Nutritional Sciences Future Education Model Graduate Program (RDN Pathway)–now accepting applications!

Happy New Year! We are excited to announce that The Penn State Department of Nutritional Sciences received final ACEND-accreditation of our Future Education Model (FEM) Graduate Program. The newly accredited program is the Experiential Track of the Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Nutritional Sciences Graduate Program, which is a graduate degree program of the Department of Nutritional Sciences offered via Penn State’s World Campus. Applications are now being accepted for the Experiential Track that begins May 2019, pending final University approval.


The Experiential Track is a 24-month competency-based program that integrates advanced-level online MPS graduate coursework with three consecutive semesters of in-residence supervised experiential learning (in Hershey, PA or University Park, PA). The program begins Summer semester 2019. Online courses will begin on May 13, 2019 and in-residence supervised experiential learning will start in August 2019. The program has a leadership emphasis. Students will graduate with the MPS graduate degree and a verification statement and be prepared to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Registration Examination for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. This track requires completion of a minimum of 39 credits, which includes the 30 MPS credits, plus a minimum of 9 additional course credits. Students are expected to participate full-time in the program during the semesters in which online graduate coursework and supervised experiential learning courses take place. Students may indicate their preference of location when applying to the program.

Important Note

To be eligible as an applicant for the Experiential Track of the MPS program, your undergraduate graduation conferral date must be before the start of the program, which is the first day of summer semester classes (May 13, 2019). If you have questions or need clarification, please contact the program prior to applying. We can assist you with determining your eligibility for the program.


 The application deadline is March 1st, 2019.  Applicants will apply directly through the Penn State Graduate School online application. Applicants will not apply through DICAS, and the program will not be participating in the Spring 2019 matching process. Additional details about the accredited track, including program requirements, curriculum, application and selection processes, important dates, and costs can be found on our program website.

Virtual Open House

To learn more, consider attending our Virtual Open House on Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 4:00-5:00pm ET. The Virtual Open House will be conducted via video conferencing. If you plan to attend, please complete this RSVP survey and you will receive additional details one day prior to the open house regarding how to virtually connect.

If you are unable to attend and/or would like additional information about the program, please direct all inquiries to:

Shawnee M. Kelly, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND
Assistant Teaching Professor
Master of Professional Studies (MPS) Coordinator
Department of Nutritional Sciences
The Pennsylvania State University
125 Chandlee Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802
814-863-7131 (office) |


Gina Pazzaglia, PhD, RDN

MPS Program Director

Associate Teaching Professor

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