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Graduate Programs in Nutrition & Dietetics

As one of only seven faith-based post-baccalaureate programs in nutrition in the nation, Ouachita will prepare you for meaningful work as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) through its Dietetic Internship and Master of Science in Nutrition (MSN) degree. Whether practicing in a clinic, in foodservice or in community nutrition, you will be equipped as a lifelong learner and effective leader in your profession and local community.

With a national shortage of dietitians – and expected growth rate of 11% for the profession in the next 10 years – you can find a career meeting needs by improving the health of people of all ages. And as a member of Ouachita’s tight-knit Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, you’ll do it with a community of supportive faculty members and fellow students alongside you. Whether you begin your nutrition journey at Ouachita at the graduate or undergraduate level, you’ll find a place to grow not only in your professional expertise but also in your faith and passion for serving others.


Join us for an Open House to learn more about Ouachita’s Dietetic Internship and Master of Science degree in nutrition. Learn about the programs, meet our faculty, get an overview of campus and meet our current dietetic interns. RSVP to Holly Kyzer at kyzerh@obu.edu or 870-245-5546.

Virtual event: Wednesday, Nov. 10, from 2-3 p.m. via Zoom.

Ouachita Baptist University has been granted candidacy for accreditation of a Dietetic Internship by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Resources from the Academy can be found at www.eatright.org/acend. // Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics | 120 South Riverside Plaza Suite 2190 Chicago, IL 60606-6995 | 800/877-1600 ext. 5400

Effective Jan. 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration will require a minimum of a master's degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to beome a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice.

 

  • Health Educator and Community Health Worker
    Agricultural and Food Scientist
    Sports Nutritionist/Wellness Coach
    Eating Disorders Counselor
    Pharmaceutical Sales
    Pediatric Dietician
    Media Spokesperson
    And more

  • Advanced Clinical and Community Nutrition
    Nutrition Counseling
    Supervised Practice I and II

    Sports Nutrition
    Pediatric Nutrition
    Diabetes, Obesity and Weight Management
    Eating Disorders

  • A baccalaureate degree in nutrition or a related field is required, as well as a verification statement from an ACEND-accredited Nutrition and Dietetics Didactic Program (DPD) or Foreign Dietitian Education Program (FDE) obtained from the DPD director within the last five years.  See additional admission requirements below.

  • See more about Ouachita’s DPD program.

Ouachita offers both a Dietetic Internship and Master of Science in Nutrition to prepare students for work as registered dietitian nutritionists. Both programs can be completed in 15 months. All but the supervised practice section of the program, which is completed in 32 weeks, is fully online.

Learn more about Ouachita: 

Effective Jan. 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration will require a minimum of a master's degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to beome a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).

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of 7 faith-based MSN programs nationwide

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Internship Sites

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RD Exam Pass Rate (Dept. of Nutrition & Dietetics)

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Students in each Internship cohort

2 certification levels

for your future

This ACEND-accredited, low residency program provides 18 hours of credit toward a master's degree and can be completed in nine months. Graduates earn a post-baccalaureate certificate and have priority access to Ouachita's MSN program.

Courses included in the DI are DIET 6003, 6013, 6023, 6033, 6043 and 6053.

Effective Jan. 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration will require a minimum of a master's degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to beome a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice.

This 36-hour program can be completed in 15 months. All courses after the DI are fully online. Graduates of Ouachita's DI program have priority access to the MSN program.

Courses included in the MSN are DIET 6003, 6013, 6023, 6033, 6043, 6053, 6063, 6073, 6083, 6103 and 6113.

Students who have completed an ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship program and passed the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Exam in the last five years may receive up to 18 hours of graduate credit toward the 36 required hours (subject to approval by program director, must provide current CDR ID card). 

Effective Jan. 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration will require a minimum of a master's degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to beome a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice.

In their words

hear from a faculty member & student

“Arkansas only has two traditional Dietetic Internships at this time. With the great need for Registered Dietitians – and the fact that over one-third of undergraduate students are not matched with a program – Ouachita is taking this opportunity to make a difference in our state and offer certification training and graduate credit hours for up-and-coming dietitians.”

