Dietetics (Master of Science in Dietetics)
The Master of Science in Dietetics (M.S.D) program, housed in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences under the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Vermont, is a 30 hour graduate credit degree which includes didactic coursework, an evidence-based practice project, and supervised practice.
The mission of the M.S.D is to prepare and educate graduate students who will successfully function as entry-level dietitians who have a specialized area of knowledge, competence in research methodology, and an advanced degree. Students will take graduate level courses throughout the University of Vermont as well as advanced nutrition courses offered by the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences.
The University of Vermont forms a strong alliance with Fletcher Allen Health Care (FAHC) and both institutions share the mission of providing advanced learning, training and development of students and practitioners of medicine and medical related fields. Students will have access to the vast array of state of the art learning opportunities and resources available through this alliance: the medical library network, national medical data banks, and renowned guest lecturer seminars. Students will be welcome to attend advanced level lectures hosted at both facilities. In addition, students will be provided with a variety of experiences in community settings.
The Master of Science in Dietetics is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 312/899-0040 ext. 5400 or visit them at the AND website. Upon completion of the supervised practice and all requirements for the M.S.D, students will be granted a verification statement of completion of the program and will be eligible to sit for the Registration Exam for Dietitians.
Requirements for Admission to Master of Science in Dietetics
Minimum GPA of 3.00 in college level courses with an overall science GPA of 2.50 in required courses with no required science grade less that 2.00. Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Exam, general (aptitude) portion. Specific prerequisite admission requirements for the two-year and three-year programs are provided on the Dietetics Program website. The application deadline is December 15th of each year.
The M.S.D. program provides three tracks for entrance into the program to accommodate the needs of a variety of students including those interested in remaining in Vermont and those who do not have all the requirements to directly enter a dietetic internship or supervised practice.
- Track One is for students who have completed a Didactic Program in Dietetics and have obtained a verification statement from an accredited program (these students would also be eligible to apply for any dietetic internship).
- Track Two is for students in the third year of the dietetics major at the University of Vermont who are interested in completing their dietetics major and then remaining at the University of Vermont to obtain a master’s degree with supervised practice (these students would be assured of a position during their junior year but would need to apply to the graduate college in their senior year and would successfully complete the dietetics major and receive a verification statement).
- Track Three is for students who have a baccalaureate (B.A. or B.S.) degree in areas other than dietetics or nutrition or have a dietetics or nutrition degree that is more than five years old (these students would need to complete a set of prerequisite courses prior to applying to the program).
The M.S.D. committee strongly believes that there is a set of requisite knowledge and skills necessary prior to entering the M.S.D. This requisite knowledge is obtained through the receipt of a verification statement or through prerequisite coursework and individual transcript and work experience evaluation. Further description of each track, the entrance requirements, curriculum requirements, sample coursework schedules, and application procedures can be found on the Dietetics Program website.
Minimum Degree Requirements for the Master of Science in Dietetics
Satisfactory completion of thirty credits of graduate level courses including research methods, statistics, evidence-based project, ethics, and dietetics practice in addition to all supervised practice requirements.
Supervised Practice Experiences
The supervised practice portion of the curriculum is integrated with coursework. NFS 311 Dietetics Practice I and NFS 312 Dietetics Practice II will be taught in coordination with the supervised practice rotations that the students will be involved with. The class time for NFS 311 and NFS 312 is six (6) hours per week. This will provide 32 weeks (2 semesters) of six (6) hours per day (one day per week), totaling 192 hours of class time. Students will spend the other four (4) days each week in supervised practice with rotations individualized to the various students. The supervised practice provides 34 weeks (two semesters) of eight (8) hours per day (four days per week), totaling 1088 hours of supervised practice.
Between NFS 311 and NFS 312 and the supervised practice the M.S.D. program provides a total of 1280 hours. The program will also include one week of orientation which will be five (5) days of eight (8) hours each, totaling 40 hours. All students will complete 13 weeks in Clinical rotations, 7 weeks in Foodservice Management rotations, 12 weeks in Community rotations and 2 weeks in a school nutrition program. After completing all rotations, students will select a rotation of their choice for further skill and knowledge development (staff relief). This choice rotation must be a minimum of 2 weeks but it can be longer if a student requests it. A further description of rotations can be found by clicking below.
Community Health and Nutrition Concentration
The M.S.D. program will prepare entry-level dietetics practitioners with a concentration in Community Health and Nutrition. Our unique program fills an ever-growing niche in the country`s health care delivery system, particularly in rural areas such as Vermont. The current trend of shifting medical treatment and care from acute tertiary-care hospitals to outpatient clinics, often based in smaller community hospitals, has created a need for professionals who can provide seamless medical nutritional therapy for patients as they progress from the acute care setting to community-based programs and services.
M.S.D. students must complete all coursework, comprehensive exam, supervised practice rotations, and the evidenced-based practice project in order to receive the M.S.D. degree and verification statement of eligibility to write the registration exam for dietitians. The description of the evidence based practice project, program mission, goals and outcomes, student learning outcomes, and estimated program costs can be found on the Dietetics Program website.