Nutritional Sciences: Dietetic Internship (M.S.)

Nutritional Sciences: Dietetic Internship (M.S.)

An individual getting counseled by a dietitian

Through our 21-month master’s degree with dietetic internship (MSDI) you will receive focused guidance from experienced mentors and earn real-world experience in specialized practicums as you prepare for a career in clinical nutrition, community outreach, food service management and more.

Credit Hours: 55  |    Courses: 13   |    Program Length: 21 months

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

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  • Grad Student Wins Teaching Award
    Sara Murphy is a graduate student in our Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetic Internship (MSDI) program and recent recipient of UNH's Graduate Student Teaching Award.
    Grad Student Wins Teaching Award
    Sara Murphy is a graduate student in our Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetic Internship (MSDI) program and recent recipient of UNH's Graduate Student Teaching Award.

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

Deadlines

UNH MSDI program applications are reviewed during one of three rounds. All admitted applicants are enrolled in the subsequent Fall semester.

  • Fall: Jan 4 (UNH Preselect*); Feb 15 (DICAS National Match**); June 15 (if remaining openings*** following the National Match)
  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A


*UNH Preselect: Notice of selection no later than Jan 13. Only UNH students are eligible to apply through the pre-select application. For UNH students applying through the pre-select option, please apply through the UNH Graduate School. If a student is selected during the early admission round, he or she will not need to participate in the DICAS national match. Please contact Dr. Amy Taetzsch for more information.

**DICAS (National Match): Notice of selection first Monday in April. Most students will apply during the regular admission using the DICAS application portal and rank their dietetic internship preferences using the D&D Digital. 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.

***Remaining Openings: If there are remaining openings following the National Match, 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 until June 15.

 

Application fee: $65, note fee waived for DICAS (National Match) applicants.

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.

Transcripts

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 grad.school@unh.edu. 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.

Transcripts are required for any school you earned a degree from, attended for at least one year, or attended for 2 or more semesters. Exceptions to this rule may be approved at the discretion of the program you are applying to and the UNH Graduate School Admission’s office.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

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

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.

Resume

A current resume summarizing all volunteer and work experience is required.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions. If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer.Surina@unh.edu.

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

MSDI Grad Student Keirra Bartley

Keirra Bartley
Advisor: Dr. Amy Taetzsch
MSDI Student (Class of 2021)

       
MSDI Grad Student Jessica Bryant

Jessica Bryant
Advisor: Dr. Amy Taetzsch
MSDI Student (Class of 2021)

MSDI Grad Student Lilah Chase

Lilah Chase
Advisor: Dr. Amy Taetzsch
MSDI Student (Class of 2021)

MSDI Grad Student Leila Ghaemi

Leila Ghaemi
Advisor: Dr. Amy Taetzsch
MSDI Student (Class of 2021)

MSDI Grad Student Allison Hood

Allison Hood
Advisor: Dr. Amy Taetzsch
MSDI Student (Class of 2021)

sara-murphy

Sara Murphy
Advisor: Dr. Amy Taetzsch
MSDI Student (Class of 2021)

 

 

Alissa Petinge

Alissa Petinge
Advisor: Dr. Amy Taetzsch
MSDI Student (Class of 2021)

benjiman-petri

Ben Petri
Advisor: Dr. Amy Taetzsch
MSDI Student (Class of 2021)

 

Alysa Zamora

Alysa Zamora
Advisor: Dr. Amy Taetzsch
MSDI Student (Class of 2021)

Year 1
Semester Courses Credits

 

Fall

NUTR 830
NUTR 836
NUTR 855
NUTR 960
ANFS 901

+ paid teaching experience

4
3
4
4
1

 

 

Spring

NUTR 809
NUTR 860
NUTR 876
NUTR 961

+ paid teaching experience

4
4
4
4

 

Year 2
Semester Courses Credits

 

Fall

NUTR 829
NUTR 832
NUTR 997

2
10
1

Spring NUTR 831 10
Total Credit Hours: 55

Interns must demonstrate mastery of all components of the MSDI program in order for the MSDI Director to issue a final Verification Statement to ACEND that will allow the intern to be eligible to take the national registration examination. To do so, Interns must 1) achieve a 3.2 GPA in all courses per UNH Graduate School policy; 2)complete their practicum rotations on time; and 3) meet the minimum level of competence (defined as a “3” or better) in the rotation’s final evaluation for all ACEND core competencies and other related practicum evaluations.  

