Nutritional Sciences: Dietetic Internship (M.S.)

Nutritional Sciences: Dietetic Internship (M.S.)

An individual getting counseled by a dietitian

The Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences combined with Dietetic Internship (MSDI) at the University of New Hampshire is currently granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The next program review is scheduled for Fall 2027. ACEND is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation and the United States Dept of Education.

ACEND's phone number is: +1 (800) 877-1600 ext. 5400
email: acend@eatright.org
Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190 Chicago, IL 60606-6995

https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend

Why pursue a dietetic internship with a master’s degree in nutritional sciences?

For students aspiring to become a registered dietitian nutritionist, our master’s degree with dietetic internship (MSDI) will prepare you for work in areas such as clinical nutrition, food service management and community nutrition services. You’ll learn how to evaluate the nutritional status of patients, develop nutrition care plans, assess the impact of nutrition intervention on patient health, and provide nutrition education to individuals and groups. You’ll also learn about the management of food production and delivery systems, as well as the broad food system environments in which dietitians work. Upon completion of this 21-month program, you’ll be eligible to take the dietetic registration examination to practice as a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).

Why choose UNH for your degree?

Our MSDI program invites 10 new students each fall and offers individualized mentorship and personal interaction with faculty, mentors, and other interns. You’ll gain valuable, hands-on experience through our practicums, building entry-level food system, research and nutrition care skills. Practicum sites include hospitals, public schools and, on campus, UNH Dining, Health and Wellness, and Cooperative Extension. Our program emphasizes the role of sustainable food systems and is designed to meet the competencies specified by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), the accrediting agency of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. We are proud of our exceptional first-time pass rate on the national RDN exam.  

Potential career areas 

  • Clinical nutrition
  • Community nutrition
  • Dietary counseling
  • Education
  • Food service management
  • Government agencies
  • Healthcare facilities
  • Industry
  • Public health
  • Research

Contact

Amy Taetzsch

Director of Masters of Science with Dietetic Internship
CLINICAL ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
Phone: (603) 862-3280
Office: UNH Agriculture, Nutrition, & Food Systems, Kendall Hall, Durham, NH 03824
Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems
University of New Hampshire
Kendall Hall
129 Main Street
Durham, NH 03824
(603) 862-2130

Curriculum & Requirements

The Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences with Dietetic Internship (MSDI) option is designed as a 21-month program, with over 50 credits and over 1,300 practicum-based hours including simulation and experiential learning. Practicum based will build entry-level food system, research and nutrition care skills.  

Admission Requirements: Applicants must have a minimum of a 3.2 GPA which must be maintained throughout the first year of the program. In order to be considered for admission, students applying for the MSDI program will need to have been enrolled in an accredited undergraduate dietetics program that meets the requirements of the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Applicants are encouraged to carefully review the program website for admission requirements, application instructions, and detailed program information.

The MSDI program at the University of New Hampshire is currently granted accreditation by ACEND of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. ACEND is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Post-secondary Accreditation and the United States Department of Education. Contact information for ACEND: (800) 877-1600 ext. 5400 | acend@eatright.org | https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend | 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190 Chicago, IL 60606-6995.

The Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences combined with Dietetic Internship (MSDI) requires that students earn a minimum of 50 credits, reflecting practicum-based learning and related course work in food service, community and clinical experiences.  The majority of competencies integrated into the MSDI reflect those established by the Accreditation Council for Educators of Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).  Students will be required to earn a B- or better in graduate courses to earn credits toward their degree.  

The first year of the MSDI curriculum is comprised primarily of academic course work, including a year-long mentored group research project (NUTR 960 Research Methods in Nutritional Science I & NUTR 961 Research Methods in Nutritional Science II), in which each student experiences the complete research process.  Students in the MSDI will integrate food system theory and practice as drivers of health promotion and disease prevention. The second year of the program includes over 1,300 hours of practicum based learning in a variety of clinical, community, and food service operations integrated with curriculum related coursework.

