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Future Education Model in Nutrition and Dietetics

The FEM program in Clinical Nutrition is a rigorous 18-month program that includes training in clinical nutrition course work (didactic) and supervised experiential learning (SEL). The didactic component of the FEM program will be completed online, however, students are required  to complete the SEL activities onsite in the Kansas City metro area. The first two semesters will focus primarily on the didactic part; the remaining two semesters—where students will combine their course work with SEL activities in Clinical, Community, and Management areas—will be onsite.

Students completing the FG program will earn a Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition Degree and a verification statement making them eligible to sit for the CDR Registration Examination for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. In order to earn this degree, the course plan is made up of 33 credits for the didactic area and 10 credits for SEL in clinical, community and foodservice/management rotations. The proposed FG program also includes a 3 credit capstone course for students either in nutrition/dietetics research (basic/clinical/epidemiological), telenutrition or a student’s chosen area of interest for a total of 46 credit hours. 


Now accepting applications for the Fall 2023 cohort! Priority application deadline is January 17, 2023!

(Second deadline of June 30, 2023 if any spots are still available in the Fall 2023 cohort.)


*Please note that International students are unable to apply for the MS Clinical Nutrition option at this time due to the didactic coursework being online. However, our Sport Nutrition Option is available for International students - see Nutrition, MS - Sport Nutrition Option.



Interested in more information? Join us for a virtual Chat with the Director Session by filling out this form letting us know what day and time works best for you: Chat with the Director Registration



Accreditation Status

The Accreditation Council of Education for Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) has provided candidacy accreditation status for the Future Education Model Graduate Program (FG) in Nutrition at UCM. Students accepted into this program will be considered graduates of an ACEND accredited program and are eligible, upon satisfactory completion of this program, to write the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s registration exam for dietitians.

ACEND, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995

Phone: 800-877-1600


Program Mission

The Future Education Model Graduate degree program (FG) in nutrition at UCM prepares students to fulfill the university's Master of Science degree criteria while meeting the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to practice as an entry level registered dietitian nutritionist by completing the supervised experiential learning activities. Through the use of evidence-based practice, nutrition research, and communication technologies, students are prepared to become life-long learners, and are able to promote public health and wellness.


Preceptor Information

Learn more about preceptor information and opportunities.

Learn more here

Program Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: The FG program will prepare competent graduates to pursue entry-level dietitian nutritionist and or careers in dietetics and nutrition related area.

  1. At least 80% of the graduates who complete the FG program will score 3 or above on a 4-point scale on feeling competent in practicing as an entry level dietitian nutritionist. (Program Specific Objective)

The above objective will ensure that the students who graduate from the FG program are competent practitioners at the graduate level, which correlates well with the Academy’s goal of having graduate level practitioners at the entry level for the promotion of health and wellbeing of the public.

  1. Program Completion Objective: At least 80% of program graduates complete program/degree requirements within 2.25 years (150% of the program length).
  2. Graduate Employment Objective: Of graduates who seek employment, 80% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
  3. Employer Satisfaction Objective: 80% of the employers will give a score of 4.0 or above on a 5-point scale for the competency of the FG program graduate for entry-level practice.
  4. Registration Exam Objective:
    1. 90% of FG program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian
    nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
    2. The program’s one-year pass rate (for graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of the first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.


Goal 2: The FG program will prepare competent graduates in nutrition/dietetics research.

Program Specific Objective:

  1. At least 80% of graduates will rate 3 or above on a 4-point scale on feeling confident to plan, develop, implement, and disseminate an original nutrition/dietetics-related research project.

The above objective will ensure that students in the FG program have rigorous training in translating academic research into practice and enable them to become leaders in their field with the use of critical thinking and problem-solving skills. This objective will also ensure that the public receives the cutting-edge medical nutrition advice.

Program Outcomes

Information on Program Outcomes Data will be available upon request. For information please contact Nutrition Program Coordinator, Dr. Meera Penumetcha at, or Program Manager, Ms. Paula Brant at

How to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN)

The current route to become a registered dietitian nutritionist includes a path of higher education as well as a dietetic internship from an ACEND-accredited program and passing the national registration examination. Shown below are the various pathways students can take depending on their educational background and timeframe.

