Master of Science Great Plains IDEA program

The Great Plains IDEA (Interactive Distance Education Alliance) is a consortium of four universities that provides an online 32-credit hour master's degree in dietetics and nutrition. Admission is open to individuals with a bachelor's degree in any field who meet admission requirements. There are some clinical nutrition courses; however, with prerequisites that limit enrollment to credentialed registered dietitians or individuals with verification from an accredited didactic program in dietetics (DPD). Note: Obtaining the DPD verification statement and subsequently completing the MS distance program in dietetics does not qualify one to practice as a Registered Dietitian (RD). Completion of 1000 hours of supervised practice through an ACEND accredited program is also needed before sitting for the exam to be an RD.

Students enroll for all courses through his or her "home" institution, but the actual courses are delivered online from any of the participating universities and their respective faculty members. 

Great Plains IDEA Consortium Members

  • University of Kansas Medical Center

  • North Dakota State University

  • Oklahoma State University

  • University of Nebraska- Lincoln

The program is administered by the KU Department of Dietetics and Nutrition for students selecting the KU Medical Center as his or her "home" institution. Completion of degree requirements depends upon several factors including the semester start date, the specific courses offered each semester, and the student's desired course load each semester. Many students in this program are working professionals with job and family responsibilities, and this program allows the flexibility to take the number of courses that work in the student's schedule.

Taking one to two courses a semester (including summers) should allow students to complete the program in approximately two to four years. More courses may be taken each semester provided they are available. To see the current schedule of course offerings, visit the Great Plains IDEA website and select the course matrix and course information links.

For questions about this program, please contact Kendra Spaeth by email at
Tel: 913-588-5355 (711 TTY)