Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised experiential fieldwork accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited, Future Education Model (FEM) dietitian nutritionist program at Merrimack College are eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.

M.S. in Nutrition and Human Performance: Why Merrimack College

Merrimack College’s Future Education Model program is one of the first demonstration programs in Massachusetts and the New England region — and one of the few in the country — with a focus on human performance and sport nutrition. Merrimack College differentiates itself from other programs by maintaining its reputation as a student-centered and supportive community that excels in professional graduate education and by remaining grounded by its mission to enlighten minds, engage hearts and empower lives.

Fosters work readiness.

The program is one of the first Future Education Model (FEM) degree programs in the New England region. Future Education Model degree programs are competency-based education programs that integrate classroom learning with hands-on supervised experiential learning activities. The program’s curriculum is guided by competencies and their respective performance indicators, thus it fosters work readiness.

Guaranteed ability to sit for the registration exam. 

Successful completion of this one-step program meets the educational requirements needed to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) exam. This one-step approach is different from the more common two-step approach requiring the need to competitively apply to a supervised practice program after earning a degree with no guarantee of acceptance.

Specialize in human performance/sport nutrition.

Our program is one of only a few FEM programs that focuses on human performance. You will have the opportunity to work with Merrimack College’s Division I athletes as well as with other DI athletes within the New England region.

Build strong relationships with expert faculty.

You’ll study nutrition and human performance in small classes led by highly engaged and knowledgeable instructors. Our faculty experts include scholars such Dr. Leena Bharath, Dr. Juliana Cohan and Dr. Michael Corcoran.