The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree curriculum in Nutrition (With a coordinated program in Dietetics) enables students to meet the didactic and supervised practice requirements for registration eligibility in dietetics. The purpose of registration is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public by encouraging high standards of performance by persons practicing in nutrition and dietetics. Students in the MPH coordinated program may establish eligibility to write the registration examination to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) by completing this program.


Connect with Celine Heskey, Program Director, at

Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with the MPH

Our program is an accredited coordinated program, which means that students complete both didactic instruction (MPH Nutrition degree along with relevant corequisites) and 1100 hours of supervised practice (1. Public Health Practicum; 2. Food Systems Management Affiliation; 3. Clinical Nutrition Affiliation; 4. Practice within designated classes and labs) within the program. Once they have met all degree and non-degree requirements for the coordinated program and successfully graduated from the program, they will be eligible to take the credentialing exam. To become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), individuals must take a credentialing examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). The requirements to be eligible for the CDR credentialing exam include meeting the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) requirements through didactic instruction and supervised practice experience. Before program completion, students will be required to submit a graduation petition to the School of Public Health Academic Programs Office. Non-degree requirements include a comprehensive examination (public health nutrition) and culmination experience. You can view more information about the non-degree requirements in the catalog.

For more information on registration eligibility requirements for RDNs, click here. RDN state licensure information can be found here.

I am very grateful to the professors at LLUSPH who have challenged me and provided me with continual learning opportunities. They care for their students beyond academics and encourage us to be the best versions of ourselves in all aspects.

Our Mission

The mission of the Nutrition and Dietetics Program is to prepare students to become competent entry-level dietetic professionals to meet Seventh-day Adventist and other global needs. We do so with a commitment to further the healing and teaching ministry of Jesus Christ “to make man whole.”


The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995
1-800-877-1600 extension 5400
ACEND website

Program Goals

Program Goal 1:

  • The program will prepare students to be competent graduates who are eligible to write the Registration Examination for Dietitians to become entry-level practitioners.

Program Specific Objective:

  • The post-graduate surveys will reflect that 80 percent of graduates are utilizing skills to promote health and/or prevent disease.

ACEND Specific Objectives:

  • Eighty percent of students will successfully complete 100% of specified degree requirements within 150 percent of expected degree completion.
  • The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
  • Seventy percent of employers will rate the preparation of graduates of the Coordinated Program in Nutrition and Dietetics as satisfactory for entry-level practice.
  • Eighty percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.

Program Goal 2:

  • Provide professionally-trained Registered dietitians with either an emphasis in medical nutrition therapy or public health nutrition who may be employed by or contribute to the healthcare and educational systems of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, or local, national, or international entities.  (Students in SAHP are educated with an emphasis in medical nutrition therapy.  Students in SPH are educated with an emphasis in public health nutrition.)

Program Specific Objective:

  • Sixty percent of Program graduates will contribute to the community and/or provide professional leadership in the field of Dietetics within 5 years of graduation.

ACEND Specific Objective:

  • Of graduates who seek employment, 80 percent are employed in nutrition and  dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the integration of biological mechanisms underlying the effect of food and nutrients on individual and population health outcomes.
  • Function independently and collaboratively as a leader or member of a team to plan, manage, and evaluate public health nutrition interventions.
  • Critically analyze studies and nutrition and dietetics evidence-based guidelines for public health prevention, nutrition interventions, and research.
  • Evaluate public policies and processes related to food and nutrition, and explore their impact on health outcomes.
  • Examine the role of vegetarian dietary practices on human health, the environment, and ecology.
  • Apply the nutrition care process consistent with competencies defined by the ACEND.

Our program outcomes data are available upon request: 

Getting Started on Your Application

Admissions Requirements

  • A baccalaureate degree or equivalent from an institutionally accredited college or university, with a G.P.A. of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale.
  • The GRE is not required for applicants who meet the admissions criteria. If an applicant does not meet the minimum G.P.A. requirements, the GRE is required in order for the application to be considered. Applicant may be interviewed by program director and/or faculty.
  • At least three academic and/or employer references.
  • As part of the application process, applicants may be invited to participate in our interview process.
  • Religious affiliation is not a requirement; but students are expected to adhere to on-campus requirements of modest dress, abstinence from alcohol and smoking, and attendance at weekly chapel.