Routes to Meeting Eligibility Requirements for the Registration Exam for Dietitians

 flowchart describing eligibility requirements prior to 1/1/2024 for prospective students with a bachelor's degree or higher


routes to meeting eligibility requirements prior to 1/1/2024 for prospective students without a bachelor's degree


routes to meeting eligibility requirements after 1/1/2024 for prospective students with a master's degree or higher


routes to meeting eligibility requirements after 1/1/2024 for prospective students without a master's degree


For more information, see

To continue practice as a Registered Dietitian:

  1. Gain licensure in your state of practice, if applicable.
  2. Maintain continuing education.

*Beginning in 2024, a minimum of a master's degree will be an eligibility requirement in order to take the CDR  exam. UCM’s Future Graduate Program will provide the required nutrition and dietetics coursework and supervised experiential learning to meet ACEND's competency requirements to be eligible to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). A verification statement will be issued to individuals who successfully complete the FG program so that they are eligible to take the CDR exam.

Pathway to RDN at UCM

Option 1 – Nutrition Minor (open to all majors)

Nutrition Minor (32 hours)

The minor in Nutrition will give students the necessary prerequisites needed for the Master of Science in Nutrition and address the change in The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) entry-level eligibility requirements for dietitians.

Minor Requirements 32 Semester Hours

ACCT 1101 – Found. of Financial Reporting (3)
BIOL 2510 – Basic Genetics (3)*
BIOL 3401 – Human Anatomy (3)*
BIOL 3402 – Human Physiology (5)
BIOL 3611 – Microbiology (4)*
CHEM 1604 – Elem. Organic and Biochem (4)*
D&N 3340 – Nutrition (3)*
D&N 3350 – Community Nutrition (3)
FOOD 2320 – Sanitation and Safety (1)
FOOD 2322 – Food Preparation (3)*


*This course has a prerequisite not listed in the program (most are CHEM 1104 or 1131).

Option 2 for Kinesiology Majors (Exercise Science, Pre AT, Pre OT, Pre PT)

Kinesiology Major w/ Nutrition Minor (Exercise Science, Pre-AT, Pre-OT, Pre-PT) = 21 hours

ACCT 1101 – Foundations of Financial Reporting (3)
BIOL 2510 – Basic Genetics (3)*
BIOL 3611 – Microbiology (4)*
CHEM 1604 – Elementary Organic and Biochemistry (4)*
D&N 3350 – Community Nutrition (3)
FOOD 2320 – Sanitation and Safety (1)
FOOD 2322 – Food Preparation (3)*

Option 3 for Kinesiology Majors (Corporate Fitness)

Kinesiology Major w/ Nutrition Minor (Corporate Fitness) = 18 hours

BIOL 2510 – Basic Genetics (3)*
BIOL 3611 – Microbiology (4)*
CHEM 1604 – Elementary Organic and Biochemistry (4)*
D&N 3350 – Community Nutrition (3)
FOOD 2320 – Sanitation and Safety (1)
FOOD 2322 – Food Preparation (3)*

Option 4 for Health Studies Majors

Health Studies Major w/ Nutrition Minor = 18 hours

ACCT 1101 – Foundations of Financial Reporting (3)
BIOL 2510 – Basic Genetics (3)*
BIOL 3611 – Microbiology (4)*
CHEM 1604 – Elementary Organic and Biochemistry (4)*
FOOD 2320 – Sanitation and Safety (1)
FOOD 2322 – Food Preparation (3)*

Option 5 for Biology Area 6 Pre-Med/Pre-Dental/Pre-Vet Majors

Biology Area 6 Pre-Med / Pre-Dental / Pre-Vet w/ Nutrition Minor = 13 hours

ACCT 1101 – Foundations of Financial Reporting (3)
D&N 3340 – Nutrition (3)*
D&N 3350 – Community Nutrition (3)
FOOD 2320 – Sanitation and Safety (1)
FOOD 2322 – Food Preparation (3)*

Program Costs

Estimated Cost of Attendance for Academic Year 2020-21


*Per credit hour rates do not include mandatory, technology, program, or course fees. Additional course/program fee per credit hour may be applicable.

