• A

Program Concentration & Focus

The program concentration is Community Health and Nutrition, with a focus on professional practice through a lens of sustainable food systems. This theme will be embedded throughout the program in coursework and supervised practice experiences.

Community Health & Nutrition (CH&N) Concentration Competencies

In addition to the core competencies required by ACEND, students in the UVM MSD program will also complete the following concentration-specific competencies:

CH&N 1

Demonstrate working knowledge of sustainable food systems including basic terminology, concepts and all sectors of the food system model (production, transformation, distribution, access, consumption, waste stream). 

CH&N 2

Evaluate a sustainable community-based nutrition-focused health promotion intervention that incorporates each sector of the socio-ecological model.

CH&N 3

Draft a legislative bill related to food access and/or sustainable foods using a systems approach.

CH&N 4

Research and prepare a capstone project on a professional practice topic related to nutrition, health and/or sustainable food systems.


Program Overview


All students, both university-designed SPE and self-desiged SPE, will be required to attend a 1-week orientation in mid- to late-August on the UVM campus in Burlington, Vermont. Orientation will be scheduled for the week prior to the official start of their first semester.

During orientation, students will connect with other students in their cohort, meet with the Program Director, and discuss program details. Attendance at the orientation is mandatory for all students.


Students will complete 30 hours of graduate coursework. Required content areas include: statistics, policy, ethics, research methods, food systems, and dietetics practice. Additionally, students will complete up to 3 credit hours of elective courses relevant to future professional practice and a 2 credit-hour capstone project due in the final semester of their graduate coursework (such as a White Paper).

Coursework will be completed online. However, university-designed SPE students will have the option of taking some courses on campus. All dietetics practice courses will be completed online.

The schedule for coursework will align with the UVM Academic Calendar.

Sample Schedule

First Year: Fall Semester
Course TitleCredit Hours
NFS 310: Journal Club (dietetics practice)2
STAT 200: Medical Biostatistics & Epidemiology3
FS 345: Food Systems, Society & Policy3
FS 355: Food, Ethics & Global Society3
Inter-professional Practice (IPP) Orientation0
IPP: Virtual care planning clinic, Mrs. Kim0









First Year: Spring Semester
Course TitleCredit Hours
NFS 311: Dietetics Practice I (dietetics practice)4
NHS 396: Fundamentals of Critical Inquiry: Evidence-Based Practice3
Supervised Practice Experience0
Comprehenzive Exam0







Second Year: Fall Semester
Course TitleCredit Hours
NFS 312: Dietetics Practice II (dietetics practice)4
NFS 392: Capstone Project2
IPP: Palliative Care ALS video & discussion0
IPP: SASH wellness clinics with DNP students0
Supervised Practice Experience0







Second Year: Spring Semester
Course TitleCredit Hours
NFS 392: Capstone Project  (continued)0
Elective Credit3
Elective Credit3
MSD PDP Presentation0


Supervised Practice Experience (SPE)

The SPE will include rotations in public health, WIC, school nutrition, long-term care, food service management, general clinical practice, acute care/advanced practice, outpatient medical nutrition therapy, and more.

Students will complete 1000+ hours of supervised practice during the second and third semesters of the program, including part of the summer break. The SPE rotations will begin in mid-January at the start of the second semester and continue through the end of June; then resume in mid-August and continue until the end of the third semester in December. No rotations will be scheduled between July 1 - August 15, without prior approval.

Generally, SPE rotations occur Tuesday-Friday of each week and Monday is reserved for coursework. Depending on the availability of preceptors for students participating in the self-designed SPE option, students may need to complete rotations on weekends and/or outside of regular business hours. 

Summary of Supervised Practice Experience Rotations & Hours

Supervised Practice Experience Rotation Hour Requirements
  • 448+ hours in Community Nutrition including a minimum of:
    • 96 hours at a public health department (state, county, district, and/or local office)

    • 64 hours in WIC facility

    • 64 hours in a school nutrition program (school must participate in National School Lunch or Breakfast Programs)

    • 128 hours at a long-term care facility

    • 96 hours in a community program selected by the student that focuses on an area of personal interest. At least 32 hours must be in a program related to food access (such as a food bank, food shelf).

  • 224+ hours in Food Service Management

    • Hours can be completed in for-profit institution (e.g., contracted university dining services), non-profit institution (e.g., hospital), or a combination of both

  • 320+ hours in Clinical Nutrition including a minimum of:

    • 128 hours in general clinical (may be completed at a smaller community hospital and should be completed prior to the remaining clinical rotations)

    • 32 hours in oncology

    • 32 hours in cardiology

    • 64 hours in acute care/advanced practice areas such as intensive care, pediatrics, renal, nutrition support, etc.

    • 64 hours in outpatient care

  • 64 hours in Staff Relief in area of student’s choice.

    • For distance applications: this rotation does not need to be determined before submitting MSD application. It will be determined by October 1 of the third semester.

University-designed SPE students

Students will complete their SPE in facilities within the state of Vermont. The UVM MSD Program Director identifies SPE preceptors and arranges placements.

Students are required to live in Vermont for the duration of the program, preferably in or near Burlington, Vermont.

Sample University-Designed SPE Schedule
Week #HoursRotation Placement
1-7224Foodservice Management: University of Vermont
8-964Community Long-term Care: Woodridge Rehabilitation and Nursing
10-1164Community Long-term Care: Support and Services at Home (SASH)
12-1364Community School Nutrition: Mount Abraham Unified School District
14-1696Vermont Health Department: Central Office
17-1864WIC: Vermont Health Department District Office
19-2064Student’s Choice: Vermont Food Bank
2132Student’s Choice: Children with Special Health Needs
22-25128Clinical (General): Rutland Regional Medical Center
26-2764Clinical (Cardiology & Oncology): University of Vermont Medical Center
28-2964Clinical (ICU, Pediatrics, Renal): University of Vermont Medical Center
30-3164Clinical (Outpatient): University of Vermont Medical Center Community Health Team
32-3364Staff Relief


Self-designed SPE students

Students will complete SPE rotations anywhere in the United States (minimum requirements apply) as approved by the MSD Program. Prior to submitting their program application, prospective students are encouraged to identify and contact preceptors and facilities where they intend to complete their SPE, though a completed SPE schedule is not required for admission into the program.

See the General Requirements for Preceptors and Facilities by Rotation (pdf) document for details regarding facility and preceptor requirements.

See the Required Assignments by Rotation files on the Application Forms page for the activities and assignments that must be completed in each rotation.


Other Program Requirements

In addition to successful completion of required coursework and SPE, students will complete a written comprehensive exam at the end of the second semester (spring semester of the first academic year). Successful completion of this exam is required for students to enter into the second year of the program. In accordance with UVM Graduate College policy, students will be granted one rewrite if they are not successful on their first attempt.

All students must have access to internet with a minimal speed of connection 600kbps/1.2Mbps (up/down) to access MS Teams video conferencing and other web applications.

Graduation Requirements & Verification Statement

MSD students must successfully complete all coursework, the comprehensive exam, supervised practice rotations, and the MSD graduate capstone project in order to receive the Master of Science in Dietetics degree. Following graduation, students will receive a Verification Statement of Eligibility to write the registration examination for dietitians.