Nutritional Sciences: Dietetic Internship (M.S.)

Nutritional Sciences: Dietetic Internship (M.S.)

A photo showing a man wearing a white lab coat speaking to a woman wearing a black top at a table. Behind them, two students work in a lab.

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 at UNH?

The Master of Science in Nutritional Science with Dietetic Internship (MSDI) program offers individualized mentorship by dedicated faculty and preceptors. Students gain hands-on experience through coursework and practicums which build on foundational knowledge. Students 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. Students develop strong critical thinking skills and are able to analyze the literature to promote evidenced based care. Students also learn about the management of food production and delivery systems, as well as the broad food system environments in which dietitians work.

Program Highlights

  • Emphasis on sustainable food systems as drivers of health promotion and disease prevention.
  • Teaching experience during the first year that pays students approximately $12,000.
  • An average, first time pass rate for the national RDN exam of over 95%.
  • Dynamic and interdisciplinary department that includes experts in agriculture, nutrition, food systems, and animal sciences.
  • State-of-the-art simulation lab where students can hone their clinical and counseling skills ahead of their practicum experiences.
  • Located in the beautiful Seacoast area of New Hampshire.

Potential career areas

  • Clinical nutrition
  • Community nutrition
  • Communications
  • Education/Teaching
  • Food service management
  • Food systems and sustainability
  • Industry
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Public health
  • Research


Amy Taetzsch

Director of Masters of Science with Dietetic Internship
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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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 1,200 practicum-based hours including simulation and experiential learning. We invite 10 new students to begin each Fall semester. Upon conclusion of the program, our graduates are eligible to take the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) exam.

Admission Requirements: 

  • Applicants must have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA which must be maintained throughout the first year of the program.
  • To be considered for admission, students applying for the MSDI program need to have received a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) verification statement from an accredited undergraduate dietetics program that meets the requirements of the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) prior to the program start. 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 | | | 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190 Chicago, IL 60606-6995.

The MSDI requires that students complete required coursework, including practicum-based learning and related course work in food service, community and clinical experiences. The competencies integrated into the MSDI reflect those established by 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 1,200 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 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 Studies1
ANFS 997Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems Seminar1

CRDNs Explained 

UNH’s MSDI accreditation agency, ACEND, requires that our curriculum covers certain competencies which are “specific knowledge, skills, values, and behaviors required for effective performance as a practitioner.” These are identified as CRDNs (Competency for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists). Each of your MSDI courses will contain CRDNS, some of which may be tracked CRDNs in your course. A complete list of the required CRDNs are as follows:

Domain 1. Scientific and Evidence Base of Practice: Integration of scientific information and translation of research into practice.

  • CRDN 1.1   Select indicators of program quality and/or customer service and measure achievement of objectives.
  • CRDN 1.2   Evaluate research and apply evidence-based guidelines, systematic reviews and scientific literature in nutrition and dietetics practice.
  • CRDN 1.3   Justify programs, products, services and care using appropriate evidence or data.
  • CRDN 1.4   Conduct projects using appropriate research or quality improvement methods, ethical procedures and data analysis utilizing current and/or new technologies.
  • CRDN 1.5   Incorporate critical-thinking skills in overall practice.

Domain 2. Professional Practice Expectations: Beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors for the professional dietitian nutritionist level of practice.

  • CRDN 2.1   Practice in compliance with current federal regulations and state statutes and rules, as applicable, and in accordance with accreditation standards and the Scope of Practice for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Standards of Practice, Standards of Professional Performance, and Code of Ethics for the Profession of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • CRDN 2.2   Demonstrate professional writing skills in preparing professional communications.
  • CRDN 2.3   Demonstrate active participation, teamwork and contributions in group settings. CRDN 2.4   Function as a member of interprofessional teams.
  • CRDN 2.5   Work collaboratively with NDTRs and/or support personnel in other disciplines.
  • CRDN 2.6   Refer clients and patients to other professionals and services when needs are beyond individual scope of practice.
  • CRDN 2.7   Apply change management strategies to achieve desired outcomes.
  • CRDN 2.8   Demonstrate negotiation skills.
  • CRDN 2.9   Actively contribute to nutrition and dietetics professional and community organizations.
  • CRDN 2.10 Demonstrate professional attributes in all areas of practice.

Domain 3. Clinical and Customer Services: Development and delivery of information, products and services to individuals, groups and populations. 