Required Courses
NUTR 809Nutritional Epidemiology4
NUTR 829Dietetics: Intro to Dietetics Principle and Practice2
NUTR 830From Seed to Sea: Examining Sustainable Food Systems4
NUTR 831Dietetics: Clinical Theory and Practice10
NUTR 832Dietetics: Food Service and Community10
NUTR 836Sustainable Food Systems and Culinary Arts Practicum3
NUTR 838Dietetics: Pregnancy and Pediatrics Practicum2
NUTR 855Treatment of Adult Obesity4
NUTR 860Behavioral Nutrition and Counseling4
NUTR 876Advanced Pathophysiology and Clinical Care4
NUTR 960Research Methods in Nutritional Science I4
NUTR 961Research Methods in Nutritional Science II4
ANFS 901Introduction to Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems Graduate Studies 11
ANFS 997Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems Seminar1
Total Credits57

Important Information for DICAS Applicants

Most students will use the DICAS application portal to apply to the Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences with Dietetic Internship (MSDI). For UNH students applying through the pre-select option, please see the DICAS application and information and forms page for more information.

Preselect MSDI Applicants:

For UNH internal students applying through the pre-select early admission process, the UNH Internship Director can access your UNH transcript.

If you attended other Universities, please have those non-UNH transcripts sent directly to the UNH  Graduate School Office.

National Match Candidates:

For the national match, the UNH MSDI program uses the DICAS application process. Please submit your transcripts through DICAS.

Deadlines

Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences with Dietetic Internship (MSDI) Students applications are reviewed during one of three rounds. All admitted applicants enroll in the subsequent fall semester.

1. Early Admission - Pre-Select Application

Deadline for Applications: January 5th | Notice of selection: no later than January 15th

Only UNH students are eligible to apply through the pre-select application. Interested applicants click here for more information. If a student is selected during the early admission round, he or she will not need to participate in the DICAS national match. GRE scores are required.

2. Regular Admission - DICAS Application

Deadline for DICAS Application: February 15th | Notice of selection: first Sunday in April

Most students will apply during the regular admission using the DICAS application portal. The DICAS application process allows applicants to submit their application to UNH and any other programs that participate in this nationally-based application process. Students will submit all required materials, including transcripts, through the DICAS portal. GRE scores are required.

3. Extended Admission – DICAS Phase II Application

Deadline for Remaining Openings: first Thursday after national match and rolling until June 15th

For remaining openings, the MSDI participates in the DICAS Phase II application process. Submit your DICAS application to UNH via the DICAS application portal. Applications will be formally reviewed on a continuous basis beginning on the first Thursday after the national match. Applicants admitted via the Phase II application period must submit GRE scores by June 1st.

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.

DICAS - First Selection Applicants

Please submit all required documents through the DICAS Portal. If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Surina at Jennifer.Surina@unh.edu.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

International Applicants

The University of New Hampshire recommends that international applicants who are living outside of the United States, and are planning on pursuing a research based degree, submit a preapplication form before submitting a full application. Your preapplication request will be carefully reviewed and a decision usually provided within 3 weeks. If your preapplication is approved then it is recommended you then submit a full application. If you are currently living in the United States (on a H1B visa, etc.), or you plan on pursuing a professional master’s degree, then you do not need to submit a preapplication.

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

Explore Program Details

The Master of Science with Dietetic Internship (MSDI) Program
invites all interested candidates to join us for a virtual Open House

Learn about our 21-month MSDI Program:

  • Over 1,200 hours of hands-on learning with dedicated staff and mentors
  • In-depth clinical, community and food service rotations
  • Opportunity to gain teaching experience and earn over $12,000 during the first year

Virtual open houses are offered:

  • December 3rd, 2020 at 7p EST
  • January 12th, 2021 at 7p EST

Please contact Dr. Amy Taetzsch (amy.taetzsch@unh.edu) to register for a virtual open house and/or pose questions you have about the program. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

The following are the expected program objectives:

● Objective 1.1:  The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.

● Objective 1.2: Seventy-five percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.

● Objective 1.3: At least 80% of program interns complete program/degree requirements within 32 months (150% of the program length).

● Objective 1.4: Of graduates who seek employment, 70% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation. 

● Objective 1.5a: Over a three-year period, 80% of employed program graduates who respond to the online Fall alumni survey will rate themselves as “prepared” or “well prepared” by the internship in terms of their ability to integrate health promotion/disease prevention guidance into their work and/or community involvement.

● Objective 1.5b: Over a three-year period, 70% of employed program graduates who respond to the online Fall alumni survey will report integrating food system sustainability concepts into their personal and/or professional practice.

