Master of Science in Nutrition Diagnostics & Dietetic Internship

Take up your starring role in medical nutrition therapy.

Median Wage*
hours of supervised practice during year one
hours of didactic courses
Job placement rate within one year of graduation

*Wage and job growth based on Statistics from Bureau of Labor Statistics.

On November 3rd, 2023, the Cox College Nutrition Diagnostics Department received approval to reorganize into an ACEND accredited graduate program under the future education model. We will no longer be accepting applications into the existing MND + DI program or DI certificate program. Please click here to learn more and apply to our Master of Science in Nutrition Diagnostics Graduate Program (GP).


About Our MND/DI Program:

Looking to identify and solve problems? What about work in collaboration with physicians and other health care professionals? Maybe you want to improve lives as a registered dietitian (RD). No matter your goal, our Master of Science in Nutrition Diagnostics and Dietetic Internship (MND/DI) can help launch your career in medical nutrition therapy. Nutrition Diagnostics is the evidence-based ruling in and ruling out of nutritional health-related problems that RDs are uniquely qualified to identify and process. This combined, 22-month program is designed for students who have completed at least a bachelor’s degree and coursework requirements from an accredited didactic program in dietetics. Our MND/DI provides the supervised practice experience you need to take the registration examination for dietitians.

Combined with our master’s degree coursework, this combined program will prepare you to meet the demands of a registered dietitian nutritionist in an ever-changing healthcare landscape.

Already have a Master's degree? You may be eligible for our Dietetic Internship Program. Information available here.

Your MND/DI Experience:

Getting Started

You will dive into a variety of compelling topics all while getting hands-on, supervised practice—critical thinking, nutrition counseling, diagnostic and assessment methods, and health enhancement

Hands-on Experience

The program’s second year will build on your new foundation of skills and integrate hands-on techniques in research methods, clinical reasoning, chronic diseases, and evidence-based practice. Additionally, you will gain valuable experience from advanced clinical supervised practice.

Into The World

Apply now and complete your heroic journey of becoming a highly trained professional in the field of nutrition diagnostics!

Ready to learn more about us? The video below is from our virtual open house! The Nutrition Diagnostics faculty discuss everything you need to know about the student experience at Cox College.


". . . the Cox College Dietetic Internship program gave me an edge in the realm of clinical nutrition. The knowledge, skills and abilities I learned in my internship still help me conduct my duties as a dietitian."

Adam Pruett, MHA, RDN, LD

Admission Requirements

Master’s Degree Required

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 order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website:


Coursework & Supervised Practice Requirements

In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited dietetic internship program at Cox College are eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.


Licensure Requirements

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements click here.

For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN click here.

Applicant Requirements

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Verfication Statement or Declaration of Intent to Complete a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD)
  • A GPA of 3.0 preferred. Students with a GPA of less than 3.0 are still encouraged to apply
  • Cox College requires US Citizenship for admissions to the College.

Note: The GRE is not required

How to Apply

Cox College uses a centralized application system to accept student applications. To apply to our program, complete the following steps:  

  • Visit the DICAS portal here to get started.
  • Complete the four quadrants of the application. Key required elements of the application include the following:
      • Background and demographic information
      • Coursework and transcripts
      • Supporting information, such as work experience, memberships, achievements, certifications, and signed DPD verification statement (or declaration of intent)
      • Cox College admissions materials, which include a personal statement, and three letters of recommentation.
  • Add Cox College MND/DI and submit your application before the match date deadline of February 15th.

Selection Procedure

Selection of the successful applicants is made by a committee composed of the MND Chair, college faculty and internship preceptors who are RDs. Selection of the successful applicants is based on the committee’s assessment of the individual’s potential in the program and potential as a practicing dietitian. The committee will use grade point average (overall, science, MND/nutrition core courses), the personal statement, past work experience (employment in nutrition/dietetics in the past three (3) years is emphasized), and letters of recommendation as well as face to face or video conferencing interviews (conducted for students who are greater than 250 miles from Springfield) to make this assessment. Additional screening/evaluation pieces may be required and have associated fees. This selection process also follows the rules governing the computer matching process used by AND in cooperation with D&D Digital Systems.

      • Note: Admission to the graduate program in the College does not grant a student admission to the program. ND program applications are reviewed by a selection committee after admission to the graduate program. Program appointments are awarded on a competitive basis through computer matching process used by AND in co-operation with D&D Digital Systems, Ames, IA. Following computer matching appointment, students must pass a criminal background check and drug screen.

