Coordinated Master of Arts degree in Dietetics
(Applications due February 1)
The OU Department of Nutritional Sciences is one-of-a-kind in Oklahoma and offers a 36-hour, non-thesis professional program. This program prepares students to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) who use food to improve the lives of their patients. This career field is highly flexible! RDNs work across the spectrum of health and disease, from developing new methods of food production and food service to preventing disease and enhancing performance in healthy individuals to reducing the burden of disease after diagnosis. There are 3 steps to becoming an RDN: classroom education, internship experience (also called supervised practice), and passing the national registration exam.
OU’s Coordinated Master of Arts in Dietetics program is unique in Oklahoma because it seamlessly combines classroom instruction with the internship experience. Students take classes at the same time that they complete over 1200 internship hours—what they learn in class, they put immediately into practice. Students work with talented preceptors throughout the state of Oklahoma to gain on-the-job training for a variety of career paths and begin networking for future employment opportunities. Upon graduation from the program, they are ready to take the national registration exam and become an RDN.
Students must have a strong science background as preparation for this challenging program. After meeting prerequisite courses, they can then apply to the Nutritional Sciences program which begins each summer. If accepted to the program, students begin coursework specific to nutrition. Courses include Experimental Foods (the science of cooking), Nutrition during the Life Cycle (normal nutrition care for all stages of the life cycle from pregnancy to old age), Medical Nutrition Therapy (nutrition intervention for people with disease), Quantity Foods and Food Service Management (how to direct a production kitchen and run a nutrition-related business), and Community Nutrition (reaching large populations with nutrition education).
Students admitted to the Coordinated Master of Arts Program (programmatic coursework with internship included) must have either 1) a baccalaureate degree in any subject and prerequisite courses, or 2) 90 hours and required prerequisite courses. Click here to see the prerequisites. If admitted, students will earn a Master of Arts degree in 24 months. Students admitted with 90 hours but no baccalaureate degree will be awarded the Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences after the first year in the program and will go on to earn the Master of Arts degree and a verification to take the National Registry Exam to become a dietitian at the completion of the program.
Licensure for dietitians is required in the state of Oklahoma. More information on licensure can be found at the Oklahoma Medical Board website.
This program is accredited by The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitians.
Complete information about this program is contained in the CPMA Student Handbook.
Further information about accredited dietetic education programs may be obtained from:
Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995
Phone: 800/877-1600, ext. 5400 or 312/899-0040
If you would like to explore dietetics further, visit:
The Department of Nutritional Sciences has a long-standing agreement with the Graduate College to allow up to 19 hours of CPMA coursework to additionally count toward 19 hours of the Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences (MS) graduate degree.
A Master of Science degree is a graduate degree, meaning it develops a different skill set than the Master of Arts professional degree. The Coordinated Program for Master of Arts in Dietetics (CPMA) degree program seeks to teach skills required for the profession of dietetics. The MS program seeks to enhance critical thinking and problem solving, to teach students how to ask good questions, gather and evaluate information, and share new knowledge with others. Students do NOT have to complete an MS to be a registered dietitian, but it may help develop specific skills that can translate to the workplace, depending on the type of career the student desires. Any student who wants to know more about the MA/MS dual option should speak with the CPMA and MS Program Directors.
All students who are eligible for the CPMA program may decide to complete the dual degree option—students who have completed an undergraduate degree as well as students who have completed the minimum 90 prerequisite hours but have not completed an undergraduate degree. Every student must apply for the MS and pay the associated application fee(s). As students are accepted into the CPMA program, they will receive information on the process to apply for the MS, should they decide to do so.
Nineteen hours from the CPMA program can count toward the MS program. A minimum of 34 credit hours is required for the MS in Nutritional Sciences. These remaining hours include core requirements (including Thesis, Biostatistics Methods I, and Seminar) plus additional hours of electives as selected by the student. Many Nutritional Sciences electives are taught every other year, so students have the opportunity to take a wide variety of courses. Potential electives may be found on the MS Curriculum web page. All students in the MA/MS dual option must complete a thesis, and students will work with their individual faculty mentor to complete this project.
Completion of the MS in addition to the MA degree is anticipated to add approximately one semester to the program, but time for completion is dependent on the individual student’s preference in number of additional, MS-only courses they wish to enroll in, and in choice of thesis project.
For additional information and requirements for the MS, please see that program handbook and/or contact the MS Program Director.
To be considered for admission, an applicant must:
- Have successfully completed, or be in the process of completing, prerequisite course work (90 credit hours - no more than 60 credit hours from a two-year college will count toward the required 90 and at least 30 credit hours must be earned at a four-year institution) from any accredited college or university, prior to starting the program;
- Complete a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, or complete requirements to be eligible to earn the B.S. in Nutritional Sciences degree after the completion of 30 hours in the program;
- Have a 2.75 cumulative GPA. The College of Allied Health does not recognize academic forgiveness nor reprieve policies. All attempts of a course are included in the calculation of GPAs;
- Have a 2.75 GPA in prerequisite science courses listed under the "Prerequisites" section. Nutrition is a science-based discipline, and students with poor science grades are not good candidates for this program.
- Submit official transcripts from all colleges and/or universities attended and non-refundable application fees;
- Students for whom English is a second language must earn a minimum score of 600 (paper-based) or 100 (internet-based) within two years prior to application on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The OUHSC institution code for the TOEFL is 6902;
- All international/Non US Citizen applicants are required to have all transcripts/mark sheets processed through World Education Services (WES); and
- Submit a completed on-line application. Application deadline is February 1st for fall admission. All official, sealed transcripts and TOEFL scores (if applicable) must be received by the application deadline. Late transcripts and test scores may result in an automatic denial.
