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Comprehensive Exam

The date for the Comprehensive Exam is October 15, 2015,
for students who are graduating in Fall 2015.

Comprehensive Exam Application Form

Comprehensive Exam Information

**To be eligible to take the comprehensive exam, you must be enrolled in a class at MSU during the semester you want to take it.**

Exam Procedures:

In order to remain consistent with on-campus students, exams are given in two sessions, each lasting three hours. In session one, questions for FNH/PE 8523, FNH/PE 8613, and FNH/PE 8653 will be given. In session two, questions for FNH/PE 8513 and FNH/PE 8553 will be given. On-campus students complete their exams from 9:00 AM-12:00 PM and from 1:00 PM-4:00 PM. You must complete your answers using a computer. Answers must be formatted in Microsoft Word. You may use a computer at the proctor’s location or provide your own laptop. Please include answers to each set of questions in a file named with the course number for those questions. Upon completion of the exam, all Word files should be attached and emailed immediately to Dr. Hunt at bhunt@fsnhp.msstate.edu no later than 10:00 AM (CST) on October 16, 2015.


Exams will be graded on a pass/fail basis. Each instructor grades the answers for his/her own course. Students will be notified by Dr. Hunt of their results as soon as possible. It usually takes approximately one week for exams to be graded and results reported.


  1. You may not use any outside materials or references when completing your exam.
  2. Since the exams are graded on a pass/fail basis, it is very important that you provide as thorough an answer as possible for each question. All questions require written answers (essay, listing, etc.). Be sure to respond in the manner asked for in the question.
  3. Per MSU policy, students’ not passing the comprehensive exam may be dismissed from their graduate program OR offered an opportunity to remediate their answers. The decision to dismiss a student or allow remediation is at the discretion of program faculty.
  4. Prepare as thoroughly as you can for comprehensive exams. If you have any questions prior to the exam, contact your instructor for that course, Dr. Hunt, or Dr. Oliver.

    Last Name A-L: Dr. Brittney Oliver at boliver@fsnhp.msstate.edu
    Last Name M-Z: Dr. Barry Hunt at bhunt@fsnhp.msstate.edu

Military/Veteran’s Assistance

If you are on active duty in the military or are a veteran, please visit the G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans for more information on receiving support.

The Center for America’s Veterans provides counseling for students who are eligible for veteran’s educational benefits. The office helps students apply for benefits, provides information, and serves as a liaison between the veteran and the VA Regional Processing Office.

Students who wish to receive VA educational assistance for the first time should contact the Veteran’s Benefits Counselor, Melanie Owens at 662-325-2024 or mowens@saffairs.msstate.edu to determine which forms need to be completed.

Academic Advising

After gaining admission to the university, you must contact your advisor to determine the courses most appropriate for your individual needs. Your advisor will provide continuing support to students throughout the program.

Students with the last name beginning A-L, contact:
Dr. Brittney Oliver - boliver@fsnhp.msstate.edu
Assistant Professor of Health Promotion

Dr. Oliver has a B.S. in Psychology, M.S. in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (Health Concentration), and Ph.D. in Human Performance from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Health disparities among vulnerable and ethnically/racially diverse populations locally, nationally, and internationally have been the primary focus of Dr. Oliver’s scholarly pursuits.

Students with the last name beginning M-Z, contact:
Dr. Barry P. Hunt - bhunt@fsnhp.msstate.edu
Professor of Health Promotion / Health Promotion Program Director

Dr. Hunt has a B.S. in school health education from Troy State University in Troy, Alabama, and master’s and doctoral degrees in health studies from the University of Alabama. Previously an evaluation consultant for Alabama Power Company’s "Good Health Makes Sense" program, Dr. Hunt directs the health program at MSU.

Need Help?

Marian Montgomery
Lead Coordinator
Center for Distance Education
215 Memorial Hall
Email:  mmontgomery@distance.msstate.edu
Phone: 662.325.0238
Fax: 662.325.2657

Dr. Barry Hunt
Program Director and Professor
Health Promotion
160 Herzer Building
Email: bhunt@fsnhp.msstate.edu
Phone: 662.325.7230
Fax:  662.325.8728


Some courses require a textbook. Please check with your instructor. Textbooks are available from the Barnes and Noble Bookstore and are typically available two to three weeks before classes begin.