● Objective 1.6: Over a three-year period, 70% of employers who respond to our online Fall survey will indicate satisfaction that UNH graduates from the internship exhibited critical thinking and communication skills, indicators of adequate preparation for entry-level practice.

● Objective 1.7: Over a three-year period, using our online Fall alumni survey, over 20% of interns who completed the dietetic internship program will report volunteer participation in a community and/or professional organization within the field of health promotion, disease prevention and food system sustainability, such as the state Academy Association, dietetics practice groups, anti-hunger movements etc.

● Objective 1.8: Over a three-year period, using our online Fall alumni survey, 50% of interns who completed the dietetic internship program will be able to identify other health and professional colleagues/services who they work with and/or consult with in a cross-disciplinary, interprofessional manner.

Program outcomes data are available upon request.

  • The practice of dietetics encompasses the application of principles of food and the nutritional sciences to maintaining and achieving the health of both individuals and groups who would benefit from the management of disease through nutritional intervention.
  • The dietitian whose training is focused on health promotion/disease prevention and food systems is capable of promoting health and nutrition, from farm to fork to health and nutrition outcomes.
  • The emerging practitioner reflects dietetic professionalism through the adaptation and integration of the Foundation Practice Elements.
  • The professional is capable of performing and supervising food production and service.
  • The health promotion/disease prevention sustainable food system dietitian is also prepared to provide nutrition education and clinical care related to eating habits and food choices of healthy individuals and communities, as well as to design appropriate nutrition care for individuals who require dietary prevention strategies or management of an existing disease.
  • The dietetics practitioner is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) who is formally recognized as having professional competence and can apply Standards of Practice, Standards of Professional Performance and Scope of Practice Guidelines as provided in the 2017 revised guidelines. The practice of dietetics includes Standards of Practice and Performance, which define desirable and achievable levels of performance for entry-level practice.  These standards are not requirements; rather, they are broad statements describing the minimum expectations of dietetics professionals in providing nutrition services to the public.  The Standards of Professional Practice characterize the competency levels of entry-level dietitians and reflect the 2017 Standards.

Our Mission Statement

The mission of the MSDI is to train students who will be able to demonstrate a capacity to function as capable, competent entry-level Registered Dietitians Nutritionists (RDN) in the field of nutrition, food service, health promotion, sustainable food systems, and disease prevention and intervention.

The didactic and practicum opportunities provide an opportunity for the development of competencies and skills through supervised practice consistent with the Accreditation Standards for Internship Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics as defined by Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Entry-level professionals who enroll in the MSDI will be familiar with professional practice guidelines as indicated by entry-level mastery of competencies and awareness of Scope of Dietetics Practice and their application in professional behavior.

Our Vision Statement

We envision that our program graduates will be positive, transformative professionals in promoting healthier food and nutrition policies and practices, from farm to fork to health and nutrition outcomes.

Standards of Professional Practice

The practice of dietetics includes Standards of Professional Practice, which define desirable and achievable levels of performance for entry-level practice. These standards are not requirements; rather, they are broad statements describing the minimum expectations of dietetics professionals in providing nutrition services to the public. The following Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation Practice Elements are consistent with all of the described practice roles included in entry-level dietetics training.

The entry-level RD thus:

  • Provides patient/client-centered care.
  • Practices using evidence-based recommendations and professional judgment to challenge the status quo.
  • Contributes to the body of knowledge by participating in operational analyses, business process improvement and other applied research by monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the nutrition care provided and reporting results.
  • Analyzes, interprets and applies research.
  • Adopts technology advancements.
  • Utilizes informatics.
  • Demonstrates leadership in multidisciplinary teams.
  • Contributes to the advancement of food and nutrition policy through advocacy.

Goals for the UNH MSDI

Goal 1. To prepare well-rounded dietitians who will be able to obtain entry-level positions in food service management, clinical nutrition, and community health promotion/disease prevention and nutrition services and who are professionals that integrate emerging food system and sustainability principles into these domains.

Goal 2. To prepare dietetic professionals who utilize current evidence-based resources, critical thinking skills, research aptitude, planning expertise, and appropriate interpersonal and communication strategies in the design and delivery of health promotion/disease prevention/and food system sustainability principles and practices.

