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Are you interested in an undergraduate nutrition certificate?

Management of Child Nutrition Programs Undergraduate Certificate
Program Overview

Do you have a passion for nutrition, and want to provide healthier meals for children? The undergraduate nutrition certificate 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 graduate degree? We offer a Nutrition and Food Systems online degree – MS (Management of Child Nutrition Programs). Alternately, we also offer Management of Child Nutrition Programs Graduate Certificate online.



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

In the program, individuals with a variety of backgrounds take courses in food production management, financial management, child nutrition program management, nutrition of children, and related areas to gain expertise for positions that require an understanding of both food service operations management and child nutrition.

The program is geared to meet the educational needs of two types of students:

  • The child nutrition professional seeking additional training in food service operations and financial management and child nutrition.
  • The individual with little or 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:

  • An 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.

Degree Requirements

The goal of the Certificate Program in the Management of Child Nutrition Programs is to provide knowledge and skills in food service operations management and child nutrition for those currently employed or pursuing careers in school nutrition. School nutrition professionals are employees of state and local education agencies, who ensure that healthful meals and nutrition education are provided to children in their districts, communities, and states. The certificate program focuses both on the management of school food service operations as well as meeting the nutritional needs of school children.
The undergraduate certificate program was developed with the needs of working professionals in mind. Most program participants will take 1-2 courses per semester and will require approximately two years for completion.

The curriculum consists of four three-credit courses, for a total of 12 credit hours.

*NFS 362, Nutrition, or an equivalent 3-credit introductory nutrition course, is a required prerequisite for NFS 425.

  • Students must complete credit hour and course requirements with a 2.0 GPA.

Frequently Asked Questions

Typically we offer 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: . 

Do I need any special equipment or software?

Students can access the class through the internet from any computer with internet access. Most courses require use of word processing or spreadsheet software (Microsoft Office is preferred).

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: