Coordinated Program in Dietetics
The University of Mississippi Coordinated Program in Dietetics (UM CP) is a full-time graduate program within the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management (NHM) that provides didactic coursework and a minimum of 1200 hours of supervised practice, allowing graduates to achieve all competencies needed to sit for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist examination administered by the Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR). Upon completion of the program, students will be awarded a Master of Science in Food & Nutrition Services.
The Coordinated Program in Dietetics at the University of Mississippi is accredited by The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 312/899-0040 ext 5400. More information about accreditation can be found at the ACEND website.
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 order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR’s Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR’s website.
Program Requirements & Schedule
The UM CP is a 21-month graduate program that provides 1200 hours of supervised practice hours coordinated with a 30 semester-hour Master of Science in Food and Nutrition Services (MSFNS). Please refer to the Graduate Handbook (link here) for detailed policies and procedures.
The program begins in the fall semester of each year and follows the University of Mississippi’s academic calendar (link here). The majority of the first fall and spring semesters, are spent in coursework that prepare the students to enter supervised practice settings. Some supervised practice hours and alternate practice experiences, such as role playing, case studies, and hands-on demonstrations, are provided throughout the first year’s coursework. Beginning in the first summer semester and continuing through the second fall and spring semesters, students rotate through various professional work settings, while completing any courses or academic requirements for the MSFNS. All students are scheduled for 734 hours of on-site supervised practice in the areas of acute clinical, WIC, long-term care, intermediate care, renal, foodservice management, and school foodservice. The remaining hours will be completed in specialty rotations based on student interests and professional goals.
The mission of the Coordinated Program in Dietetics is to prepare competitive entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists by combining graduate courses with supervised practice experiences to offer the student diverse exposures in education, research, and practice.
Program Goals & Objectives
Goal 1: Graduates will utilize evidence-based principles to practice as entry-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionists in a variety of settings.
- Objective 1: At least 80% of students complete program requirements within 32 months (2 years, 8 months).
- Objective 2: Of graduates who seek employment, at least 80% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
- Objective 3: At least 90% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
- Objective 4: The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
- Objective 5: At least 80% of employers responding to a survey state that they “agree” or “strongly agree” with the statement “The UM CP Graduate was adequately prepared for entry-level practice.”
- Objective 6: At least 80% of employers responding to a survey state that they “agree” or “strongly agree” with the statement “The UM CP Graduate always utilizes evidence-based principles in their practice.”
Goal 2: Graduates will be effective advocates and leaders in the profession of dietetics.
- Objective 7: At least 80% of graduates will participate in advocacy and leadership opportunities (such as volunteering with a professional organization, planning for an advanced practice credential, representing the profession on an interprofessional team, or holding a formal leadership position) within the first 12 months after graduation.
*Program outcomes data are available upon request.
State Licensure Information
The University has determined that this program meets the education requirements for professional licensure or certification in Mississippi. The University has not made a determination if this program meets the education requirements for professional licensure or certification in other states. Each jurisdiction has its own criteria and procedures pertaining to licensure. For information on licensing requirements of your home state, we encourage you to consult with your state’s licensing board or the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), which supplies information about individual state regulations.
Students must be admitted to the Master of Science in Food and Nutrition Services Graduate Program (MSFNS) at the University of Mississippi before being considered as a candidate for the University of Mississippi Coordinated Program in Dietetics (UM CP). The application for UM Graduate School can be found here, and the admission requirements for the MSFNS can be found here. Students may submit applications to the MSFNS and the UM CP at the same time. However, the UM CP application will not be considered prior to acceptance into the MSFNS.
Additional admission requirements include either a DPD Verification Statement or successful completion of the following pre-requisite courses. Students may apply to the UM CP before the courses are completed, but will need to indicate how and when they play to satisfy the pre-requisites prior to the start date.
- Servsafe, either an academic course or current certification (UM equivalent NHM 111)
- Basic Foods or Culinary course (UM equivalent NHM 211/213)
- Menu development course (UM equivalent NHM 309)
- General Nutrition course (UM equivalent NHM 311)
- Nutrition Assessment course (UM equivalent NHM 410)
- Medical Nutrition Therapy course (UM Equivalent NHM 412)
- Foodservice Management course (UM equivalent NHM 441)
- Minimum 6 hours of Human Anatomy & Physiology w/2 hours lab (UM equivalent Bisc 206 & 207) OR minimum of 3 hours of a 300-level or higher physiology course w/1 hour lab (UM equivalent BISC 330)
- Minimum 3 hours organic chemistry w/1 hour lab (UM equivalent Chem 221/225)
- OR combined survey of organic and biochemistry course
- Minimum 3 hours biochemistry (UM equivalent Chem 271) OR combined survey of organic and biochemistry course
- Psychology or Sociology course (UM equivalents Psych 201 and Soc 101 are examples)
Application Procedures & Deadlines
Step 1: Apply to the MSFNS by completing the UM Graduate School application (link here).
Step 2: Complete the online CP Application Form (link here). You may submit this form before you are admitted to the MSFNS, but your CP Application will not be considered until your status in the MSFNS is determined.
Step 3 (optional): Submit updated versions of your resume, personal statement, recommendation letters, and/or transcripts via email to the UM CP Director (information is at the bottom of this page). We recommend submitting updated versions if your MSFNS application was submitted >6 months ago.
The deadline for regular applications is 5:00 p.m. on January 15th of each year.
An early admission application due by 5:00 p.m. on October 15th will be available to current UM undergraduate and graduate students. Up to 5 students may be selected during this application period. If a student applies and is not selected during this period, they may request to be considered again in the regular application period without submitting a new application.
Step 4: Students will be notified within 4 weeks of the outcome of their application after the first round of selections. The following areas are considered during the first round of selections and scoring is based on information gleaned from all areas of the application (resume, personal statement, recommendation letters, and transcripts).
- Academic Achievement
- Desirable characteristics: perseverance, initiative, time management, interpersonal skills, and self-awareness
- Professional Skills & Experience: clinical, food preparation and/or serving, management, and other (such as fluent in a language other than English or teaching). Note: to assist in scoring your application, we recommend that you indicate the approximate hours/week and approximately how many weeks/months/years you were involved in specific volunteer activities or jobs. These can be indicated directly on your resume or described in your personal statement.
Step 5: Students who advance to the second round of selections will be asked to interview with a panel of preceptors, the UM CP Director, and/or current students and faculty via Zoom. The following areas are scored during the second round of selection: verbal communication skills, organizational skills, conflict resolution, and self-awareness.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Students are charged tuition and course fees based on the number of hours they are enrolled each semester. More details about tuition can be found at the University Bursar’s website. Information about total cost of attendance can be found at the University’s Office of Financial Aid website.
A $150 course fee will be added each of the semesters (minimum of 3) that the student is registered for NHM 699 Supervised Practice. This course fee covers incidental costs incurred by the program for activities at rotation sites (such as food for cooking demonstrations), activities to enhance experiential learning (such as taste testing oral nutrition supplements), and program director travel to rotation sites.
In addition to tuition and fees, students should be prepared for the following program costs:
Textbook/supplies Approximately $800
Professional liability insurance for at least 1 year Approximately $75/year
Professional membership fees for 2 years Approximately $50/year
Travel to supervised practice sites in 2nd year Approximately $1000
Travel to at least 1 professional meeting Approximately $1000
TB Skin test, Drug screening, other medical documentation Approximately $100
Full-time or part-time graduate students are eligible for federally guaranteed student loans and other forms of financial assistance. Those interested in such assistance should contact the University of Mississippi Office of Financial Aid at 1-800-891-4596 or at fined.olemiss.edu.
Professional scholarships may be available through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation. Information about these scholarships can be found at http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/membership/student-member-center/scholarships-and-financial-aid. Additionally, students may apply for graduate assistantships (application link) for the first year of the program. It is not usually not recommended that students hold a graduate assistantship during the second year of the program, due to scheduling availability at supervised practice sites. Discussion with the CP Director is strongly recommended before accepting a graduate assistantship during the second year to avoid delayed placement at certain sites and delayed completion of the program.