Graduate Online Tuition 

$369.40 per credit hour for both Missouri and Out of State Residents

Program Fee

For students selected in to Program

$500 (Clinical hours tracking software, verification statements, accreditation fees, etc.)


n/a for courses offered online during the first two semesters but during SEL (last 3 semesters), housing in the Kansas City area will be necessary



Varies depending on course load

$600-$1000 per semester

Liability Insurance

Prior to NUTR 6000


Background Check

Required for SEL Sites


TB Test

Some facilities require a TB test verification before a student enters the facility


Drug Testing

Required for SEL Sites



Dependent on SEL Sites



n/a for online courses and dependent on SEL Sites and regional or national meetings


RD Exam Study Guide

Available resource


Manual for RD Exam

Available resource









Electronic Health Records for MNT, Advanced MNT Nutrition Education and Counseling Courses


Software for Dietary Analysis Projects








Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND)
Students are strongly encouraged to join AND early in their curriculum. Student membership includes free access to educational and training materials, reduced registration fees for professional meetings, and the monthly professional journal. Student membership is required for scholarships sponsored by AND and its affiliates.

MO Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MOAND)


Kansas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Association

$50 per year for student membership (6 year maximum allowed)








(Included in AND Membership)


$15 per year

UCM Graduation Fee



*Program costs are variable and subject to change.

Application and Admission Requirements

Admittance to the MS in Nutrition Clinical Option requires completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution or comparable degree from a recognized foreign institution prior to the start of the program.

GPA – A minimum 3.0 point cumulative undergraduate GPA on a 4-point scale is required across all coursework taken at all accredited institutions.

*Prerequisites – Completion of the following prerequisite courses with a grade of B or higher are required prior to beginning the professional program. Program prerequisites include either completion of a U.S. Dietetics Program or transcripts showing the completion of all of the prerequisite courses listed below.

ACCT 1101 – Foundations of Financial Reporting (3 credits)
BIOL 2510 Basic Genetics (3 credits) or BIOL 3511 Genetics w/lab (4 credits)
BIOL 3611 Microbiology with lab (4-5 credits)

BIOL 3401 Human Anatomy with lab (3 credits)

BIOL 3402 Human Physiology with lab (5 credits)

CHEM 1104 General Chemistry with lab (4 credits)

CHEM 1604 Organic and Biochemistry with lab (4 credits)

D&N 3340 Nutrition (3 credits)

D&N 3350 Community Nutrition (3 credits)
FOOD 2322 Food Preparation with lab (3-4 credits)

*Program prerequisites may be completed at any accredited institution. For questions on articulations and/or transfer equivalencies, please contact our Program Manager, Ms. Paula Brant at

Academic Calendar and Program Timeline

Link to UCM’s academic calendar:

Timeline for FG Program

Semester 1- Fall

Total Credits 12


NUTR 5010

Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism (3)


NUTR 5011

Food Systems/Management (3)


NUTR 5012

Medical Nutrition Therapy I (3)


NUTR 5013

Practical Applications in  Nutrition Research  (3)

*Must earn cumulative GPA of 3.00 on first semester courses to advance in Program

Semester 2-Spring

Total Credits 13


NUTR 5014

Advanced Community Nutrition (3)


NUTR 5015

Macronutrients (3)


NUTR 5016

Micronutrients (3)


NUTR 5017

Nutrition Across the Life Span (3)


NUTR 6013

Capstone Project (1)

Semester 3-Summer

Total Credits  11


NUTR 5018

Nutrition Education and Counseling (3)


NUTR 5019

Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy- (3)


NUTR 6010

Clinical Experiential Learning (4)


NUTR 6013

Capstone Project (1)

Semester 4-Fall

Total Credits 10


NUTR 5020

Dietary Supplements (3)


NUTR 6011

Community Experiential Learning -(3)


NUTR 6012

Management Experiential Learning-I (3)


NUTR 6013


Capstone project (1)




Total hours 46 (33 didactic, 10 experiential, 3 capstone)

Application Materials

Applicants must submit the online application with a  $30 application fee by the application deadline of January 10 to be considered for admission to the program in the fall semester.

International Students Only. In addition to the above items, all international applicants must submit an acceptable, official (reported directly from ETS) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score. TOEFL scores must be submitted by Educational Testing Services (ETS) directly to the University of Central Missouri’s Testing Services Office (660-543-4919). The ETS code for UCM is 6090. 

In addition to the online application, the following materials must be submitted by the deadline of January 10: (Deadline will be extended to June 30 for Fall 2021 applicants).

Submission of a current resume which details paid and volunteer experiences.

A Statement of Goals - A statement should  include the following (approximately 1000 words):   

  • Why did you choose UCM?
  • What relevant educational, professional and research experiences do you have in the nutrition/dietetics field?
  • Why do you want to become a registered dietitian?
  • What are your short- and long-term professional/career goals?

