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M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics

The Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise administers a Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics (MSND) to prepare graduates to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs).

A group of Virginia Tech MSND students stand together for a group photo during their orientation.

About the MSND Program

HNFE's graduate degree program in Nutrition and Dietetics is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) as a Graduate Program in Nutrition and Dietetics. Students who complete the program will receive both a Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics and a verification statement that provides eligibility to sit for the RDN registration exam.

The Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics (MSND) program offers a competency-based curriculum which integrates didactic coursework and supervised experiential learning opportunities in a variety of settings in order to prepare future nutrition and dietetics practitioners to become leaders in a rapidly evolving field.

The advanced coursework provided through the graduate program will allow students to master skills in the application of critical thinking, evidence-based practice and research, and communication with emphasis on nutrition counseling for behavior change.

Students also gain extensive clinical skills working at Carilion Clinic and an appreciation for the impact of interprofessional teamwork, advocacy, service, and leadership in shaping the future of the profession.

Our Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics program offers two pathways to become a graduate trained RDN:

  • Track One: for direct entry students who have earned a baccalaureate degree (with or without a DPD verification statement) and have met program-specific prerequisite courses (17 months).
  • Track Two: for current Virginia Tech HNFE Nutrition and Dietetics major students to apply for an accelerated B.S./M.S. pathway (22 months starting fall semester of senior year).

Choose the track that aligns with your qualifications and career goals, and ensure you meet the necessary prerequisites.

Unique qualities of the MSND Program

  • Compact and streamlined design allows students to complete the program in as little as 17 months or 1-year post- HNFE DPD completion
  • Direct entry pathway for students coming from non-ACEND accredited (non-dietetics) undergraduate programs
  • Prerequisite pathway available during the summer to assist students in completing some of the program’s prerequisite requirements
  • Integration of academic coursework and supervised experiential learning in a variety of professional settings
  • Preparation for projected future practice expectations for RDNs including a focus on nutrition counseling for behavior change

MSND Program Open House Event

Saturday, November 2, 2024 from 9am-12pm offered in-person and online.

Click here to RSVP. When you click, a QuestionPro survey will appear in a new tab.


Please direct all program inquiries to or 540-231-3877.

  • Bio Item
    Enette Larson-Meyer, PhD, RD, CSSD, FACSM , bio

    Professor, Director of the Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics (MSND) Program, and Director of the Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (NEM) Lab: How nutrition and exercise influence health and physical performance; special interest in energy, vitamin D and iodine metabolism

  • Bio Item
    Kristen Chang, MS, RDN, CSSD , bio

    Instructor and Assistant Director of the Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics (MSND) Program: Nutrition counseling for behavior change; sports nutrition; management and leadership in nutrition and dietetics


The MSND program is accredited as a Graduate Program in Nutrition and Dietetics by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND):

120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606, 800-877-1600 ext. 5400

Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR) requires prospective dietitians to have a graduate degree to sit for the RDN registration exam. In addition, CDR requires that individual’s complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by ACEND. Graduates who successfully complete the MSND program will be eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become a RDN. After becoming an RDN, new practitioners may or may not be required to apply for licensure depending on state of residence or practice. Licensure is not required for RDNs practicing in the state of Virginia. More information on licensure requirements by state.

The MSND program currently runs simultaneously with the longstanding Virginia Tech Internship in Nutrition and Dietetics program, which has sites in both Southwest Virginia and Northern Virginia. To learn more about the differences between these two programs, please download the Virginia Tech Dietetics Programs Overview.

Learn more about pathways to RDN registration eligibility and careers as a dietitian.

In accordance with the Department of Education's Federal Regulations, Virginia Tech discloses whether its educational programs leading to careers that require licensure meet educational requirements for professional licensure in each state. The table below provides the program’s determinations for each state.

Master of Science (MS) in Nutrition and Dietetics AL, AK, AR, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NH, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY NV
  States not listed (AZ, CA, CO, NJ, VA) do not have a relevant state regulation regarding licensure. The program allows for some flexibility and variability in practice hours.  As such, some students might not accrue the 1200 hours required by the state of Nevada.