PSM in Applied Nutrition - Dietetics Emphasis

Jump-start your career in dietetics with our ACEND-accredited Graduate Program!


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Join the University of Arizona's PSM in Applied Nutrition - Dietetics Emphasis.

Applications for the Summer 2023 term are now closed. We will begin accepting applications for the Summer 2024 term starting July 24, 2023.

The Professional Science Masters in Applied Nutrition - Dietetics Emphasis is an ACEND-accredited Graduate Program. The 12-month program combines online coursework through Arizona Online with supervised experiential learning at community, clinical, and food service sites. In order to become an RDN, graduates must complete the required coursework and supervised experiential learning hours (1000 hours). Following completion of the program, a national exam is required as the final step to earn the RDN credential.

​​​Program Format

  • Full-Time, 12-month program
  • Tucson Track (Tucson Residents): Online Coursework + In-Person Supervised Learning
  • Distance Track (Non-Tucson Residents): Online Coursework + In-Person Supervised Learning

Program Costs

Start Terms

We admit once per year, every Summer.

The next cohort begins June 2024.



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 addition, the CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised experiential fieldwork accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). In most states, graduates must also obtain licensure or certification to practice. Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited Future Education Model (FEM-G) program at the University of Arizona are eligible to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.


In the Professional Science Master's in Applied Nutrition - Dietetics Emphasis program, you will gain the skills you need to be a competent, entry-level registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), capable of implementing effective, patient-centered, evidence-based care. During the program, you will learn to synthesize, critically evaluate, and apply advanced knowledge and skills as a collaborative dietetics practitioner to effectively address contemporary nutrition-related issues.

The PSM graduate program includes 30 credits, spanning 3 semesters, with supervised experiential learning experiences in the fall and spring semesters. The initial semester, which starts in the summer, provides foundational knowledge; subsequent semesters provide greater depth of knowledge and skills development. Over 1,000 hours of supervised experiential learning are integrated into the curriculum in professional work settings, with additional alternative experiential learning experiences - such as simulation activities - embedded into specific courses.

The coursework has been designed for students to be able to achieve the standards and competencies outlined by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) Graduate Program (GP).


Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) plan and conduct food service or nutritional programs to assist in the promotion of health and the control of disease. Dietitians may supervise activities of a department or facility providing quantity food services, offer personalized counsel to individuals, or conduct nutrition research.

When you graduate from our PSM in Applied Nutrition - Dietetics Emphasis program, you will be well-positioned for a successful career in the growing job market for dietitians and nutritionists. It is projected that over the next 10 years, employment demand for Dietitians and Nutritionists will grow by 9.83%, which is much faster than the average projected job growth for all occupations. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage (as of 2021) for Registered Dietitians and Nutritionists in Arizona was $62,720, with a median hourly compensation of $30.16.

The University of Arizona PSM in Applied Nutrition - Dietetics Emphasis will prepare you for employment as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in environments such as:

  • Fitness Centers & Athletic Organizations
  • Corporate Wellness Programs
  • Consumer Food & Beverage Corporations
  • Hospitals & Other Clinical Settings
  • Community Public Health Centers & Nonprofit Organizations
  • Universities and School Settings
  • US Department of Defense, US Department of Agriculture, and Other Government or State Agencies
  • Private Practice

Becoming an RDN


The PSM in Applied Nutrition – Dietetics Emphasis program at the University of Arizona is a nationally accredited Graduate Program by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL. 60606-6995, (800) 877-1600, email: sends e-mail).

This program is approved to accept up to 25 students per year. Program outcomes data are available upon request/once available.

The following courses are required to earn the Professional Science Masters in Applied Nutrition - Dietetics Emphasis.

  • NSC 501: Statistics for Applied Nutritional Sciences I (1 unit)
  • NSC 502: Statistics for Applied Nutritional Sciences II (1 unit)
  • NSC 509: Advanced Nutrition Metabolism and Disease (3 units)
  • NSC 519: Advanced Applied Nutritional Sciences (3 units)
  • NSC 540: Nutrition Interventions (3 units)
  • NSC 542: Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy (3 units)
  • NSC 558: Advanced Foodservice Management (3 units)
  • NSC 562: Professional Ethics and Best Practices in Nutrition Education and Counseling (3 units)
  • NSC 570: Agriculture and Food Literacy for Nutrition and Health Professionals (3 units)
  • NSC 693A: Professional Experiential Learning in Dietetics - Community Nutrition (2 units)
  • NSC 693B: Professional Experiential Learning in Dietetics - Food Service Management (2 units)
  • NSC 693C: Professional Experiential Learning in Dietetics - Medical Nutrition Therapy (3 units)

Read Course Descriptions

Applicants to the PSM in Applied Nutrition - Dietetics Emphasis program must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
  • DPD Verification Statement OR specified prerequisite coursework (listed below)
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA overall in undergraduate degree or over the last 60 units of enrollment

