Graduate Academic Programs

Accelerated Programs

MSAHS Nutrition MS – Dietetics BS

Accelerated Pathway in Dietetics (Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Science, Dietetics, + Master of Science in Applied Health Science, Nutrition Science)

Description of Program

The Accelerated Pathway in Dietetics (AP) was developed for IU dietetics students seeking to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs). The AP combines the ACEND-accredited four-year undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Science, Dietetics, degree with the two-year Master of Science in Applied Health Science, Nutrition Science, degree. The result is a pathway that enables enrolled AP students to complete both a B.S. and an M.S. degree in five years instead of the usual six years. The one-year savings of time and expense is possible because of four overlap courses that count toward both degrees.

Interested students already admitted to IUB as dietetics majors can apply to the AP during their junior year. A minimum GPA of 3.2 is preferred. Applicants must also meet requirements for the M.S. degree.

IU offers the AP in dietetics as an investment in the future of students seeking careers as RDNs, the credentialed professional in the field of dietetics. There are multiple steps to becoming an RDN:

  1. Fulfill dietetics educational competencies established by the Accreditation Council for

Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

  1. Obtain the minimum of a master’s degree.*
  2. Complete a supervised practice experience through an ACEND-accredited institution.
  3. Successfully pass the national RD exam.

The undergraduate dietetics major provides the educational foundation for students seeking careers as RDNs; adding the graduate degree enables AP graduates to complete the first two steps toward RD exam eligibility at IUB. AP students pay undergraduate tuition for the four overlap courses, which are graduate courses taken by AP students while they are still undergraduates. AP students complete the bachelor’s degree with the rest of the senior class, then complete the master’s degree in one additional year. Graduates who successfully complete the AP at Indiana University are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program, after which they can take the national RD exam.

*Notice from the Commission on Dietetic Registration:

Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master's degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor's degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website: In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Degree Requirements

AP students complete the same four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Science, Dietetics, degree except that the four overlap courses are taken as 500-level graduate courses instead of the usual 400-level courses taken by undergraduates. AP students complete a minimum of 143 credits for both degrees.

Graduation requirements for the B.S. degree include:

  • completion of general education requirements established by IU
  • completion of dietetics major requirements
  • a minimum of 120 successfully completed credit hours that count toward the undergraduate degree program
  • a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA
  • No Pass/Fail courses except for free electives

During their senior year, AP students are matched with graduate faculty who will serve as advisors for the non-thesis project required for the master’s degree. Completion of a research thesis is also possible, but completion of the master’s degree might then take longer than one additional year.

Graduation requirements for the M.S. degree include:

  • completion of a minimum of 35 graduate credit hours
  • a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average
  • a minimum grade of C in each required course

General Education (20 – 39 credits)

All undergraduate students must complete the IU Bloomington campus-wide general education common ground requirements. Such students must visit the 2021-2022 General Education Bulletin to view these requirements.

Major (94 cr.)

Dietetics Core (53 cr.)
A minimum grade of C– is required in each professional core course.
Complete each of the following courses:

  • SPH-N 120 Introduction to Foods (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 231 Human Nutrition (3 cr.) +N&M
  • SPH-N 301 Methods of Nutritional Assessment (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 320 Food Chemistry (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 321 Quantity Food Purchasing and Production (4 cr.)
  • SPH-N 322 Management Systems in Dietetics (3cr.)
  • SPH-N 325 Food Chemistry Laboratory (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 331 Life Cycle Nutrition (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 336 Public Health Nutrition (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 401 Issues in Dietetics (1 cr.)
  • SPH-N 416 Nutrition Counseling and Education (3cr.)
  • SPH-N 480 Mechanisms of Nutrient Action (3 cr.) or BIOL-L 312 Cell Biology (3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 351 Complementary and Alternative Approaches to Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 494 Research and Evaluation Methods in Health and Safety (3 cr.)

Overlap courses (12 cr.)

