Food and Nutrition

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The School of Human Sciences offers a Master of Science degree in Food and Nutrition with a concentration in Community Nutrition. The program is coordinated with the Dietetic Internship Program. 

Master of Science (M.S.) in Food and Nutrition

Community Nutrition Concentration

The Master of Science Degree in Food and Nutrition with a concentration in Community Nutrition is coordinated with the Dietetic Internship Program. The curriculum is designed to provide advanced study in community nutrition and public health/nutrition policy and provide 1200 hours of supervised practice (dietetic internship). Students who successfully complete the M.S. in Food and Nutrition degree coursework and the 1200 hours of dietetic internship must be verified by the program director to then be eligible to write the registration examination for dietitians. In addition to M.S. in Food and Nutrition degree work, students complete an accredited dietetic internship that qualifies them to take the registration examination for dietitians. The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®) sets Standards of Education for entry-level dietetics education. ACEND® is the only accrediting agency for dietetics education programs recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE). Continued recognition by the USDE since 1974 affirms that ACEND® is a reliable authority as to the quality of dietetics education program that it accredits. Programs accredited by ACEND® meet the education requirements established by Commission of Dietetic Registration (CDR). The Dietetic Internship program at SIU has been granted accreditation through 2028 by ACEND®. In addition to admission requirements below, students need a Verification Statement for having completed a Didactic Program in Dietetics issued by an ACEND®-accredited program director.


This program requires a nonrefundable $65 application fee that must be submitted with the application for Admissions to Graduate Study in Food and Nutrition. Applicants may pay this fee by credit card if applying electronically. Applicants submitting a paper application must pay by personal check, cashier’s check, or money order made out to SIU, and payable to a U.S. Bank.

Applicants must meet the following criteria to be considered for admission to the program. Everyone, United States citizens and non-citizens alike, must complete a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) accredited by ACEND®. ACEND® establishes and enforces “Eligibility Requirements and Accreditation Standards” for nutrition/dietetics education. It accredits education programs (including bachelor’s and graduate level Didactic Programs in Dietetics) that prepare students for careers as Registered Dietitians. More information about ACEND® is available online at

  1. A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university (completed within the last 10 years)
  2. Completion of a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) as accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. Students should supply appropriate documentation (Verification Statement) from their DPD Directors that is to be submitted with their application.
  3. DICAS. If you have completed a minimum of a bachelor’s degree at a US regionally accredited university or college and course work accredited by ACEND®, you are eligible to participate in the Dietetic Internship Match. Applicants to SIUC combined MS/DI program must submit their application through the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System at (DICAS Portal).
  4. D&D Matching. Applicants to Dietetic Internships (DI) must register for matching with D&D Digital to create/modify their prioritized list of dietetic internships for computerized matching at D&D Digital ( There is a $50 registration fee for matching that is due with prioritized program rankings. SIUC’s Match Number is 438. SIUC matches only during the spring. Students who match with SIUC through the spring matching process are enrolled in SIUC’s program in August (fall semester).
  5. A grade point average of 3.0 or higher (where 4.0 = A) is required.
  6. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required for all applicants within the last 5 years.
  7. A score of 300 or higher on combined verbal and quantitative portions of GRE is recommended.
  8. Desire to complete a Master of Science Degree in Food and Nutrition with a concentration in community nutrition combined with a 7 and ½ month dietetic internship with community nutrition emphasis.
  9. International Students who have had their education, training and credentials completed outside of the United States or have not completed a Didactic Program in Dietetics should refer to the following resource: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  10. International students whose native language is not English are required to pass the TOEFL examination with a score of 550 or above. For questions related to education and credentialing requirements for international students, more information is available at International Admissions

Program Completion Requirements

Unless otherwise stated, policies of the University and Graduate School shall establish the minimum requirements for retention in and graduation from the program. This includes a minimum grade point average for graduation of 3.0 (4.0 point scale).

The Community Nutrition concentration requires 39-44 credit hours from the following: FN 540, FN 574, FN 585, ANS 500, FN 530, PH 583, PH 585, PH 593, or PH 583, QUAN 506, FN 581, PH 598, HND 495, FN 580A, FN 580B, FN 580C, FN 599 and/or electives. At least 50% of coursework must be at the 500 level. The thesis option requires a committee composed of at least two program faculty members and one faculty member from outside the program. The research paper option will require a committee composed of at least three faculty members and an additional three credit hours of elective coursework. The M.S. in Food and Nutrition degree candidates in the thesis or research paper options must pass an oral examination conducted by their committee. The professional track option will require an additional six credit hours of elective coursework.