Holly headshotHolly Kyzer, MS, RD, LD
Instructor and Director of Dietetic Internship Program 

Students pour ingredients

LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH

Ouachita's dietetic interns benefit from 1,000+ hours of supervised practice, choosing from more than than 35 internship sites located throughout Arkansas. You might be placed with the Arkansas Department of Health, Baptist Health or CHI St. Vincent facilities, Arkansas Children’s Hospital or Davita Dialysis, among others. With such extensive and varied internship experiences, you will have daily opportunities to be challenged, learn and explore.

Student and instructor

GRADUATE-LEVEL COURSEWORK YOU WILL ENJOY

From classes in Sports Nutrition and Pediatric Nutrition to Eating Disorders and Diabetes, Obesity and Weight Management, what classes won’t you enjoy studying? At Ouachita, we believe in academic excellence, and you can expect to be challenged. At the same time, our MSN will allow you to explore the range of opportunities within the field – and especially to pursue those that you are most passionate about.

Professor teaches

ON THE FENCE? YOU SHOULD MEET OUR FACULTY

In Ouachita’s Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, you will find humble, personable professors who have significant professional experience in the field of nutrition and also possess academic expertise within the discipline. In our tight-knit department, you can expect to be known as more than a number and receive personal feedback and encouragement in your training and beyond as your career develops. 

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FROM FRESHMAN TO MASTER IN FIVE YEARS

Students who enter Ouachita’s Department of Nutrition and Dietetics in their freshman year of undergraduate study are now able to go straight through and earn a MSN in just five years! The transition from undergraduate to Dietetic Internship to MSN can be seamlessly navigated as caring professors guide students toward lives of meaningful work. The Dietetic Internship offers hands-on experience in clinical, community and administrative settings, effectively preparing students ultimately to become competent Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. In addition, students who select the five-year option gain priority access to the Dietetic Internship and MSN programs. Students who complete Ouachita’s programs also will be fully equipped for the Registered Dietitian examination; in fact, the department currently boasts a 100% pass rate!

 

program details

Ouachita Baptist University has been granted candidacy for accreditation of a Dietetic Internship by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Resources from the Academy can be found at www.eatright.org/acend.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics | 120 South Riverside Plaza Suite 2190 Chicago, IL 60606-6995 | 800/877-1600 ext. 5400
 
Ouachita's MSN is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
 
Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited DPD program at Ouachita Baptist University are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program.

Ouachita’s Dietetic Internship participates in the Dietetic Internship Match.

The Dietetic Internship Match is a computer-based method which provides an orderly and fair way to match the preferences of applicants for Dietetic Internships with the preferences of DI program directors. The Academy contracts with a company called D&D Digital to operate the DI Match and help applicants obtain an Internship (supervised practice position).

If you have completed a minimum of a bachelor’s degree at a US regionally accredited university or college and course work accredited by ACEND, you are eligible to participate in the Dietetic Internship Match:

  • Complete an application for the internship through the Dietetic Internship Central Application Service. There is no limit on the number of DI programs that students can apply to through DICAS. However, each program must be prioritized during the next stage of the process. If the DI program you are interested in does not appear in the DICAS, check the DI program’s website for directions on how to apply or contact the DI program director.

  • Register for the DI match through D&D Digital. This step allows you to create, edit and verify the priorities for your choices of internships. Some programs do not participate in the match. This is because they only accept applications from students who are employed by that sponsoring institution.

Through the DICAS, program directors can access applications from interested applicants; however, they cannot see the information about the priorities of the choices. The programs only see the application from applicants who applied to their programs. The program director and other staff from each Dietetic Internship program screen applications and submit rankings for acceptable applicants, as well as indicating their maximum class size.

If you have questions about the centralized application, please contact DICAS customer support at 617-612-2855 or dicasinfo@dicas.org.

If you need assistance with computer matching, please contact D&D Digital customer support at 515-292-0490 or dnd@sigler.com.

Tuition per graduate credit hour: $750
Estimated total tuition and fees for 18-hour Dietetic Internship program: $13,895
Estimated total tuition and fees for 36-hour Master of Science in Nutrition program: $27,625 (includes dietetic internship hours)

For a detailed breakdown of estimated costs, view the Graduate and Professional Studies Financial Aid and Cost Information page. Additional scholarship information can be found through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation.

