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Are you interested in a certificate in child nutrition?

Management of Child Nutrition Programs Graduate Certificate
Program Overview

Do you have a passion for nutrition, and want to provide healthier meals for children? The graduate Certificate Program in Management of Child Nutrition Program will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to excel in the management of child nutrition. The program is designed for school nutrition program directors/supervisors and senior management staff employed by local school districts or state agencies, as well as those interested in pursuing careers in school nutrition.

This convenient and affordable online program draws on real-world experiences and encourages professionals to engage in research meaningful to their organization.  Faculty and industry experts facilitate a think-tank learning environment where creativity flourishes and students engage with the brightest minds in human capital development – offering the best to our students. This is your life, plus college.

Interested in a master’s degree? Check out our Nutrition and Food Systems online degree – MS (Management of Child Nutrition Programs). Need an undergraduate certificate instead? We also offer a Child Nutrition Program Management Undergraduate Certificate online.



The Graduate Certificate in Management Child Nutrition Programs requires six three-credit courses for completion and provides broad exposure to the field.  Graduates of the program are prepared to take on additional responsibilities in their existing careers or begin new careers as child nutrition professionals.

The Graduate Certificate Program may serve as an entry point for enrollment into the Master of Science (MS) in Nutrition and Food Systems program.
The program is geared to meet the educational needs of two types of students:

  • The school nutrition professional seeking advanced training in food service operations and financial management and child nutrition.
  • The individual with no experience in child nutrition programs seeking training in food production management, child nutrition program management, and child nutrition.

The main objectives of the program are to provide students with:

  • A theoretical and practical understanding of child nutrition program management, including food production, financial management, child nutrition and school wellness.
  • Skills needed to manage school nutrition programs in the 21st century.

Admission to the Graduate Certificate Program requires a baccalaureate degree in any subject area from a college or university approved by a recognized accrediting agency. No specific food service management or nutrition background is required.


  • A bachelor’s degree in any field of study from an accredited institution.
  • The TOEFL for all applicants for whom English is not their native language.
  • An undergraduate cumulative GPA of at least 2.75.
  • Completion of an undergraduate introductory nutrition course (applicants who have not met this prerequisite can enroll in NFS 362, Nutrition, offered online)
  • Official sealed transcripts must accompany the application.

Graduate Certificate Application Deadlines:

  • Fall semester – July 15
  • Spring semester –  November 15
  • Summer term – April 15

Degree Requirements


  • NFS 625 – Child Nutrition (3 credits)*
  • NFS 582 – Food Production Management in Child Nutrition Programs (3 credits)
  • NFS 673 – Child Nutrition Program Management (3 credits)
  • NFS 581, Financial Management in Child Nutrition Programs (3 credits)

*NFS 362, Nutrition, or an equivalent 3-credit introductory nutrition course, is a required prerequisite for NFS 625

Frequently Asked Questions

Typically we offer one to two classes per semester including the summer semester.

We rotate the classes each semester.  Classes offered each semester are dependent on enrollment. Typically a student can finish the program within two calendar years, including courses taken during the summer semester.

For pricing information, click here.  As a student enrolled in a certificate program, you are not eligible for financial aid.  For detailed tuition information, click here 


Students may start the program at the beginning of each semester.

Please check Southern Miss’s academic calendar at:

Who teaches the courses?

The faculty are a combination of full-time faculty in the Nutrition and Food Systems department and adjunct faculty with teaching and professional expertise and experience in child nutrition program management.

Is this program approved by state agencies?

The Mississippi Department of Education has approved the coursework in the certificate program to meet the educational requirements for School Food Service Administrator. If you are from another state, please check with your state agency to determine if these courses will meet your state requirements.

What other online degrees are offered by Online at Southern Miss?

Please visit our programs page here: