The Experiential Track of the Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Nutritional Sciences is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) as a Future Education Model Graduate Program.
The mission of the Experiential Track of the MPS in Nutritional Sciences program is to prepare graduates to meet the standards of mastery expected of entry-level dietitians and to become leaders in the field of nutrition and dietetics. The learning environment is structured to prepare graduates to improve the health and well-being of people across diverse communities, integrating graduate course work with supervised experiential learning to help them develop an advanced skill set and leadership potential through problem-solving, critical thinking, teamwork, and self-reflection.
Program Goals and Objectives
Program Goal 1
The Experiential Track of the Penn State MPS in Nutritional Sciences program will prepare graduates to be competent entry-level dietitians for a variety of employment positions.
- Objective 1.1: 80% of program graduates take the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
- Objective 1.2: 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%.
- Objective 1.3: Of graduates who seek employment, 80% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
- Objective 1.4: 80% of enrolled students will complete program requirements within three years (150% of program length or 36–40 months).
- Objective 1.5: 80% of employers of graduates will rate the graduate as prepared or well-prepared for their first position.
- Objective 1.6: 80% of employed graduates will rate themselves as prepared or well-prepared for their first position.
Program Goal 2
The Experiential Track of the Penn State MPS in Nutritional Sciences program will prepare graduates with critical thinking, communication, collaboration, research, service, leadership, ethical, and lifelong learning skills to advance as leaders in the field of food and nutrition.
- Objective 2.1: 60% of program graduates will assume a leadership role in a nutrition, dietetics, or health-related organization.
- Objective 2.2: 80% of graduates will rate themselves as prepared or well-prepared for communication, collaboration, research, service, ethical, and lifelong learning skills.
Program Goal 3
The Experiential Track of the Penn State MPS in Nutritional Sciences program will provide graduates with diverse practice learning experiences to develop an advanced practice skill set.
- Objective 3.1: Program sites include experiences in at least three different practice settings for each program graduate (e.g., LTC, Acute Care, cooperative extension, wellness, outpatient, schools).
- Objective 3.2: Program sites include experiences serving at least three different audiences (e.g., low-income, elderly, children, infants, pregnant women, varying ethnicities, etc.).
- Objective 3.3: 80% of graduates will rate their skill set as competent or highly competent when working with diverse audiences in a variety of settings.
Program outcome data is available upon request.
Pathway to Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) Credential
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics provides complete information about the requirements to become an RDN and lists all the accredited programs that exist. The following criteria must be met in the traditional route to earn the RDN credential:
- a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in the United States; and
- course work in dietetics from a program that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) and a verification statement from an accredited dietetics program; and
- completion of an ACEND–accredited supervised practice program; and
- passing a national examination that is administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
Find more information about educational pathways to become an RDN.
Registered Dietitian Nutritionists are eligible to be licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and many other states. Licensure may be a requirement for some positions.
Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND–accredited Experiential Track of the Penn State MPS in Nutritional Sciences are eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam prior to becoming an RDN. In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. Please be sure to check the state-specific licensure requirements.
The Experiential Track of the MPS in Nutritional Sciences program is accredited by The Accreditation Council on Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) through December 31, 2024.
For any questions regarding program accreditation, please contact the program director or ACEND.
The Accreditation Council on Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995
Phone: 800-877-1600, ext. 5400 or 312-899-0040