  • SPH-N 530 Advanced Nutrition I (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 531 Medical Nutrition Therapy (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 532 Advanced Nutrition II (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 533 Medical Nutrition Therapy Application (3 cr.)

Additional Major Courses (41 cr.)
A minimum grade of C- is required in each pertinent major course, except CHEM-C 117 and CHEM-C 127, which each require a minimum grade of C for admission to the dietetics program.
Complete each of the following courses:

  • ANAT-A 215 Basic Human Anatomy (5 cr.) +N&M
  • BIOL-M 200 Microorganisms in Nature and Disease (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-C 117 Principles of Chemistry and Biochemistry I (3 cr.) (minimum grade of C required for admission) +N&M
  • CHEM-C 127 Chemistry and Biochemistry Laboratory I (2 cr.) (minimum grade of C required for admission) +N&M
  • CHEM-R 340 Survey of Organic Chemistry (3 cr.) or CHEM-C 341 Organic Chemistry Lecture I (3 cr.)
  • CLAS-C 209 Medical Terms from Greek and Latin (2 cr.)
  • COLL-P 155 Public Oral Communication (3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 350 Writing in Public Health (3 cr.) or ENG-W 231 Professional Writing Skills (3 cr.)
  • PHSL-P 215 Basic Human Physiology (5 cr.) +N&M
  • PSY-P 101 Introductory Psychology 1 (3 cr.) +N&M
  • PSY-P 325 Psychology of Learning (3 cr.) or PSY-P 335 Cognitive Psychology (3 cr.) or EDUC-P 254 Educational Psychology for Teachers - All Grades (3 cr.)
  • SPH-B 150 Introduction to Public Health (3 cr.) +S&H
  • SPH-Q 381 Introduction to Biostatistics (3 cr.) or MATH/PSY-K 300 Statistical Techniques (3 cr.)

+ Courses with an N&M notation apply toward both major requirements and the natural and mathematical sciences general education requirement. These count in both places.

Additional courses to complete the Master’s degree (23 cr.)

  • SPH-E 651 Epidemiology (3 cr.)
  • SPH-E 680 Nutritional Epidemiology (3 cr.)
  • BIOT-T 540 Structure, Function, and Regulation of Biomolecules (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 517 Research Presentations in Nutrition Science (1 cr.)
  • SPH-N 550 Dietary Assessment Techniques (1 cr.)
  • SPH-Q 501 Introduction to Statistics in Public Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH-Q 601 Experimental Analysis & Design OR SPH-Q 602 Multivariate Statistical Analysis OR SPH-Q 603 Categorical Data Analysis OR SPH-Q 604 Linear Regression Analysis (3 cr.)

Complete one of the following six-credit research options (6 cr.):

Complete the following six-credit combination of courses (6 cr.)

  • SPH-N 691 Readings in Nutrition Science (3 cr.) or SPH-N 539 Special Problems: Nutrition & Food Science (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 692 Research in Nutrition Science (3 cr.)


OR Complete a master's thesis.

  • SPH-H 599 Master’s Thesis (6 cr.)


The AP is too new to report post-graduation outcomes. However, the undergraduate dietetics program has strong outcomes, with a 93% placement rate of alums into supervised practice programs and >95% one-year passage rate on the national RD exam since the year 2000.


RDNs may work in clinical settings such as hospitals, long term care facilities, nutrition clinics, or private practice; serve on a health care team; or work one-on-one with people in the treatment and prevention of disease. Community-based RDNs counsel individuals

and groups on nutritional practices designed to prevent disease and promote health. Management RDNs often oversee large-scale meal planning and preparation in health care facilities, schools, universities, restaurant chains, or private industry. A growing number of RDNs work in business, journalism, marketing, sports nutrition, and corporate wellness programs. Dietitians who enjoy research may lead or consult on clinical research studies within academic centers, medical facilities, or governmental organizations, or they may prefer the food industry, where they can research and develop food products, services, or educational programs. With advanced degrees, dietitians may pursue careers in higher education.

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