The Harding University Master of Science in Applied Dietetics Practice program is a demonstration program that uses the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards for Graduate Degree Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics developed by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). This program is recognized by ACEND as an early adopter demonstration program.
The Harding University Master of Science in Applied Dietetics Practice program is a distance education program, where professional didactic courses in the curriculum are delivered online. Courses will be entirely asynchronous with recorded class lectures/activities. Some courses will require students to meet online synchronously for intensives, and students will be notified in advance of the dates and times of the intensives. Students are required to attend an on-campus orientation prior to starting in the fall and a spring intensive during their first year. The purpose of the spring on-campus intensives is for students to receive nutrition assessment and Nutrition Focused Physical Exam training and improve skill development. Students will be notified in advance of the dates and times of these on-campus requirements.
Students also have the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge and skills they learned in their professional didactic courses to real-life practice in the field. Supervised experiential learning hours in food service, clinical, and community nutrition are selected by students and approved by the program. Students will be responsible for locating sites and preceptors under the guidance and direction of the program. The purpose of these experiences is for preceptors to supervise and guide the student learning experiences and for students to collaborate with preceptors in efforts to achieve professional competency in the field of nutrition and dietetics.
Students are required to complete 1,106 experiential learning hours in the program, and hours must be completed in the United States. The required hours will prepare students to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s (CDR) Registration Examination for Dietitians.
Students with a bachelor’s degree from an institution accredited by an agency nationally recognized by the US Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and who meet all admission requirements are welcome to apply to the Master of Science in Applied Dietetics Practice program.
The program does not require a bachelor’s degree in nutrition/dietetics or a Verification Statement from an accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) program.
Criteria for Admission:
- A minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an institution accredited by an agency nationally recognized by the US Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation
- Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
- Grade of C or higher in the following prerequisites taken at an institution accredited by an agency nationally recognized by the US Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation:
Prerequisite courses completed outside of Harding University and/or completed more than five years prior to a student’s enrollment will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If a student has completed prerequisite courses that are outdated or do not provide the necessary foundation to begin graduate-level courses, students may have to repeat courses at the discretion of the program director.
A student who does not fully meet all of the prerequisite courses may receive provisional admission, with the approval of the program faculty, if he or she holds a baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by an agency nationally recognized by the US Department of Education. Provisional status will be removed when the student maintains the “Student Performance Standards” outlined in the program handbook and completes the prerequisite course(s) with a grade of C or higher (this must occur by the end of the fall semester of their first year).
Leveling courses, if required, will not be included within the semester hour requirements.
- ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification (may be completed through the National Restaurant Association)
It is the responsibility of the student to acquire ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification prior to orientation for the program. Applications will still be considered if an applicant is currently enrolled in a course or planning to take the exam. If either situation applies to you, please upload proof of course or exam registration (e.g., confirmation email, screenshot of ServSafe confirmation, etc.)
No GRE required
- Complete the GradCAS Online Application:
- Pay an application fee ($50) to Harding University through GradCAS.
- Request official transcripts through GradCAS from all universities attended.
- To expedite a review of your application, you may upload unofficial transcripts.
- Note: An alumnus or current student of Harding University does not need to request an HU transcript; records are on file. You can bypass this requirement in the Academic History quadrant.
- Provide evidence of successful completion of the aforementioned prerequisites.
- Applicants can denote if a course is “in progress” on the application.
- Submit a personal statement (1,000 words). Questions will be given within GradCAS.
- Submit a resume. Volunteer or work experience related to food, nutrition, dietetics, and/or the healthcare field is strongly desired.
- Submit ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification.
- It is the responsibility of the student to acquire ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification prior to orientation for the program. Applications will still be considered if an applicant is currently enrolled in or planning to take the course. If either of these situations applies to you, please upload proof of course/exam registration (e.g., confirmation email, screenshot of ServSafe confirmation, etc.) or a statement that you will complete the course in FCS 4350/4350L .
- Submit three references (A form will be sent via email to the references through GradCAS).
- One professional reference
- Two faculty references (No more than one FCS faculty member)
Applicant Interviews and Final Decision
Top candidates will be invited to a virtual group interview with program faculty. After the interviews, applicants will be accepted to the program on an ongoing basis until each cohort is full. The number of local students accepted into the program may be limited based on local preceptor and site availability and at the discretion of the program director.
The program does not require a background check prior to admission. Students will complete their initial background check once admitted into the program. If a student does not successfully pass the initial background check, the program director will discuss how the information could potentially affect their progress in the program.
In addition, students are responsible for submitting immunization records and proof of health insurance at their own expense prior to beginning the program. If a student does not successfully submit these documents, this may delay them from securing supervised experiential learning rotations and potentially affect their progress in the program.
International Student Requirements
International students must provide the following additional information:
- A foreign degree evaluation of the student’s bachelor’s degree which must include a statement that the degree is of US equivalency from an approved foreign degree evaluation agency. The evaluation report should include courses, credit hours, and grade equivalency. Please see the list of agencies that are approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
- Syllabi of all prerequisite courses from international institutions (preferably translated in English). (Note: Due to the ACEND requirements in the program curriculum, the program cannot accept foreign bachelor or master-level courses for program credit.)
- An official TOEFL iBT composite score of at least 83 with a minimum speaking score requirement of 26 (out of 30 (90%)).
- The test must have been taken within the last calendar year of admission. Official TOEFL exam score report reflecting successful completion must be received no later than the Program application deadline date. The TOEFL iBT test can be taken in the Harding University Testing Office. The test will be an expense to the student. Please contact the Testing Office for details at 501-279-4415 or online at www.harding.edu/testing.
- If the applicant’s entire educational experience has been in the United States, the applicant is not required to take the TOEFL. To document this, the applicant must provide records/transcripts from the time that the applicant entered school in the first grade through junior high, high school, and college. If the applicant cannot provide this documentation, the applicant may appeal first to the program director and then to the dean of the college.