Master of Dietetics Administration

The Utah State University Master of Dietetics Administration (MDA) prepares students to lead and manage people and projects, setting them apart as they enter the workforce or in their current career field. The skills emphasized in the MDA program enhance management career options for graduates in clinical, community, food service, and entrepreneurial practice. Nationwide, there is a great need for professionally educated managers and leaders at the local, district, state, and federal levels. Students within the program will build skills in leadership, problem-solving, decision making, financial management, human resource management, business, and more. The hands-on curriculum delivered by faculty gives students the education they need to land the career they want.

USU MDA faculty foster development of students’ knowledge, skills, and abilities as they move through self-directed schedules. Students work weekly with their assigned faculty during and after the program as they prepare for the RD exam and seek employment. 

Lacie M. Peterson

Lacie M. Peterson

Clinical Associate Professor | Director of Dietetics Internship/Master of Dietetics Administration

Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Sciences

Phone: 435-797-4244

Program Enrollment

The USU MDA accepts up to 50 students each year.

For more details on training locations and your options as an applicant review the information on the Where Will You Train page.

Admissions Criteria
  • Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited nutrition/dietetics program with a DPD Verification Statement OR be in the process of completing an accredited nutrition/dietetics program and will receive a DPD Verification Statement or Foreign Dietitian Education program (FDE) upon completion.
    • Applicants with a DPD Verification Statement more than 4 years old at the time of application may have to meet additional requirements. Please review our Recency of Education Policy.
  • Applicants must have a DPD GPA of 3.0 or greater.
  • No Ds or Fs in any course on your DPD program's course list.
  • Approximately 400 hours of work or volunteer experience (download) is required.
  • Applicants to the USU MDA must secure preceptors and training sites prior to applying.
  • Applicants must have technological competence.
  • Both bachelor’s degree and DPD Verification Statement must be conferred prior to August 1st of the year a student plans to start the MDA.
  • The GRE is not required for admission.

Students who completed their degree outside of the United States are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. More information can be found on the USU School of Graduate Studies website. Please reach out the the USU MDA with questions. 

Equity Statement

In its programs and activities, including in admissions and employment, Utah State University does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination, including harassment, based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by University policy, Title IX, or any other federal, state, or local law.

Program Curriculum

The USU MDA is a one-year program completed in three consecutive semesters consisting of didactic coursework and supervised experiential learning. Students will complete a minimum of 1000 hours of SEL in clinical nutrition, school food service management and community nutrition rotations. The USU MDA is a full-time distance master's degree program and students are expected to complete a minimum of 36-40 practice hours per week and the required courses. 

All students will attend an orientation July 31 through August 3 at the USU Salt Lake Center. Students can start rotations after orientation. Students will meet their faculty and get to know other students in the program. During orientation, students will participate in workshops and lectures to prepare for supervised experiential learning and program courses.

Tuition & Fees

General Expenses

Expense Amount
2023 - 2024 Total Tuition (37 credits) $18,500 ($500 per credit)
Online Course Fee $600
Graduation Application Fee -- due after all SEL and coursework is completed $15

Additional Expenses During Application & After Acceptance

Expense Amount
USU School of Graduate Studies Application Fee $55
DICAS Fee - $50 for the first application and $25 for each additional application  variable
Immunizations -- refer to the Immunization List for details on required and recommended immunizations up to $400

Program and Facility Onboarding

Expense Amount
Compliance Tracker $20
Background Check $40
Drug Screening -- may be required by some facilities $40
Facility Specific Requirements variable
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Student Membership $58

Orientation Week Expenses

Expense Amount
Airfare to Utah $300-700
Taxi or airport shuttle $40-50
Rental car--if desired $200-300
Lodging variable
Meals--some meals provided $50-75

Additional expenses are listed here.

ACEND Accreditation

The Utah State University Master of Dietetics Administration Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®), formerly known as the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE), is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitians (RD) or dietetic technicians, registered (DTR). ACEND® serves and protects students and the public by assuring the quality and continued improvement of nutrition and dietetics education programs.

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, Eat Right, the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
(312) 899-0400 ext. 5400 

ACEND's® Accreditation Process

ACEND® Accreditation Standards serve as the basis for each education program's evaluation. A program undergoing accreditation assesses it strengths and challenges based on ACEND's® Accreditation Standards and describes its plans for improvement in a document called a "self-study report". The report is reviewed by a team of peer reviewers that includes an educator and a practitioner. An ACEND® Board member and a staff member assist the team in its review. The team also visits the program to participate in a series of focused interviews, meetings, observations and tours. These activities provide information to validate the contents of the self-study report and further evaluate the program. The team writes its own report to document its findings and to objectively address key areas of ACEND's® standards based on evidence provided by the program and gathered by the team. The ACEND® Board of Directors reviews the team's and uses it to arrive at a final accreditation decision.