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Dietetics Administration: MDA

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.

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

Admission Requirements

To be eligible to apply to the MDA program, students must have completed the USU Dietetic Internship within the past six 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:
    1. Why you are interested in the MDA program
    2. Why you are interested in management
    3. Your leadership skills and abilities
    4. Your professional goals
    5. What option are you interested in (Management or Research)
    6. Describe two or three ideas for a management or research project.  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.

Admission Deadlines

The department has the following deadline:

  • Fall semester - March 1st

Master's Degree Plan Option(s)

Students can receive the MDA by pursuing one of the following two options described below. Please contact the MDA program director for detailed information about coursework. 

Practicum Project Track

The “Practicum Project Track” is comprised of 18 credits of coursework.  As part of the coursework, students will complete and report on a management project aimed at resolving a need in their current work place.  As such, students choosing this option should be employed in the dietetics field during the program.  For the management project, students review current literature, write a project proposal, implement the project and evaluate the success or impact of the project.  Students selecting the management project option can complete coursework in three semesters as part of a cohort beginning Fall semester.  While the “Management Project Track” requires additional credit hours, it has a more predictable timeline to graduation, no paper defense, and does not require travel to Logan campus at any time. 

Research Project Track

The “Research Project Track” involves a research project, typically based on a management or practice area in the student’s workplace.  A research project includes determining the research design appropriate to answer the research question, data collection, statistical analysis and interpretation of data. A graduate committee consisting of three faculty members will be assigned to each student.  The graduate committee will mentor and supervise the research project and project paper write-up.  The project paper is expected to reflect equivalent scholarship standards as a thesis.  The goal of the project paper is to produce a manuscript that will be submitted for publication or presentation in a dietetics venue.  Students will attend a project paper defense meeting held on USU's Logan campus during the last semester of coursework. Those seeking opportunities in research experience, publishing, less credit hours, and more flexibility with courses are encouraged to choose this option.

Financial Assistance

Financial aid for this degree may be available. Visit the graduate school website for more information. 


Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. AND is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education, and advocacy. Students are encouraged to be members of AND and are also encouraged to be active in their local or state AND affiliate organizations. 

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Description Dietetics Administration



Academic Advising

Martha Archuleta
Professor, MDA Program Director
Office: 920 West Levoy Drive Taylorsville, UT 84123
Phone: (435) 797-4230

Tara Black
Assistant to the Department Head
Office: NFS 213
Phone: (435) 797-2102

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