Dietetics M.S.D.

All students must meet the Requirements for the Master's Degree.


The Master of Science in Dietetics (M.S.D.) Program, housed in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences under the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Vermont, is a 30-hour graduate credit degree that includes didactic coursework, a graduate capstone project, and supervised practice experience culminating in student eligibility to write the exam for Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

The mission of the M.S.D. is to prepare and educate graduate students who will successfully function as an entry-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with specialized knowledge of and ability to apply the principles of sustainable food systems across all professional practice settings. Students will also develop competence in research methodology. Students will take graduate level courses throughout the University of Vermont as well as advanced nutrition courses offered in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences. For more information about the program, please visit the MSD website.

For the core MSD courses (NFS 310NFS 311, NFS 312), there is a weekly mandatory online synchronous class meeting. During the supervised practice experience semesters, NFS 311 and NFS 312 class meetings are held every Monday.

The Master of Science in Dietetics is accredited by:

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

More information about ACEND and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is available at their websites.

Following completion of the supervised practice experience and all requirements for the M.S.D., students will be issued a verification statement of completion of the program and will be eligible to write the exam for Registration Exam for Dietitians. 

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission for the Degree of Master of Science in Dietetics

Minimum GPA of 3.00 in college-level courses with an overall science GPA of 2.50 in required courses with no required science grade less than 2.00. The application deadline is May 1st. For prerequisite admission requirements, please visit the MSD webpage.

Didactic Curriculum

The M.S.D. Program is designed for students who have completed a Didactic Program in Dietetics and have obtained a verification statement from an accredited program (these students would also be eligible to apply for any dietetic internship). Other students without a verification statement may apply following completion of pre-requisite coursework (see the MSD webpage).

Minimum Degree Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Dietetics

Satisfactory completion of 30 credits of graduate-level courses including research methods, statistics, healthcare policy, food systems, ethics, and dietetics practice in addition to all supervised practice requirements. This includes 12 credits of the following required NFS courses:

NFS 310MSD Journal Club2
NFS 311Supervised Practice I4
NFS 312Supervised Practice II4
NFS 392Evidence-based Practice Prjct2

The MSD program director will advise on the remaining courses that should be taken to fulfill the 30-credit requirement.

Supervised Practice Experiences

The supervised practice portion of the curriculum is integrated with graduate course work. During the 2 semesters of supervised practice experience, NFS 311 Dietetics Practice I and NFS 312 Dietetics Practice II are coordinated whereby 2 hours of synchronous class time are held each Monday, and the reminder of the week (Tuesday – Friday) is spent in supervised practice settings  (for a total of at least 32 hours/week).

Between NFS 311 and NFS 312 (at least 150 hours) and the 38 weeks of supervised practice (1216 hours) the M.S.D. Program exceeds the 1200-hour requirement established by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

The program also includes approximately 40 hours of mandatory campus-based orientation to the M.S.D. Program and supervised practice experience. All students will complete 15 weeks in clinical rotations, 7 weeks in foodservice management rotations, and 14 weeks in community rotations, including 2 weeks in a school nutrition program. After completing all rotations, students will select a rotation of their choice for further skill and knowledge development (staff relief). The staff relief rotation must be a minimum of 2 weeks but it can be longer if a student desires and the preceptor agrees.

Community Health and Nutrition Concentration

The M.S.D. Program will prepare entry-level dietetics practitioners with a concentration in community health and nutrition. Students will be prepared to incorporate, promote and support the principles of sustainable food systems across all areas of professional practice.  The sustainable food system thread will be embedded in the curriculum and highlighted throughout the supervised practice experiences. Another priority of the M.S.D. Program is to develop entry-level RDN practitioners with advanced knowledge of food and nutrition assistance programs and supportive services available in communities, and skills in providing seamless nutrition care for all individuals, including patients/clients transitioning from the inpatient/rehab setting to their homes.

Graduation Completion Requirements

M.S.D. students must successfully complete all coursework, the comprehensive exam, supervised practice rotations, and the capstone project in order to receive the M.S.D. degree and verification statement of eligibility to write the exam for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.

Comprehensive Examination

Candidates will prepare a written comprehensive exam that will test their ability to develop systems based solutions to practice problems in all areas of dietetic practice.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Science in Dietetics

Completion of requirements as outlined in program description.