Financial Assistance

As a distance student, you are eligible for Financial Aid. Please contact Ms. Vickie Edmonds in the Department of Student Financial Aid at vbe1@msstate.edu for information about requirements.

Refund Schedule

For information about refunds in dropping a class or withdrawing from the university, please visit the Refund Schedule.

Refund and Course Credit Policy for Student Members of the Military Called to Active Duty or Deployed can be found in Academic Operating Policy 12.32.

Student Accounts

To view your billing statement, navigate to myState, enter your NetID and NetPassword, select the Banner tab, look under the Personal Information column on the right-hand side, then select VIEW YOUR BILLING STATEMENT.

If you have questions concerning your billing statement, please contact Student Account Services at (662) 325-2071.

Specific information regarding payment deadlines and service charges is available on the Manage Account page.

Program of Study

Students also need to fill out and send their Graduate Program of Study to their advisor by the end of their first semester.

Tuition and Fees

Current tuition and fees are listed under "Distance Education Campus" on the Office of the Controller and Treasurer’s fee table.

Other Distance Fees will apply.

Course Registration

Students must meet ALL of the following criteria before attempting to register for distance classes.

  1. Only students fully admitted into the university are eligible to register for distance classes. Students unsure of their admission status should contact Kathy Griffin in Graduate Admissions at kgriffin@grad.msstate.edu.
  2. All fully admitted students should consult with their graduate advisor prior to registering for classes to ensure courses they wish to take will help fulfill degree requirements. Courses taken without proper advisor approval may or may not be applied to a student’s program of study.
  3. Classified students’ wishing to register for distance classes will need a Registration Access Code (RAC number). If you have not received your RAC number by email, please contact your advisor.
  4. Unclassified students should contact Pam Sullivan in the Office of the Graduate School to register for classes: pps9@grad.msstate.edu Please include your NetID, what classes (ex. FNH 6353 501) your advisor has recommended for you to take, and in what semester you want to take them.

Online Registration:

All distance students can register online through Banner. Students will need the following information in order to complete the online registration process:

  1. Log into Banner Web at myState.
  2. Complete the Secured Access Login by entering your NetID and password. Select the "BANNER tab" near the top of the page.
  3. Under My Banner for Students / Registration, choose "Register for Classes."
  4. Select the term in which you wish to register.
  5. Enter your Registration Access Code (RAC number).
  6. Choose "Add/Drop Classes".
  7. You will now be prompted to enter the course symbol (FNH 8351: 501), and number (FNH 8351) of the course for which you wish to register.
  8. Please select Distance Learning campus from the drop-down box to register. Once you have selected the appropriate campus, you may view the "Show Sections for Selected Course."
  9. Click on the appropriate section (e.g. 501) of the course for which you wish to register and select "ADD." The selected course will then be added to your class schedule. You may add additional courses by repeating this process.
  10. When your schedule is displayed on the screen, you can print a copy by selecting the print button at the top of the page.

Apply for Degree

Prior to graduating from the Master of Science program all students must apply for a degree. The application can be found online in the myState portal. Log in and choose the Banner tab.  Apply for a Degree is listed under the Academic Records menu.

*** Comprehensive examinations must have been successfully completed, all transfer credit accepted, transcripts received, and all fees paid in order to be eligible to graduate.

All dates are subject to change. Please consult the Academic Calendar.

Department of Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion

If you are interested in taking classes at our Starkville, MS campus, please visit the Department of Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion’s home page for more information about their main campus offerings.

Office of the Graduate School

To view the Graduate Bulletin, read announcements, and much more, visit the Office of the Graduate School’s website.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many hours are required to graduate?

33 hours are required to graduate in both the thesis and non-thesis options

What if I don’t want to take the thesis route?

