Goals and Competencies

The mission of the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition is three-fold: education, research, and service. The department accomplishes this mission as follows:

  • Education of advanced-level practitioners in Clinical Nutrition and dietetics as educators, researchers, and clinical specialists
  • Provision of initial and continuing education opportunities in clinical nutrition and dietetics for health care professionals
  • Development and application of new knowledge and techniques in clinical nutrition and dietetics
  • Advancement of nutritional care and health status, especially for Arkansas

Goals for the MS Degree Program in Clinical Nutrition (MSCN)

The goals of the Master of Science Degree Program in Clinical Nutrition are as follows:

  1. To prepare graduates to practice with excellence at an advanced or specialized level;
  2. To expand the knowledge base and application of new technology to the practice of dietetics and clinical nutrition;
  3. To develop and apply research skills to enhance the practice of dietetics and nutrition;
  4. To provide nutrition education opportunities to health professional students and practitioners in the State of Arkansas;
  5. To advance nutrition knowledge and practice skills applicable to institutions, industry, and  communities in Arkansas;
  6. To serve as advocates for better health through incorporation of sound nutrition principles into policies and programs: and
  7. To provide the knowledge and skills for career development and promotion.


The program is designed to be completed over two years in full-time student status.  The program may be completed on a part-time basis up to a five-year period.  All students are expected to complete 30-33 semester hours of coursework, plus 3-6 semester hours of research for a total of 36 hours.  In addition, all students must successfully complete a written comprehensive examination and an oral defense of their research to the faculty, other students, and other healthcare professionals in order to complete the program.