It is expected that Interns will complete their assignments on time for each class or rotation.  If the requirements are not met, the Intern may be unable to continue with subsequent courses or rotations.  However, an extension of up to 30 days may be granted if there are extenuating circumstances (medical or personal) preventing the Intern from completing their coursework or rotation on time. Interns must submit an extension request in writing to the MSDI Director to request this extension. Any costs associated with making up missed classes or rotation experiences will be charged to the Intern based on the extra costs related to designing additional experiences.  The consensus among staff and preceptors must be that the Intern has successfully mastered all aspects of the program.  If not, the MSDI Director reserves the right to withhold the final Verification Statement.

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 Verification Statement showing that they have completed their training through UNH.

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

The Intern will receive copies of the Verification Statement bearing the original signature of the MSDI Director or an authenticated electronic digital signature. 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.

Successful completion of the MSDI enables the Intern to sit for the Registration Examination. In the state of New Hampshire, licensure is required to practice as a RDN.

Estimated Expenses

The estimated cost for tuition and fees for the full 21-month internship program is $37,966 for in-state students, and $41,179 for out-of-state students.  Students requiring health insurance will pay an additional $4,560 for coverage during the 21-month program. 

Additionally, students receive a teaching assistant stipend for over $12,000 during their first year.

Estimated 21 Month Expenses

In-State

Out-of-State

 Tuition and Fees

$37,966

$41,179

 Health Insurance

Varies

 Textbooks

~$305

 Background Checks and Drug Screens

Typically covered by program

 Vaccinations and Titers

Varies

 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Student Membership

$116 ($58/year)

 ServeSafe Certification

~$70

 CPR Certification

~ $95

 Professional Liability Insurance

Covered by UNH

 Lab Coat

Typically covered by program

 Transportation (required for second year practicum rotations)

Varies

 UNH Parking Permit

~$160

 Rent and Living Expenses

Varies

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.

The MSDI Program can provide documentation of full-time status with the MSDI, if needed. Please contact Celeste Dietterle [(603) 862-2130 or celeste.dietterle@unh.edu] — if needed.  Interns should enroll in graduate courses early, to show proof of student status.

The Master of Science with Dietetic Internship (MSDI) Program
invites all interested candidates to join us for a virtual Open House to learn more about our 21-month program

Please join us on April 7th at 7:00 p.m. ET for our Second Round Match virtual open house. Register here

We look forward to e-meeting you!

Amy Taetzsch, Program Director
Amy.Taetzsch@unh.edu

 

What practicum sites does UNH offer, and how are placements decided?

Food Service (~ 6 weeks): All interns are assigned to the award-winning UNH Dining Services Team for their food service rotation.

Community (~ 9 weeks): Interns split their week between two community sites; one site on Monday and Tuesday, and the other site on Wednesday and Thursday. THe MSDI team has strong relationships with many community organizations including The NH Food Bank, Cooperative Extension, The NH Department of Health & Human Services, NH Farm to School Program, and many local schools.

Clinical (~ 16 weeks): Interns spend a full semester working with dietitians at an area hospital such as Concord Medical Center, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital (an MGH Affiliate Hospital), Exeter Regional Hospital, and Frisbie Memorial Hospital.

The MSDI team considers several factors when deciding what sites to match interns with, including: 

  • Availability of sites and preceptors
  • Intern interests areas and professional aspirations
  • Interns academics performance and past work/volunteer experience

Can interns have outside employment?

In the first year, interns have the opportunity to work as Teaching Assistants and earn approximately $12,000.

Interns are strongly discouraged from working during the fall and spring semesters of their first and second year of the internship.  Past experiences has demonstrated that interns who work during the program have difficulty completing the requirements of the program in a timely and satisfactory manner.

If you choose to seek additional employment, you'll need to arrange your schedule around classes and practicum hours.  Note that there may occasionally be some night and weekend work hours required for the internship.

Do I need prior teaching experience to be a Teaching Assistant?

No prior teaching experience is required to be a Teaching Assistant.  Faculty regularly meet with Teaching Assistants to support them in being successful in their roles and strengthening their pedogeological skills.

What does the internship look for when selecting interns?

We use a weighted average method to help guide the review of each applicant with the following criteria:
1.  Activities & Experience 40%: This includes work/volunteer experience (experience in dietetics fields preferred); honors/awards; leadership roles, extracurricular activities etc.
2.  GPA 30%: A minimum overall GPA of 3.2 with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the major is required.
3.  Letters of Recommendation: 20%
4.  Personal Statement 10%: Please follow DICAS guidelines and pay close attention to grammar, conciseness, etc.

The MSDI program gives special consideration to candidates that have lived outside of the country for greater than four months, speak more than one language, are first generation students or are from an underrepresented group within the dietetics field.  Please include this information in your personal statement.

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.

Does UNH provide any guidance on housing?

Housing resources for graduate students can be found: https://www.unh.edu/housing/housing-options/graduate-housing

 

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

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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

Our Mission

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

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.

Our Philosophy

  • 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.

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.

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