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The Madonna University Nutrition and Dietetics Coordinated Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 800/877-1600 ext. 5400, https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend

Explore the Graduate Dietetics Student Handbook 2021-2024

Becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)

While state interpretations of statutes may vary, it is ACEND's considered opinion that the program meets the educational requirements for dietetics licensure and certification in all states. However, completing an ACEND-accredited academic program alone does not qualify an individual for licensure or certification as a dietitian in any state. Individuals should review their state's licensing statutes and regulations to understand the specific requirements, including supervised practice and examinations, needed to obtain a dietetics license.

More information about state licensure and certification can be found at the Commission on Dietetic Registration State Licensure information page.

Influence the Health of Your Community

Madonna University’s Nutrition and Dietetics Coordinated Program (NDCP) provides two pathways for students to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) working in clinical, community, athletic and corporate settings with diverse groups of clients. The program has two pathways: 

Pathway 1: Students who have undergraduate degrees in fields other than dietetics should apply for the MS Nutrition and Dietetics Program

Pathway 2: Students who have undergraduate degrees in dietetics from ACEND accredited programs and a Master's degree should apply for the Nutrition and Dietetics Graduate Certificate.

Program Mission, Goals and Learning Outcomes


The mission of the Madonna University Nutrition and Dietetics Coordinated Program is to combine didactic and practice experiences that prepare graduates for qualified practitioner and professional leadership roles in a variety of employment settings and instill in graduates a core value of community service.

Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: Madonna University NDCP graduates will be prepared for successful entry-level dietetics employment in a variety of settings. 

Objective 1.1: Supervised practice preceptors will rate students as competent or very competent upon completion of practice experience at least 80% of the time. 

Objective 1.2: The program’s one year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR Registration Examination for Dietitians will be at least 80% 

Objective 1.3: At least 80% of program graduates will rate satisfaction with their employment at least a 7 on a 10-point scale on the survey of program graduates. 

Goal 2: Madonna University NDCP graduates will be prepared to become leaders in the profession of dietetics.  

Objective 2.1: On the survey of program graduates, 60% of graduates will report that they have attended a professional conference related to health, nutrition, or food in the past two years.  

Objective 2.2: On the survey of program graduates, 60% of the graduates will indicate that they have served the profession of dietetics in a leadership position, as a mentor to dietetic students and/or by serving as a preceptor within 5 years of graduation.  

*Program outcomes data available upon request.

Supervised Practice Experiences (SPEs)

As part of the program, students will take 6 SPE courses where they obtain hands-on experience in settings as wide ranging as clinical sites, grocery stores and athletic locations. Students will complete 1000 hours of supervised practice experience.  Students who successfully complete the NDCP will be eligible to take the National Registration Examination for Dietitians for RDN certification.

For more information about the ACEND accreditation standards visit The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Flexible Program Structure

Students in the Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics program benefit from a combination of teaching approaches, small classes, and online instruction. This immersive hybrid format provides flexibility and increased access for those balancing busy schedules.

Review the complete Program curriculum, which includes a capstone research project.  

Career Outlook for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the dietitian and nutritionist professional field is projected to grow over the next decade, reflecting the demand in a wide variety of settings from private practice to hospitals to community centers.

Career opportunities for graduates who pursue the R.D.N. credential include:

  • Clinical dietitian
  • Corporate wellness dietitian
  • Nutritional counselor
  • Diabetes educator
  • Food service manager
  • Director-level roles in governmental programs
  • Sports dietitian

Madonna’s Office of Career Development is dedicated to supporting you in preparing for career opportunities upon graduation.

Madonna Alumni Fuel the Detroit Tigers

Two Madonna Alumni with a Detroit Tigers Nutritionist photographed together at a Tigers event

Mackenzie Gurne, Maureen Stoecklein, Alyssa Benvenuti

Maureen Stoecklin , Performance Nutrition Director for the Detroit Tigers teams up with Mackenzie and Alyssa to implement nutrition plans to help the Detroit Tigers reach peak performance. Stoecklin manages all food served to coaches and players at home and away, oversees supplement use, completes nutrition assessments and provides counseling to players. Gurne and Benvenuti create healthy meals and snacks to assist players in meeting their nutritional goals.

Pathway to RDN: A Student's Journey

Student Success

Sports Nutrition

Karlie Kelly

Karlie Kelly MS, RDN earned her undergraduate degree in Dietetics and an MS in Nutrition and Wellness at Madonna University. As a graduate student, she held the position of a graduate assistant coach for the Madonna University women’s volleyball team.

Karlie went on to complete her dietetic internship at The Ohio State University, a program specializing in sports nutrition. Since then, she has joined the team at Mercy Elite Sports Performance in Livonia, Michigan as their full-time performance dietitian.

Admission Requirements

Applications: Applying for the Nutrition and Dietetics Coordinated Program:

The following criteria need to be met to be considered for admission for Pathway 1:

  1.  Possession of a bachelor degree from an institution-accredited college or university (or foreign equivalent), with an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. 
  2.   A cumulative overall G.P.A of 3.0 or higher from ALL colleges and universities attended.
  3.  Successful completion with a grade of C or higher of the equivalent undergraduate courses:  NFS 2270 Human Nutrition, NFS 3390 Nutrition Education and Counseling,  NFS 4960 Experimental Foods and Research, NFS 4460 Management of Food and Nutrition Services, CHM 1110 General Chemistry, CHM 1610 Life Chemistry or CHM 2210 Organic Chemistry, CHM 3610 Biochemistry, BIO 2250 Human Physiology, BIO 2270 Microbiology for the Health Sciences, SOC 1010 Sociology, MTH 2350 Probability and Statistics, MGT 2360 Principles of Management. 
  4. Two letters of recommendation from current employer or professional associates familiar with the applicant’s work or college performance.
  5. Resume 
  6. Submission of a statement of purpose or research interests related to nutrition and dietetics.
  7. Interview with the Department Chair of Nutrition and Dietetics.

