Pathway to Becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Mason's MS, Nutrition Dietetic Concentration meets the criteria for the Future Education Model by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). See ACEND's website for more information. Graduates will receive a Master of Science in Nutrition and a verification statement that provides eligibility to sit for the RDN registration exam.
Applications accepted on a rolling basis.
Priority Deadline: March 1, 2023
Please download the pdf for more specific details.
No GRE Required
The required 45 credits of the degree include the following required coursework:
- NUTR 620: Nutrition Education (3 credits)
- NUTR 651: Nutrition Assessment (3 credits)
- NUTR 670: Research Methods (3 credits)
- NUTR 522: Nutrition Across Lifespan (3 credits)
- NUTR 512: Nutrition Counseling and Communication (3 credits)
- NUTR 537: Food Service Management (3 credits)
- NUTR 542: Medical Nutrition Therapy 1 (3 credits)
- NUTR 687: Supervised Practice (7 credits)
- NUTR 587: Profession of Dietetics (2 credits total)
- NUTR 647: Medical Nutrition Therapy 2 (3 credits)
- NUTR 626: Food Systems (3 credits)
- NUTR 515: Fundamentals of Cooking (3 credits)
- NUTR 675: Nutrition Program Evaluation (3 credits)
- GCH 500: Foundations of Public Health (3 credits)
View the Mason Catalog to learn more.
Tuition and Financial Aid
- Tuition $599.75 per credit
- Mandatory Student Fee $146 per credit
- Total Tuition and Fees $745.75
- Tuition $1,487.75 per credit
- Mandatory Student Fee $146 per credit
- Total Tuition and Fees $1,633.75 per credit
- Item Cost AND student memberships $58
- Clinical Lab Coat $50
- Professional Liability Insurance $40 (approximately)
- Drug Testing and Background check $100 (approximate)
In addition, there is a mandatory, non-refundable, one-time fee. The fee is charged to the account of every newly admitted, degree-seeking student at the time of registration, regardless of orientation attendance or enrollment status. The new student fee is $60.00.
All tuition and fee schedules are subject to change from semester to semester. In addition to tuition, costs will include textbooks and materials/supplies for supervised experiential learning.
- All degree-seeking students are eligible to apply for federal aid by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. For more information regarding financial aid eligibility please visit: https://www2.gmu.edu/financial-aid.
- All students enrolled in the MS/RD program are required to become student members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). AND has scholarships and other financial aid offered to students through the AND Foundation. For more information, please visit this site: https://www.eatrightpro.org/leadership/honors-and-awards/grants-and-scholarships.
- Scholarships available through GMU can be found here: https://www2.gmu.edu/financial-aid/types-aid/scholarships.
- The College of Health and Human Services offers a variety of scholarships to assist graduate students with academic expenses. For more information on CHHS scholarships, please visit: https://chhs.gmu.edu/students/scholarships.
The Department of Nutrition and Food Studies may have funds to recruit outstanding applicants, and some faculty may be able to support graduate students with external research funding. For more information, please visit Funding Opportunities.
A withdrawal from the University is defined as leaving the University by dropping all classes after having paid registration fees. Information on leaving the University is available at the following link: Academic Policies and Procedures.
Professional liability insurance and personal health insurance are required for all students enrolled in the MS/RDN program. Proof of insurance must be provided to the Program Director prior to the start of the Supervised Experiential Learning course. Auto insurance is also required, if applicable. Professional liability insurance must cover at least $1 million per incident, $3 million per occurrence.
Admission and Prerequisites
- Completion of GMU Graduate School application. Admission is for Fall semester only.
- Undergraduate degree from an accredited university with a GPA of at least 3.0 preferred.
- Completion of all prerequisites prior to expected entry into the program. A GPA of at least 3.3 in all required coursework with a minimum grade of “B” for Introductory to Nutrition and a minimum grade of “C” for all other courses.
- Prerequisites may be taken at two- or four-year accredited institutions, either in a traditional setting or online.
- TOEFL iBT exam if undergraduate degree is from a country where English is not the official language. Minimum score of 80.
Submit all application materials to GMU Graduate Admissions:
- GMU Graduate application
- Electronic official transcript(s) from all institutions of higher learning attended
- Statement of interest (500 words maximum)
- Two letters of recommendation
Application Deadline: March 1, 2023
*An interview may be requested by the Program Director and other program faculty if necessary.
Prerequisite Courses: Minimum Credits
- Inorganic Chemistry 6 (2 semesters)
- Organic Chemistry 4 (1 semester)
- Human Anatomy and Physiology 4
- Microbiology 3
- Biochemistry 3
- Statistics 3
- Intro to Nutrition 3
- Advanced Nutrition/Metabolism 6 (2 semesters)
- American Government 3
- Medical Terminology 1
TOTAL Minimum Credits 37 credits
** As a science-based didactic program, the MS/RD program requires a strong foundation in chemistry and the biological sciences. Appropriate science/lab classes are single semester and often denoted as appropriate for health professions.
Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Studies
Advance at Mason
The overarching mission of the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies is to inform students and the public about the role of food and nutrition in improving health and well-being among local and global populations through the integration of education, research, and outreach. The educational mission is to provide undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates in food and nutrition-related studies. The research mission is to promote, develop, and support research programs that help define and address food and nutritional issues. The outreach mission is to increase the awareness of food and nutrition-related issues among local and global communities, support local and global food and nutrition initiatives, and enhance collaboration among individuals and organizations to improve nutrition and health-related outcomes.
Goal 1: To prepare graduates with the competencies necessary to become entry-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN).
Goal 2: To prepare career-ready Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) who are engaged in the professional community and lifelong learning.
Students are required to successfully complete all supervised experiential learning and associated assessments such as assignments, exams, case studies, simulations, and presentations. Documentation that students have met established competencies is maintained through the student’s progression through the program. Each supervised experiential learning component includes a set of competencies in which students must demonstrate proficiency. Formal evaluations will be provided to students as they matriculate through the program. Self-evaluations and peer evaluations will also be utilized through the program.
If a student is unable to demonstrate proficiency in a specific set of competencies, the student may receive additional time not to exceed one month. The maximum time allowed to complete all supervised experiential learning and meet competencies is 2.5 years.
Upon completion of the program, the degree granted is a Master of Science in Nutrition with a Dietetics Concentration. The degree requirements include completion of 48 credit hours and a total of 1,155 hours in supervised and alternative experiential learning. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required in order to be awarded a degree from the Graduate College. After the degree is conferred by GMU, the verification statements will be provided to the program graduates by the Program Director. The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will be notified by the Program Director within four weeks of students completing all of the requirements for graduate and posting of degree, at which time the graduate assumes responsibility for scheduling and taking the RDN exam. Students are encouraged to take the exam promptly after completing the program.
Download a copy of the Future Education Model Graduate Degree Competencies and Performance Indicators for more information.
The Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics program is accredited as a Future Education Model (FEM) graduate program by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND): 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606, 800-877-1600 ext. 5400