The new dietetics program at Harding University is the first of its kind in Arkansas

The Harding University College of Sciences has launched a Master of Science in applied dietetics practice to commence on August 23. This program is the first of its kind in Arkansas and is one of the few programs in the country that is competency-based and allows students to complete their courses and required supervised learning experiences wherever they are located. Students will be able to apply their knowledge and skills directly within their communities in a variety of professional work settings.

“This is the perfect place to start your journey to becoming a registered dietitian nutritionist, by providing not only a quality education but also an experience that is Christ-centered and mission-focused,”  Sarah Oropeza, instructor, and director of the didactic program in dietetics, said.

 The Harding University Master of Science in applied dietetics practice is a 52-credit program completed over five semesters with embedded didactic and experiential components. An accelerated B.S./M.S. pathway is also available for qualified undergraduate students. The 5-year accelerated pathway overlaps the fourth year of the bachelor’s degree with the first year of the master’s degree, resulting in three years of undergraduate-level study and two years of graduate-level study in the program. In addition to core nutrition and dietetics courses, specialty courses focus on sustainability, cultural nutrition care, nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics, grant writing, and healthcare administration. It is a demonstration program that uses the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards for Graduate Degree Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics developed by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Upon successful completion, graduates will fulfill all requirements of the Commission on Dietetic Registration and be eligible to take the CDR Registration Examination for Dietitians. No Didactic Program in Dietetics Verification Statement or prior degree in nutrition or dietetics is required to apply.

The mission of the Master of Science in applied dietetics practice program at Harding University is to provide a challenging educational experience consistent with Christian ideals that will prepare competent, entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists for evidence-based practice in all communities. For more information visit

Harding University is a private Christian, liberal arts university located in Searcy, Arkansas. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, it is the largest private university in the state. Harding’s student body represents students from across the U.S. and more than 50 nations and territories. The University offers more than 100 undergraduate majors; more than 50 graduate and professional programs including master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees, graduate certificates, and endorsements; as well as numerous study abroad opportunities including locations in Australasia, Peru, England, Greece, Italy, and Zambia. For more information, visit