Transcripts – Submission of official transcripts from corresponding institutions for all post-secondary coursework completed.

Letters of Recommendation - Applicants must submit three (3) letters of recommendation:  two from faculty, one from clinical/research supervisor or employer. Choose people who have knowledge of your strengths and goals.

Finalists will be selected for a Virtual Interview before decision is made on admission.

Maximum number of students admitted to the program will be 15 per cohort.

Graduation and Program Completion Requirements

Students completing the FG program will earn a Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition Degree. In order to earn this degree, students must complete all required didactic courses, and SEL. The curriculum consists of 46 total required credits (33 didactic, 10 SEL, and 3 capstone) which can be completed in 18 months. Upon completion of the program requirements students will earn a verification statement making them eligible to sit for the CDR exam.

A verification statement will be awarded to all students who complete the program requirements including required courses and supervised experiential learning hours. Students completing the FG program must also meet all ACEND Competencies and Performance Indicators found in the Student Handbook.

University graduation requirements can be found here:

Financial Aid

UCM offers federal loans and employment aid programs.  Each student’s economic situation is recognized as unique, and every federal financial aid application is examined on an individual basis. It is very important for each applicant to:

  1. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on time.
  2. Comply with all financial aid instructions, procedures, and requests for information and documents.
  3. Enroll at least half-time (four or more graduate credit hours) each semester in courses that are applicable to the degree program.

Contact UCM’s Student Financial Services office with any questions or concerns you may have:

In person: Ward Edwards Building 1100
Telephone: 660-543-8266
Fax: 660-543-8080

Federal financial assistance can be used to help pay direct educational expenses, such as fees, books and supplies, as well as variable living costs, such as off-campus housing, food, transportation, childcare, and other personal costs related to attending UCM. Although the responsibility for meeting educational and living costs lies with the student, financial aid from the following federal program can be awarded to supplement a student’s ability to pay his/her total expenses. Any other assistance received must be included and could impact a student’s eligibility for federal aid.

To be eligible to receive federal and state financial aid, students must have a documented record of attendance in the classes for which they enroll. Registration for classes is not sufficient to prove attendance. A student who receives or otherwise benefits from federal or state financial aid, but has no documented record of attendance in the class(es) for which (s)he is enrolled, is not eligible to have received/benefitted from the aid, and will be required to repay all or part of the federal and state assistance credited to his/her UCM account for the semester.  For information on return of federal funds, review the Student Financial Services policy.

Federal Financial Aid Available to Graduate Students:

Student Loans - Low-interest unsubsidized Stafford Loans are the only type of federal aid available to graduate students, and must be repaid, but usually not until after the student graduates, withdraws, or drops to less than half-time enrollment status.

Satisfactory Academic Progress - Federal law requires that each graduate student who wishes to continue receiving federal financial aid maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of his or her master’s program. Satisfactory academic progress is defined as having successfully completed at least two-thirds of the credit hours attempted during their degree program in order to be eligible for financial aid for the subsequent year. In addition, a graduate student must maintain at least a 3.00 cumulative graduate GPA.

Regina Myers McClain Scholarship

Every student accepted into the Future Education Model Graduate Degree Program will receive a $1,000/year scholarship from the Regina Myers McClain Scholarship Fund through the University of Central Missouri Alumni Foundation.

Requirements and Expectations Related to Distance Education

Students will need access to a computer with camera, a high-speed Internet connection, and updated version of a web browser, and access to common tools and software such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, email, (provided to UCM students) as well as program specific software listed above under Program Costs. Technical support is provided by our Technology Support Center at or 660-543-4357.

Supervised Experiential Learning Sites

UCMs Program Coordinator will work with students on being placed with our Preceptors in various Supervised Experiential Learning settings. We have affiliation agreements with the following sites to date:

 VAMC Kansas City
Lee’s Summit R7 School District
Kansas City Gastroenterology and Hepatology-HCA Midwest
John Knox Village
HCA Midwest Lee’s Summit- Lee’s Summit Medical Center
Truman VA Health Education
Johnson County Department of Health and Environment
Western Missouri Medical Center

Student Handbook







Meera Penumetcha, PhD, RDN
Associate Professor and Nutrition Program Director
Morrow 130
Tel: (660) 543-8904



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