The School Nutrition Director Certification Program (SNDCP) is designed for individuals who are employed as School Nutrition Directors or Coordinators.

This is a graduate-level certification program.  We do not grant a degree or certificate upon completion of the program.  Students completing the program requirements are recommended for certification to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC). The GaPSC awards School Nutrition Director certification. The program requires 24 hours of courses in nutrition, nutrition education, school nutrition program management, human resources, food safety and sanitation, and research methods. Other requirements include ServSafe® Food Safety and Food Allergen Certifications and completion of a 500-hour field experience, met via concurrent employment.  A Master's degree in a closely related field from any GaPSC-approved accredited institution is also required before being recommended for certification.  

The Department of Foods and Nutrition offers an online Master’s degree which is well suited for those who are pursuing School Nutrition Director certification.  Please visit our website for information about the online Master’s of Science, Community Nutrition.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition for courses in the program are assessed at the Graduate Standard Rate for Master and PhD Candidates. Current tuition rates can be found here.  Fees information can be found here. As a non-degree student, you are only assessed the Connect UGA fee, Green Fee, Technology Fee and a Special Institutional Fee.  If you have questions about tuition and fees, you may contact the Bursar's Office at (706) 542-2965. 

Program of Study

An individualized program of study is prepared for each student upon admittance to the program. We will assess previous academic coursework and allow course exemptions as appropriate. All courses are offered in an online format. 

Course Number,Title  and Hours   Course Description Course Availability

FDNS 7950E

School Nutrition Field Experience I (1)

Participation in sequenced activities in a School Nutrition setting via concurrent employment.

Offered fall and spring semester.  Must be taken the first semester offered once admitted.  

FDNS 6050E

Optimal Nutrition for the Life Span (3)

Nutritional needs of infants, young children, adolescents, pregnant and lactating women, and middle-aged and elderly people. Offered fall, spring, and summer.

FDNS 6770E

Managing School Nutrition Programs (4)

Principles of managing school nutrition programs including federal, state, and local regulations; planning appealing and nutritious meals for children; budget management; human resources management; organizational leadership; marketing and communications; planning, assessment, and evaluation of programs.

Offered spring  

Should be taken before FDNS 6670E

Required course, must be taken at UGA

FDNS 6665E

Childhood and Adolescent Nutrition(3)

Nutritional needs of children from early childhood through adolescence. Conditions relevant to child and adolescent nutrition, such as food allergies, obesity, and eating disorders, will be discussed. The role of parents, schools, media, and the community in relation to childhood nutrition will also be examined. Offered summer semester. 

 FDNS 6640E

Food Safety and Sanitation (3)

Safe food handling for foodservice and the consumer, with emphasis on causes and prevention of foodborne 

Offered fall semester.

FDNS 6620E

 Management of Foodservice Organizations (2)

Organizational structure and management of human resources in food and nutrition care service delivery.  Offered fall semester.

ERSH 6200E

Methods of
Research in Education (3)

Diverse research approaches used in behavioral science settings, including critical review and interpretation of published research. Check schedule of course offerings (Athena).

FDNS 7970E

School Nutrition Field Experience II (1)

Documentation of on-site participation in job-related activities in a School Nutrition setting via concurrent employment. Requires 500-hours of verified employment upon completion. Offered fall and spring semester.

FDNS 6670E

Nutrition Intervention (4)

Critical examination of multiple nutrition intervention strategies used in clinical and community settings. Emphasis is placed on systematic analysis of nutrition-related health problems and interventions designed to address them. A major focus will be on developing a comprehensive nutrition intervention program for a selected target group.

Offered Spring

Should be taken at end of Program

Required course, must be taken at UGA

Completion Requirements

Master's Degree

For SND certification, you must have a Master’s degree in a closely related field from a GaPSC-approved accredited institution.

ServSafe® Food Safety Certification

ServSafe® Food Safety certification must be current at time of completion.

ServSafe® Food Allergens Certificate of Completion

ServSafe® Food Allergen certification must be current at time of completion.

500-Hour Field Experience

SNDCP students are required to complete a 500-hour field experience.  This requirement is documented via enrollment in two 1-credit hour School Nutrition Field Experience courses.  The field experience must be completed before a recommendation for certification can be forwarded to the GaPSC. 

Upon Completion of SNDCP Requirements

The student is responsible for notifying the SNDCP Director when all requirements have been met. 

  1. Recommendation for certification is sent to the College of Education.
  2. The College of Education submits the recommendation for School Nutrition Director Certification to the GaPSC.
  3. If employed in a school district, work with your HR director to submit the GaPSC certification application and send any additional documentation required directly to the GaPSC.  If not employed in a school district, please submit the GaPSC certification application and send any additional documentation required directly to the GaPSC. (A UGA transcript reflecting SNDCP coursework will be required.  For information on how to request a UGA transcript click here.)
  4. The GaPSC notifies applicants of their decision.

The GaPSC requires receipt of a recommendation for certification within 5 years of program completion.