Master of Science Degree

Murray State University is a tax-assisted, coeducational university founded in 1922. Listed among the top regional comprehensive universities for the past 18 years by U.S. News and World Report, Murray State University enrolls over 10,000 students representing 46 states and over 40 foreign countries. With 400 faculty members, the university has graduate and undergraduate students in 136 accredited programs in six colleges: Business and Public Affairs; Education; Humanities and Fine Arts; Health Sciences and Human Services; and Science, Engineering and Technology, and Agriculture. MSU freshman have the highest ACT scores among all Kentucky regional universities, and the acceptance rate of it graduates into professional schools is among the highest in the nation. Located in Western Kentucky within 40 miles of Illinois, Missouri, and Tennessee, Murray State has a 230-acre main campus with study centers in four cities where it offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. MSU currently has an annual budget exceeding $100 million. The university’s 74 main campus buildings include a Regional Special Events Center, a new home for the College of Education, and state-of-the-art biology and science facilities currently under construction. MSU is a charter member of the Ohio Valley Sports Conference and Division I member of the NCAA. The city of Murray is a community of 10,000 residents with excellent health care and cultural facilities. Murray has nationally recognized public schools, low cost of living, moderate climate, and unlimited outdoor recreation available at nearby Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, in addition to the Cumberland, Ohio, Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers.

Degree Description
The Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Management Division offers an optional degree of Master of Science in Nutrition for students successfully completing the MSU Dietetic Internship Program. Master’s study offers students the opportunity to expand their knowledge in both clinical nutrition and nutrition research through a plan of study designed for each student.

Transfer Credit and GPA
A total of 12 graduate hours may be transferred from a regionally accredited graduate school. All transfer credit must be approved by the student’s advisor and collegiate graduate coordinator. All transfer credit must have been earned within the eight-year period allowed for the degree. The student must have an overall GPA of at least 3.00 on graduate work at Murray State University and a grade of B or better in any course that the student wishes to transfer to Murray State. It is the responsibility of the student to initiate a request for transfer of credit. Graduate transfer credit will not be posted to the student’s transcript or included in the calculation of the student’s GPA until the graduation transcription is prepared.

Admission Requirements:
Requirement 1. Be accepted into the MSU Dietetic Internship Program
Students must successfully complete the MSU Dietetic Internship Program, earning a grade of “B” or better for all classes in the program. For information on the dietetic internship program and how to apply, please refer to Dietetic Internship Program.
Requirement 2. Pass the national certification examination to earn the registered dietitian (RD) credential.
After completing the MSU Dietetic Internship Program, students must pass the RD National Registration Examination administered by the American Dietetic Association before continuing in the degree program.

Director of Graduate Program in Nutrition

Beth W. Rice, PhD, RD, LD,SNS  Assistant Professor in the Department of Wellness and Therapeutic Sciences, is Director, Graduate Program in Nutrition. Dr. Frame has earned degrees from Iowa State University, and The University of Tennessee.

“The MS program at MSU is a unique opportunity to continue studies earning an advanced degree. The dietetic internship component of the degree is very demanding but yields great rewards. I invite all undergraduates aspiring to become dietitians to continue studies after completing the internship program and earn the MS degree.”

“I look forward to receiving your application to the Murray State University internship and masters programs. If you have any questions, please call or write."


Beth W. Rice, PhD, RD, LD, SNS
Director, Graduate Program in Nutrition

Sample Program of Study
Combined MSU Dietetic Internship Program and
Master of Science Degree in Nutrition

Master of Science in Nutrition


Counseling Course Requirement

(3 credit hours required)

CNS (GUI) 692, Group Processes (3) A study of the history and characteristics of group processes and structure as well as issues in leadership style and development of a model in small group interaction. May not be used toward school counseling certification.

CNS (GUI) 615 Behavioral Assessment and Intervention (3) To examine, in theory and practice, issues in behavioral management which affect behavior change within various school/clinical settings and to learn techniques applicable to the process of behavior change.

CNS (GUI) 692 Group Dynamics in Counseling (3)  An experiential course in the dynamics of group behavior. The student will participate in an encounter-type group experience as well as being introduced to theory and techniques of group counseling. In addition group guidance procedures are emphasized to include meaning, purposes, scope, and methods. Strongly recommended to be taken within the first nine hours of course work.

CNS 624GUI 693 Theories of Counseling (3) Critical analysis and evaluation of leading theories of counseling and their implications for practice.

