Dietetics Practice

Fully Online Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems with an emphasis in Dietetics Practice designed specifically to be integrated into a Dietetic Internship

Department of Nutrition and Food Systems

The Nutrition and Food Systems Master of Science in Dietetics Practice is designed to enable students enrolled in a dietetic internship to complete the degree concurrently with supervised practice.  All of the degree requirements can be completed fully online, requiring no visits to the Southern Miss Campus. YOU MUST HAVE A VERIFICATION STATMENT from an accredited didactic program in order to apply for this program. 

 Why Southern Miss?

  • Completion of the graduate degree and the dietetic internship are planned to be completed within a 2-year time frame
  • Strong foundation knowledge prior to entering the dietetic internship, allowing students to function at a higher level once entering supervised practice sites
  • Innovative curriculum that aligns program coursework with internship requirements—program coordinators work with the internship directors to align activities and assignments
  • Coordinated supervised practice and graduate coursework designed to develop greater critical thinking and decision making skills in the workplace
  • Cutting edge online teaching strategies, where students have greater interaction with program faculty and classmates
  • Graduate coursework complements all facets of nutrition and dietetics practice, including clinical, management, and community, increasing preparation for entry-level positions
  • Focus on upcoming areas of dietetics practice, including improved communication, leadership, counseling, and global health
  • Strong integration of research into practice, allowing students to utilize supervised practice projects to transition into the degree capstone research project

 Highlights

  • For students admitted to dietetic internships other than Southern Miss, acceptance into the program occurs after computer match to the Dietetic Internship
  • Out of state tuition rates waived for students enrolled in fully online programs
  • Availability of federal financial aid for those students who qualify, including cost of tuition, living expenses, travel, and personal requirements related to the program (http://www.usm.edu/financial-aid)
  • Fast-tracked application process—once accepted into the internship, acceptance into the graduate program can take as little as 1 week  (http://www.usm.edu/graduate-school/apply-graduate-school)
  • No need for additional letters of recommendation to the graduate school (DICAS letters accepted)
  • Interact and learn from interns all over the country

 Brag Points:

  • In the past 5 years, 92% of the students who wanted the master’s degree, completed program requirements within 2 years of starting the internship, while the remaining 8% completed program requirements in an additional 2 years.
  • In the past 5 years, graduate students in the Dietetics Practice emphasis had 2 manuscripts and 21 abstracts published in peer-reviewed journals, with a corresponding 21 presentations of research findings at national level nutrition and dietetics annual meetings.
  • The online education program at USM has been recognized as the best among Mississippi colleges and universities (top 35 nationally) in a 2015-16 ranking by AffordableCollegesOnline.org. Of the seven Mississippi schools that offer online courses and programs, Southern Miss ranked No. 1 based upon factors such as academic quality, student services and graduate success.

What do I need to get admitted into Grad School?

  • Complete the application (http://www.usm.edu/graduate-school/apply-graduate-school)
    • GRE Scores sent to The University of Southern Mississippi
    • Dietetics Practice emphasis
    • Summer admission term
    • Application fee
    • Official Transcripts from all Colleges/Universities attended
    • Letters of recommendation will be obtained through your DICAS application

 The Curriculum

  • NFS 630 - Food Systems Management
  • NFS 640 - Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • NFS 662 - Community Health and Nutrition
  • NFS 692 - Special Problems in Nutrition (non-thesis research requirement)
  • NFS 703 - Research Techniques for Nutrition and Food Systems
  • NFS 713 - Nutrition Education: Theory, Research, and Practice
  • NFS 774 - Management of Nutritional Services: A Behavioral Approach
  • NFS 780 - Advanced Practice in Nutrition and Food Systems
  • NFS 810- Food and Nutrition Public Policy
  • Other electives maybe required

FAQ

Do I need to take the GRE?

  • Yes, the GRE is a required part of the application process.

When should I take the GRE?

  • It is recommended that you take the GRE prior to the February 15th application deadline.  This will help to assure that your scores will have time to be processed and be received by the university.  This also give you time to re-take the GRE if your scores are less than ideal.

Does this program require a minimum GRE?

  • No minimum scores are required.  However, GRE scores are weighted along with GPA and letters of recommendation.  The total score in each of these areas is calculated to determine admission status.  So, if you have a very high GPA and excellent letters of recommendation, your GRE scores may not have to be at the top percentile.

Do I have to write a thesis?

  • No, the degree program is non-thesis.  However, a capstone research project is required.  Student can choose to use one of the research projects completed during supervised project as the foundation for their research project.

How much does the program cost?

  • Since out of state fees are waived for online programs at Southern Miss, the cost for the entire degree, including course fees, is approximately $15,000.

Can I get financial aid?

  • YES, YES, YES!

If I apply to the dietetic internship, have I also applied to graduate school?

  • No, application to the internship and the graduate school are 2 separate processes.

When should I apply to graduate school?

  • While you are not required to apply until after match day, it is strongly encouraged that you apply before April 1st.  This gives adequate time for your application to be processed and for GRE scores to arrive.  Once you get accepted into the internship, you can pay the application fee and officially “submit” your application.
  • Southern Miss Dietetic Internship applicants are required to submit their graduate school application with their application to the internship. 

Contact Information

Elaine Fontenot Molaison, PhD, RD—Department Chair and Graduate Program Director

The University of Southern Mississippi

Department of Nutrition & Food Systems

118 College Drive #5172

Hattiesburg, MS 39406

601-266-5377 (v)

601-266-6343 (f)

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