Welcome to your fast track to becoming a dietitian

As a graduate program under the Future Education Model (FEM), Cox College’s Master’s in Nutrition Diagnostics degree is a fast-track to your registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) credential. Our program is designed to empower you with a deeper understanding of nutrition and its impact on human health while being able to diagnose and treat nutritional health-related problems.

Median wage*
hours of supervised experiential learning
hours of didactic courses
job placement rate within one year of graduation
months in the program

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

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Now accepting applications for Fall 2024!

About Our MND/GP 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 nutritionist (RDN)? No matter your goal, our Master of Science in Nutrition Diagnostics Graduate Program (MND GP) is designed help you launch your career as a registered dietitian nutritionist.   Our master's degree and supervised experiential learning will provide what you need to take the registration examination for dietitians.  As an ACEND-accredited Graduate Program, we can accept students from any undergraduate program as long as they have met our prerequisites.


Program Features

  • Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) degree welcome but not required – you just need to meet our prerequisites. No verification statement needed! 
  • Complete a master's degree and supervised experiential learning with a clinical focus in three semesters or 16 months 
  • Start in either August or January semester for your convenience. No summer semester coursework.
  • Earn 30 credit hours of didactic courses plus supervised experiential learning for a total of 45 credit hours earned 
  • Supervised experiential learning is scheduled for you by program faculty and includes experiences in clinical nutrition, community nutrition, and foodservice management 
  • Improved student learning using continuous competency assessment
  • Skip the internship program match and apply directly 

Have any questions? Contact our program director: Kyle.Brashear@coxcollege.edu  

Your MND/GP Experience:

Getting Started

You will dive into a variety of compelling topics all while getting hands-on at our cutting-edge simulation center, supervised experiential learningincluding critical thinking, nutrition counseling, contemporary topics in nutrition, and diagnostic and assessment methods.

Nutrition Diagnostics

Nutrition Diagnostics (ND) is the evidence-based ruling in and ruling out of nutritional health-related problems that RDNs are uniquely qualified to identify and process. Training of ND methods applied within nutrition-focused physical exam training and education.  

Into The World

Explore the world of dietetics in a variety of career settings

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Nutrition Diagnostics Graduate Program is a 16-month, three-semester program.  Students can start in either the fall semester or spring semester.  We use continuous competency assessment which is a method of instruction and evaluation based upon students progressively demonstrating their mastery of a subject. In other words, after learning concepts and practicing, you “show what you know” to demonstrate you’ve grasped the subject.  


The first semester’s supervised experiential learning (SEL) is completed mostly in a lab or simulation setting, allowing students to become acclimated to the clinical setting in a low-pressure environment.  The rest of the supervised experiential learning is completed in the next two semesters, almost entirely in real-life settings with practicing RDNs. During these two semesters, students typically attend face to face classes one day per week and SEL four days per week. The plan of study for both a fall and spring start is outlined below. 


Required Supervised Experiential Learning Hours 

The MND GP provides 1,025 supervised experiential learning 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 experiential learning rotations for you. Our professional work setting rotations include inpatient clinical, diabetes outpatient clinic, dialysis, private practice, community gardens, wellness nutrition, WIC, long-term care, rehab, and pediatric specialties. 


Our SEL 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 may include cooking school, food demos, Legislative Day, Midwest Dairy Farm Tour & Media Training, National Nutrition Month projects, and CoxHealth Nutrition blog posts. 


The program does not award credit for prior learning experiences including coursework and supervised experiential learning hours.   

 Plan of Study Fall Start

Plan of Study Spring Start

Academic Calendar  

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. 


Financial Aid Information 

The MND GP qualifies for federal financial aid and loan deferments. Application for financial aid is made by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  The priority deadline to be eligible for state grants is February 1.  The application is available online October 1 for the upcoming academic year. Please see the links below for more information. 



Cox College awards scholarships which is made possible by our loyal supporters. See our Scholarships 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 


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

Cost not included above:  

Cengage Unlimited: $329 

Books: $300-350 

Housing: $600-$1000/month  

Transportation: Varies. Students must have transportation to and from classes and SEL rotations. Most rotations are located in Springfield, MO with a few in the surrounding area.  


Prospective students must apply to ND Department programs by completing the application on the Cox College website and paying the $50 application fee. Please make sure to have the Admission Requirements information below ready including GPA, previous coursework, and résumé. If you’re accepted, there is a $175 fee which covers onboarding costs such as background check and drug screen. If you have any technical issues when applying you can email Kyle.Brashear@coxcollege.edu. 

We accept applications on a rolling basis within the deadlines below.

Fall start:

  • Priority: February 15th
  • Final: July 15th

Spring start:

  • Priority: September 15th
  • Final: December 15th


Apply to Cox College here!

Application requirements  

The requirements for potential acceptance into the Cox College MND GP are below:  

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 
  • Minimum of 105 credit hours of college credit 
  • 3 or more credit hours and a letter grade of “C” or higher in the following subject areas/courses:
    • Anatomy (may be combined with physiology if ≥6 hours total)  
    • Physiology (may be combined with anatomy, 6 hours total) 
    • Chemistry 
    • Biology 
    • English or writing
    • College algebra or contemporary mathematics
  • Introduction to nutrition or basic nutrition – offered by Cox College in Spring intercession and Summer if needed 
  • Alternatively, a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) verification statement may be used as a substitute for the required course list above.  
  • Résumé that includes the following:
    • Brief statement outlining your career goals in nutrition and dietetics 
    • Educational history (include schools attended, GPA, etc.)  
    • Work history 
    • Any relevant memberships, achievements, and/or volunteer experiences 
    • Contact information for two professional references (preferably 1 work and 1 academic)  

Notes: *Exceptions to the application requirements above may be made on a case-by-case basis.



The Cox College MND Graduate Program also utilizes the online central application system, DICAS as an optional way for students to apply to Cox College. While this process is a helpful way for students to apply to multiple programs, it is not required for program acceptance. Students that choose to apply via DICAS must also ultimately fill out the Cox College application to the ND program. Below are the instructions for completing the DICAS application.  

  • Email DICASinfo@DICAS.org.   
  • The fee to use DICAS is $50 for the first application submitted and $25 for each additional application. 
  • Complete your DICAS application here
  • Official Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be sent to: DICAS – Transcript Dept., PO Box 9118, Watertown, MA, 02472.  
  • When completing the application form, applicants must include the name and contact information (specifically an e-mail address) for each reference. This will trigger an e-mail message requesting the completion of a reference form. The form will be completed online. Students submitting more than one application will need to use the same individuals as references for each application.  


Selection Procedure

Applications will be reviewed by members of the selection team, which comprises of ND faculty and may include other stakeholders such as preceptors for supervised learning. Qualifying applicants will be contacted shortly after application to participate in an interview which may take place in person or virtually. 

Onboarding Requirements after Admission 

After admission, 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 (does not include cannabinoids) 
  • Proof of immunizations  
  • Transcripts showing successful completion of prerequisites 

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)

Technology Requirements

To fulfill the requirements of this programs, students should have the following: 

  • Windows or Mac laptop 
  • Webcam 
  • High-speed internet access, 
  • Access to a printer with a scanner outside of the college. 
  • Presentation (e.g., PowerPoint or Google Slides) and word processing software (e.g., Word, GoogleDocs) 

The recommended minimum computer specs are found here. 

RDN Examination - Eligibility Requirements 

Option 1 - Graduate Program – This is us! 

  1. ACEND accredited graduate-level, competency-based dietitian nutritionist program that integrates coursework and at least 1,000 hours of experiential learning. 


As an ACEND-accredited Graduate Program, the Master of Science in Nutrition Diagnostics Graduate Program provides it graduates with the master’s degree, coursework, supervised experiential learning, and competency mastery that allows them to take the RDN credentialing exam.  Passing the exam is required to become an RDN. The program will also fulfill state educational requirements for professional licensure in the state of Missouri. See below for more details on the requirements to become an RDN. 


Option 2 - Dietetic Internship 

  1. Completion of a bachelor’s degree* granted by a university accredited by a USDE recognized accrediting agency (or foreign equivalent). 
  2. Completion of an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). 
  3. Completion of an ACEND accredited Dietetic Internship (DI). 


Option 3 - Coordinated Program 

  1. Completion of a bachelor’s degree* granted by a university accredited by a USDE recognized accrediting agency (or foreign equivalent). 
  2. Completion of an ACEND Coordinated Program (CP). 

*Effective January 1, 2024, the minimum degree requirement will be a graduate degree granted by a USDE recognized institution (or foreign equivalent). 


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: https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree. 


Coursework & Supervised Experiential Learning Requirements 

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

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


Licensure Requirements 

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice.  Cox College’s MND GP 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 the MND Graduate Program, make sure you understand and review any additional requirements for your intended state/territory to ensure you will be eligible upon completion 


For more information about state licensure requirements click here. 


Our Mission 

The Cox College Master of Science in Nutrition Diagnostics program is 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. 


Program Goals 

  1. Program graduates will be competent entry-level dietitians 
  2. Program graduates will be active members of their communities and the dietetic profession. 


Program Objectives 

Goal #1: Program graduates will be competent entry-level dietitians 

  • At least 80% of students complete program requirements within 2 years (150% of the program length)” 
  • Of graduates who seek employment, at least 70% percent are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation 
  • At least 80% percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion 
  • 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%”. 
  • At least 75% of employers will rate graduates “adequate” or higher when surveyed regarding the graduate's preparation for entry-level practice. 


Goal #2: Program graduates will be active members of their communities and the dietetic 


  • At least 75% of program graduates will participate voluntarily in local community activities. 
  • At least 60% of program graduates will serve as dietetic preceptors. 


Program outcomes data are available upon request. 

Progression - Coursework 

  • The student must achieve a final grade of 70% or higher in each course and receive a “pass” in pass/fail courses. Failure to meet these criteria results in loss of cohort status and potential dismissal from the program.
  •  The student must achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher for successful completion of the program.
    • If a student has a cumulative GPA of less than 2.7 in any given semester, the student will be placed on academic probation.
    •  If GPA does not improve to 2.7 or higher in the subsequent semester, cohort status will be lost and the student will be dismissed from the program. 
    • Failure of any supervised experiential learning course results in loss of cohort status and potential program dismissal. 


*The student may be given the option to restart as a student in the next cohort, with permission of the ND program faculty. Courses may be repeated to achieve the standards listed above.  


Progression– ACEND Competencies 

The student must successfully meet the ACEND-required graduate program competencies for program completion. These competencies are met through program-specific learning activities that are systematically assessed (formative and summative) throughout the program. Failure to meet these competencies and complete the required learning activities may result in loss of cohort status and subsequent dismissal from the program.  


Successful Completion  

A Master of Science degree and verification statement will be awarded when students complete all program requirements. The criteria are outlined below:   

  • Successful completion (earned grade of 70% or higher or “pass”) of all courses in the MND/GP plan of study  
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher  
  • Successful completion of all ACEND graduate program competencies 
  • Successful completion of a minimum of 1025 supervised experiential learning hours 
  • Meet all Cox College required obligations for the conferment of a graduate degree  
    • Earned 45 credit hours toward the M.S. degree 
    • Met all financial obligations to the college  


Note – the maximum time allowed to complete all program requirements for successful completion) is 5 years. 


Accreditation Status 

This Graduate Program in Nutrition and Dietetics 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 experiential learning 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)  
  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  

Website: https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend 


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

Adam Pruett, MHA, RDN, LD



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