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Katie Bastian, RD
USU Graduate

About Dietetics Administration

The master of dietetics administration degree is a professional degree with online coursework designed to provide registered dietitians with in-depth training in management and leadership in food and nutrition program administration. The skills emphasized in the MDA program enhance management career options for graduates in clinical, community, foodservice, and entrepreneurial practice. Nationwide, there is a great need for professionally educated managers and leaders at local, district, state, and federal levels in food and nutrition programs, including school, university, hospital food services, public health/community programs, and clinical practice. This program provides skills in leadership, problem solving, financial management, human resource management, entrepreneurship, and more.

To be eligible to apply to the MDA program, students must have completed the USU Dietetic Internship within the past seven years and passed the RD exam. Students from other dietetic internships and USU’s Coordinated Undergraduate Program are also eligible to apply. For those applicants, please contact the MDA program director for individual consultation on the program application process and course work requirements as these vary from the process described below.

Notify the MDA program director before you begin submitting your application materials. Some application materials for the MDA are different than for other USU graduate school applicants and the MDA program director will provide guidance in the application submission process.

If you have completed the USU Dietetic Internship within the past five years, you do NOT need to submit your transcripts.  You also do NOT need to submit information for letters of reference.  The USU Dietetic Internship Director will submit a recommendation letter based on your performance in the internship which substitutes for the letters of recommendation. 

The following materials must be submitted as part of the application process.

1.       Current Resume

2.       RD Certification (exam results or active RD certification card)

3.      Statement of Purpose that includes:

a.     Why you are interested in the MDA program

b.     Why you are interested in management

c.     Your leadership skills and abilities

d.     Your professional goals

e.     What option are you interested in (Management or Research)

f.      Describe two or three ideas for a management or research project (view examples of Student Projects).  A good starting place for project ideas is to think of areas for improvement or opportunity for a new approach or program in your current work place or a dietetics area in which you plan to practice.  Then describe a project that will address this issue.

Please note that the Statement of Purpose is meant to give insight into the candidate's writing ability, professionalism and project area interest.  This is not a contract for coursework or projects.  Please make sure your name is on your Statement of Purpose document.

Application Requirements:

  • Complete the online application
  • Pay the $55 application fee
  • Have a 3.0 or higher GPA on your last 60 semester or 90 quarter credits

International students have additional admissions requirements.

Graduates with an MDA can work in the following areas:

  • Child nutrition programs and school foodservice operations and management
  • Managers in foodservice operations at hospitals and nursing homes
  • Clinical nutritionists and clinical nutrition management
  • Public health programs and public health program management
  • Private practice dieticians and owners
  • Private clinics and clinic management
  • Diabetes clinics and clinic management
  • Weight-loss management for various organizations

Utah is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and Utah State University (USU) is an approved SARA institution, which means we adhere to established standards for offering post-secondary e-learning programs in all member states. Please review our state authorizations to see if this program is offered in your state and our process for student complaints against the university.

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