Jul 21, 2024  
University Catalog 2024-2025 
University Catalog 2024-2025

School of Human Ecology

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Master of Science (MS)

The School of Human Ecology offers both thesis and non-thesis programs of study leading to the Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics. The focus of the master’s program is on the application of nutrition knowledge in clinical and community settings. The MS program alone does not enable students to meet eligibility requirements to take the national examination to become a registered dietitian; students desiring RD status must also complete a dietetic internship.


Applicants to the program in Nutrition and Dietetics must meet the general admission requirements of the Graduate School and the College of Applied and Natural Sciences. Students should meet criteria for unconditional admission; conditional admission status is rarely allowed in the Nutrition and Dietetics MS program. Applicants must have an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major in nutrition and dietetics or a related field.  To be admitted into the master’s program in Nutrition and Dietetics, students must meet ONE of the following: (a) have completed a 4-year nutrition degree or a related field from a US accredited University or College with, currency of nutrition courses (5 yr.) (transcripts subject to review for pre-requisites) ; (b)  have completed a similar program outside of the US with a the University or College transcript having been evaluated by one of the ACEND approved agencies found at https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend/students-and-advancing-education/information-for-students/foreign-degree-evaluation-agencies and the evaluation stamped as “regionally accredited”; (c) be a registered dietitian. Students applying for admission into the post-baccalaureate dietetic internship must meet additional admission criteria and must apply through the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS).

Program of Study

The Master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics includes a thesis option, which is 30 semester hours credit, and a non-thesis option, which is 39 hours. Students will complete a research project in both options. Although most of the required course work in the MS program in Nutrition and Dietetics is offered electronically, the program itself is not considered to be an on-line program. At a minimum, students will be required to be on campus to defend their research projects. Students who are enrolled concurrently in the master’s program and the dietetic internship will also take some courses that are delivered in the traditional face-to-face format.

Required courses for the thesis option include: HEC 504 - Methodology in Human Ecology Research ; FNU 528 - Nutritional Management of Cardiovascular Disease ; FNU 529 - Nutritional Management of Diabetes ; and HIM 505 – Advanced Statistical Methods ; and HEC 551 – Research and Thesis  (students must enroll each quarter they are using University resources, although a maximum of 6 hours will apply to the degree); plus 12 hours of approved courses to be selected based on the student’s areas of interest. Required courses in the non-thesis option include HEC 504 , FNU 528 , FNU 529 , HIM 505 , and HEC 506 – Special Problems in Human Ecology  (non-thesis research), plus 24 additional hours to be selected in consultation with the graduate advisory committee. Students in both options are required to complete a written comprehensive examination (HEC 585 ) and an oral exam and defense of the thesis/non-thesis research project.

Research Activities

Faculty in the School of Human Ecology are involved in diverse areas of research which may serve as a foundation for students’ theses, non-thesis research projects, or independent studies. Faculty research in Nutrition and Dietetics includes outcomes-based research for the practice of dietetics and nutritional and dietary assessment (e.g., dietary fat intake, calcium intake, fruit and vegetable intake, dietary supplements, risk factors for cardiovascular and osteoporosis diseases), life cycle effects (e.g., maternal and child nutrition, and geriatric nutrition), education (e.g., dietetic, education factors that influence dietary intake), and food service management (e.g., food safety, training and consumer behavior). Information describing faculty research areas is available directly from the faculty, from the School of Human Ecology, or online at www.ans.latech.edu.

Financial Support

A limited number of University and externally funded assistantships are available on a competitive basis. Students holding assistantships will have out-of-state fees waived, if applicable. Students may also be employed as student workers. The Merle Burke and Jeanne Mack Gilley scholarships are available for Nutrition and Dietetics graduate students. For additional information, contact the Director of the School of Human Ecology.

Dietetic Internship (DI, Graduate Certificate)

The Dietetic Internship is a four-quarter post-baccalaureate program allowing students to satisfy the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) performance requirements required to be eligible to take the registered dietitian examination. The Dietetic Internship requires separate application, and admission into the Graduate School does not guarantee acceptance into the dietetic internship. Graduates of ACEND-accredited didactic programs (DP) are eligible to apply for admission to the dietetic internship. The practicum component of the program is implemented through facilities in Shreveport, Ruston/Monroe, and Alexandria. Students are assigned to facilities in one city to minimize required travel.

Dietetic internship students must be admitted to the Louisiana Tech University Graduate School and complete coursework that will apply toward the MS in Nutrition and Dietetics. Students are required to complete six semester hours of graduate course work in the summer quarter, and nine hours in the fall, winter and spring quarters. Included in thesis requirement are 21 hours of FNU 592 – Dietetic Internship practica hours  (3 hours in summer, 6 hours each in fall, winter and spring). Though students receive graduate credit for FNU 592 , a maximum of three hours will apply toward the plan of study for the MS in Nutrition and Dietetics. In addition to 592, students are required to enroll in one three hour graduate-level content course each quarter. Upon completing the DI, they will have earned 15 hours that apply toward the MS degree. Students who complete the 15 hours with a GPA of 3.00 or above may also be awarded a Graduate Certificate in Dietetics. Completion of the DI is not contingent upon completing the MS degree, although students are encouraged to complete the master’s degree program, within the university’s six year time limit. Most graduate-level courses are offered on-line to facilitate completion of the degree after students finish the DI. For more information about the ACEND-accredited dietetic internship at Louisiana Tech University contact:

Dr. Vicky Green, Dietetic Internship Director
School of Human Ecology
PO Box 3167
Louisiana Tech University
Ruston, LA

and visit www.latech.edu/ans/human-ecology. For complete program information, refer to the webpage:
http://ans.latech.edu/di-internship.html .


The Dietetic Internship is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 1-800-877-1600-899-0040 x5400), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education (email:  ACEND@eatright.org).


    Graduate Certificate

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