Dietetics M.S.

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

Overview

The Master of Science in Dietetics Program (MSD), 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 fully online didactic coursework, a graduate capstone project, and supervised practice experience culminating in student eligibility to write the exam for Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

The mission is to educate and prepare graduate students who will successfully function as entry-level dietitian nutritionists with specialized knowledge of and the ability to apply the principles of population health across all community health and nutrition 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 6100NFS 6110, NFS 6120), there is a weekly mandatory online synchronous class meeting. During the supervised practice experience semesters, NFS 6110 and NFS 6120 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 MSD, 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 February 15th. For prerequisite admission requirements, please visit the MSD webpage.

Didactic Curriculum

The MSD 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

The MSD is a 2-year, 30 credit hour Master's degree program which includes the following coursework: MSD Journal Club (2 credits), MSD Supervised Practice I (4 credits), MSD Supervised Practice II (4 credits), Evidence-based practice project (2 credits), Fundamentals of Critical Inquiry (3 credits), Biostatistics (3 credits), Pharmacology (3 credits), Food Regulation (3 credits) and two graduate elective courses to support their particular interest in the community nutrition, population health, sustainability, food systems, and public health nutrition concentration (6 credits); All courses are offered online.

Coursework will be completed online. However, university-designed SPE students will have the option of taking some courses on campus. All dietetics practice courses will be completed online.

NFS 6100MSD Journal Club2
NFS 6110Supervised Practice I4
NFS 6120Supervised Practice II4
NFS 6130Evidence-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 6110 Dietetics Practice I and NFS 6120 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 6110 and NFS 6120 (at least 150 hours) and the 38 weeks of supervised practice (1216 hours) the M.S.D. Program exceeds the 1000-hour requirement established by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). 

The program also includes approximately 32 hours of mandatory campus-based orientation to the MSD Program and supervised practice experience. All students will complete 16 weeks in community rotations, 10 weeks in clinical rotations, 6 weeks in food service management. The community rotation includes 2 weeks working with farm or food production and 3 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 is a recommended minimum of 2weeks but it can be longer if a student desires and the preceptor agrees.

Community Health and Nutrition Concentration

The MSD Program will prepare entry-level dietetics practitioners with a concentration in community health and nutrition. With a focus on population health, the UVM MSD program aims to address health inequities and disparities using a systems approach. The program explores social determinants of health (SDoH) while encouraging inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA). This program takes a weight-inclusive approach to improve population and community nutritional outcomes. Our dietetics program builds on the strengths of our university traditions while supporting culturally appropriate, inclusive solutions. Graduates will possess the confidence, skills and knowledge to function successfully as entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists in the clinical, community or foodservice management setting. Graduates will develop specialized knowledge and skills in Community Health and Nutrition, focusing on population health, through selected coursework, supervised practice experience and learning.

Graduation Completion Requirements

MSD students must successfully complete all coursework, the comprehensive exam, supervised practice rotations, and the capstone project in order to receive the MSD 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 population health-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.