Management of Child Nutrition Programs Certificate


The goal of the Certificate Program in Management of Child Nutrition Programs is to provide knowledge and skills in food service operations management and child nutrition. The programs are designed for school nutrition program directors/supervisors and senior management staff employed by local school districts or state agencies, as well as those interested in pursuing careers in school nutrition.

School nutrition professionals are employees of state and local education agencies, who ensure that healthful meals and nutrition education are provided to children in their districts, communities, and states.

In the program, individuals with a variety of backgrounds take courses in food production management, financial management, child nutrition program management, nutrition of children, and related areas to gain expertise for positions that require an understanding of both food service operations management and child nutrition.

The Mississippi Department of Education has approved the coursework in the certificate program to meet the educational requirements for School Food Service Administrator I. If you are from another state please check with your state to see if these courses will meet their educational requirements.

This certificate program can also be taken at the graduate level.


Applicant for any undergraduate certificate may be considered for admission providing they submit the following:

  1. Application for undergraduate admissions
  2. 35 nonrefundable application fee
  3. Official transcript from last school attended or GED certificate

Students enrolled in certificate programs at The University of Southern Mississippi wishing to seek an undergraduate degree must meet full admission requirements.

This certificate program focuses both on the management of school food service operations as well as meeting the nutritional needs of school children.

The undergraduate certificate program was developed with the needs of working professionals in mind. All courses are offered fully online using WebCT technology. Most program participants will take 1-2 courses per semester and will require approximately two years for completion.

The curriculum consists of six three-credit courses, for a total of 18 credit hours. Students must complete credit hour and course requirements with a 2.0 GPA.

Degree Plan / Course Descriptions

NFS 362. Nutrition. 3 hrs. Study of the body’s need for foods, including the chemistry of digestion, metabolism and nutritive requirements of the body during the life cycle

*NFS 425. Child Nutrition. 3 hrs. Prerequisites: minimum of one nutrition course. Study of eating patterns and nutritional needs of children and nutrition programs/services available to meet needs

NFS 445. Financial Management in Nutrition and Food Systems. 3 hrs. This course is designed to teach financial management skills required in multiple nutrition and food service system settings

NFS 473. Child Nutrition Program Management. 3 hrs. This course will explore in depth the specific knowledge and skills needed in the management and supervision of multiunits in child nutrition programs

NFS 475. Food Production Management. 3 hrs. This course is designed to provide the foundation knowledge and skills required in the operation of noncommercial food service establishments

NFS 490. Current Topics in Child Nutrition Programs

*Courses with an asterisk require NFS 362 as a prerequisite. NFS 362 is offered online every semester.