Additionally, because the didactic coursework is delivered exclusively online, the following student characteristics are essential to successfully completing the program:

  • Self-directed, independent learner
  • Able to manage time effectively
  • Effective written and verbal communication
  • Able to utilize a wide range of resources effectively

REQUIRED PREREQUISITE COURSEWORK (with a grade of C or higher):

  • Anatomy / physiology: 2 semesters (2-semester of anatomy/physiology, i.e., PSIO 201 & 202)
  • Biochemistry: 1 semester (course must require organic chemistry as prerequisite)
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy / Clinical Nutrition: minimum 2 semesters (must include Nutrition Care Process and Terminology - if taking at the University of Arizona, the 3-course MNT series is required - NSC 325, NSC 425, NSC 435)
  • Food Science: 1 semester
  • Macronutrient Metabolism: 1 semester
  • Food Service Management: 1 semester OR Serv-Safe MANAGER Certification
  • Statistics


  • Community / Public Health Nutrition
  • Counseling / Nutrition Counseling
  • Additional coursework in Medical Nutrition Therapy / Clinical Nutrition

Graduate Program (GP) Coursework Documentation

Starting this summer, applicants applying to the PSM - Applied Dietetics program will be submitting applications using DICAS (Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System).

Cost / Fees: The initial fee is $65.00 for the first application and $25.00 for each additional application.

Applicants are required to submit the following:

  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Purpose statement
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Resume
  • Required coursework form
  • Preceptor agreement forms (Distance Track applicants only)

Distance Track applicants must include their in their application Preceptor Agreements for clinical, community, and food service preceptors / sites.

* The GRE is not required for admission to this program. *

In order to apply to this program, you must already hold a bachelor's degree, or will be earning a bachelor's degree by the end of the Spring Semester. Transcripts including degree posting are required to be sent to the Graduate College by 30 days after the start of the program in June.

In DICAS, you will be asked to upload and complete the following information:

  • Most recent transcripts from ALL Universities / College attended. Note: If your degree is not yet posted, you will be require to submit an updated transcript with degree posted by 30 days after the start date of the program in June.
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Professional Resume
  • Three letters of recommendation. You will provide the email addresses for three recommenders, and DICACS will reach out to them with directions for uploading the letter.
  • Didactic Program in Dietetics Verification Statement OR Required Coursework Form
  • If you are applying for the Distance Track, you will need to upload a Preceptor Agreement for clinical, community, and food service management supervised experiential learning sites


Courses for the PSM in Applied Nutrition - Dietetics Emphasis cost $950 per unit, or $28,500 total, for Residents and Non-Residents.

TA- or GA-funded positions are not available at this time.

Students who are eligible for Federal Financial Aid are encouraged to apply for assistance, if needed. Financial assistance by way of scholarships can be accessed via Scholarship Universe.

Tuition Calculator

A distinctive feature of all graduate programs accredited by ACEND under the Graduate Program standards is the “supervised experiential learning (SEL)” requirement. Supervised experiential learning gives the students the opportunity to actively apply their knowledge of nutrition and dietetics in nutrition practice settings under the guidance of professional preceptors.

As a part of ACEND accreditation requirements, SEL hours are done concurrently with the graduate coursework during the fall and spring term. This supports active learning in clinical, community and food service management sites while enrolled in the PSM-Applied Dietetics Emphasis.

Students will complete a total of 1000 hours of supervised experiential learning. Prior to admission into the program, students are required to secure their SEL sites and submit preceptor agreements for all three (3) sites along with their application. Through the SEL hours, students gain valuable hands-on experience that can be directly connected to concepts in the graduate courses they are taking during the program and preparing them for professional practice as an RDN.

How to Locate Preceptors

Preceptor Agreement Form


Community SEL Syllabus

Food Service Management SEL Syllabus



Fanisia Bundage, MA
Graduate Advisor II, Prospective Students
School of Nutritional Sciences and Wellness

Kaydi Williams, RDN
Coordinator, Professional Science Masters in Applied Nutrition - Dietetics Emphasis, AZ Online
ISPP Dietetic Internship Director, Main Campus
School of Nutritional Sciences and Wellness

Kayle Skorupski, PhD, MS, RDN-AP, CNSC, FAND
Director, Dietetics Graduate Program (PSM Applied Nutrition - Dietetics Emphasis)
Director of Professional Programs
School of Nutritional Sciences and Wellness


Ideal for students who are ready to apply and want more information on program coursework, admissions requirements, details on the application process, locating site preceptors, and overall timeline. Prospective applicants are encouraged to visit the program website prior to the session, but we will do an extensive overview of the application process. Attendance is not required for program admission, and attendance has no impact on an applicant's admission status. We offer this only to be helpful. Prospective applicants MUST attend a session PRIOR to requesting or booking a 1:1 appointment.

Information sessions are held virtually twice a month throughout the semester. Once you complete your registration form, you will receive a follow-up email confirming your information session date, time, and a Zoom link for the session.