  • General chemistry
  • Organic chemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Human nutrition or equivalent

Assessment of Prior Learning Policy

Specific corequisites (NUTR 490, NUTR 526, DCTS 566, DTCS 575) may be waived at the discretion of the program director if certain criteria are met, including:

  1. The course(s) being substituted were completed as part of a DPD program or from a DPD program
  2. The final grade for the course is a ‘B’ or better (All official transcripts are expected to be submitted to Loma Linda University prior to the first quarter registration in the program).
  3. The course syllabus is submitted to the program director for instructor review and is approved by the instructor as meeting the expectations in terms of content and competencies. 
  4. The university policy and procedures for course waivers are met.

How to Apply

For prospective applicants planning to apply for Fall 2025, please note that ACEND is requiring all accredited programs to abide by the following policy:

  • Our program will be required to send a decision regarding acceptance by March 1.
  • If you are accepted into the program, you will be required to confirm or decline the acceptance by March 15.
  • The March 1 and 15 dates will be the same every year.
  • 2024-2025 application cycle (for those applying for Fall 2025), the application deadline will be early in 2025. The application is to be submitted via SOPHAS. Please check back for updates soon.
  • 2025-2026 application cycle and beyond (for those applying for Fall 2026 and after that), the application is to be submitted via DICAS. Additional details to follow in the future.

Applications are to be submitted via SOPHAS and Loma Linda University (secondary application supplied after submission of SOPHAS application). 

Contact to review your prerequisites and if you have questions regarding the admissions process.

International Student Requirements

Must have:

  • Evaluation of international transcripts.


Financial Aid, Scholarships, & Assistance

  • Information on financial aid can be accessed through student services.
  • Federal Work-Study positions are available for students. More information can be found here.
  • Graduate assistantships: Occasionally positions may be available for students to assist faculty with research or teaching.
  • Scholarships: Information on scholarships is available through the Loma Linda University Financial Aid office, and also through the School of Public Health Finance office.

Program Cost

Get details on the standard cost of attendance on the LLU website.

If you have your RDN already

If you are already a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, learn more about our Master of Science in Plant-Based Nutrition program.

Pre-entrance Health Requirements/Immunizations

  • TB/PPD skin test
  • Hepatitis B vaccine
  • Varicella vaccine
  • TdaP
  • Tetanus/Diphtheria booster (within last 10 years)
  • MMR

Other health requirements/Immunizations for rotations

  • Hepatitis A vaccine 
  • COVID-19 vaccine
    • Policy required by ACEND:

      • As COVID-19 enters an endemic phase, it is becoming typical for supervised practice sites to require vaccination with booster and/or frequent testing for students/interns. At some sites, it is possible that an alternative to vaccination may not be available. As an educational and training partner, it is our responsibility to comply with all of our clinical site requirements as outlined in our affiliation agreements. It also is our responsibility to comply with the requirements of a clinical site that may not be stated in the affiliation agreement. A clinical site has the right to set standards for their facilities to comply with regulations and protocols governing its operations, including the health and safety of patients and all who enter or work at the clinical site.

    • For our students, this means:

      1. You may be required to show evidence of a COVID-19 vaccination. If a site provides an alternative to vaccination including but limited to frequent testing and/or additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), you must comply with the alternative as required by the site to participate in your supervised practice/rotations.

      2. If a site requires vaccination with no alternative, then clinical coordinators will work with program directors to identify vaccinated students and make fair assignments to clinical sites, assuming there are other placement options available.

      3. If the student fails or refuses to timely provide proof of vaccination to a clinical facility requiring it and the student is not granted an accommodation by the clinical site, then the student may not be able to fulfill the clinical requirements of the program, resulting in a graduation delay or failure to complete requirements for graduation.


Other Requirements and Information to Consider

  • Basic Life Support certificate is required for duration of the program and may be acquired while in the program (not before) – the course has to be an American Heart Association (AHA) course. The course is available on campus.
  • Liability Insurance: Students are covered by malpractice insurance while acting within the course and scope of any approved clinical assignment.
  • Student membership with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from supervised practice sites.
  • Professional length white-lab coat – at least one is required for certain labs and rotations. 
  • LLU Student health service provides access to medical exams and drug testing as needed.

Meet the Program Director

Celine Heskey, DrPH, MS, RDN

Meet the Faculty