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Leadership in Nutrition, M.P.S.

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The Leadership in Nutrition, M.P.S. (Master of Professional Studies) an interdisciplinary graduate degree program designed for working professionals who wish to earn a graduate degree and excel in their careers. This program is: 

  • Designed for the working adult 
  • Completely Online 
  • Flexible Schedule
  • No GRE required with 5 years' work experience 

This 30-hour program combines the social sciences and the professions to make it directly applicable for the working adult who wants to increase income and promotion possibilities.  Since it is offered 100% online and available 24/7, it easily fits around almost any schedule.  

Some of the unique courses offered in the MPS Leadership in Nutrition program include Functional Food, Nutrition and Health, Nutrition and Obesity, Entrepreneurial Skills for Nutrition Professionals, Leadership and Motivation; Effective Program Management; Leading Organization Transformation, and Conflict Management and Negotiation.  This 30-credit hour program concludes with a student-selected Capstone project.  Students who complete a dietetic internship get six free credits reducing the hours to 24-credits.  

If your goal is to become a registered dietitian, MTSU’s undergraduate Nutrition and Food Science Major, Dietetics Concentration (aka Didactic Program in Dietetics or DPD) meets all of the requirements of the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.  After completing the undergraduate dietetics degree, students must complete a graduate-level dietetic internship  then take the registration exam for dietitians.  MTSU does not have a dietetic internship, but the MPS-LIN program partners with several internship programs.  Students may complete the MPS-LIN while concurrently enrolled in the dietetics internship. 


What We're Doing

Carmen Bell Leadership in Nutrition, M.P.S.

Murfreesboro native chooses MTSU for top graduate program in Leadership in Nutrition, M.P.S.

When Carmen Bell began looking at graduate programs during her dietetic internship, the search led to her hometown.  “In my search for a graduate program, I learned one of the best ones was at MTSU. After meeting with the program director, I was sold,” Bell said. “The program is convenient because it is 100% online and has flexible course sequencing. The professors are amazing. They are accessible, supportive, and kind.” Besides its convenience, Bell said her classes are preparing her for her future career as a registered dietitian. “I am gaining practical application experience through my courses that have expanded my skill set. Not only have I taken nutrition courses, but leadership, organization, research, and statistics courses, as well. These are necessary and will prepare me for a leading position in my career," Bell said.

Ryan Rafacz Leadership in Nutrition, M.P.S.

Program's unique design led registered dietitian back to MTSU for Leadership in Nutrition, M.P.S.

What started as a hobby soon turned into a career for Northern Michigan native Ryan Rafacz. Now working as a registered dietitian at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Rafacz said the Leadership in Nutrition program’s unique design is what led him back to MTSU. “Due to the flexibility of the program, it gave me the opportunity that I was looking for to continue to work and advance my career while still raising a family. All of the classes are online, but they still offer the same full access to professors, MTSU resources, and program guidance.” Through the courses, Rafacz said he's learned valuable skills. “You must be ready to work and excited to learn, but there is still the same encouragement, inspiration, and exceptional support that I have always come to know and love about MTSU. I can say without a doubt that it has already provided me with an incredible amount of usable skills and resources to set me up for success in a leadership role." 

  • Family and Consumer Science Extension Educator or Specialist (RD or Non-RD) 
  • Health Department W.I.C. Nutritionist (RD) or Nutrition  Educator (Non-RD) 
  • Registered Dietitian – after completing the MPS, those students having completed an internship will be eligible to sit for the CDR exam. Registered Dietitians can work in a vast variety of areas including hospitals, management, community, private practice, and research. 
  • Wellness and health coaches (RD or Non-RD) 

View the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook for Dietitians and Nutritionists.

MTSU offers the Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.), an online program designed for working professionals, with five concentrations available: Human Resources Leadership, Leadership in Nutrition, Strategic Leadership, and Training and Development

Each M.P.S. program consists of 12 hours of core requirements, 15 hours related directly to the concentration, and a 3-hour culminating professional project.

