As the critical role of nutrition in the prevention and treatment of illness becomes increasingly evident, the demand for registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) with graduate degrees is growing faster than ever. In addition, beginning in 2024, all new RDNs must have a graduate degree.
With excellent academics and top-notch faculty, Ball State’s graduate program in nutrition and dietetics will prepare you for success in one of the country’s most promising job markets.
Choose your path
Ball State offers two master’s programs in nutrition and dietetics. The admission requirements and application process differ depending on whether you are currently a registered dietitian or aspiring to become a dietitian.
Find admission requirements for:
What You Will Learn
Tailored exclusively for current and aspiring registered dietitian nutritionists, our program provides a rigorous course of study that includes classes in:
- nutrition assessment
- nutrition science
- life cycle nutrition ( i.e., maternal and infant, pediatrics, geriatrics)
- medical nutrition therapy (i.e., renal nutrition, cardiovascular nutrition, oncology)
- food and nutrition policy
Pursuing a MS Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics
The program offers both a thesis and non-thesis option, so you can choose the path of study that’s right for you.
For those aspiring to become a registered dietitian, it also includes an ACEND-approved dietetic internship with a medical nutrition therapy focus, which is required to sit for the dietetic registration examination.
In short, it gives current and aspiring RDNs superior opportunities in a single, convenient place.
If you are a registered dietitian nutritionist seeking a master’s degree, the program can be completed entirely online.
If you are an aspiring dietitian, you will required to come to Ball State's campus for your Orientation Week (first week of your Dietetic Internship) and for Evaluation Week (last week of your Dietetic Internship). Your Dietetic Internship will be completed off campus at one of Ball State's affiliated medical centers and community sites. All regular graduate courses will be completed online.
Our internship, accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), is concentrated in medical nutrition therapy (MNT), which will teach you to treat patients by customizing diets for their conditions and symptoms.
MNT study will prepare you for a career in a clinical setting, collaborating with doctors and helping patients make life-changing, and even life-saving, nutrition and lifestyle choices.
To be eligible for the MS Nutrition and Dietetics program as an aspiring dietitian, applicants must have a certificate of completion (verification statement) from an ACEND-approved undergraduate program in nutrition and dietetics and apply to our dietetic internship through DICAS and D&D Digital. The department uses your DICAS materials to select our 24 students annually. Most aspiring dietitians complete the program in two years, including the ACEND-accredited dietetic internship, which is completed at sites throughout Indiana.
Those applying to our 100% online program for current RDN must provide proof of registration with CDR.
Students in both programs complete 36 credits, taking courses in statistics, research methods, and a variety of nutrition-specific courses. Transfer of up to 9 graduate credits is possible.
Review our admission requirements, dates and deadlines, and instructions. Then complete our online application
Degrees, which can be earned through both online and on-campus course work include:
- Master of Science (MS) – Research: six-credit thesis required
- Master of Science (MS) – Applied: Six additional elective credits replace the thesis credits
The internship concentrates on medical nutrition therapy (MNT) in which interns spend:
- Food Systems Management Rotation (360 hours): Nine weeks in a hospital
- Nutrition Therapy Rotation (520 hours): 13 weeks in a hospital (12 weeks for those attending the Diabetes Camp)
- Community/Business Rotation (320 hours): Two, four-week rotations in a community/business setting
Your program of work will include the following:
- Research Component (Statistics, Research Methods, Thesis) – 6-12 credits
- Nutrition Core Courses (Nutrition Assessment, Macronutrients, Micronutrients) – 9 credits
- Nutrition Directed Electives (i.e., Maternal and Infant, Pediatrics, Renal, Cardiovascular, Sports Nutrition) – 6 credits
- Electives (including the dietetic internship) – 9-15 credits
For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, please see our Graduate Catalog.
What Can You Do with a Master of Science Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics?
The demand for dietitians is projected to exceed supply for the next 10 years due to the increased role of nutrition in the prevention and treatment of illness. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of dietitians and nutritionists will grow 15 percent between 2016 and 2026—faster than all other jobs. That means graduates from our program enjoy a wealth of career opportunities.
After you graduate, you’ll be eligible for employment in various capacities within clinical, community, and management settings, including:
- clinical dietitian
- community nutritionist
- public health nutritionist
- sports nutritionist
- food service director
- consultant dietitian
- board certified specialist
- private practice dietitian
Paying for Your Education
Additional Program Fees
Additional program fees include the College of Health Student fee of $25 per credit hour and drug and/or background check fees if required by a supervised practice site used in the program.
Ready to Apply?
To be eligible to apply to our program, you need to already have an academic background in nutrition and dietetics.
You must either:
Review our admission requirements, dates and deadlines, and instructions. Then complete our online application.
If you would like to learn more about this program or about Ball State’s Graduate School in general, please complete our online form to request more information. Or, if you’d like to speak with someone in our department directly by phone or email, please contact us.