MFCS - Dietetics

Dietetics is one of the most dynamic and versatile of the health-related professions. The 36-credit online Master of Family and Consumer Sciences with Dietetics specialization prepares Registered Dietitians to practice at an advanced level or to pursue doctoral study.

MFCS Dietetics Flyer »

About the program

Why study dietetics?

The MFCS - Dietetics program develops research skills, stimulates independent thought, and provides up-to-date knowledge in foods, nutrition, food service, and business management.

Learn to integrate and apply the principles from biomedical sciences, human behavior, and management to design and lead effective food and nutrition programs in a variety of settings. You will be able to:

  • Apply cutting-edge information in food, nutrition, food service management, and wellness to enhance dietetics practice.

  • Evaluate and apply new research concepts and theories within the profession of dietetics.

  • Understand public policy and current systems of healthcare delivery with particular reference to the role of the dietitian.

Admissions requirements

Students must meet the following criteria to be admitted to the online master’s program:

  • Student must hold the credential of Registered Dietitian (RD) or be RD-eligible. This means the student has met both the academic and supervised practice requirements of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is ready to sit for the national credentialing exam to become a Registered Dietitian.  If RD-eligible at the time of acceptance, the student must pass the RD exam within the first semester.  If not currently employed as an RD at the time of acceptance, the student must be gainfully employed as a dietitian within the first two semesters of acceptance.
  • Student must meet the master’s program entrance requirements of the admitting university. Typically this requires a minimum of at least a 3.0 undergraduate grade point average (or 3.0 on the last 60 hours of coursework in the undergraduate degree).
  • Preferred:  2+ years of nutrition/dietetic-related work experience (does not need to be as an RD)

Online program

This online program is offered by the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GP-IDEA), a consortium of universities that have come together to offer fully online degree programs. Each university brings a unique strength to the multi-institution academic programs.


Degree requirements

Prior approval. The student’s schedule of courses must be approved by the faculty adviser and the graduate committee.

Core courses — 9 credits

  • 1 basic statistics course (3 credits)
  • 1 research methods course (3 credits). This must be taken in your first 2 semesters in the program.
  • 1 current issues/trends course (3 credits). This must be taken in your last 2 semesters in the program.

Elective courses — 21 credits

  • Nutrition and Physical Activity in Aging (3 credits)
  • Maternal and Child Nutrition (3 credits)
  • Nutrition and Human Performance (3 credits)
  • Nutritional Counseling & Education Methods (3 credits)
  • Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy (3 credits)
  • Nutrition Education in the Community (3 credits)
  • Obesity Across the Lifespan (3 credits)
  • Pediatric Clinical Nutrition (3 credits)
  • Phytochemicals (3 credits)
  • Functional Foods (3 credits)
  • Nutrition in Wellness (3 credits)
  • International Nutrition and World Hunger (3 credits)
  • Healthcare Administration (3 credits)
  • Managerial Finance I (3 credits)
  • Operations Management and Analysis (3 credits)
  • Marketing Concepts and Research (3 credits)
  • Behavioral Management Theory (3 credits)
  • Grant Writing for the Professional (3 credits)
  • Food Production Management (3 credits)
  • Foundations of Leadership (3 credits)
  • Leadership Practicum (3 credits)
  • Nutrition: A Focus on Life Stages (3 credits)
  • Metabolic Roles of Nutrients (Micronutrients)
  • Advanced Nutrition: Nutrigenomics, Nutrigenetics and Advanced Lipid Metabolism in Human Nutrition, Micronutrients in Human Nutrition
  • Accounting Concepts and Analysis
  • Entrepreneurship

Special project/creative component — 6 credits

NOTE:  Graduate credits earned by completing a dietetic internship are not transferrable.

Non-degree status

Students may take up to 9 graduate credit hours as a non-degree-seeking student before being formally admitted to the program. No more than 9 credits earned in non-degree status can be used on the program of study for a degree.

NOTE:  Graduate credits earned by completing a dietetic internship are not transferrable.

  • Contact Information

    MFCS graduate program information

    (Questions about admission, registration, etc.)

    Karen Smidt
    310 MacKay Hall
    Iowa State University
    Ames, IA 50011-1120
    Phone: 515-294-5397
    Fax: 515-294-5385

    Academic issues

    (Questions related to academic progress, such as advice on courses, timing of courses, career path, etc.)

    Sarah L. Francis, PhD, MHS, RD
    224D MacKay
    Ames, IA 50011-1123

  • Tools