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Nutrition and Dietetics M.S. Handbook: General Program Information

Table of Contents

Program Curriculum Learning Activities

Competencies and Performance Indicators
Plan of Study
Monitoring Student Performance
Student Retention and Remediation
Student Discipline or Termination
Distance Education
Supervised Experiential Learning Documentation
Program Completion

SEL Site and Preceptor Information

Site Selection and Evaluation
Student Responsibilities During SEL
Benefits of Being a Preceptor
Role of a Preceptor
Responsibilities of a Preceptor
Preceptor Training
Preceptor Continuing Professional Education Opportunities
Site Professional Development Awards

General Student Information

Insurance Requirements
Immunization Policy
Injury or Illness While in a Facility for Supervised Experiential Learning
Drug Testing and Criminal Background Checks
Complaint Process
Student Services
Your Permanent File, Student Records and Privacy

General Student Information (continued)

Program Schedule and Academic Calendar
Vacations and Holidays
Leaves of Absence
Withdrawal/Refund of Tuition and Fees
Professional Association and Membership
Photo Identification
Experiential Learning Experiences and Compensation
Media Release

Other Policies and Procedures

Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
Credit for Prior Learning
Student Conduct Code
Drug Free Environment
Disability Accommodations
Safety and Security

Section 1: Table of Contents

  1. Accreditation Statement
  2. Pathway to Becoming a Registered Dietitian
  3. Program Director and Faculty Information
  4. Internal Advisory Committee
  5. External Advisory Committee
  6. Program Mission, Goals and Objectives
  7. Admission Requirements
  8. Prior Assessed Learning
  9. Program Costs
  10. Financial Aid

1-1. Accreditation Statement

The South Dakota State University Nutrition and Dietetics (M.S.) program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). ACEND is the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

ACEND can be contacted by phone or mail.
Phone: 1-800/877-1600, ext. 5400
Mail: 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606-6995

1-2. Pathway to Becoming a Registered Dietitian

Beginning January 1, 2024, a graduate degree will be the minimum degree requirement for those seeking to become eligible for the registration examination for dietitian nutritionists. To be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s (CDR) Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight CT, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's Graduate Degree Requirement.

The Nutrition and Dietetics (M.S.) program at SDSU is an accredited ACEND Graduate Program. This graduate- level, competency-based dietitian nutritionist program integrates coursework and 1,000+ hours of supervised experiential learning. Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited Nutrition and Dietetics (M.S.) program are eligible to take the CDR credentialing exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements, visit CDR's State Licensure. South Dakota (SD) is among 46 states that have enacted legislation regulating the practice of dietetics.

Graduates of the Nutrition and Dietetics (M.S.) who are issued a verification statement are eligible to apply for a temporary SD Licensed Nutritionist which is good for 1 year. Successful passing of the CDR examination for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists is required for application to be issued permanent SD Licensed Nutritionist status.

State licensure and state certification are separate from the registration exam by CDR. Information on state licensure which may be required before an RD/RDN can practice in several states is provided at CDR's State Licensure. The SD codified law and administrative rules regarding dietetics and nutrition and the state licensure process are found at SD Legislature Legislative Research Council. Application information for the SD Licensed Nutritionist process is available at SD Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners.

For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN, visit the ACEND Information for Students.

1-3. Program Director and Faculty Information

1-4. Internal Advisory Committee

Faculty and staff on the previous pages serve as an internal advisory committee with the Program Director to review curriculum, outcome measures and on-going improvement. This committee meets at least once per semester during the 9-month academic year.

1-5. External Advisory Committee

The external advisory committee is composed of facility representatives and registered dietitians in the state of SD who work with the students and/or hire the graduates. This committee meets once annually to review the program.

1-6. Program Mission, Goals and Objectives

See the Mission and Goals page.

1-7. Admission Requirements


Recruitment of applicants is completed by listing the Nutrition and Dietetics (M.S.) program on the ACEND website, through information posted at Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s Degree Programs and with information posted at School of Health and Consumer Sciences. In addition, program information will be shared via the Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors list serve and by having a booth at the national Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo’s Student Recruitment Fair. The Nutrition and Dietetics (M.S.) program follows all state and federal laws and regulations to ensure nondiscrimination and equal opportunity.

Program Eligibility

See the Program Eligibility page and Prerequisite and Co-requisite Courses page.

Program Application Process

See the Application page. 

Graduate School Application

Students admitted to the Nutrition and Dietetics (M.S.) program will remain an undergraduate until program requirements have been met for completion of the bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics which requires 120 undergraduate credits, completed at the conclusion of the 4th semester in the Nutrition and Dietetics (M.S.) program which occurs during the spring semester. During the 3rd and 4th semester in the Nutrition and Dietetics (M.S.) program, students will begin taking some graduate-level courses that will count towards completion of their bachelor’s degree and will also be applied for credit towards their master’s degree in nutrition and dietetics. Nine credits will count towards the bachelor’s and master’s degree as part of the Nutrition and Dietetics (M.S.) program plan of study. The SDSU graduate school application must be completed at least 1-2 semesters before taking graduate courses. Therefore, the Nutrition and Dietetics (M.S.) program student will need to complete their graduate school application during the 2nd semester in the Nutrition and Dietetics (M.S.) program which occurs in the spring with the term for beginning graduate classes as the 3rd semester in the program which will be a fall semester.

Graduate School application and admission minimum requirements:

Nutrition and Dietetics (M.S.) program students will be required to complete a Request to Use Graduate Credit to Fulfill Undergraduate Degree Requirement (2:22) form at the start of Nutrition and Dietetics (M.S.) program semester 3 for courses NUTR 523 Medical Nutrition Therapy I and NUTR 560 Nutrigenomics. This form will also need to be completed at the start of semester 4 for NUTR 525 Medical Nutrition Therapy II. The form can be found at SDSU Policies and Procedures, Academic Forms.

1-8. Prior Assessed Learning

See the Admission page and Policies page.

1-9. Program Costs

See the Cost page 

1-10. Financial Aid

See the Policies page.