  • CRDN 3.1   Perform Medical Nutrition Therapy by utilizing the Nutrition Care Process including use of standardized nutrition terminology as a part of the clinical workflow elements for individuals, groups and populations of differing ages and health status, in a variety of settings.
  • CRDN 3.2   Conduct nutrition focused physical exams.
  • CRDN 3.3   Perform routine health screening assessments including measuring blood pressure, conducting waived point-of-care laboratory testing (such as blood glucose or cholesterol), recommending and/or initiating nutrition-related pharmacotherapy plans (such as modifications to bowel regimens, carbohydrate to insulin ratio, B12 or iron supplementation)
  • CRDN 3.4   Provide instruction to clients/patients for self-monitoring blood glucose, considering diabetes medication and medical nutrition therapy plan.
  • CRDN 3.5   Explain the steps involved and observe the placement of nasogastric or nasoenteric feeding tubes; if available, assist in the process of placing nasogastric or nasoenteric feeding tubes.
  • CRDN 3.6   Conduct a swallow screen and refer to the appropriate health care professional for full swallow evaluation when needed.
  • CRDN 3.7   Demonstrate effective communication and documentation skills for clinical and client services in a variety of formats and settings, which include telehealth and other information technologies and digital media.
  • CRDN 3.8   Design, implement and evaluate presentations to a target audience.
  • CRDN 3.9   Develop nutrition education materials that are culturally and age appropriate and designed for the literacy level of the audience.
  • CRDN 3.10 Use effective education and counseling skills to facilitate behavior change.
  • CRDN 3.11 Develop and deliver products, programs or services that promote consumer health, wellness and lifestyle management.
  • CRDN 3.12 Deliver respectful, science-based answers to client/patient questions concerning emerging trends.
  • CRDN 3.13 Coordinate procurement, production, distribution and service of goods and services, demonstrating and promoting responsible use of resources.
  • CRDN 3.14 Develop and evaluate recipes, formulas and menus for acceptability and affordability that accommodate the cultural diversity and health needs of various populations, groups and individuals.

Domain 4. Practice Management and Use of Resources: Strategic application of principles of management and systems in the provision of services to individuals and organizations. 

  • CRDN 4.1   Participate in management functions of human resources (such as hiring, training and scheduling).
  • CRDN 4.2   Perform management functions related to safety, security and sanitation that affect employees, clients, patients, facilities and food.
  • CRDN 4.3   Conduct clinical and client service quality management activities (such as quality improvement or quality assurance projects).
  • CRDN 4.4   Apply current information technologies to develop, manage and disseminate nutrition information and data.
  • CRDN 4.5   Analyze quality, financial and productivity data for use in planning.
  • CRDN 4.6   Propose and use procedures as appropriate to the practice setting to promote sustainability, reduce waste and protect the environment.
  • CRDN 4.7   Conduct feasibility studies for products, programs or services with consideration of costs and benefits.
  • CRDN 4.8   Develop a plan to provide or develop a product, program or service that includes a budget, staffing needs, equipment and supplies.
  • CRDN 4.9   Engage in the process for coding and billing for nutrition and dietetics services to obtain reimbursement from public or private payers, fee-for-service and value-based payment systems.
  • CRDN 4.10 Analyze risk in nutrition and dietetics practice (such as risks to achieving set goals and objectives, risk management plan, or risk due to clinical liability or foodborne illness).

Domain 5. Leadership and Career Management: Skills, strengths, knowledge and experience relevant to leadership potential and professional growth for the nutrition and dietetics practitioner.

  • CRDN 5.1   Perform self-assessment that includes awareness in terms of learning and leadership styles and cultural orientation and develop goals for self-improvement.
  • CRDN 5.2  Identify and articulate one's skills, strengths, knowledge and experiences relevant to the position desired and career goals.
  • CRDN 5.3   Prepare a plan for professional development according to Commission on Dietetic Registration guidelines.
  • CRDN 5.4  Advocate for opportunities in the professional settings (such as asking for additional responsibility, practicing negotiating a salary or wage or asking for a promotion).
  • CRDN 5.5  Demonstrate the ability to resolve conflict.
  • CRDN 5.6  Promote team involvement and recognize the skills of each member.
  • CRDN 5.7  Mentor others.
  • CRDN 5.8  Identify and articulate the value of precepting.


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: The graduate school application fee ($65) is waived for students accepted through the National Match (DICAS). Applicants applying through DICAS do not need to apply to the UNH graduate school until after acceptance into the program.

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.


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 upload an official copy of your transcript in the application form. International transcripts must be translated into English.

If admitted, you must request an official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. 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.

Transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions must be submitted and applicants must disclose any previous academic or disciplinary sanctions that resulted in their temporary or permanent separation from a previous post-secondary institution. If it is found that previous academic or disciplinary separations were not disclosed, applicants may face denial and admitted students may face dismissal from their academic program.

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

Prepare a brief but careful statement regarding:

  1. Why do you want to enter the dietetics profession?
  2. Discuss experiences that have helped to prepare you for your career,
  3. What are your short-term and long-term goals?
  4. What are your strengths and weaknesses or areas needing improvement?
  5. What other information do you consider important for the selection decision?


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

To be eligible for admission, all applicants must have or will receive a Diadactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) verification statement by the start of the MSDI program.

International Applicants

Some academic departments recommend that international applicants, living outside of the United States, and planning on pursuing a research based degree, submit our extended inquiry form before submitting a full application. The extended inquiry form will be reviewed by the academic faculty and a department representative will reach out if your background and qualifications are a good fit for the program. 

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

Sonja Carlson
Sonja Carlson

I graduated from the University of Arizona and received my bachelor’s degree in nutritional sciences with an emphasis in dietetics. I then decided to move to the East Coast to pursue my master’s and dietetic internship here at UNH. I have been enjoying my time in New England and am excited to take advantage of all that UNH has to offer. In my free time I enjoy running, hiking and mountain biking and am eager to explore the beautiful scenery and outdoors here in New England.

Chelsey Hayes-Marino
Chelsey Hayes-Marino

I graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Science in nutrition: dietetics which solidified my passion for the field of dietetics. I am currently a graduate student in the master of nutritional sciences and dietetic internship program at UNH. Prior to my internship, I worked as a dietetic technician at Maine Medical Center where I was responsible for the initiation of nutritional care plans for patients and providing nutrition education. I worked closely with registered dietitians to ensure that my patients’ nutritional goals were being met while they were in the hospital. My main professional goal is to become a registered dietitian, with a focus in eating disorders and help people improve their lives through nutrition. I want to promote to the public accurate nutrition information that can help people live healthier and happier lives. 

Rebecca Maida
Rebecca Maida

I am a recent graduate of Long Island University where I received a B.S. in nutrition and dietetics and a minor in environmental sustainability. I am currently completing my master's in nutritional sciences with dietetic internship and look forward to getting my RDN when I graduate. I have experience in recipe development and cafe management, and I hope to work in nutrition education both in community and academic settings. When I'm not thinking about food and nutrition I am probably thinking about skateboarding and music. I love listening to hardcore, experimental electronic and indie, and I love to play and write my own music. 

Alisa Martel
Alise Martel

I am originally from a small town in the northwest corner of Connecticut where I earned my Bachelor of Science in nutrition and dietetics at the University of Saint Joseph. Finding the field of dietetics was not an easy task for me, and I attempted five different career paths prior to nutrition. I am currently a graduate student in the combined masters of dietetics and dietetic internship program. My goal is to become a registered dietitian nutritionist and work within a field that provides diverse and changing opportunities because of my inability to stay in one place doing the same tasks. I first discovered the field of agriculture and sustainability during my time WWOOFing in Vermont, and I sought out a program with similar focuses. WOOFing stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, and provides hands on experience and education in sustainable agricultural practices through volunteering on farms (locally or all around the world) in exchange for things like food, housing, travel, experiences, etc., and can be anywhere from a weekend to months long! This is what brought me to the University of New Hampshire, and I am grateful to be learning in such a welcoming and supportive environment.

Madison McCurdy
Madison McCurdy

I graduated with my B.S. in dietetics from Montana State University, Bozeman in 2021. I am currently pursuing a M.S. with the dietetic internship (MSDI) option. I am most excited to gain new experiences in the seemingly endless world of occupations as a dietitian. Based upon my belief that a nutritious lifestyle grows from the ground up, I want to support people in finding their own appreciation for positive food environments, feeling confident in their food choices and strengthening their healthy habits throughout their lives. Using my love of gardening, cooking and assisting others in cultivating their own sustainable nutrition habits and my skills and knowledge as a registered dietitian nutritionist, I hope to one day create an educational community farm.

Victoria Overko
Victoria Overko

I graduated from Keene State College and received a Bachelor of Science in public health nutrition in spring of 2021. I am working toward my career goal of becoming a registered dietitian. Currently, I am a part of the master’s degree in nutrition science with a dietetic internship program at UNH. I’m not sure which area of nutrition I want to focus on but I have a strong interest in eating disorders, sports nutrition and community nutrition and would like to explore the addictions field as well.  My passion and interest for nutrition stems from observing the impact that chronic disease has had on my family and the impact that food has had on their health. I hope to make an impact in my professional future as an RD and support people through their food and nutrition journey. 

