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Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

Nutrition and Exercise Physiology Degree Program

Master of Science Coordinated Program in Dietetics, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology (MS CPD)

The MS CPD is ACEND-accredited and prepares the student to enter the field of nutrition and dietetics as an entry-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) through coordinated didactic coursework and experiential supervised practice. The program’s interprofessional focus on the effects of nutrition and exercise on human health allows students to specialize in dietetics and develop a solid grounding in the principles of exercise physiology, exercise testing, and exercise prescription. The program prepares students for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) exam administered through the Commission on Dietetic Registration, in partnership with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The degree generally requires four semesters, and potentially one summer of 8-10 credits. Students complete a minimum of 40 graduate-level credits. Twenty credits are supervised practice rotations to meet the updated ACEND requirement of 1,000 hours of supervised practice. The MS CPD divides these hours amongst the following settings:

  • Clinical Nutrition (440 hours)
  • Foodservice management (160 hours)
  • Community Nutrition (200 hours)
  • Exercise (200 hours)

For students who enter the MS CPD without practical hours in exercise, they will complete two semesters of a Practicum course to acquire 200 hours in this area.


The mission of the WSU MS CPD is centered around the preparation of entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists who promote optimum health and wellness for individuals and communities through the integration of nutrition and exercise physiology in a variety of dietetic career paths.

What is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)?

The RDN is a highly trained food and nutrition expert who meets stringent academic and professional
requirements, including:

  • Minimum education of a Bachelor’s degree with coursework approved by the Accreditation Council in Education of Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Coursework typically includes food and nutrition sciences, food service management, business, economics, computer science, sociology, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology and chemistry. A graduate degree will become a requirement for the RDN credential beginning in 2024.
  • Completion of an accredited, supervised, 1000-hour experiential practice program at a healthcare facility, community agency or foodservice corporation.
  • Passing a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
  • Completion of 75 continuing professional educational (CPE) requirements every 5 years in order
    to maintain registration.

Some RDNs pursue advanced specialist certifications such as pediatric or renal nutrition, diabetes education, and nutrition support.

MS CPD Accreditation

The Master of Science Coordinated Program in Dietetics, Nutrition, and Exercise Physiology (MS CPD) at Washington State University is granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Accreditation details for the MS CPD are as follows:

  • Program Status: Accredited
  • Next Site Visit Year: 2027
  • Current Term Ends On: 12/31/2028

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND):
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190 Chicago, IL 60606-6995
312-899-0040 Extn: 5400

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 practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited Master of Science Coordinated Program in Dietetics (MS CPD) at Washington State University are eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN. In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about licensure and certification requirements by state, click here.

Contact information

Jill Wagner
NEP Academic Coordinator