Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences
Master of Science in Dietetics Program
The Master of Science in Dietetics (MSD) Program in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Vermont is a 30-hour graduate credit degree that includes didactic coursework, an evidence-based practice project, and supervised practice culminating in students eligibility to write the registration exam for dietitians.
The mission of the MSD 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 in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences.
The University of Vermont forms a strong alliance with Fletcher Allen Health Care and both institutions share the mission of providing advanced learning, training and development of students and practitioners of medicine and medical related fields. Students have access to the vast array of state-of-the-art resources including the medical library network, national medical data banks and renowned guest lecturer seminars.They are welcome to attend advanced lectures at both facilities and work in a variety of 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 extension 5400. Upon completion of the supervised practice and all requirements for the MSD, students will be granted a verification statement of completion of the program and will be eligible to sit for the Registration Exam for Dietitians.
The MSD Program's three tracks for entrance into the program accommodates 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.
Deadline for all application materials will be in December, with decisions made in January, for acceptance in the following fall semester. Specific dates are listed in each of the tracks' pdf information below.
Please note there are 2 separate application processes. The first is a mailed hard copy application to the Supervised Practice, with details listed in each of the tracks' pdf. The second is an on-line application required for admittance into the Graduate College. Both of these application processes must be completed by the deadline for an application to be considered.
In addition, all applicants are required to to interview on campus or via Skype/video conference prior to submitting an application. Contact Amy Nickerson, MSD Program Director, to set up this meeting.
- Track One info (pdf) is for students who completed a Didactic Program in Dietetics and obtained a verification statement from an accredited program, these students are also be eligible to apply for any dietetic internship.
- Track Two info (pdf) is for students in the third year of the Dietetic's 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 are assured of a position during their junior year but would need to apply to the graduate college in their senior year with successful completion of the dietetic's major and receive a verification statement.
- Track Three info (pdf) is for students with a Bachelor's (BA or BS) degree in areas other than dietetics or nutrition or have a dietetics or nutrition degree that is more than five years old, these students need to complete a set of prerequisite courses prior to applying to the program.
Additionally, Track III applicants must have the Track III Academic Requirement Evaluation Form (pdf) completed and signed by Professor Jane Ross, PhD, RD, UVM Didactic Program Director following review of the applicant's transcript.
The NFS faculty strongly believe that MSD candidates possess a set of skills and requisite knowledge to enter the program. Incoming students must either receive a verification statement from their undergrad institution if they were Dietetics majors in college, or they must complete prerequisite coursework and have their transcripts and work experience evaluated by faculty in our Dietetics Program.
Supervised Practice Experiences
The supervised practice portion of the curriculum is integrated with course work. For example, the two-semester-long NFS 311 Dietetics Practice I and NFS 312 Dietetics Practice II are coordinated so that class time is six hours per week (one day per week) and the other four weekdays (for a total of at least 32 hours/week) students spend in supervised practice settings with qualified credentialed nutrition professionals satisfying the requirements established by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). This adds up to at least 180 hours of class time and 1184 hours of supervised practice in 37 weeks over two semesters
Between NFS 311 and NFS 312 and the supervised practice the MSD Program provides a total of 1280 hours. The program also includes one week of orientation which will be five days of eight 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 two weeks but it can be longer if a student requests it.
Community Health and Nutrition Concentration
The MSD 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.
Graduation Completion Requirements
MSD students must complete all coursework, comprehensive exam, supervised practice rotations, and the evidenced-based practice project in order to receive the MSD degree and verification statement of eligibility to write the registration exam for dietitians.
For more information contact: Amy Nickerson, MS, RD, Director of MSD