Non-thesis track students complete the FNH 7000 Directed Individual Study in lieu of a thesis. This is a flexible, independent project devised by the student in consultation with and approved by his or her advisor.  Students typically take FNH 7000 after successful completion of all Core classes during the last semester of the program. Projects should entail demonstration of knowledge, skills, and competencies developed in the Core classes of the program. Most students choose to complete program assessment, design implementation, and/or evaluation projects to meet this requirement; however, one of our main goals is to help students conduct projects of interest to them and helpful to them in developing skills necessary to be successful in the field. Therefore, considerable flexibility is utilized in approving projects. Students should contact their advisor the semester before registering for FNH 7000 in order to develop a workable project idea.

Is the program totally online?

Yes, the program is a totally online program. You do not need to visit campus for any part of the program.

If I have a lot of work experience, do I have to take the GRE?

Yes, all prospective students applying for classified admission must take the GRE or send an official GRE score taken within the last five years.

Does the degree state that I received it through distance or online?

No. Your degree would look and read the same as main campus students. Master of Science in Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion.

Can I teach with this degree?

You will need to check with the state department of education in your state.

Do I need to have majored in one of the sciences in order to succeed at the graduate level?

There are no required prerequisite courses. The program is designed to take students from an initial orientation to current concepts in the profession through program development, implementation, and evaluation.

Is there an exit exam?

All students must successfully complete comprehensive examinations before being awarded the degree of Master of Science in Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion with a Health Promotion concentration. The student must be within six (6) hours of graduation, have completed all core courses, and have a 3.00 GPA after admission to the program to apply for comprehensive examinations.

Who do I contact about my application status?

Please contact Kathy Griffin in Graduate Admissions at kgriffin@grad.msstate.edu.

How do I register for distance learning courses?

Please check with your advisor first to ensure you are taking the correct courses. You may register online at MyBanner.

How do I drop a course or withdraw from the university?

Please contact your advisor.

For more information on Distance Education, please visit the Distance Frequently Asked Questions page.


Health promotion is one of the fastest growing areas
of employment in the United States.

To learn more about what the Bureau of Labor Statistics says about Health Educators’ career outlook, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To find more career opportunities, visit the following links:

Graduates of our program work in a variety of settings:

Certified Health Education Specialist

The coursework in this program has been developed around the competencies required to become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). CHES credentialing is available through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing and gives health educators a competitive edge in the field.

For more information: NCHEC

Transfer Credit

Students may transfer up to nine (9) hours of graduate level credits from regionally accredited institutions. The decision to grant transfer credit is made by the advisor and the student’s graduate committee. If you wish to transfer credits, contact your advisor. You will need to provide an official transcript showing the courses you wish to transfer. Transcripts should be sent to your advisor at P.O. Box 9805, Mississippi State, MS 39762.

There is one class in the Master of Science program that typically requires students to transfer credit. The Statistics credit (KI 8313 Interpretation of Data in Kinesiology) is usually replaced by a transfer class. Students may take a distance class from another institution or use an on-campus class at MSU or another institution. Before enrolling in a Statistics credit at any other institution, be sure to contact your advisor for approval of the course you plan to take.


Once enrolled in graduate study, a student who subsequently does not enroll for three consecutive semesters (excluding summer) must reapply in order to register again. The student must also submit to the Graduate Office, one official transcript from each college or university attended since he or she last attended MSU, and pay a $60 non-refundable application processing fee.

Provisional Admission

A student who has not fully met the requirements stipulated by the University and the department for admission to graduate study may be granted admission as a degree-seeking graduate student with provisional status. Such student must have as his/her initial objective advancement to regular status. A provisional student must receive a 3.00 GPA on the first nine hours of graduate level courses on the program of study taken at Mississippi State University (transfer hours or unclassified graduate hours will not apply) in order to achieve regular status. If a 3.00 is not attained, the provisional student will be dismissed from graduate study.

International Unclassified Admissions:

Only NINE hours of course work taken as an "Unclassified Student" can be applied toward a degree program. All Unclassified students should submit a Classified application once they have reached the maximum of nine hours. Full admission into the MS in Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion Distance Program will be based upon successful completion of all Classified admissions requirements.