Jacob Pottle
Jacob Pottle

I received my B.S. in nutrition: dietetics from the University of New Hampshire and am currently working toward receiving my M.S. in nutritional sciences and completing my dietetic internship. My research involves estimating polyphenol consumption in the U.S. I also enjoy volunteering on campus for the Food Repurposing Project, which cooks and packages food to distribute to the community. 

Mallory Robertson
Mallory Robertson

I earned a Bachelor of Science in nutrition: dietetics from UNH and am now continuing my journey here in the master of nutritional sciences with dietetic internship program. I found a passion for nutrition after the diagnosis of a nut allergy forced me to be more aware of what I was putting into my body. Since then, I have gained a variety of nutrition-related experiences at locations including DaVita Kidney Care and Nourishing the Northshore. My current career goal is to work in the clinical setting as a registered dietitian in either infant and maternal health or in the treatment of chronic disease. I strive to help people discover the joy in nourishing their bodies and to communicate that food is not only a fuel source but also a form of medicine. 

Monica Warren
Monica Warren

I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in nutrition and dietetics and a minor in food and farming from SUNY Plattsburgh in 2020. I am currently completing a master’s in nutritional science and a dietetic internship at UNH. The program's concentration in sustainable agriculture and it’s well-rounded internship is what attracted me the most. My main goal is to earn my Registered Dietitian Nutritionist credential which will bring a wide array of opportunities. I have a background in food service and gardening/farming and am interested in both of these avenues professionally. I would also love to explore pre-/post-natal nutrition and lactation consultation or eating disorders. Healthy food has the power to improve lives, and I would love to share that with my community. In my spare time, I enjoy biking, hiking, cooking, and playing music.

Year 1
Semester Courses Credits



NUTR 830
NUTR 836
NUTR 855
NUTR 960
ANFS 901

+ paid teaching experience





NUTR 809
NUTR 860
NUTR 876
NUTR 961

+ paid teaching experience



Year 2
Semester Courses Credits



NUTR 829
NUTR 832
NUTR 997


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 CDR credentialing 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 $33,996 for in-state students, and $36,893 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



 Tuition and Fees



 Health Insurance




 Background Checks and Drug Screens

Typically covered by program

 Vaccinations and Titers


 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Student Membership

$116 ($58/year)

 CPR Certification

~ $95

 Professional Liability Insurance

Covered by UNH

 Lab Coat

Typically covered by program

 Transportation (required for second year practicum rotations)


 UNH Parking Permit


 Rent and Living Expenses


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.

UNH Office of the Registrar can provide documentation of full-time status if needed.  Please click here to request documentation.

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 for one of our virtual open houses:

  • Monday, November 14th from 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. ET, register here
  • Thursday, December 8th from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. ET, register here
  • Thursday, January 12thfrom 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. ET, register here

We are also able to accommodate in-person and virtual meetings with current students and/or the MSDI Director. For more information, please contact Dr. Taetzsch.

We look forward to meeting you!

Amy Taetzsch, Program Director


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 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:


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

Class of 2021

MSDI Grad Student Keirra Bartley
Keirra Bartley

MSDI Grad Student Jessica Bryant
Jessica Bryant

MSDI Grad Student Lilah Chase
Lilah Chase

MSDI Grad Student Leila Ghaemi
Leila Ghaemi

MSDI Grad Student Allison Hood
Allison Hood

MSDI Grad Student Sara Murphy
Sara Murphy

MSDI Grad Student Alissa Petinge
Alissa Petinge

MSDI Grad Student Benjiman Petri
Ben Petri

MSDI Grad Student Alysa Zamora
Alysa Zamora

Nicole Culligan
Nicole Culligan

I earned my bachelor’s in nutrition: dietetics here at UNH, but I didn't fully discover my interest in nutrition until my first Intro to Nutrition course. It was then I knew what path I was going to take. I am currently unsure what area of nutrition I want to focus on but I really enjoy clinical because I love being able to interact with people one-on-one and do everything I can to help them feel better. Everyone needs food, so helping people understand what will make them feel their best while still getting to enjoy eating is a great feeling!

