Why Study Nutrition?

Undergraduate students in the food and nutrition concentration focus on the study of nutrients in food and their relationship to health and disease. The food and nutrition concentration is an accredited didactic program in dietetics (DPD). Registered dietitians are food and nutrition experts. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of dietitians and nutritionists to grow 21 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. The role of food in preventing and treating illnesses, such as diabetes, is now well known. More dietitians and nutritionists will be needed to provide care for patients with various medical conditions and to advise people who want to improve their overall health.

View the curriculum
Current Plan of Study (enrolled prior to Fall 2018)
New Plan of Study (enrolled after Fall 2018)

What will you study?

  • Food and Nutrition Sciences
  • Sciences (Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physiology, Microbiology)
  • Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • Food Service System Management
  • Business, Economics
  • Communication

How to become a Registered Dietitian:

  1. Complete MSU DPD program with a 3.0 GPA or above (including a "C" or better in all required DPD courses).
  2. Complete an ACEND-accredited supervised practice programs (most commonly dietetic internships). The Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion at Mississippi State University offers a dietetic internship program.
  3. Effective January 1, 2024, a graduate degree (in any field) will be required for RDN exam eligibility.
  4. Pass national RDN exam as set by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
  5. Many states additionally require credentialed individuals to be certified or licensed by the state prior to practicing in the profession.

Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) apply the science of nutrition by utilizing nutrition knowledge to promote health and/or treat disease in hospitals, clinics, community settings, private consulting practices, sports nutrition and corporate wellness programs, newspapers and magazines, food and nutrition-related businesses and industry, pharmaceutical companies, and more. Most of these settings require completion of a supervised practice program and the RDN credential for employment. Supervised practice program entry is very competitive, so students interested in this route should begin to prepare early. For more detailed information on careers in dietetics, see the Academy’s website careers information. The Mission, Goals, and Objectives of MSU’s accredited DPD aim to guide the program to continuously improve performance of our graduates.


The Nutrition concentration in the Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion major is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association (ADA) as a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). Program outcomes data are available upon request.You may contact ACEND for additional information about accreditation and MSU's accreditation status:

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995
Phone: (800) 877-1600, ext. 5400


The mission of Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion's DPD is to increase the number of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists in the state of Mississippi, the United States and the world, who are committed to lifelong learning, equipped to improve the nutritional well-being of persons in diverse populations in urban, suburban and rural areas, and motivated to give back to their profession through mentoring and/or precepting.


  • DPD Goal 1: Graduates of the Mississippi State DPD will serve as mentors and/or preceptors to students in the Mississippi, the United States and the world.

  • DPD Goal 2: Graduates of the Mississippi State DPD will demonstrate critical thinking and problem-solving and decision-making skills that will positively impact communities in Mississippi, the United States and globally.


DPD Objectives for Goal 1

  • When surveyed, at least 80% of DPD graduates who responded will state “yes” when surveyed that they have served as mentors and/or preceptors to students in Mississippi, the United States and/or the world.

  • 60% of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation

  • At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within 3 years (150% of the program length

  • 70% of graduates are admitted into a supervised practice program within 12months of graduation

DPD Objectives for Goal 2

  • When surveyed, at least 80% of DPD graduates who responded will “agree” or “strongly agree” when surveyed about whether they believe that the DPD at Mississippi State University has helped them develop critical thinking or decision-making skills.

  • When surveyed, at least 80% of Supervised Practice Directors who responded will “agree” or “strongly agree” that they are satisfied with graduate’s preparation for supervised practice.

  • The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.


  • Clinical (hospital, long term care, clinics-can include specialty area such as pediatric, renal, diabetes)
  • Food Service Management
  • Business & Industry (Kraft, General Mills)
  • Community Nutrition Programs (Extension Service, Health Dept, Federal Agencies)
  • Government, Military, and Research (FDA, USDA, NIH, Colleges/Universities)
  • Consultant/Private Practice
  • Wellness & Sports Nutrition
  • Media & Trade Associations (Dairy Council, Southern Living, Cooking Light)

Transfer Guide

Students may transfer to Mississippi State University from regionally accredited community, junior or senior colleges for any period of enrollment, provided they have earned a 2.0 GPA (as computed by Mississippi State University) on all college courses attempted as well as earned a 2.0 GPA on the 30-hours of core courses. Transfer students should look at the transfer course equivalent guide to determine which courses will transfer.


Students may apply for university, college and departmental scholarships through one application. You can find the scholarship application once you logon to myState. Under the banner tab, select Financial Aid and Scholarships. The application is listed as Submit/Revise General Scholarship Application.


The Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion encourages its students to take advantage of the many experiences offered by the departmental student organizations and teams. Clubs are a great way to develop leadership skills and to learn about the various food industries. Visit the organizations page to find out more.

Program Director

  • Mandy Conrad
  • Undergraduate Program Director, Didactic Program in Dietetics (DP)
  • Email:
  • Phone: 662-325-0144