Nutrition and Dietetics master's student preparing food in the Welcome Home Suite

Have a passion for nutrition and its impact on human health? Your opportunity to turn your passion into a fulfilling and well-paying career starts at Ball State.

As health care policy increasingly emphasizes the critical role of nutrition in the treatment and prevention of illness, the demand for registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) is growing faster than ever. The RDN credential is required for most related jobs in the healthcare field—not to mention many other professions in food and nutrition.

With excellent academics and top-notch faculty, Ball State’s graduate program in nutrition and dietetics will prepare you for success in one of the country’s most promising job markets.

What You Will Learn

Tailored exclusively for current and aspiring registered dietitian nutritionists, our program provides a rigorous course of study that includes classes in:

  • nutrition assessment
  • nutrition science
  • life cycle nutrition ( i.e., maternal and infant, pediatrics, geriatrics)
  • medical nutrition therapy (i.e., renal nutrition, cardiovascular nutrition, oncology)
  • food and nutrition policy

What Is It Like to Pursue a Master of Science Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at Ball State?

The program offers both a thesis and non-thesis option, so you can choose the path of study that’s right for you.

For those aspiring to become a registered dietitian, it also includes an ACEND-approved dietetic internship with a medical nutrition therapy focus, which is required to sit for the dietetic registration examination.

In short, it gives current and aspiring RDNs superior opportunities in a single, convenient place.

If you are a registered dietitian nutritionist seeking a master’s degree, the program can be completed entirely online.

If you are an aspiring dietitian, you must come to Ball State for a semester immediately before your internship, but afterward you’ll be free to choose how to complete the remainder of your studies—either online or on campus.

Many students choose to complete their degree remotely through online courses. However, our on-campus program offers a great opportunity to study in a vibrant collegiate setting in the company of like-minded students.

Our internship, approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), is concentrated in medical nutrition therapy (MNT), which will teach you to treat patients by customizing diets for their conditions and symptoms.

MNT study will prepare you for a career in a clinical setting, collaborating with doctors and helping patients make life-changing, and even life-saving, nutrition and lifestyle choices.

Program Requirements

You must have an academic background in nutrition and dietetics as part of our admission requirements.

Most students who enter the program take two years to earn their degree, including the 11-month ACEND-accredited dietetic internship, which is completed at sites throughout Indiana.

All students in the program take courses in statistics, research methods, and a minimum of five nutrition-specific courses.

Students often relocate for the duration of their internship.


Total: 36

Degrees, which can be earned through both online and on-campus course work (with one semester of campus study required), include:

  • Master of Science (MS) – Research: six-credit thesis required
  • Master of Science (MS) – Applied: no thesis, but six additional elective credits required

The internship concentrates on medical nutrition therapy (MNT) in which interns spend:

  • nine weeks rotation (360 hours) in hospital food systems management
  • 12-13 weeks rotation (520 hours) in hospital nutrition therapy (12 weeks for those attending the Diabetes Camp)
  • two four-week rotations (320 hours) at a community/business nutrition facility


Your program of work will include the following:

  • Research Component (Statistics, Research Methods, Thesis) – 6-12 credits
  • Nutrition Core Courses (Nutrition Assessment, Macronutrients, Micronutrients) – 9 credits
  • Nutrition Directed Electives (i.e., Maternal and Infant, Pediatrics, Renal, Cardiovascular, Sports Nutrition) – 6 credits
  • Electives (including the dietetic internship) – 9-15 credits

For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, please see our Graduate Catalog.

View Catalog

What Can You Do with a Master of Science Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics?

The demand for dietitians is projected to exceed supply for the next 10 years due to the increased role of nutrition in the prevention and treatment of illness. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of dietitians and nutritionists will grow 15 percent between 2016 and 2026—faster than all other jobs. That means graduates from our program enjoy a wealth of career opportunities.

After you graduate, you’ll be eligible for employment in various capacities within clinical, community, and management settings, including:

  • clinical dietitian
  • community nutritionist
  • public health nutritionist
  • sports nutritionist
  • food service director
  • consultant dietitian
  • board certified specialist
  • private practice dietitian 

Paying for Your Education

Department Scholarships

On top of the dozens of funding options offered through Ball State’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, our department awards scholarships to our own students. Find a scholarship.

Ready to Apply?

To be eligible to apply to our program, you need to already have an academic background in nutrition and dietetics.

You must either:

Review our admission requirements, dates and deadlines, and instructions. Then complete our online application.

More Information

If you would like to learn more about this program or about Ball State’s Graduate School in general, please complete our online form to request more information. Or, if you’d like to speak with someone in our department directly by phone or email, please contact us.

Watch an Online Information Session

Learn how Ball State University integrates an ACEND-approved dietetic internship with a Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics in a free webinar, Wednesday December 4, from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Eastern.

Watch the 2019 Webinar     Sign Up for the 2020 Webinar