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Dietetics M.S.

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Degree Overview Open Accordion
Master's in Dietetics for registered dietitians

Earn your master's in dietetics online

Discover how to design and lead effective food and nutrition programs that integrate principles from biomedical sciences, human behavior, and management with CSU's unique dietitian degree. Online coursework will develop your research skills, stimulate independent thought, and provide up-to-date knowledge in foods, nutrition, and food service and business management.

An online master's program designed for current Registered Dietitians or those with DPD verification

This program is designed to meet the specific needs of those who are already Registered Dietitians or those with verification from a didactic program in dietetics (DPD). Promote health and disease management through food and nutrition programs and make a difference in the lives of others by advancing your current level of practice.

Working in the dietetics and nutrition field involves communicating with a wide range of people, from students or clients, to supervisors and team members. This program provides you with the knowledge, flexibility, and creativity you need to offer individualized answers that fit each situation and client. If you enjoy working with people, using deductive reasoning, and consider yourself sensitive to others' needs, this online master's in dietetics could be the program for you.

Advance your career with specialized expertise

Extend your educational background beyond an undergraduate degree to take advantage of better job prospects and the opportunity to pursue a doctoral degree upon completion. Designed to meet the specific needs of those who are already Registered Dietitians working in the field, completion of this online master's degree can help you:

  • Advance your level of practice.
  • Retool for new career opportunities.
  • Pursue doctoral study with enhanced knowledge in a specific area of dietetics practice.

Tap into the knowledge base of multiple universities

As a student in CSU's online dietitian degree program, you earn a master's degree from a regionally accredited, renowned research institution, while taking online courses at times and locations that fit your busy life.

In addition, this master's in dietetics is offered through a partnership of 20 public universities known as the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (Great Plains IDEA). Benefit from the collaboration of eight of those universities by having access to expert faculty and curriculum from each institution while earning your degree from CSU.

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Curriculum Open Accordion

The master's degree in dietetics requires completion of 37 semester credits; six credits will be thesis or non-thesis research.

Required courses

  • FSHN 696C – Group Study (1 cr.)

    This course should be taken the first fall semester after acceptance into the CSU program. It is designed to help the CSU Home student through the CSU processes, understand the GP IDEA process, and have a greater understanding of Evidence Analysis research.

  • FSHN 501 - Research Methods in Dietetics (3 cr.)

    Basic components of the research process and the application of various research methods in dietetics, including the use of various research designs for answering research questions, methods for conducting research, evaluation of research articles, development of research proposals, communication of research findings, and demonstration of understanding of ethical issues in research.

    EDRM 600 – Introduction to Research Methods (3 cr.)
  • EDRM 606 – Principles Quantitative Data Analysis (3 cr.)

    Statistical methods applied to experimental and survey data from social or natural sciences; test of hypotheses concerning treatment means; linear regression; product-moment, rank, and biserial correlations; contingency tables and chi-square tests.

  • FSHN 503 – Issues in Dietetic Practice (3 cr.)

    Review of current issues in the economic, social, ethical, political, legal, technological, and ecological environments in which foodservice, hospitality, and healthcare organizations operate. Learn about the impact of these changes on dietetics practice.

  • FSHN 504 – Micronutrients (3 cr.)

    Interrelationships of micronutrients in terms of biochemistry, physiology, genetics, and nutrition. Emphasis will be placed on developing an understanding of how the coordination of structure and function is related to the metabolic needs of the cell and its response to the environment. This integrated approach will form the basis for evaluating the micronutrient needs of humans in both normal and altered metabolic states.

  • FSHN 540 – Nutrigenetics and Advanced Lipid Metabolism (3 cr.)

    This course is designed to give students the opportunity to explore and integrate topics and ideas that are at the forefront of the field of nutritional science. The course will require students to examine topics that are new and/or controversial and have implications that range from the cellular/molecular /biochemical level up to clinical/educational level. The primary goal of this course will be to emphasize the integrative and complex nature of human nutrition research from basic science to clinical studies to population studies and dietary recommendations.

Comprehensive research paper

  • FSHN 698 – Research (6 cr.)

    Students will work with their advisor and committee to complete their research and present the findings.

Selected elective courses

Select 15 credits from the following:

  • FSHN 506 – Nutrition and Human Performance (3 cr.)

    This course is designed to develop an understanding of nutrition, based upon knowledge of the biochemical and physiological process and functions of specific nutrients in meeting nutritional requirements. Emphasis will be placed upon the relationship of optimal nutrition and physical efficiency and performance.

