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Frequently Asked Questions

Curious about KU's online master's degree program in dietetics and nutrition? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from students.

How long does it take to complete the online master's degree program?

Completion of degree requirements depends upon several factors, including the semester start date, the specific courses offered each semester, and the student's desired course load each semester. Many students in this program are working professionals with job and family responsibilities, and this program allows the flexibility to take the number of courses that work in the student's schedule.

Taking two courses each semester (including summers) should allow students to complete the program in approximately two years. More courses may be taken each semester provided they are available at the institution at that time. See the current schedule of course offerings using the course planner on the Great Plains IDEA website.

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.

Can course credits be transferred to this program?

Yes. Up to six (6) graduate-level credits may be transferred to the master's degree program. These courses must be nutrition-related and will be verified for eligibility via transcripts and course syllabi submitted by the student.

Is travel to campus required or expected?

A visit to KU Medical Center is not required for students completing a non-thesis research project; however, students completing a thesis research project will be required to defend the thesis in person on campus.

KU welcomes all students to campus to meet the program faculty and other KU students in the dietetics and nutrition programs!

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 a master's of science degree 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 required to enter the online MS degree program through the Great Plains IDEA consortium.

Without the RD credential, students must be registration-eligible. This requires completion of both an accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and an accredited Dietetic Internship program or the completion of a Coordinated Program in Dietetics, which encompasses both the academic degree and the supervised practice experience.

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.

Who may I contact about eligibility or admissions questions?

Kendra Spaeth
GPIDEA campus coordinator and course advisor
913-588-8992 (email)

Who should I contact about research questions?

Jeannine Goetz, Ph.D., RD
GPIDEA program director
913-588-1449 or

School of Health Professions

Dietetics and Nutrition
KU Medical Center
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Mailstop 4013
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-5355 • 711 TTY