Applicants must have the following: 

  • an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college 
  • at least six  hours of undergraduate general food or nutrition courses 
  • an acceptable grade point average (GPA) in all college work taken (at least 2.75 for unconditional admission); 
  • completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with acceptable scores (generally at least 146 verbal, 144 quantitative, and 4.0 on analytical writing), OR a non-GRE option is available for those with a 2.75 GPA or higher and five (5) years of professional full-time work experience. This option requires the submission of a portfolio of works. 
  • competency in word processing, library retrieval systems, presentation graphics, spreadsheets, and databases (Students must be computer literate—using email, posting discussions, using chat, web page navigation, uploading attachments, etc.—as well as have excellent time management skills in order to be successful in the online course environment.); 

Applicants who do not meet the criteria for unconditional admission may apply as a non-degree seeking student and take up to 6 hours before officially applying to the program.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS button to the right.

If you are not currently a registered dietitian or do not hold a bachelor’s degree in the field of nutrition, please note that this program does not provide eligibility to sit for the National Registration examination to become a registered dietitian, nor does it provide eligibility to apply to a dietetic internship.

Professional Studies, Leadership in Nutrition Concentration, M.P.S.

Pamela D. Morris, Program Director
(615) 898-5920

The University College offers the Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) with concentrations in Human Resources Leadership, Leadership in Nutrition, Operations Research, Strategic Leadership, and Training and Development. For more information, contact, call (615) 898-5920, or visit

If you are not currently a registered dietitian, this program is not accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. It does not provide eligibility to complete a dietetic internship or to take the registration exam for dietitians. MTSU does provide an accredited program to meet those needs. Please go to for more information.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Master of Professional Studies program requires

  1. an earned bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college;
  2. an acceptable grade point average (GPA) in all college work taken (at least 2.75 for unconditional admission);
  3. completion of a portfolio of works based on criteria below:
    1. for those with a 3.25 GPA or higher; OR

    2. for those with a 2.75 GPA or higher and five (5) years of full-time work experience.

  4. competency in word processing, library retrieval systems, presentation graphics, spreadsheets, and databases. Students must be computer literate (using email, posting discussions, using chat, web page navigation, uploading attachments, etc.) as well as have excellent time management skills in order to be successful in the online course environment;
  5. regular access to a computer and reliable Internet connection.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Applicant must

  1. submit application with the appropriate application fee (online at Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
  2. submit official transcripts from all collegiate institutions attended;
  3. submit a portfolio of works for those with a 2.75 GPA or higher and five (5) years of full-time work experience OR those with a 3.25 GPA with less than five (5) years of full-time work experience. Applicants who meet this requirement may inquire about the portfolio requirements by e-mailing or going to

Degree Requirements

The Master of Professional Studies with a concentration in Leadership in Nutrition requires completion of 30 semester hours.

Candidate must

  1. complete 30 semester hours of graduate credit (See Curriculum section below for specifics.);
  2. complete a professional project during the final semester of the program.

Curriculum: Professional Studies, Leadership in Nutrition

The following illustrates the coursework requirements.

Core Courses (12 hours)

  • PRST 6000 - Leading Organizational Transformation

    3credit hours

    Focuses on the leadership aspects of creating, implementing, and monitoring initiatives that will help an organization's employees make the essential transitions necessary to enable their organization to successfully transform to the needs of its operational environment.

  • PRST 6100 - Professional Environment: Issues and Ethics

    3credit hours

    Introduces the discipline of ethics and values. Explores the various theories and practices that have led to, and continue to dominate the study of ethics and values in public service. Students will display their knowledge of ethics and values in various reading, writing, and oratorical assignments.

  • PRST 6300 - Research Methods  3 credit hours  

    PRST 6300 - Research Methods

    3credit hours

    Study and application of research methods appropriate to professional studies. Provides a general introduction to research methods as well as providing practical exposure to problem statements, literature reviews, writing the research proposal, and organizations of the research report. Quantitative and qualitative research methodologies briefly covered in preparation for later courses in these areas.

  • PRST 6600 - Statistical Analysis

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: PRST 6300. Explores the fundamental principles that form the foundation of the scientific process. Ultimate goal is to enhance student's ability to effectively interpret and translate the results of research.

Leadership in Nutrition Concentration (15 hours)

Leadership (3-6 hours)

  • BCED 5660 - Corporate Communication

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: BCED 3510 or equivalent. Research and analysis of case studies of significant research; case studies in business communication; communication policies, principles, and procedures from the executive's viewpoint.

  • COMM 6650 - Conflict Management and Resolution

    3credit hours

    Explores the role of communication in conflict management/resolution between or among individuals or groups. Potential topics may include interpersonal and workplace conflict, tools for conflict resolution, including mediation and negotiation. 


  • HSC 6530 - Effective Program Management

    3credit hours

    Addresses the knowledge and skills required for developing, implementing, managing, and evaluating programs to meet the needs of for-profit and nonprofit organizations. In addition, it covers the aspects of writing grant proposals to support those programs.

  • MGMT 6740 - Leadership and Motivation

    3credit hours

    Issues in leadership and motivation in business organizations. An examination of the theoretical framework for leadership and motivation processes serves as foundation. Emphasis on practical issues and applications of leadership development and motivation.

Nutrition (9-12 hours)

  • NFS 6100 - Advanced Studies in Food and Culture

    3credit hours

    Comprehensive investigation of the roles that culture plays in food practices, beliefs, and health of Native Americans, Europeans, Africans, Mexicans and Central Americans, Islanders, Asians, Middle Easterner, and other groups.

  • NFS 6200 - Current Issues in Macronutrients

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: CHEM 3530/3531 or permission of instructor. Current issues and controversies in carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins with emphasis on metabolic aspects related to health promotion and disease prevention.

  • NFS 6210 - Current Issues in Micronutrients

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: CHEM 3530/3531 or permission of instructor. Current topics in vitamin and mineral metabolism with emphasis on the physiological requirements, assessment techniques, and roles in health promotion and disease prevention.

  • NFS 6290 - Dietetic Internship

    6credit hours

    Planned educational experiences in administration of food service systems and experiences in a health care facility applying principles of normal and clinical nutrition to nutritional problems occurring throughout the life cycle.

    NOTE: To apply for PLA credit for this class, students must complete a dietetic internship accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

  • NFS 6300 - Entrepreneurial Skills for Nutrition Professionals

    3credit hours

    Addresses the management tools, networking resources, and marketing principles necessary for nutrition professionals to be successful entrepreneurs. Available opportunities  examined with a focus on the many non-traditional ways nutrition professionals can develop and build their businesses.

  • NFS 6600 - Nutrition and Obesity

    3credit hours

    Examines the context, prevalence, causes, consequences, and treatment of obesity and weight-related issues in the United States and other developed and developing societies. Topics focus on the nutrition-related physiological, psychological, sociological, economic, and political aspects of obesity.

Professional Project (3 or 4 hours)

  • PRST 6998 - Professional Project  3 to 4 credit hours  

    PRST 6998 - Professional Project

    3 to 4credit hours

    Capstone course for the Master of Professional Studies degree. The integrative culmination of the program of study.­

PRST 6998 must be taken during the final semester of the program. Students should begin planning their projects when they enter the M.P.S. program. They should consult their advisors about appropriate topics and submit their proposals for approval prior to entering this course.

Students applying for EXL Scholar Designation should take EXL 6000 for 1 credit hour.


MPS students are limited to no more than 6 hours of prior learning assessment (PLA) credit and transfer credit combined.

Our adjunct faculty bring outstanding professional experience to our programs. Many are industry leaders with decorated careers and honors. Importantly, they are innovative educators who offer hands-on learning to our students to prepare them to enter and thrive in a dynamic, and oftentimes emerging, industry and professional world. They inspire, instruct, and challenge our students toward academic and professional success.

Online or Hybrid Programs at a Glance

This program is available fully online.

For More Information or Explore Your Options​

Contact your department / program coordinator or advisor for more details about the program OR work one-on-one with your advisor to explore your options.

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The Online Advantage​

With over 25 years of experience in online teaching and learning, MTSU Online offers students access to innovative, high-quality programs. Designed with students in mind, our courses allow maximum flexibility for those unable to participate in person. ​

Resources and services for online students are available from MTSU Online or contact us at

Contact Information

Janet Colson

Who is My Advisor?

Pamela Morris

Janet Colson 

Mailing Address

University College M.P.S. Program
Middle Tennessee State University
503 East Bell Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37130

College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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