched with the dietetic internship program at KU.
Are there scholarships available?
Yes. The KU Department of Dietetics and Nutrition sponsors scholarships and awards for students annually including the Sevie Nelson Scholarship, Marian Boelte Scholarship, Ruth Gordon Award, and Rowena Sherrill Award, Pete Beyer Scholarship, and Marilyn Lucas Scholarship.
Additional scholarship opportunities are available from the School of Health Professions. Students are also encouraged to apply for scholarships from the city and state dietetic association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Application information can be accessed at Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation.
Is housing available on campus for students?
No, there are no university-sponsored dormitories in the area. Students are responsible for living and transportation expenses. A searchable database of housing near the KU Medical Center Kansas City campus is available. Additionally, the Program Director will share lists of recommendations from previous interns.