Sample Academic Schedule
First Year Students

Orientation | Aug 24-28, 2020

Fall Term - Coursework and paid teaching experience | Aug 31 - Dec 22, 2020

  • NUTR 830, NUTR 855, NUTR 960, ANFS 901, ANFS 997

Winter Break | Dec 23 - Jan 22, 2021

Spring Term - Coursework and paid teaching experience | Jan 26 - May 19, 2021

  • NUTR 809, NUTR 860, NUTR 876, NUTR 961

Summer Term - Coursework and practicum | May 24 - June 11, 2021

  • NUTR 836

Summer Break | June 14 – Aug 20, 2021

 

Second Year Students

Orientation | Aug 24-28, 2020

Fall Term – Practicums and related coursework | Aug 31 - Dec 22, 2020

  • NUTR 829, NUTR 832

Winter Break | Dec 23 - Jan 3, 2021

January Term - Practicum and related coursework | Jan 4 - 22, 2021

  • NUTR 836

Spring Term – Practicums and related coursework | Jan 26 - May 19, 2021

  • NUTR 831, NUTR 838

 Graduation Events | May 20-22, 2021

Successful demonstration and mastery of all components of the Internship portion are required for verification of completion by the MSDI Director, and eligibility to write the registration examination. It is expected that successful completion of all assigned rotations and all assignments related to individual rotations be completed within 30 days of the date of last rotation for all nutrition-related courses, but particularly Nutrition 832 and NUTR 831. If this requirement is not met, the Intern may be unable to continue with subsequent rotations. If an extension beyond 30 days is requested (generally due to extenuating medical or personal situations), the request will be reviewed by the MSDI Staff. It is expected that an additional 45 days may be granted for completion of the Internship work. Any costs associated with making up missed rotation experiences will be charged to the Intern based on the extra costs and time expended in designing the additional experiences.

Interns must maintain a grade of “B-” or better in major practicum-based courses, and an average rating of satisfactory or better in supervised work experience. Mastery may also be determined by scores on sample Academy-style tests designed to assess entry-level competency.  We will follow the Graduate School policy of “Graduate students receiving grades below "B-­" in 9 or more credits, including undergraduate courses taken while a graduate student, will be dismissed from the Graduate School.” The MSDI reserves the right to deny verification if persistence deficits exist (i.e., inability to perform basic calculations, inability to integrate nutrition care through application, etc.) Interns must meet the minimum level of competence (defined as a “3” or better) in the rotation’s final evaluation for all ACEND core competencies and program emphasis competencies. The consensus among staff and preceptors must be that an Intern is successfully mastering Internship competencies at an entry-level proficiency: Note: competency mastery is not limited to academic knowledge.  Professional behavior is also a requirement for successful completion of the MSDI.

Criteria for Issuance of Verification Statement

Upon demonstrating successful completion of the program, Interns will be verified by completing an Accredited Dietetic Internship Program and will receive a certificate showing that they completed their training through the University of New Hampshire. Successful completion of the MSDI enables the Intern to sit for the Registration Examination.

The MSDI Director will issue the Verification Statement after all course rotations, assignments, evaluations, and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics/UNH paperwork have been successfully completed. In addition, Interns will need to pass the RD Practice Exam with a grade of 80% or greater to obtain their verification statement. 

The Intern will receive five copies of the Verification Statement, each bearing the original signature of the MSDI Director. Graduates of the UNH MSDI may request additional copies of the Verification Statement with an original signature by contacting the Nutrition Program, Department of Agriculture, Nutrition and Food Systems, at the University of New Hampshire.

As of January 1, 2024, a master’s degree is required to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist.

Incoming: Academic Years (2019-2021)

For our newly admitted students for the 21-month internship program running from August 2019 through May 2021, the University has not set tuition and fee rates for the second year of the program (2020-2021). However, based on best estimates we are anticipating the cost for tuition and fees for the 21 month program to be $43,655 for instate students and $46,105 for out-of state students. If students have proof of insurance coverage that meets University requirements, the 21-month tuition and fees would be reduced by $4,655.00. This would result in-state tuition fee of 39,000 and out-of state tuition fee to $41,455

Other anticipated expenses not included in the above:

  • Rent (approximately) per month: $600.00- $1,000.00
  • Food and general living expenses: Varies
  • Car expenses/insurance and gas: Varies
  • Travel: During the first year, most activities/courses occur on the UNH campus.  During the second year, students are engaged in several off-site practicum. Travel to these sites varies. Approximately 25% of rotations are on campus; 75% are off-campus, and driving distances can vary from 20-70 minute drive from Durham.

