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 2019. 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
Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190 Chicago, IL 60606-6995

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


Joanne Burke

Director of the UNH Dietetic Internship
Senior Faculty Fellow
Phone: (603) 862-1456
Office: Agriculture, Nutrition, & Food Systems, Kendall Hall Rm 127A, Durham, NH 03824
Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems
Kendall Hall
129 Main Street
Durham, NH 03824

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 1,600 practicum-based hours of experiential learning. Practicum sites 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 ACEND. Applicants are encouraged to visit program website for further admission requirements, application instructions, and detailed program information.

The MSDI program 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. ACEND is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Post-secondary Accreditation and the United States Dept of Education. Contact information for ACEND: (800) 877-1600 ext. 5400 | | | 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 1,600 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 876Advanced Pathophysiology and Clinical Care4
NUTR 960Research Methods in Nutritional Science I4
NUTR 895Investigations (Behavioral Nutrition)4
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

For Dietetic Internship Applicants

Refer to the Dietetic Internship Program information for application details. 

Note that you should apply to the program through the DICAS Application Portal



Thesis Option

  • Fall: Feb. 15 (priority*), Aug. 1 (final) *Applications completed by Feb. 15 will be given priority consideration for admission and financial support. Applications completed after Feb. 15 will be considered based on openings and funding.
  • Spring: Oct. 15 (final)
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Combined M.S. with Dietetic Internship Option

  • Fall: Feb. 15 (priority first round match*), June 15 (second round match*); *Deadlines are based on the DICAS national match process.
  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Accelerated B.S./M.S. Option

  • Fall: April 15
  • Spring: Nov. 1
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65 (waived for Dietetic Internship option applicants)

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Master's: Yes for Accelerated B.S./M.S. option only

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.


If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

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

2 Letters Required for Accelerated B.S./M.S. option: Currently enrolled UNH students applying to the accelerated masters non-thesis option are only required to submit two letters of recommendation.

Test Scores: GRE Required

GRE required for Dietetic Internship option only. Request official test scores to be sent directly to the Graduate School by the testing service. Test scores more than five years old are not acceptable. Student copies and photo copies of scores are not considered official. Our CEEB code is 3918. For general information about test scores required for admission into our programs please visit our Test Scores webpage.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement regarding:

  1. Reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives,
  2. Your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field.

Additional Department Requirements

Accelerated B.S./M.S. Option

UNH students who apply to the Accelerated B.S./M.S. option must have a minimum 3.2 GPA. Students must maintain at least a 3.2 GPA.

The Accelerated B.S./M.S. option is only available to currently active UNH students. Please contact the department directly to see if you qualify to apply to this program.

Combined M.S. with Dietetic Internship Option

UNH MSDI program utilizes the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Service (DICAS) Application System. Under Program Details, please see the Dietetic Internship Program section for more details.

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 MS Nutritional Sciences Program in the Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems cordially invites all interested candidates to our Open House.

Where: UNH Thompson School, Cole Hall, 105 Main St, Durham, NH

When: December 13, 2019 – 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

  • 9:00 am-9:30 am - Informal Meet and Greet with Program Staff over coffee, juice and bagels.
  • 9:30 am-12:00 pm - Community and Clinical Rotation Presentations by MSDI students.
  • 12:00 pm-1:00 pm - Lunch with the Interns and Program Staff.

This is a great opportunity to ask questions! Feel free to come for part or all of the day. Family or friends are welcome. Parking is available at the Edgewood Road Visitors Lot for $1.50/hour with pay station payment or at the Sage Way Visitor Lot for $1.25/hour with pay station payment.

The campus map is available at

Please RSVP by Friday, December 6th to Celeste Dietterle at or at (603) 862-2130.

Please let us know if you plan to attend:

  • Informal meet and greet with staff
  • Morning Presentation
  • Lunch (and how many plan to attend)
  • All Day


The following are the expected program objectives:

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

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

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

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

1.5a   Over five years, 80% of employed program graduates who respond to the alumni survey will rate themselves as “prepared” or “well prepared” by the MSDI in terms of their ability to integrate health promotion/disease prevention guidance into their work and/or community environment.

1.5b   Over five years, 70% of employed program graduates who respond to the alumni survey will report integrating food system sustainability concepts into their personal and/or professional practice.

1.6   Data measuring achievement of program objectives will be available to ACEND reviewers and interns, prospective interns, and the public upon request.

1.7   Dietetic internship faculty and those teaching courses for the Masters will document the design and integration of individual and group internship assignments, projects and practicum experiences that demand the use of evidence-based research and critical thinking skills, planning and interpersonal skills for successful completion.

1.8   Over five years, 70% of employers who respond to our survey will indicate that UNH graduates from the MSDI exhibited critical thinking and communication skills, indicators of adequate preparation for entry-level practice.

1.9   Over 20% of Interns who completed the MSDI will report volunteer participation in community and professional organization within the field of health promotion, disease prevention, and food system sustainability such as state Academy Associations, dietetics practice groups, anti-hunger movements, etc.

2.0   Over five years, 50% of interns will be able to identify other health and professional colleagues/services who they work with and/or consult within a cross-disciplinary, inter-professional 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 (RD) or 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 dietitians 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.

Fall 2018

Begin - August 22, 2018-2018: Welcome to DI and meeting of DIGC cohort

August 27, 2018 to December 17, 2018:- Academic Courses

December 18, 2018 to January 22, 2019: Winter break

January 22, 2019 to May 15, 2019:  Academic courses 

May 16, 2019 to May 31, 2019: Summer term NUTR 929 (revised)

May 31, 2019, to June 21, 2019: Summer term NUTR 936: Sustainable Food Systems and Culinary Arts 

September to December 2019: Hospital or Clinical & Food Service Placements (and courses 930 or 931)

J-Term 2019

January 7 to January 18, 2020: January Term NUTR 938: Principles of Pediatrics

Jan 22, 2019, to May 20, 2020: Hospital or Clinical & Food Service Placements (and courses 930 or 931)

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. 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.

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. We anticipate an increase in program costs. For the duration of the program, this would be equal to approximately $45,100 and $47,500 for the tuition, mandatory fees, expenses unique to being part of the internship, and includes UNH provided insurance. If a student is sufficiently covered by insurance that meets UNH requirements, the costs would be reduced by approximately $4,600.

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 — 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 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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