Onboarding Requirements after Matching

After matching, the student will be required to complete several steps to get onboarded to the college system and complete the requirements for clinical sites. This is required before program start. We will email a comprehensive list of instructions of all requirements soon after our cohort is set. Requirements include (but are not exclusive) to the following:

  • Completed application to the College
  • Consent and disclosure form
  • Satisfactory background check 
  • Negative drug screen 
  • Proof of immunizations 
  • Submit final transcripts showing successful completion of your DPD degree program 
  • Submit DPD verification statement  

Vaccines are not required for admittance to Cox College, however, clinical sites required for the program have vaccine requirements that students must comply with. The list below (subject to change) is currently required for clinical sites. Students may submit vaccine exemption requests but these are not guaranteed. The COVID-19 vaccine is encouraged but no longer required.

  • MMR (2 doses after one year of age)
  • Hepatitis B (series of 3 or signed waiver declining)
  • Tdap (in the last 10 years)
  • Varicella (2 doses)
  • Negative TB test after program enrollment
  • Hepatitis A (2 doses)
  • Influenza (required each fall while in the program)


The Cox College Nutrition Diagnostics MND plan of study is outlined below.  The program does not award credit for prior learning experiences including coursework and supervised practice hours. 

MND/DI 22 Month Plan of Study

The Nutrition Diagnostics Programs follow the Cox College academic calendar including scheduled breaks for Fall break, Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, and Spring break. The academic calendar is available here.

Learn more about the program costs and financial aid options available to you for the MDN/DI program at Cox College.

*Expenses listed are not an official quote and are provided as a guide only.

Financial Aid Information

Application for financial aid is made by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Priority is given to applications processed by April 1.  The application is available online January 1 for the upcoming academic year. Please see the links below for more information.


Cox College awards over $250,000 in scholarships from the CoxHealth Foundation and the CoxHealth Auxiliary. This is made possible by our loyal supporters. See the Cox College Financial Aid and Bursar Information page for more information.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, through its many association groups, offers a variety of scholarships to individuals pursuing degrees in food and nutrition related areas. General scholarship and educational stipend information from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation, the dietetic practice groups and affiliate (state) and district dietetic associations can be accessed from the respective group’s website:

Cost Breakdown

Tuition: First year of MND/DI – 21 credits (11 credits in fall and 10 credits in spring)  $13,125* 
Tuition: Second year of MND/DI – 24 credits (3 credits in summer, 10 credits in fall and 11 credits in spring)  $15,000* 
AND DICAS application fee  $50 for first application ($25/each after) 
D & D matching fee  $50 
Program acceptance, drug test/criminal background fee  $175 
Cox College application fee  $50 
Student Services fee  $110/credit hour ($4,950) 
Clinical fee  $185 
Other expenses & approximate costs*   
Zotero  $30 per year 
Trajecsys  $150 
EHRGo  $195 
MyClinicalExchange  $25/semester
RD Exam course  $160 
Skills Kit: Fall 1 (polo, lab coat)  $53 
Skills Kit: Spring 1 (magnifier, tape measure)  $57 
Skills Kit: Spring 2 (research poster)  $50 
AND student member fee  $58 
Textbooks  $400 (total program) 
Total for 22-month program:   
Tuition and fees  $32,675* 
Additional costs  $1,308*
Total estimated program cost $33,983

*Expenses listed are not an official quote and are provided as a guide only.

Potential cost not included above:

Housing: $600-$1000/month

Transportation: Varies

Our Mission

The Cox College Master’s in Nutrition Diagnostics/Dietetic Internship and Nutrition Diagnostics Dietetic Internship are dedicated to excellence in the preparation of competent entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists committed to serving their communities, their profession and to transforming the future of nutrition in healthcare.

Our Philosophy

To structure a learning environment to promote critical thinking and inquiry, self-improvement, self-reliance, collaboration and lifelong learning.

Goal #1 – Prepare graduates to become competent entry level dietitians

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%
90 % of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion
80% of employers will rate graduate preparation for the profession as adequately or well prepared
At least 90% of program interns complete the program within 2 years and 9 months (planned program is 22 months). (MND/DI)


Goal #2 – Develop skill in the nutrition diagnostic approach to the practice of clinical nutrition

80% of employers will rate graduate practice experiences in nutrition diagnostics as adequate or very adequate
80% of graduates will rate preparation in nutrition diagnostics as adequate or well prepared
Of graduates who seek employment, 70 % are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.


Goal #3 – Prepare graduates to effectively utilize current and pertinent scientific literature in practice as a clinical nutrition practitioner

80% of employers will agree/strongly agree that graduates are able to incorporate scientific research in their clinical practice
80% of graduates will agree/strongly agree that they feel competent to evaluate and incorporate current and relevant literature in their clinical practice
25% of graduates will pursue advanced/specialty positions/certifications or further graduate education over a 5 year period


Goal #4 – Support the need for clinical nutrition practitioners in southwest Missouri and the Midwest region.

25% of graduates will seek employment in southwest Missouri or the Midwest region
At least 90% of program interns complete the program within 2 years and 9 months (planned program is 22 months). (MND/DI)
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%
90 % of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion
Of graduates who seek employment, 70 % are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.

Program outcomes data are available on request.

The Master’s in Nutrition Diagnostics Dietetic Internship program provides 1,025 supervised practice hours spread throughout the program which comes from a combination of professional work settings, simulation, case studies, and role playing. The Cox College faculty schedules all the supervised practice rotations for you. 

The Additional Supervised Practice Experiences are accrued over the length of the program.  This allows for students to choose some events and/or rotations in which they have a particular interest.   In addition, it includes some required events that do not fit into the typical workday or work week and may meet a competency. Examples of additional community experiences include cooking school food demos, KGBX Women’s Show, Legislative Day, Midwest Dairy Farm Tour & Media Training, National Nutrition Month projects, and CoxHealth Nutrition blog posts.

Successful Completion

The ACEND competencies reflect the minimal level of expertise the intern must achieve as stated in the Cox College Master’s in Nutrition Diagnostics/Dietetic Internship Student Handbook. In addition to the minimal level of expertise required by ACEND, satisfactory performance is required in the following if a student wishes to receive a verification statement and graduate degree from Cox College (verification statement granted upon completion of all of the criteria listed below):

  • Satisfactory completion of all supervised practice rotations, as evaluated by MND/DI program director, college faculty and preceptors
  • Attendance at all required internship/program meetings
  • Satisfactory completion of all courses required in the MND/DI plan of study
  • Graduate GPA of 2.7 or greater
  • Successful completion of all CDRN and program-specific competencies
  • Successful passing of Comprehensive Exams
  • Completion of all other degree requirements

Successful completion of the program should equip the student with the skills and ability to apply the knowledge in nutrition and dietetics as measured by the Registration Examination for Dietitians. The graduate of Cox College’s Master’s in Nutrition Diagnostics/Dietetic Internship program is prepared to practice in multiple areas of dietetics, including food service systems management, therapeutic clinical practice, and normal and preventive nutrition in a variety of settings. The program concentration and Master’s in nutrition diagnostics will prepare the graduate for an emerging area of clinical practice.

This Dietetic Internship program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) and is designed to meet the eligibility requirements for the registration examination for dietitians. Education programs and supervised practice programs must be ACEND-accredited. Registered dietitian exam requirements are set by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) and include:

  1. Completion of an ACEND accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD)
  2. Completion of an ACEND accredited Dietetic Internship (DI) (minimum of 1200 supervised practice hours)
  3. Effective January 1, 2024, CDR will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the exam. 

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) 

Phone: 800/877-1600, ext. 5400 

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


Cox College programs are accredited by the North Central Higher Learning Commission

Kyle Brashear, DHSc, MS, RD/LD

Chair & Professor
(417) 269-8482

Lindsey Kelsay, MS, RD, CSG, LD

Assistant Professor
(417) 269-3451

Shannon Crosby, MPH, RD, LD

Clinical Dietitian Preceptor

Amanda Allen, MS, RDN, LD

Dietetic Assistant Professor

Jordan Mize, MS, RDN, LD

Associate Professor
(417) 269-3040

Cox College’s Nutrition Diagnostics programs that include a dietetic internship will fulfill state educational requirements for professional licensure in the state of Missouri.  However, many states have adopted licensure laws and regulations specifying the minimum credentials required to (1) use various titles, such as "dietitian," "nutritionist," "licensed dietitian nutritionist" or "registered dietitian nutritionist" and (2) provide MNT or other dietetics and nutrition services. Other states take a less protective approach, such as regulating the practice of licensed RDNs and other nutrition service providers and offering licensees the ability to use certain protected titles.  Continuing education may also be required by some states for maintenance of certification/licensure.

Prior to enrolling in Nutrition Diagnostics programs, make sure you understand and review any additional requirements for your intended state/territory, should you plan to relocate after program completion at Cox College.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) provides information on licensure and professional regulation of dietitians here.

The Academy also maintains an active listing of individual states licensure information.  The State Licensure Agency Map and Contact List can be accessed here or by viewing its licensure spreadsheet here.

Our program uses technology to support and enhance learning. The online technical requirements for Cox College can be found here



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