Erica Jones

I graduated with my B.S. in food and nutrition science from California State University, Chico. I hope that in my career I can help heal people through food and heal people’s relationship with food. I am grateful to be part of a program that will give me the tools and resources I need to help my community in a compassionate and sustainable manner. Currently, I am researching eating competence in first-generation students.

Lauren Kieffer

I am from Glendale, Arizona. I earned a degree in nutritional sciences with a minor in women and gender studies and a certificate in food system sustainability from Arizona State University. Due to my interest in nutrition and sustainability, I chose to pursue my graduate degree at UNH. I enjoy being part of the large community here and look forward to applying the skills I’m learning. In the future, I hope to become a registered dietitian nutritionist and pursue a career in public health or teaching. In my spare time, I love to cook, compost and explore the fun, new places New Hampshire has to offer!

Marissa Luciano

I received my bachelor of science in nutrition: dietetics at UNH and am currently a graduate student in the nutritional sciences with a dietetic internship program. I enjoy learning about how specific nutrients impact our health, and I also love eating, cooking, and trying new recipes. The perfect career path for me would be teaching others the importance of nutrition and showing them how to incorporate this knowledge into their own cooking. Using food as medicine, I hope to work in the community setting with vulnerable populations to prevent chronic disease. I also hope to foster a food positive environment where all foods fit, and we can make the most of our nutrients while enjoying every bite. 

Tess Masci

I attended Keene State College and received a bachelor of science in health science with a specialization in nutrition from Keene State College in 2020. Currently, I’m a graduate student in the MSDI program here at UNH with plans to become a registered dietitian. I’m a big sports fan, an experimental cook, and puzzle fanatic. In the future, I hope to be able to use my passion for nutrition to help children or athletes in a clinical or community setting.

Abigail Sarna

I am currently completing a master’s degree in nutrition science with dietetic internship at the UNH. My career goal is to become a registered dietitian nutritionist and work as a food service director in a school district. Before moving to New England, I received a bachelor of science in nutrition from Texas A&M University. I chose to study nutrition because everyone eats. Nutrition gives me a practical way to help clients positively impact their health using something they do every day. In my free time, I am an avid amateur baker, dog mom and puzzle enthusiast.

Marissa Tassi

I graduated from Simmons University in Boston with a degree in nutrition: dietetics. I’ve wanted to be a dietitian since I was in high school because I’ve always loved food and the way it can contribute so much to health. I love trying new foods and learning about different foods around the world. I am currently interested in community nutrition and pediatrics, and I can’t wait to see what opportunities the dietetic internship has in store.

Courney Yacovelli

I’m a graduate student in the master of nutrition sciences and dietetic internship program at UNH. I began my undergraduate career at Simmons University in Boston but graduated with my bachelor’s in nutrition: dietetics from UNH. I love the outdoors as well as spending time learning new recipes and trying new restaurants. In the classroom I enjoy learning about diversity and inclusion in the field, as well as counseling practices.

Our Mission
The mission of the UNH Master of Science with Dietetic Internship (MSDI) Program is to cultivate effective entry-level Registered Dietitians Nutritionists (RDN) by providing high impact didactic and practicum experiences in the field of nutrition.

Our Vision
We envision that our MSDI graduates become dynamic, inclusive, and transformative RDNs that advocate for healthier food and nutrition policies and practices that promote overall wellness.

Our Goals
Goal 1: Prepare well rounded dietitians for entry-level positions in the field of nutrition and dietetics.

  • Objective 1.1: At least 80% of program interns complete program/degree requirements within 32 months (150% of the program length).
  • Objective 1.2:  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 1.3: Seventy-five percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
  • 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: At least 80% of employed program graduates will rate themselves as prepared or well prepared by the internship to begin their career as a RDN.  
  • Objective 1.5b: At least 80% of employers will indicate that UNH MSDI graduates are prepared or well prepared for entry-level practice. 

Goal 2: Prepare graduates to critically examine and evaluate research as it relates to the practice of dietetics and be able to translate those findings into evidenced-based education.  

  • Objective 1: 100% of students will evaluate current literature to inform the process of developing and answering an original research question that will be presented at a conference. 
  • Objective 2:  At least 80% of graduates will report using evidenced based resources to inform their nutrition education.   

Program outcomes data are available on request.

COLSA's department of agriculture, nutrition, and food systems, UNH Hospitality Services and Gather, a non-profit food pantry and food distribution network based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, are working together to get wholesome, edible food that would otherwise end up in a landfill into the hands of food insecure individuals and families in the greater New Hampshire Seacoast.

Read more about the Food Repurposing Project in the fall 2021 issue of THRIVE.

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