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Registered Dietitian Nutritionist work with clients to improve health

Professional Practice Concentration

The Professional Practice Concentration is approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®).  Cohorts are accepted in the summer term only.  Preferred application is March 1. 

What You'll Study

The demand is great for wellness and preventive services, which include nutrition, in almost all areas of health care practice. The Master of Science (M.S.) in Nutrition Professional Practice Concentration prepares students who wish to enter the field of nutrition and dietetics practice as Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. 

Professional practice concentration (MS-RDN) is the only track by which students may become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. Under the graduate nutrition program, students from varied backgrounds work together to emphasize collaborative interprofessional practice. Additional required coursework is provided to meet both professional competencies and experiential learning requirements of the ACEND Graduate Degree Programs (GP).

The MS-RDN program admits students once a year in summer (May start) and is offered at the Davie/Fort Lauderdale Campus or the Tampa Bay Regional Campus. Students may indicate their preference when applying to the program.

As a residential program, students should live within a 2-hour drive from their designated campus for commuting purposes. The hybrid program is delivered through a mixture of online synchronous meetings and regular onsite classes and labs. Supervised experiential learning is arranged locally to maximize the faculty oversight of student training.

This curriculum also qualifies candidates to meet the guidelines for licensure in the State of Florida upon successful completion.

Learn More

For more information, please contact:
Stephanie Petrosky, D.C.N., M.H.A, RDN , LDN, FAND

(954) 262-1597

Nutrition and Dietetics Profession

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) is the accrediting agency for educational programs to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Accreditation is necessary to ensure that the education and training received by students meet quality assurance standards and ensure that students from an accredited program have been taught the same foundational knowledge requirements. See the ACEND website for more details on this process.

Also, many states regulate the practice of nutrition and dietetics profession. It is important that you know the requirements and implications of your future practice. 

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) Credential

The professional practice of nutrition and dietetics applies the science of food and nutrition to the health and well-being of individuals and groups. Dietitians are health professionals who translate the science and art of nutrition and food into the practice of caring for the health and well-being of people. A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) is a food and nutrition expert who has met minimum academic and professional requirements and who has passed the Registration Examination for Dietitians, which is administered by The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).

Please note that as of January 1, 2024, candidates seeking to take the certification examination for registered dietitians must have at least a master's degree, professional training, and other program elements to qualify. Read more here.

Program Mission

The professional practice concentration (RDN) mission is to provide innovative education and training to effectively prepare competent, entry-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionists who collaboratively lead nutrition practice to enhance human health and quality of life in the communities they serve.

Program Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: Prepare practitioners who can deliver quality nutritional care that is based on academic standards for entry-level dietitians and current research.


  • Program Completion: At least 80% of students complete program requirements within 3 years (150% of the program length).
  • Graduate Employment: Of graduates who seek employment, at least 80% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
  • Registration Exam: At least 80% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion. 
  • Registration Exam: The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of the first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
  • Employer Satisfaction: 80% of employers who return surveys rate the level of graduates' preparation for entry-level practice at 4 or higher (on a scale from 1 to 5, 5 is the highest).
  • Program Specific: At least 80% of program graduates surveyed after one year report their level of preparation for entry-level practice at 4 or higher (on a scale from 1 to 5, 5 is the highest).


Goal 2: Prepare graduates who champion service to the community and profession through active roles in leadership and interprofessional practice.

  • Program Specific: At least 80% of program graduates surveyed after one year report active involvement in their communities or profession.
  • Program Specific: At least 80% of graduates surveyed after one year report their overall level of preparation to work in interprofessional teams at 4 or higher (on a scale from 1 to 5, 5 is the highest).

Program outcomes are available upon request.


Nova Southeastern University's Master of Science in Nutrition, Professional Practice Concentration is granted full accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) as a Future Graduate Program through December 31, 2029. Graduates of this designated track will be eligible candidates for the Commission on Dietetic Registration .

Interested parties may learn more by contacting the program director at .

Contact information for ACEND:
Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
Phone: 800-877-1600 X 5400

Please note: The MS-RDN concentration curriculum has been revised for the incoming class in 2024. Students must successfully complete 68 semester credits to complete the ACEND requirements.

Entering Class 2024 Summer Term (11 credits)
NUT 5000 Foundations of Professional Practice in Nutrition and Dietetics
NUT 5025 Nutrition Across the Lifespan
NUT 5120 Nutrition Advocacy and Interprofessional Leadership 
NUT 5200 Nutritional Biochemistry 
Fall (13 credits)

NUT 5075 Advanced Practice Principles of Functional Nutrition
NUT 5100 World Culture, Food and Nutrition 
NUT 5110 Foundations of Community Nutrition 
NUT 6400 Nutrition Assessment and Medical Nutrition Therapy
NUT 6405 Clinical Skills Lab I

Winter (12 credits)
NUT 5130 Nutrition Counseling
NUT 5131 Counseling and Communications Lab
NUT 5170 Management of Food and Nutrition Systems
NUT 8004 Nutrition Practicum I - Community and Population Health

Summer 2 (11 credits)

NUT 6150 Culinary Nutrition
NUT 6151 Culinary Nutrition Lab
NUT 6200 Evidence-based Research Outcomes in Nutrition
NUT 6500 Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy
NUT 6505 Clinical Skills Lab II
Fall 2 (12 credits)
NUT 6805 Applied Nutrition Capstone
NUT 7000 Professional Seminar 
NUT 8007 Nutrition Practicum II - Leadership/Business/Management
Winter 2 (9 credits)NUT 8000 Comprehensive Examination
NUT 8008 Nutrition Practicum III - Client/Patient Services

PLEASE NOTE: This program will accept applications on a rolling basis throughout the year and only admits a limited amount of candidates for a summer cohort each year (May start date).