Ouachita Baptist University General Graduate Admissions Requirements:

  • Conferred bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited institution
  • 2.5 minimum GPA on a 4.0 scale (individual programs will delineate more specifics)
  • Completed application, which includes a personal statement
  • Three references
  • Minimum English proficiency requirements for international students are as follows:
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL):
      At least 79 on the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT)
      At least 550 on the paper-based TOEFL
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS):
      At least a 6.5 on the IELTS exam
 
Admissions Requirements for Graduate Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics:
  • Baccalaureate degree in nutrition or a related field from an accredited university
  • Verification Statement from an ACEND-accredited Nutrition and Dietetics Didactic Program (DPD) or Foreign Dietitian Education program (FDE) obtained from the DPD director within the last five years. If the verification statement is greater than five years old, the student will be required to take a minimum of three hours of course credit in Clinical Dietetics and three hours of course credit in Administrative Dietetics.
  • Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of ≥ 2.7 on a 4.0 scale
  • Minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale of all nutrition and dietetic courses
  • Minimum of ≥ 2.5 on a 4.0 scale in all science courses
  • Achieved a minimum 3.00 GPA on any graduate course work previously taken at another accredited institution.
  • Three letters of recommendation discussing the individual's potential for success in graduate study
  • Additionally, MSN applicants must:
    • Pass the registration exam
    • Complete an ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship
International applicants or American citizens who learned English as a second language must score at least 550 (paper) or 79 (Internet) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language or at least 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System.
 

If you’re interested in applying to graduate programs but you’re not a U.S. citizen, contact Angie Schleiff (schleiffa@obu.edubefore submitting an application. Due to visa requirements, requests from non-U.S. citizens are handled on a case-by-case basis and take extra time. Please inquire early in the process.

The State of Arkansas and Ouachita Baptist University requires students to show proof of immunity for MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella). Ouachita Baptist University must receive an immunization record that includes the MMR vaccinations. For more information please click here.

Dietetic Internship

The Dietetic Internship begins mid-August and concludes with graduation in mid-May the following year. Supervised practicums are 35-hour weeks. The length of the dietetic internship is two semesters, 16 weeks each (2 weeks on campus, 14 weeks in rotations).

Master of Science in Nutrition

MSN classes will begin in May 2022, with 18 hours offered across three terms (May, Summer, Fall).

 

Holidays: Students in the DI and MSN are entitled to the following holidays, most to be observed on the actual day in which the holiday falls: Thanksgiving Break, Christmas Break and Spring Break.

Course Descriptions and additional information: Ouachita Graduate Catalog

INTERN MEMBERSHIP IN THE ACADEMY OF NUTRITION AND DIETETICS

Interns enrolled in an ACEND-accredited nutrition and dietetics education program may join the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as student members. Dues are $58 per year (June-May), and an online application is available at https://www.eatrightpro.org/membership/membership-types-and-criteria/student-member.

Benefits of student membership in the Academy include networking with other nutrition and dietetics interns and professionals, leadership opportunities, free membership in the state dietetic association, online access to the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and other publications, and reduced rates at professional meetings and conferences.

OUACHITA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY STUDENT DIETETICS ASSOCIATION

The Ouachita Baptist University Student Dietetics Association is open to any intern in nutrition and dietetics. Interns may join at any time during the academic year by attending one of the scheduled meetings, or by contacting an officer or sponsor.

The Student Dietetics Association meets monthly. Meetings may include guest speakers of professional interest, planning or participating in campus or community service projects, etc.

Graduate and professional studies

GRADUATE & PROFESSIONAL STUDIES

Graduate and Professional Studies at Ouachita seek to be a source of ongoing intellectual and spiritual growth for those pursuing lifelong learning or career advancement. Ouachita fosters community through relationships with classmates and professors in all learning environments. Through innovative modalities, fields and approaches, these programs combine the very best of Ouachita’s more than 130 years of Christ-centered learning with meeting the ongoing and changing needs of the work force.

GET IN TOUCH

Have a question about Ouachita? Want more information? Shoot our Graduate and Professional Studies team a message!

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