The University of Kansas, also known as Kansas or KU, is a public university with the main campus in Lawrence, Kansas. The school operates two branch campuses in the Kansas City area — the university’s hospital and medical school in Kansas City itself and the Edwards Campus in Overland Park. KU was founded in 1865 and opened the following year. KU is home to several famous structures, including the Lied Center of Kansas, the Beach Center on Disability and the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics. The school offers more than 345 degree programs.

University of Kansas City – Kansas City Accreditation Details

The University of Kansas has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1913.

University of Kansas City – Kansas City Application Requirements

Before applying to the online master’s program, students must first decide which campus will be their “home” institution as this university will be the one granting the degree when a student completes the program. Students must submit proof of a current registered dietitian credential or eligibility to sit for the exam as well as a personal goals statement. Applicants are required to send a resume and three references that can attest to their work ethic and character. Students must arrange to have an official transcript from every university or college attended sent directly to the school. In order to be admitted into the program, students must have also earned a bachelor’s degree which may be in any field but must include prerequisite courses in nutrition, physiology and biochemistry.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for the online master’s degree in dietetics costs $545 per credit hour, and the rate is not affected by residence or location in a particular state. The Great Plains IDEA Board of Directors is responsible for evaluating and setting the tuition amount per credit annually, and the amount does not vary based on which “home” school the student chooses for his or her online degree. Graduates may be eligible to take advantage of several financial aid options in the form of loans, grants and work-study programs. In addition, the school’s Military and Veterans Affairs can help veterans, active military members and dependents determine whether they are entitled to special education and tuition benefits and discounts.

Online Master’s in Dietetics Degree Available

The Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (IDEA) program at the University of Kansas is a group of eight separate universities who work to provide online degrees for their students, including the online 36-credit-hour Master of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition degree. Admittance into the program is limited to students who are currently credentialed registered dietitians (RDs) or registry-eligible students who have met all requirements as mandated by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for registration.

Students may enroll in their courses through the University of Kansas at Kansas City, but the actual online courses may be delivered from any of the universities who participate in the Great Plains IDEA program. The eight schools include the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, South Dakota State University, Oklahoma State University, North Dakota State University, Iowa State University, Colorado State University, Kansas State University and the University of Kansas Medical Center. Prospective students considering the program should keep in mind that the cost per credit hour for the online M.S. in Dietetics and Nutrition degree is the same at any of the eight participating universities, regardless of the student’s “home” school. In order to meet the school’s requirements for the program, students must have a computer and a high-speed Internet connection.

The time it takes to complete the Master’s in Dietetics and Nutrition will depend on when the student begins the program, the courses he or she takes per semester as well as the number of courses he or she wishes to take. For instance, a student who takes two courses per semester, including summers, will complete the program in approximately three years. Many students who are pursuing this online degree are working professionals with family and job responsibilities, and the distance learning format allows the flexibility to take the right amount of courses to fit into any specific schedule.

The online master’s degree program requires 36 credit hours and includes three main parts. First, students must take 15 credit hours in core courses. The core curriculum includes the study of statistics, current trends and issues in the field and methods of research. Students will also be exposed to advanced human nutrition topics such as lipid metabolism, nutrigenetics and micronutrients.

The research component of the degree includes six credit hours, and students are required to choose a non-thesis or a thesis plan. Both plans involve writing a proposal, defending and conducting research and completing a comprehensive examination. Online students should keep in mind that visiting the University of Kansas campus is not required if they are completing a non-thesis research project. However, those taking the thesis research path will be required to defend their thesis on-campus and in-person.

The last component of the master’s degree in dietetics includes 15 credit hours of electives. These courses cover a broad range of topics that meet both the student’s career goals as well as his or her interests. Coursework may include topics such as food science, management, healthcare administration, entrepreneurship theory and practice, public or community health nutrition and clinical nutrition. Other options include advanced medical nutrition therapy, functional foods for chronic disease prevention, nutrition and aging, financial management and cost control in dietetics, maternal and child nutrition, nutritional aspects of oncology and pediatric clinical nutrition.

Admission deadlines for the Master of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition are May 1 for summer semester start, December 1 for spring semester start and July 1 for fall semester start. This degree prepares students for both graduate studies as well as entry into the field of nutrition and dietetics. Registered dietitians may work in a range of settings including research, business, sports nutrition, the food and nutrition industry, corporate nutrition programs, hospitals, long-term care facilities and schools.

Related Resource: Top 30 Affordable Online Master’s in Dietetics

Students graduating with a master’s degree in dietetics from the University of Kansas at Kansas City may find additional career opportunities in areas such as the media, private practices, public health nutrition, food and nutrition management, clinical dietetics and educational institutions.