Nutrition

Program Contacts

Nina Roofe, PhD, RDN, LDN: Chair, Department of Nutrition and Family Sciences
Telephone: (501) 450-5950 | Email: nroofe@uca.edu

Alicia Landry, PhD, RDN, LDN, SNS: Graduate Program Coordinator
Telephone: (501) 852-0320 | Email: alandry@uca.edu

[1] Master of Science in Nutrition

The Master of Science in Nutrition at UCA has two tracks: (1) General Nutrition and (2) Dietetics and Nutrition Therapy. The General Nutrition track is for students who have already obtained a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist credential or those who are not pursuing the credential. The Dietetics and Nutrition Therapy track is a selective admission program comprising required supervised experiential learning and is for students pursuing a verification statement in order to become eligible to take the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist exam.

[2] Admission Requirements

[2.1] General Nutrition Admission Requirements

The primary mission of the Master of Science in Nutrition is to prepare graduates with the knowledge and skills for advanced practice careers in nutrition and dietetics. Graduates of the program will be able to synthesize and evaluate research and disseminate findings, demonstrate professional communication skills, and demonstrate advanced-practice skills required for nutrition professionals.

To be granted regular admission to graduate school and to the MS in General Nutrition, students must have accomplished the following:

  • Obtained a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with an undergraduate degree in nutrition or related field or successfully completed the courses for an undergraduate didactic program in dietetics as required.
  • Achieved a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.70 on a scale of 4.00 or at least a 3.00 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate study.
  • Achieved a minimum 3.00 GPA on any graduate course work previously taken at another accredited institution.
  • Submitted required test scores (GRE) OR proof of the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential OR proof of acceptance and/or current enrollment in an ACEND accredited supervised practice program OR submitted an acceptable response to a writing prompt.

Please note:
(1) Students admitted to the General Nutrition track are not allowed to switch to the Dietetics and Nutrition Therapy track. Instead, the student must apply to the Dietetics and Nutrition Therapy track to be considered for admission, which is not guaranteed.
(2) Students previously awarded a Master of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences with a Nutrition and Foods concentration are not eligible for admission to either track—General Nutrition or Dietetics Nutrition Therapy—in the Master of Science in Nutrition.
(3) Students who complete the MS in Nutrition in one track are not eligible to return to complete the degree in the other track.

[2.2] Dietetics and Nutrition Therapy Admission Requirements

The mission of the University of Central Arkansas Master of Science in Nutrition, Dietetics and Nutrition Therapy Track, is to maintain a high-quality program in dietetics, dedicated to assisting graduates with development of needed skills for the varied roles of the dietitian in today’s society, and which ultimately culminates in preparation of entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists and therefore registration eligibility with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Graduates will be provided opportunities to develop expertise in nutrition therapy, community nutrition, and foodservice systems management, while developing professional attitudes, maturity, and competent professional behavior.

To be granted regular admission to graduate school and to the Master of Science in Nutrition, Dietetics and Nutrition Therapy Track, students must have accomplished the following:

  1. BS Degree: Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree from a four-year college or university or its international equivalent with a 3.00 GPA or better in any subject. Students who earned a degree in nutrition/dietetics and have received a verification statement are eligible to apply, as are students who earned a degree in any other subject, as long as they have completed the required prerequisite courses prior to admission.
  2. Prior to applying, students must have completed the following prerequisite courses [Note 1]:
    1. 1 semester of an introductory or basic statistics course
    2. 1 semester of general chemistry
    3. 1 semester of organic chemistry (preferably with biochemistry)
    4. 2 semesters of anatomy and physiology
    5. 1 semester of microbiology
    6. 1 semester of an introductory nutrition course (minimum 3 units and taught by a registered dietitian)
    7. 1 semester course in food safety and sanitation or proof of a current ServSafe® certification
    8. 1 semester each of Nutrition Counseling, Community Nutrition, Nutrition and Metabolism, Food Economics, Nutrition Services Administration, Food Science, Experimental Foods
    9. 2 semesters of Medical Nutrition Therapy
    10. 2 semesters of Lifecycle Nutrition
  3. At least 275 on the GRE composite and a 3 or above on writing.
  4. Approved background check.

Note 1

Students who have not completed all prerequisite courses prior to submitting their application will still be considered for the program as long as no more than 3 prerequisite courses are outstanding prior to the application deadline, and the student can demonstrate proof of enrollment in the remaining prerequisite courses in their application. Students with outstanding prerequisite courses must demonstrate that they have completed those courses with a B or better prior to the start of the program. Students will be dropped from the program if prerequisite courses are not complete, or if a B or better was not earned prior to the start of the program. Prerequisite courses completed more than 6 years prior to the application deadline may need to be retaken.

[3] Degree Requirements

[3.1] Core Requirements

The following 9 hours are required for all students enrolled in the Master of Science in Nutrition.

NUTR 6308 Trends in Nutrition

FACS 6335 Evidence-Based Research in Nutrition or ASTL 6380 Research Methods or HLTH 6379 Research in Health Sciences

FACS 6350 Statistical Methods in Family and Consumer Sciences or ASTL 6382 Educational Statistics or EXSS 6316 Data Analysis

[3.2] General Nutrition Track (30 or 36 hours)

The General Nutrition track offers thesis and non-thesis options; the requirements for these options differ. All students completing the General Nutrition Track will complete a graduate portfolio as described in the departmental manual for graduate students.