Note: If you plan on applying to the program this year, submit an official, sealed transcript from every institution attended AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to ensure that we receive the transcripts by the application deadline. Transcripts take time to process from one institution to the other; therefore, order your transcripts ASAP! Once your spring/summer grades have been posted, please mail us an updated transcript. Click on the following link for the address to mail your transcripts.
Course numbers are those of the University of Oklahoma. Approved prerequisite courses are offered at many institutions. Check the Transfer Equivalencies Database or with your school advisor regarding equivalent courses. There are instructions on that page on how to request a transcript evaluation for particular courses if your courses are not listed in the database.
Click on the following link to use the prerequisite worksheet to keep track of your prerequisite classes.
All prerequisites are required unless noted in the footnotes. Please read the footnote descriptions located directly underneath the table.
(1) is required if applicant has not completed a Bachelor’s degree. It is recommended that the applicant take an upper level/division (3000 or 4000 level) non-western culture, western civilization & culture, or understanding art forms class. By taking an upper division course in one of those categories, two prerequisites can be completed with that one class.
(2) is not required for applicants who have an Associate of Science or Associate of Arts degree from an Oklahoma college. Not required for applicants that have a Bachelor’s degree. Foreign Language 1st and 2nd course are waived for applicants who completed two years of the same language in high school.
(3) is required if applicant has not completed a Bachelor’s degree. Ten hours of upper division courses are required and can be taken in any chosen subject area. The three hour Upper Level General Education Prerequisite can be counted towards those ten hours.
(5) not required for applicants who have a Bachelor's degree.
* Courses marked with a * count towards the science prerequisite GPA which must be a 2.75 or higher.
Students attending a two-year college may use their transfer credit to meet certain lower-division course requirements only. The maximum number of hours accepted from a Junior College(s) is 60.
Varies = there are multiple courses that are equivalent for this prerequisite. If you are attending OU in Norman for these courses, click here for equivalent courses; if attending another institution, please check the Transfer Equivalency Database link below.
Students may expect additional costs that include, but are not limited to, a personal computer, textbooks, lab fees, insurance, and supplies. Students are required to assume financial responsibilities for expenses associated with clinical requirements. For financial aid information, contact the Financial Aid Office at (405) 271-2118.
Additional cost information:
Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees
Student Financial Aid
MASTER OF ARTS PROGRAM BY SEMESTER - Proposed
1st Fall (14 hours)
NS 7153 Nutrition During the Life Cycle
NS 5132 Adult Weight Management
NS 7111 Clinical Dietetics Profession
NS 7192 Nutrition Assessment
NS 7213 Food Nutrition Services Management
NS 5233 Research Methods in Dietetics
1st Spring (13 hours)
NS 7222 Nutrition Counseling
NS 7121 Counseling Practicum
NS 7244 Medical Nutrition Therapy I
NS 5823 Energy Nutrients
NS 7313 Dietetic Education Capstone Seminar
1st Summer (10 hours)
NS 5133 Public Health Nutrition I
NS 5253 Experimental Foods
NS 7212 Quantity Foods
NS 7412 Food Preparation Practicum
2nd Fall (12 hours)
NS 5134 Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy
NS 5833 NonEnergy Nutrients
NS 6133 Public Health Nutrition II
NS 7542 Medical Nutrition Therapy Practicum
2nd Spring (10 hours)
NS 7615 Clinical Nutrition Practicum
NS 7625 Food and Nutrition Service Management Practicum
2nd Summer (5 hours)
NS 7635 Community Nutrition Practicum
Subject to change, if needed
Each year in May, the Department of Nutritional Sciences offers the course Mediterranean Diet and Culture, which takes place at the University of Oklahoma Arezzo campus in Arezzo, Tuscany.
The course includes two focus areas: learning about the history and health benefits of the Mediterranean diet and experiencing Italian food culture. Special guest lecturers have included the internationally recognized scientist Dr. Pier Luigi Rossi, who discussed how the Mediterranean diet affects genetics and metabolism of nutrients, and food historian Professor Karima Moyer-Nocchi, who described how poverty and food scarcity led to the development of the most iconic Italian food—pasta.
Students experience Italian food culture from farm to table throughout the course. Course activities have included tasting different varieties of honey with the beekeeper who produced them, learning how wine can be produced organically, and touring a Pecorino cheese factory to discuss the enzymatic processes that make cheese. Students learn how to cook Italian favorites, including a lesson on pasta making and an advanced cooking class for a three-course meal with a local chef from one of the finest restaurants in Arezzo. They visit a preschool to learn how food culture values are taught to Italian children, instilling in them a life-long appreciation for fresh, seasonal, and healthy food.
The majority of the course takes place in Arezzo, but also included are trips to Florence, Rome, Assisi, Cortona, and other areas in Tuscany.
The course lasts approximately two weeks during the May intersession and fits in with the CPMA curriculum. The course is not required for the CPMA but may be taken as an extra elective or for credit toward the Master of Science dual degree program. Undergraduates with an interest may also take this course. More information can be found at the OU Education Abroad office.
Prospective students are encouraged to visit the prospective student's page to utilize resources such as the transfer equivalency tables, admission statistics, job shadowing, gpa calculation, tuition cost, scholarships, student life, campus resources, etc.