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 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 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.
In order to take advantage of this agreement, CPMA students must also apply to the MS program via the Graduate College ($125 application fee). Students who already have an undergraduate degree should apply as soon as possible, with the last opportunity to get credit for all 19 hours in August following the first summer semester.
Students who enter the CPMA program without an undergraduate degree will apply to take 2 courses as a special student (NS 5233 Research Methods in Dietetics and 5823 Energy Nutrients). Because these courses will confer graduate credit, they do not count toward hours to complete a Bachelor of Science degree. In order to complete the minimum 30 hours for an undergraduate degree, students who take these courses as a special student must also take 2 hours of NS 4960 Directed Readings. After the first Spring semester (the end of the first full year of the program), students who do not have an undergraduate degree will be awarded a Bachelor of Sciences in Nutritional Sciences. After this degree is earned, these students will apply to the Graduate College.
As noted, 19 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 (such as 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 you will have an opportunity to take a wide variety of courses. All students in the MA/MS dual option must complete a thesis, and students will work with their faculty mentor to complete this project.
For additional information and requirements for the MS, please see that program handbook and/or contact the MS Program Director, Dr. Susan Sisson.