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Frequently Asked Questions

Can this program be completed at a distance?
The MS in Nutrition and Dietetics degree program is an in-person program requiring students to relocate to the Blacksburg/Roanoke region. We do not offer an option to complete this program from a distance.

Can the prerequisite courses for track 1 be completed at a community college?
Yes, as long as the course taken aligns with the Virginia Tech equivalent course. To determine whether this is the case, please reference the Virginia Tech Transfer Guide.

Do I need to identify a faculty mentor to apply to the program?
Completing a research thesis is not required as part of the program, therefore the identification of a faculty mentor is not required prior to applying to the program. Students may be placed with a faculty mentor as desired to provide guidance throughout the program, but this will occur after acceptance into the program.

Are graduate assistantships available?
Due to the vigorous nature of the program there are typically no graduate assistantships assigned to students enrolling into this program. Students are encouraged to apply for financial aid as needed. Students should not apply to the program with the goal of receiving an assistantship. 

Is it feasible to work on the side during the program?
It is not recommended that students work on the side due to the condensed, accelerated nature of this program. Some students choose to work; however, all students are expected to keep up with coursework and program requirements regardless of additional responsibilities they choose to take on beyond the program.

When will prospective RDNs be required to have a graduate-level degree to sit for the certification exam?
Any student who demonstrates eligibility to take the RDN exam after January 1, 2024 will be required to attain a graduate degree before taking the RDN exam through the Commission on Dietetics Registration. Prospective dietitians who attain certification as a RDN prior to the January 1, 2024 deadline will NOT be required to attain a graduate degree after the fact.

What kind of jobs do your graduates obtain after graduation?
Graduates have found jobs in all areas of dietetics including but not limited to: inpatient and outpatient clinical nutrition, long term care, health promotion, school nutrition, private practice, policy, communications, worksite wellness, research, and community nutrition, and athletics.

What are the major differences between the MS in Nutrition and Dietetics, and the MS HNFE?
The MS in HNFE is more of a traditional graduate program that features coursework, research and a thesis/defense. For this program you are paired with a faculty advisor that aligns with your specific area of interest. The MS in Nutrition and Dietetics is an ACEND-accredited, non-thesis professional degree program that combines coursework and supervised practice rotations specifically to prepare students as entry-level dietitians. This is the only MS program at Virginia Tech that provides a verification statement to sit for the credentialing exam through the Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR).

When does the prerequisite pathway begin?
The prerequisite pathway would be completed online the summer prior to starting the program. If you apply in January 2023 for an August 2023 start date, you would complete those courses in summer 2023. Three courses are offered online in the summer at Virginia Tech as follows:

Summer Session 1:
Metabolic Nutrition 1 (3c)

Summer Session 2:
Metabolic Nutrition 2 (3c)
Health Counseling (3c)

Specific dates for summer courses are located here.

About Us

Program Director:
Enette Larson-Meyer, PhD, RD, FACSM

Assistant Director:
Kristen Chang, MS, RDN, CSSD

Supervised Practice Coordinator:
Jeannine Simon, MS, RD

Please direct all program inquiries to or 540-231-2139.