The MS-RDN Professional Practice Concentration follows the admission criteria of the Master of Science in Nutrition degree program with the following additions (*Unique to this concentration) :

Prerequisite Courses (Semester credits with grade of C or better):

  • Anatomy & Physiology with Lab (or an equivalent, approved course) 
  • General Biology 
  • Organic Chemistry with Lab 
  • Biochemistry
  • General Chemistry with Lab
  • General Statistics
  • Human Nutrition
  • Microbiology

Admission Requirements:

  • bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university
  • official transcripts
  • completed application form
  • non-refundable application fee of $50
  • one letter of recommendation (professional)
  • undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale (preferred)
  • successful interview

March 1 is the preferred application deadline each year for one summer cohort. When completing the application form online, candidates must specifically indicate the Professional Practice Concentration from the optional drop-down choices. 

All applicants who meet the minimum criteria will be considered; however, not all applicants will be selected to interview. Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow for adequate time to process the application review and to receive supplemental materials.

Upon receipt of the completed application and required materials, the Committee on Admissions will review the applicant's file and make recommendations to the program director. All final decisions are made by the dean of the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine.


All qualified applicants will be evaluated against the admissions requirements. Due to the nature of this professional practice pathway, not all applicants will receive an invitation to interview. 

Candidates who have completed all pre-requisite coursework and present a well-rounded application demonstrating a commitment to the profession of dietetics and nutrition will be given preference in the selection process.  When writing a personal statement, it is best to address this in the comments provided. Other areas of strength will be the applicant's academic performance, community service, leadership attributes, additional letters of support and resume.

Candidates offered admission are required to complete an Intent to Enroll form and submit a $200 seat deposit by the stated deadline to confirm the acceptance or the seat is forfeited.

Accepted candidates who are completing the final requirements may receive a provisional admission offer contingent upon successful completion of pending items, including conferral of a degree. Accepted students must submit all original transcripts and documents to the Office of Admissions to be fully admitted.  Financial aid funds cannot be distributed until this obligation is fulfilled. Delays in this step may also affect a candidate's ability to successfully enter the program.

Accepted candidates are admitted into a cohort that begins in the summer term (early May start date) and must attend a program orientation.


Visit the Tuition and Fees page for more information. 

Estimated costs are generalized based on credit loads for all students in the Master of Science in Nutrition under universal reporting guidelines. These cover tuition, fees, books and supplies, housing, transportation, loan fees, personal expenses, and health insurance. Students in the professional practice concentration can expect additional program expenses such as:

  • Application fee: $50
  • Background screening and immunization fees: $200
  • Uniforms and white coat: $200
  • ServSafe training: $150
  • Professional memberships: $58/year
  • Conference registrations/travel: variable


Sample Financial Aid Cost of Attendance Budget

The M.S. in Nutrition degree program and all concentrations within the degree have been granted financial aid funding status to qualified students. Please consult the NSU Office of Financial Aid website or speak with a representative if you have any questions.  

Generally, to qualify for federal, state, and institutional financial assistance, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Demonstrate financial need. For some sources of aid, this is not a requirement.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Have a valid Social Security number
  • Be registered with the Selective Service if male
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program
  • Be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program
  • Sign the certification statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) stating that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant and you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes
  • Show you are qualified to obtain a college education by having a high school diploma or recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law

Branch Campus

The MS-RDN program admits students once a year in summer (May start) at the Fort Lauderdale/Davie Campus or the Tampa Bay Regional Campus. Students may indicate their location preference when applying for admission to the program. As a residential program, students should live within a 2-hour drive from their designated campus for commuting purposes. The hybrid program is delivered through a mixture of online synchronous meetings and regular onsite classes and labs. Supervised experiential learning is arranged locally to maximize the faculty oversight of student training. 

Distance Education

The hybrid program uses online technologies and computerized learning management systems to deliver instructional content consistently to all program locations. Experiential learning and designated courses in this concentration require the onsite availability of students throughout the program. Students must be located near campus for regularly scheduled program activities and may have to travel up to two hours for supervised training. Therefore, a distance learning (or fully remote) option for this program is not offered.

Assessment of Prior Learning or Coursework

The MS-RDN program has adopted NSU’s policy for course transfers and assessment of prior learning. Only didactic courses can be considered for transfer credit. Applicants may submit documentation for evaluation prior to admission and work with the program director to evaluate portfolios. Details can be found at:

Supervised Learning Experiences

Supervised practice experiences are coordinated through the program with educational affiliations arranged by Nova Southeastern University on behalf of the nutrition program. Students may work with the program director to engage in unique learning experiences as appropriate to fulfill the experiential learning requirements and explore personalized practice options under a qualified preceptor.  Students are not required to arrange their own preceptor or learning sites.

State Licensing Requirements

The MS-RDN program provides a national level of certification for registered dietitians once graduates pass the credentialing examination. Applicants are responsible for determining any additional requirements for licensure in the state where they seek to be licensed. Students should refer directly to the state licensing bodies or visit professional websites such as the Commission on Dietetic Registration for licensure requirements across the United States. Florida candidates with an active RDN number can apply directly to the Florida Department of Health.

Graduation and Program Completion Requirements for RDN

  • Students must successfully complete the required coursework at a grade point average of 3.0 or higher within three years of matriculation (150%).
  • Students must pass the comprehensive examination with a score of 70% or better.
  • Students must complete all competency-based assessments at the required target levels.
  • Students meet all university financial and library obligations.
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