If you are applying unclassified, select "Graduate School - Unclassified" as the college.

  1. Submit online application
  2. TOEFL or IELTS scores
  3. One copy of academic records showing degree(s) (in native language along with translated copies, if appropriate)
  4. One official transcript showing bachelor’s degree or progress toward degree
  5. Must obtain application approval from the Dean of the Graduate School
  6. Pay $60 non-refundable application processing fee

Domestic Unclassified Admissions:

Only NINE hours of course work taken as an "Unclassified Student" can be applied toward a degree program. All Unclassified students should submit a Classified application once they have reached the maximum of nine hours. Full admission into the MS in Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion Distance Program will be based upon successful completion of all Classified admissions requirements.

If you are applying unclassified, select "Graduate School - Unclassified" as the college.

  1. Submit online application
  2. One official transcript showing bachelor’s degree or progress toward degree
  3. Pay $60 non-refundable application processing fee

Domestic/International Classified Admissions:

  1. Submit online application
  2. Statement of Purpose
    • Provide two to three paragraphs on who you are, why you want your MS in FSNHP, and why you selected Mississippi State University’s Distance program. You may even discuss your past academic performance and what that says about your ability to succeed in a graduate-level program.
  3. Three letters of recommendation
    • You will be asked to submit three names and three email addresses of individuals you are using as references. Once you click submit, these individuals will be sent an email from MSU, which will provide a link to an online form for completing their recommendations.
  4. GRE scores are required for domestic students; TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for international students
    • The department evaluates the overall admissions packet in considering a student for the program.
  5. One official transcript showing bachelor’s degree or progress toward degree (For international students, please submit a copy in native language along with translated copies, if appropriate.)
  6. One official transcript showing ALL work after bachelor’s degree (For international students, please submit a copy in native language along with translated copies, if appropriate.)
    • Electronic transcripts should be sent to: Mississippi State University, Graduate School. Only one copy of an electronic transcript is required.
    • Paper transcripts should be mailed to:
    • Mississippi State University
      The Office of the Graduate School
      P.O. Box G
      Mississippi State, MS 39762
      Physical Street Address (for DHL, Fed Ex, UPS, DHS, etc.):
      Mississippi State University
      Office of the Graduate School
      175 President Circle
      116 Allen Hall
      Mississippi State, MS 39762
  7. Payment of $60 non-refundable application processing fee
  8. Once you are admitted, you will receive an email with complete instructions on registering for classes and contacting your advisor

Application Process

For full admission to the Master of Science in Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion with a Health Promotion concentration distance program, students must complete the process for Classified Admission online.

Mississippi State University is not authorized and is not seeking authorization in the State of Minnesota to offer distance education courses to Minnesota students.  Accordingly, we are unable to offer our distance education courses to students residing in this state.


To be eligible for admission to this degree program at Mississippi State University, a student must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, a minimum GPA of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale over four years of undergraduate work or 3.00 GPA over the last two years of undergraduate work for regular admission. Applicants must have taken the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). International students are required a minimum TOEFL score of 550 on the Paper-based Test (PBT) or 173 on the Computer-based Test (CBT) or 79 on the Internet-based Test (IBT) or 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Do you want to help STAMP OUT DISEASES?

The Department of Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion offers a master’s degree with an emphasis in Health Promotion through distance learning at the Center for Distance Education at Mississippi State University.

Health promotion is one of the fastest growing areas of employment in the United States. Dr. Barry Hunt, MSU Professor of Health Promotion and Health Promotion Program Director, points out that "as the emphasis in healthcare increasingly shifts toward a more prevention-oriented focus, it is anticipated that job opportunities will become even more prevalent. Our graduates currently work in a number of health fields, including school, community, worksite, federal government, voluntary health agencies, military, hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation, and more." In fact, some of our students have been employed by the CDC, WHO, and the Public Health Prevention Service.

Students may begin taking courses at the start of any semester. Click on the above tabs for more information. We hope to hear from you soon!

Course Descriptions

Research Methods (9 -12 hours)

Core Courses (15 hours)

Electives (6 – 9 hours)