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Looking for a dietetics program?

Nutrition and Food Systems (Dietetics Practice) MS
Program Overview

Are you interested in having a career that promotes a healthy lifestyle? The fully online Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems emphasizing Dietetics Practice enables students enrolled in a dietetic internship to complete half of their degree concurrently with supervised practice, while the remainder of the degree requirements can be completed fully online. 

With this dietetics program, students have the opportunity to earn a degree without stepping foot on campus. Let The University of Southern Mississippi help you get the degree you need to become a professional dietician. This is your life, plus college.



  • Students will be considered for the Dietetics Practice Emphasis if they are matched with the Southern Miss Dietetic Internship or one of the Affiliated Dietetic Internships (Insert list here when finalized and add links)
  • Prospective students applying to the Dietetic Internship programs listed above will complete their own application and selection process; Southern Miss will not be involved in the selection of students into the dietetic internship.
  • The day after accepting the match, selected students will need to apply for the graduate program (
    • Online application
    • 3 letters of recommendation from DICAS will be forwarded to the graduate school and uploaded into the system
    • Transcripts from all universities attended will need to be sent to the graduate school
      • Grade Requirements for Admission
        • >75 on the last 60 hours
        • >7 Science GPA
        • No grade lower than a C in any course
      • GRE scores
      • Application Fee
      • Immunization Records
    • The department will process the application and inform students of their admission status
      • Regular admission
        • If admitted under regular admission, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA and have no more than 2 grades lower than or equal to a C+ during their graduate coursework
      • Conditional admission
        • If admitted under condition admission, students must achieve a 3.0 on the 1st 9 hours of coursework to remain in the program. Additionally, Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA and have no more than 2 grades lower than or equal to a C+ during their graduate coursework
      • Non-admission (Note: my guess is that most students who get into an internship will obtain at least conditional admission, but we can work on a score card to indicate the minimum GRE score allowed based on GPA)

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements (12-15 hours)

  • DPH 623 – Biostatistics 3 hrs. or
  • REF 602 – Introduction to Educational Statistics 3 hrs.
  • NFS 703 – Research Techniques for Nutrition and Food Systems 3 hrs.
  • NFS 715 – Recent Developments in Applied Nutrition 3 hrs.
  • NFS 692 – Special Problems in Nutrition 1-4 hrs. (6 hrs. required) or
  • NFS 698 – Thesis 1-6 hrs. (6 hrs. required) (3 hrs. required)(professional project)

  • NFS 630 – Food Systems Management 4 hrs.
  • NFS 640 – Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy 4 hrs.
  • NFS 664 – Seminar in Food and Nutrition 1-3 hrs. (4 hrs. required)
  • NFS 694 – Current Topics in Food Service Management 1-6 hrs. (3 hrs. required)
  • NFS electives 3 hrs.
  • Directed electives (require advisor approval) 3-6 hrs.


The emphasis in Dietetic Practice fulfills Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics requirements for supervised practice. Students in the Dietetic Practice emphasis must also be admitted to a dietetic internship accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). The emphasis in Management of Child Nutrition Programs is available as a fully online program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Only students who apply to dietetic internships that are directly affiliated with the Master of Science in Nutrition & Food Systems (Dietetic Practice Emphasis) are eligible to apply for our program. If you are not sure if your Dietetic Internship has a formal affiliation, please contact the director of the internship for more information.

The application to graduate school is an entirely separate application process. You will need to apply to the graduate school at Southern Miss in addition to applying to your internship program.

The process to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist is a 3-step process that includes completing an accredited undergraduate program, getting accepted into and completing an accredited dietetic internship along with a master’s degree, and successfully passing the registration examination for dietitians. A master’s degree alone does not allow one to work as a dietitian nutritionist.

In addition to the coursework, students must also complete a dietetic internship that is integrated with the master’s degree. Students must also complete a capstone research project and take written and oral comprehensive examinations.

Online classes waive the out of state fees. All coursework for this degree program is delivered in an online format.

Are any scholarships available for the dietetics program?

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation is the largest provider of dietetic scholarships to deserving students at all levels of study The USM Foundation provides a variety of scholarships to eligible students through a scholarship application system

Can I get financial aid?

Students enrolled in the master’s degree program. More information about financial aid can be found at

What are the costs for this dietetics program?

In addition to any costs and fees affiliated with the dietetic internship, you will be charged tuition. Tuition is charged per credit hour up to twelve (12) hours for undergraduates and up to nine (9) hours for graduates. More information about General Tuition and Fees can be found at