Current: Academic Years (2018 to 2020)

The 2018-2019 21-month tuition and fees cost is approximately $39,500 for in-state and $43,000 for out-of-state students.

The estimated tuition for the 2018-2020 year is below.

  1. Charge for Computer Matching through D&D Digital Systems: $50.00
  2. After acceptance, prior to internship, criminal background check ~$75.00
  3. Program Tuition during the 21-month program: In-state residents: $35,070.00 / Out-of-state residents: $38,577.00
  4. Dietetic Internship Course Fee *(integrated into practicum courses) - $850.00
  5. Typical annual fees assessed by UNH each term (Summer, Fall, January, and Spring terms)
    • Mandatory Fees: ~ $2,200.00 per year (estimated 2018-2019) includes Health Services and Counseling, Student Recreation, Memorial Union
    • Registration Fee: $20.00 (each term)
  6. Other required expenses (estimated):
    • Rent (approximately) per month: $600.00- $1,000.00
    • Textbooks (variable): $600.00
    • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Affiliate Membership: $50.00/year
    • Lab coat: $50.00
    • Parking Permit (UNH): $50.00 - summer; academic year - $140.00
    • Car Expenses/Insurance: Varies
    • Travel: Varies. 25% of rotations are on campus; 75% are off-campus, and driving distances can vary from 20-60 minute drive from Durham
    • Health Insurance: Varies
    • Liability Insurance: $60.00/year
    • Criminal Background Checks: $75.00 after acceptance

Financial Aid

For more information on the status of financial aid eligibility, please contact the Financial Aid Office for additional information (862-3600) or visit the graduate school website.

Also, we have letters available upon request that document your full-time status with the MSDI. Please contact Celeste Dietterle-(603) 862-2130 or celeste.dietterle@unh.edu — if you will need a copy of these letters.

You will have these letters available to send to any lenders requesting them. In the past, many Interns have gotten letters from us, presented them to their lenders, and have either had loans deferred or have been able to arrange for assistance. If you do secure a loan, please enroll in your graduate courses early, so you appear as a UNH student. Enrolling later in the course enrollment period may put you at risk for losing your loan funds.

How are internship placements made for specific rotations?

The placements are based on a number of factors, including those outpatient and clinical sites that are available and willing to take a student, the sharing of sites with Keene State and other internships, the hospital size, knowledge of the interns, strengths including academics, job and work experience, and knowledge of the staff strengths and style that interns could potentially be working with. Different hospitals do have different strengths and we try to match those to intern needs. Geography and hospital requests are not the only deciding factors.  Many factors do play a role, and we feel comfortable that we attempt to match student and class needs with placement site resources.

Can interns have outside employment?

Interns are strongly discouraged from assuming outside employment during the internship. Past experience has demonstrated that interns who work during the program have difficulty complete the requirements of the program in a timely and satisfactory manner.

For interns choosing to accept employment, they will need to arrange this outside work around the widely varying rotation schedules. Interns should not accept jobs that require them to report to work on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays. Some rotations require interns to work daytime and evening hours on these days of the week and occasionally there may be some weekend work hours required for the internship.

What does the internship look for when selecting interns?

Participants will be selected on the basis of academic performance, letters of recommendation, work experience, civic and/or college activities and the letter of application. A minimum overall GPA of 3.2 with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the major is required (the current intern class has an average overall GPA of 3.39). Experience in health care or food service is preferred. The letter of application is an important component; grammar, conciseness, and ability to communicate are considered. Students who have demonstrated leadership skills either on campus or in the community are sought; this may include participation in professional organizations,  residence hall management programs, or civic organizations as examples.

I am a graduate of the UNH Dietetic Internship and I need a verification statement. How do I go about obtaining one?

Please send your request for verification statements to celeste.dietterle@unh.edu. Please include any forms that were given to you. We will need the year you graduated from the internship, your date of birth, middle initial, mother's maiden name, and your maiden name (if applicable) per the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (If you would rather not send this information via email, you may call us). Requests for verification statements may take up to 5 business days. If your verification statement is for licensure in New Hampshire, it is important to note that the Licensure Board meets quarterly, so even though the request has been submitted in a timely fashion, you may not receive a New Hampshire License right away.

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