[3.2.1] Thesis Option (30 hours)

In addition to the 9 hours of required core courses, students may choose from the classes below in order to complete 15 hours of coursework.

Selected Classes (15 hours)

NUTR 5V30 Special Topics (variable credit 1-3 hours)
NUTR 5321 Nutrition Services Administration
NUTR 5324 Nutrition Assessment
NUTR 5340 Geriatric Nutrition
NUTR 5375 Nutrition in Exercise and Sports
NUTR 6307 Current Findings in Foods
NUTR 6313 Diet Therapy
NUTR 6314 Business and Entrepreneurship in the Nutrition Profession
NUTR 6330 Metabolic Nutrition
NUTR 6335 Nutrition Counseling
NUTR 6340 Diabetes Medical Nutrition Therapy
NUTR 6345 Pediatric Nutrition
NUTR 6346 Global Nutrition
NUTR 6347 Nutrition Public Policy
FACS 5310 Program Development
FACS 6310 Advanced Resource Management

Thesis research (6 hours)

NUTR 6V44 Thesis Research (Variable credit: 1-3 hours)

The procedures for selecting and writing a thesis will be those prescribed in the current UCA Thesis and Dissertation Preparation Guide, available online at https://uca.edu/graduateschool/thesisdissertation/.

After the thesis has been read and approved and before the candidate is recommended to the Dean of the Graduate School for graduation, the candidate will meet with his/her thesis committee for an oral examination, which will consist principally of a defense of the thesis. A majority of the student’s committee must approve the thesis and its defense. If approval is denied, the candidate will not be recommended for graduation. In this event, the student may be re-examined at a later period, no sooner than two months after initial examination.

[3.2.2] Non-Thesis Option (36 hours)

In addition to the 9 hours of required core courses, students may choose from the classes below in order to complete 27 hours of coursework.

Selected Classes (27 hours)

NUTR 5V30 Special Topics (variable credit 1-3 hours)
NUTR 5321 Nutrition Services Administration
NUTR 5324 Nutrition Assessment
NUTR 5V20 Dietetic Internship Practicum (variable credit 1-9 hours)
NUTR 5340 Geriatric Nutrition
NUTR 5375 Nutrition in Exercise and Sports
NUTR 6307 Current Findings in Foods
NUTR 6313 Diet Therapy
NUTR 6314 Business and Entrepreneurship in the Nutrition Profession
NUTR 6330 Metabolic Nutrition
NUTR 6335 Nutrition Counseling
NUTR 6340 Diabetes Medical Nutrition Therapy
NUTR 6345 Pediatric Nutrition
NUTR 6346 Global Nutrition
NUTR 6347 Nutrition Public Policy
FACS 5310 Program Development
FACS 6310 Advanced Resource Management

Students selecting the non-thesis option will be required to complete a graduate portfolio and pass a written comprehensive examination. The comprehensive exam will be given with the permission of the graduate coordinator or department chair after the student has completed the required courses. The student will advise the graduate coordinator of intent to take the examination by submitting a Comprehensive Examination Request form (see departmental manual for graduate students) to the department chair early in the semester of the requested examination date.

[3.3] Dietetics and Nutrition Therapy Track (36 hours)

The Dietetics and Nutrition Therapy Track is a supervised experiential learning program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
Telephone: (800) 877-1600 x5400
Email: ACEND@eatright.org
Website: http://www.eatright.org/acend/

The Dietetics and Nutrition Therapy Track meets performance requirements for eligibility to write the Commission on Dietetics Registration exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). The Dietetics and Nutrition Therapy Track is to be completed in 15 months. The first year includes instruction and practicum experiences in community nutrition, research, and food-service management. Instruction and practicum experiences during the second year include clinical nutrition and clinical management. Practice sites include various health care facilities in Arkansas.

In addition to the 9 hours of required core courses, students will take 24 hours of required coursework and may choose an additional elective upon approval of their advisor.

Dietetics and Nutrition Therapy Requirements (24 hours)

NUTR 5V15 Nutrition Services Practicum (variable credit 1-6 hours)
NUTR 5V17 Community Nutrition Practicum (variable credit 1-3 hours)
NUTR 5V18 Clinical Nutrition Practicum (variable credit 1-6 hours)
NUTR 6313 Diet Therapy
NUTR 5324 Nutrition Assessment
NUTR 6335 Nutrition Counseling

Dietetics and Nutrition Therapy Directed Elective (3 hours)

NUTR 5V19 Nutrition Research Practicum (variable credit 1-6 hours)
NUTR 5V20 Dietetic Internship Practicum (variable credit 1-9 hours)
NUTR 5321 Nutrition Services Administration
NUTR 5375 Nutrition in Exercise and Sports
NUTR 6307 Current Findings in Foods
NUTR 6314 Business and Entrepreneurship in the Nutrition Profession
NUTR 6330 Metabolic Nutrition
NUTR 6340 Diabetes Medical Nutrition Therapy

[4] Graduate Course Links

Follow this link to NUTR course descriptions: course link.
Follow this link to FACS course descriptions: course link.
Follow this link to EXSS course descriptions: course link.
Follow this link to ASTL course descriptions: course link.
Follow this link to HLTH course descriptions: course link.