  • FSHN 507 – Nutrition Education in the Community (3 cr.)

    Principles and practices of teaching individuals and groups to translate nutrition knowledge into action. Emphasis on research in and evaluation of nutrition education.

  • FSHN 508 – International Nutrition and World Hunger (3 cr.)

    Advanced study of the magnitude, causes, and nature of hunger and undernourished in low income countries; emphasis on programs, policies and planning directed toward alleviating hunger.

  • FSHN 510 – Pediatric Clinical Nutrition (3 cr.)

    This course examines the physiological, biochemical and nutritional aspects of disease processes relevant to infants and children up to 18 years of age. Medical nutrition therapy for a variety of medical conditions found in this population will be discussed including inborn errors of metabolism, food hypersensitivity, obesity, and diseases of the major organ systems.

  • FSHN 511 – Maternal/Child Nutrition (3 cr.)

    This course identifies the basic physiological changes during aging and their impacts in health and disease. The focus will be on successful aging with special emphasis on physical activity and nutrition. Practical application to community settings is addressed.

  • FSHN 512 – Nutritional Aspects of Oncology (3 cr.)

    Students will gain understanding of basic cancer biology and methodology used to study nutrition and cancer relationships. Using current research as a basis, the role of nutrition in specific cancers will be explored. Students will learn about sources of information for cancer prevention programs, and how to apply this information to clinical patient management.

  • FSHN 660 – Women's Issues in Lifecycle Nutrition (3 cr.)

    This course is a critical examination of behavioral, physiological, and public health issues impacting dietary and nutritional factors that support normal growth and development. The course content focuses on the early stages of the life cycle: gestation, lactation, infancy, preschool, school age and adolescence. Topics include the fetal programming hypothesis, growth and nutritional requirements, breast and formula feeding of infants, infant weaning, and eating behaviors that lead to normal growth, growth faltering, and pediatric obesity.

  • FTEC 578 – Bioactives and Probiotics for Health (3 cr.)

    The course is an overview on phytochemicals (non-nutritive biologically active compounds) from fruits, vegetables, cereals and oilseeds. It will cover recent findings on chemistry, physiological functions, potential health implications of phytochemicals and integrate and evaluate the regulatory principles, food science, nutrient science and nutritional metabolism for the development of functional foods, nutraceuticals, and dietary supplements for chronic disease prevention.

  • EDUC 670 – Grant Writing (3 cr.)

    Grant writing, identifying external funding, managing grants, preparing manuscripts for peer-reviewed publication, and preparing papers and poster for presentation at professional meetings.

Learning Experience Open Accordion

The Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (IDEA) is a partnership of 20 public university members providing access to the best educational opportunities by collaboratively developing and delivering high-quality, online academic programs. The dietetics program is a collaboration of eight of the member universities. The Great Plains IDEA is an academic alliance that offers fully-online graduate and undergraduate coursework and program options in high- demand, professional fields.

Each university has a campus coordinator who works with students through the various processes of the Great Plains IDEA. Campus coordinators work with home institution students to answer general questions about admission, programs, enrollment, scheduling, and graduation. They can also refer students to additional resources. Students work with the teaching institution campus coordinators to gain access to courses for which they are enrolled.

All courses are delivered online. Students will utilize learning management systems (LMSes) at each partner institution. Each campus coordinator will facilitate access to the LMS at the teaching institution prior to the first day of class. The courses are a semester long with courses offered Fall, Spring, and Summer.

The delivery of course content may vary from online lectures to supplemental readings and assignments, to group projects, and all of the above. Each instructor designs his/her courses to meet the learning objectives.

While this degree allows students the convenience of accessing course material when and where it is most convenient, it definitely requires a commitment of time and attention. Students should plan to spend nine to twelve hours per week on a three-credit course. Time required will vary depending on students' learning style and previous coursework.

Explore Careers Open Accordion

Registered dietitians with master's degrees work in a variety of settings as clinical nutrition managers including hospitals, sports programs, food and nutrition industries and businesses, private practice, and research. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese, and dietitians will play an increasingly important role in preventing obesity-related conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease. An aging baby boomer population will also result in an increased demand for dietitians in nursing homes and home healthcare settings.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • The median pay was $63,090 per year in 2020
  • Salaries increase with experience and area of employment
  • Expected employment growth is faster than average
  • Dietitians and nutritionists who have earned advanced degrees or certification in a specialty area may enjoy better job prospects
Why Choose CSU? Open Accordion

As a student in CSU’s online dietetics master’s program, you receive a degree from a regionally accredited, renowned research institution while taking courses at times and locations that fit your busy life. Additionally, you can expect:

  • A Program Designed for Current Registered Dietitians: Our master's degree in dietetics is designed to meet the specific needs of those who are already Registered Dietitians working in the field.
  • Education that Helps You Help Others: Promote health and disease management through food and nutrition programs and make a difference in the lives of others by advancing your level of practice as a Registered Dietitian.
  • An Inter-Institutional Graduate Program: Our online master's in dietetics degree is offered through a partnership of 20 public universities known as the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (Great Plains IDEA). Benefit from the collaboration of eight of those universities by having access to expert faculty and curriculum from each institution while earning your degree from CSU.
  • Career Enhancement Opportunities: Extend your educational background beyond an undergraduate degree to take advantage of better job prospects and the opportunity to pursue a doctoral degree upon completion.
  • Advanced Communication Skills: Learn how to communicate effectively and efficiently with a wide range of people across a variety of settings and situations. Whether speaking with a client or supervisor, our program prepares you with the knowledge and deductive reasoning skills to address individual concerns in a sensitive manner.

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How to Apply Open Accordion

Application Deadlines

Fall semester January 15

Start your application online and upload materials directly into the online system. You can save your progress and return any time.

Apply Now

1Review Admission Requirements

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Food Science and Nutrition requires applicants to have the following:

  • Hold the credential of Registered Dietitian (RD) or verification from a didactic program in dietetics (DPD). Learn more about becoming a registered dietitian >>
  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • A 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or international equivalent) on all undergraduate coursework
  • GRE scores are not required

Admission to Colorado State University graduate programs is based on a number of factors, including prior academic and professional experience and the personal statement. Before your application for graduate study is considered, all application materials must be received by the department.

2 Prepare Application Materials

Prepare the materials below and upload when you apply online.

  • Two letters of recommendation
    Two professional recommendations are required. Your recommenders should comment on your ability to do graduate work. You will provide information about your recommenders in the online application. CSU will contact them with instructions and a link to a secure form they will submit on your behalf.
  • Resume
    Include all professional and non-professional work experience with dates.
  • Statement of purpose
    Include in your statement:
    • Summary of long-term professional or personal goals
    • Statement regarding your educational goals
    • Statement indicating how this education will contribute to your long-term goals
    • List of factors that led you to consider Colorado State for graduate study

3 Complete Online Application

Complete the online graduate application form and pay the nonrefundable application processing fee (payable online). As soon as you have completed the required information, please submit your application. Your application will not be reviewed until it is complete and all required materials have been received.

  • Select "Food Science & Nutrition M.S. – Great Plains Interactive Distance Alliance" when choosing the program of study.

4Request Transcripts

Request one official transcript of all collegiate work completed from all institutions attended. Transcripts from Colorado State University are not required. Transcripts must be received directly from the originating institution to be considered official.

Please Note: Students may be unconditionally admitted and registered in their first semester of courses with an unofficial transcript. Official transcripts must be submitted, prior to or during your first semester, before you can register for your second semester of graduate work. Failure to meet this condition will result in your dismissal from the Graduate School.

Electronic (preferred):
Digital Transcripts must be submitted by the originating institution using a secure service such as parchment, eScrip-Safe, the National Student Clearinghouse, or e-Quals. Transcripts received via emails are considered unofficial.

Use institution code 4075 for Colorado State University or if the secure service requires an email address.

Mail (if necessary)
Graduate Admissions
Colorado State University – Office of Admissions
1062 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062

Check Your Application Status

View your application status at any time to ensure your application checklist is complete or to check on updates.

Once your complete application, including supporting materials, is received, the department admission committee will review your application and notify you of their decision.

For International Applicants

Proof of English language proficiency is required for applicants from countries or United States territories where there are official languages other than (or in addition to) English. This includes the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about English language proficiency requirements.


We love learning about your goals and answering any questions you have.

Morgan Parsley
Prospective Student Support Coach
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Program Details

$580 per credit
Same in-state tuition for all.
Learn more about financial aid and scholarships Tuition/fees are just part of the cost to attend CSU. Learn more about the full Cost of Attendance
Degree Awarded
Master of Science in Food Science and Nutrition
Time Frame
Varies based on intensity of study and previous coursework
Admission Reqs.
  • Hold the credential of Registered Dietitian (RD) or verification from a didactic program in dietetics (DPD)
  • 3.0 GPA on all undergraduate coursework
  • Math Entrance Exam scores recommended for applicants who have not taken the required prerequisites within the past 10 years

Application Dates

Fall semester
January 15

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