CNS 746 Wellness and Prevention Counseling (3). Course integrates the preventive origins of counseling with other models of prevention.  This teaching and learning approach will balance between understanding wellness and prevention conceptually and studying some illustrations of wellness and preventive practices and hold promise for enhancing the counseling field.  Ti is anticipated that students will gain a better understanding of how evolving theories of prevention can be utilized to help individuals and groups avert specific psychological, educational, and health problems via “before-the-fact” preventive actions. As a head-on learning tool, students will identify an area of interest as a focal point for their development of a prevention model that is of special interest to them. The curse will also address ethical and professional issues and multicultural issues related to prevention work. Perquisite: permission of instructor

CNS 760 Eating Disorders and Body Image Counseling (3)
. Course provides an overview of the etiology, diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and binge eating disorder. Treatment is considered form a team-based approach to include psychological, cognitive, and physiological processes. Obesity and it relationship with eating disorders as well as self-image will also be addressed. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

PSY 671 Behavior Modification (3) This course presents assumptions, concepts and methods of behavior modification. Emphasis is on broad psychological theory and application to human problems. Students enrolled for graduate credit will be required to fulfill additional requirements. Prerequisites: PSY 180 and consent of instructor.

Statistics/Research Methods Course Options

(3 credit hours required)

EXS 609 Evaluation in Exercise and Leisure Studies (3) This course is designed to give students a basic knowledge in descriptive and inferential statistics commonly used in exercise science and recreation/leisure research. Statistical procedures include correlation and linear regression, t-test, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and two-way ANOVA. Emphasis is place on understanding and using a statistical package through computer analysis. Recommended prerequisite: EXS 409. (Same as REC 609.)

MAT 654 Statistical Methods (3) A survey course in statistical methods for advanced undergraduate students and graduate students with no prior training in statistics. The course covers techniques commonly used for data analysis in many scientific fields. Topics included are probability, distributions, sampling, variance, estimation, hypothesis testing, contingency table, regression and analysis of variance. (Does not apply toward any degree in mathematics or a minor in mathematics)

MAT 666Applied Statistics I (4) A study of applied statistical techniques including correlation, regression, analysis of variance and non-parametric methods with a view toward applications. A statistical computer package will be used when appropriate, but no computer background is required. Prerequisite: MAT 560 or consent of instructor.

PSY 600 Statistics (3) Basic concepts of statistics are stressed. Specific topics include techniques dealing with single distributions, some correlational methods, probability, and an introduction to inferential statistics. Students enrolled for graduate credit will be required to fulfill additional requirements. Prerequisite: PSY 180.

ADM 630 Methods of Research (3). ADM 630 Methods of Research (3). A study of procedures used to locate sources of information, organize and interpret collected data, and apply results of published research. Various research methods are studied and used. 


Other Elective Options

(3 credit hours required)

BIO 622 Pathophysiology (3) Introduction to physiological abnormalities in disease. For advanced students in, or headed for, careers in health related fields. Four hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: BIO 228 and 229, or BIO 322, or equivalent.

EDU 621 Advanced Methods of Teaching (3) An advanced course that applies theories and practices of models of teaching based upon applied research and practitioners experiences. Prerequisites: EDU 303 or an equivalent course and at least have had student teach experiences.

HCA 674 Health Counseling and Managed Care (3) Examination of the process of health-related counseling and communication with patients is explored with specific application to acute and chronic conditions. Various models of counseling in the health care setting and the use of prevention interventions will be discussed.

HDL 625 Legal and Ethical Issues in Human Services (3). Course will present the legal ramifications of work place compliance lase. Plus the ethical aspects of being in a leadership role in today’s complex society. An in-depth examination of current contemporary issues in this area will highlight this course.

MGT 651 Seminar in Organizational Behavior (3) Studies management as a profession, with special emphasis upon behavioral and organizational issues. Examines individual, group and organizational processes in light of the environment within which the organization functions. Special attention is given to managing in non-U.S. settings and the ethical problems faced in the managerial job. Prerequisites: MGT 350 or equivalent, and graduate standing.

NTN 658 PUBLICATIONS AND SEMINARS IN NUTRITION (3) A capstone course for graduate students completing master’s study in food and nutrition. Students present graduate research project in graduate committee meetings, seminar and research journal format. Prerequisite: NTN 653 and permission of instructor.


Research Project Requirement

(8 credit hours required)

Student must enroll in the following courses through Murray State University. These courses are offered in distance format for completion off campus. The research project requirement may not be completed at another university.

NTN 656 NUTRITION RESEARCH LITERATURE REVIEW (2) The course enables the student to complete an in-depth literature review on a nutrition research focus area in preparation for NTN 660, Research Project in Nutrition. Prerequisite: nutrition graduate status and consent of the course instructor.

NTN 660 RESEARCH PROJECT IN NUTRITION I (3) The initial preparation of a significant nutrition research project focusing upon the student’s area of research interest with approval of the student’s research committee. Course precedes NTN 661, Research Project in Nutrition II.  Prerequisites: consent of graduate program advisor.

NTN 661 RESEARCH PROJECT IN NUTRITION II (3) A continuation of the research project developed in NTN 660, Research Project in Nutrition I. Prerequisites: NTN 660, approved graduate statistics course, and permission of graduate program advisor.