For admission to Pathway 2, students need to meet all criteria for Pathway 1 plus be in possession of a verification statement from an ACEND-accredited didactic program and a master's degree from a regionally-accredited college or university (or foreign equivalent) with a graduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Find out more about Madonna University's graduate admission requirements.

See the "NDCP Student Handbook" (click on the Student Handbook button in the left hand column) for more information on how to apply to the NDCP Program. The student handbook  contains information about financial aid, estimated program costs (tuition, fees, books, supplies, transportation, room and board), the NDCP Prior Learning Policy and other program-specific details.

See the "NDCP Student Handbook" (click on the Student Handbook button in the left hand column) for program curriculum and sample plans of study including timelines for completion of the NDCP.

The Madonna University Academic Calendar can be found by clicking here.

Get started requesting more information or submitting your application!

nutrition grad

Working in the food laboratory

Graduate students take turns teaching a class that includes a food component.


Nutrition and Wellness

Gain experience investigating current nutritional issues related to intuitive eating, obesity, aging, athletic performance, food sustainability and motivating clients to make change.  

Learn More

Faculty Bios

Karen Schmitz, Ph.D., R.D.N.Department Chair, Nutrition and Dietetics,
Professor, Graduate Student Advisor

Ph.D. Michigan State University

M.S. Iowa State University

B.S. University of Iowa

Dietetic Internship, University of Michigan School of Public Health



Franciscan Center S217-U

Karen Schmitz, Ph.D., R.D.N.

Dr. Schmitz is a former Peace Corps volunteer who became interested in the field of nutrition while working as a high school science teacher in Lesotho, Africa. She is a Registered Dietitian who has worked in the areas of research, nutrition education and nutritional counseling. She enjoys teaching courses in Nutrition Assessment, Medical Nutrition Therapy, Nutrient Metabolism and Capstone Research. She has been active in many professional associations related to nutrition and dietetics, most recently serving on the board of the Michigan Dietetic Educators and Preceptors.

She has served as a reviewer for several nutrition textbooks and on advisory boards for dietetic internships. Her recent research includes collaborating with nursing faculty on the project titled, "Teaching Nutrition Screening and Assessment of the Geriatric Patient: An Inter-professional Approach." In addition, she has worked with many students on research projects related to fat replacers, sugar substitutes, oil absorption and consumer acceptability of food products.

Several of these students have presented their research and won awards at the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Conference.

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Laura Kull, M.S., R.D.N, FANDProgram Director, Undergraduate Nutrition and Dietetics
Assistant Professor

M.S. University of Michigan

B.S. Michigan State University

Dietetic Internship, University of Michigan School of Public Health



Academic Building 1502A

Laura Kull, M.S., R.D.N, FAND

Laura Freeland Kull, MS, RDN is the Director of the Nutrition and Dietetics Program. She started at Madonna University as an adjunct faculty member in 1997 and joined as a full time faculty member and director in 2008. She completed her undergraduate degree in Dietetics at Michigan State University and her Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetic Internship at University of Michigan Ann Arbor. Her interests include food system sustainability, environmental nutrition, food insecurity, community and life span nutrition. Laura has worked in clinical nutrition specializing in nutrition support in the long term care population. She is an active member in the dietetics profession.

She has served on the board of the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Michigan Nutrition and Dietetics Institute and the Southeastern Michigan Dietetic Association. She is the recipient of multiple awards including the Michigan Dietetic Association’s Outstanding Educator, the Michigan Dietetic Association’s Registered Dietitian of the Year, The Michigan Dietetic Association Award, the Southeastern Michigan Association Distinguished Service Award and the Volunteer of the Year for the St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center.

Laura is also the faculty advisor of the Madonna University student government organizations: the Nutrition Network and the Food Recovery Network.

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Tina Miller, M.S., R.D.N., FANDProgram Director, Nutrition and Dietetics Coordinated Program
Assistant Professor

M.S. Eastern Michigan University

B. S. Madonna University

Dietetic Internship, DMC



Franciscan Center 217P

Tina Miller, M.S., R.D.N., FAND

Tina (Christina) Miller has over 30 years of experience in the field of nutrition and dietetics. Her career has focused on consumer wellness education, academic teaching, mentoring and professional service.  At Madonna, Tina has a focus on new program development and course instruction. In addition to teaching, her work experience includes positions in Food and Clinical Nutrition Management, Retail Nutrition and Community Outreach.  

Ms. Miller is an active member in the dietetics profession. She has served in many leadership positions in state and national Dietetics Associations, including Past-President of the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Tina served as an advisory board member for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation assisting in the development of “Nutrition in Food Retail” Curriculum for Dietetic Students and Interns.  In 2021 Tina was honored by Eastern Michigan University with an Alumni Achievement Award.  

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