MS in Nutrition/Dietetic Internship Programs

The graduate programs offer advanced study in human nutrition. As described below, Master of Science (MS) degree programs are available for students who do, or do not, have undergraduate preparation in nutrition. Some programs incorporate the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and/or a Dietetic Internship (DI). The DPD and the DI are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995; 312-899-0040, ext. 5400. A car may be necessary to get to the DI site. The DI is a 29-week, 6-credit course requiring payment of tuition. In addition, a $1,000 fee must be paid to the site.

Programs of Study

Programs for Students with Undergraduate Preparation in Nutrition

Students interested in the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist credential and a career in clinical nutrition/counseling should pursue the MS+DI. In this program, the MS must be completed before entry into the DI. Specific admission requirements are listed below. The 29-week, full-time DI begins in either June or January following completion of the MS program.

Students with undergraduate preparation in nutrition who have already earned the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist credential, or who are interested in graduate-level study in human nutrition, should pursue the MS degree.

Program for Students Who Do Not Have Undergraduate Preparation in Nutrition

Students without undergraduate preparation in nutrition who are interested in obtaining an MS degree and credentialing as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) should apply to the DPD/MS+DI program. In this program, students maintaining satisfactory academic progress in coursework will receive the appropriate Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) Verification Statement and will be pre-selected into the DI. Specific admission requirements are listed below. The 29-week, full-time DI begins in January or June following completion of the five-semester DPD/MS program.

All programs prepare graduates to critically evaluate and implement the results of current research, solve problems, and communicate effectively. Students study with faculty involved in research, education, administration, professional practice, communication, and consulting. As part of their program, students develop a research proposal and complete an individually designed practicum. Past practicum sites have included a large urban hospital, as part of a nutrition support team; a private practice focused on nutrition for athletes; a clinical research center at a large teaching hospital; an outpatient cardiovascular clinic at a suburban teaching hospital; and the offices of a nationally distributed nutrition newsletter.

The DI has clinical sites at major teaching and community hospitals in the greater Boston area. Please be advised that students may need a car to get to a clinical site. The clinical sites provide excellent opportunities for students to observe and participate in a wide variety of specialties, such as nutrition support, pediatrics, oncology, nephrology, cardiology, diabetes, surgical care, outpatient counseling, food service, and management.

Depending on their program, graduates pursue careers in a wide variety of settings. Clinical environments could include medical and surgical services of hospitals, outpatient clinics, cardiac rehabilitation centers, and private practices. Graduates could also work in the fitness/wellness industry, the pharmaceutical industry, public health, or as consultants to professional sports teams, corporations, and restaurants.

Admission Requirements

All Programs

Applicants are required to complete a baccalaureate degree and the Graduate Record Exam General Test (institution code 3028). All students for whom English is not their first language must complete the TOEFL exam regardless of whether or not they attended a college/university in the United States. Prerequisite courses must be completed at a two- or four-year college or university.

Two-Semester MS Degree Program

Students complete the BU Sargent College Graduate School Application, which requires submission of three letters of reference, preferably from individuals who are familiar with the student’s academic ability and/or professional work experience. The personal statement must be limited to 500 words. Prerequisite courses include one-semester, stand-alone courses, including a lab, in general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, and physiology. Additionally, one-semester courses in statistics, biochemistry, introductory nutrition, life cycle nutrition, and medical nutrition therapy must have been completed. Minor deficiencies in prerequisite coursework may be completed during graduate studies, but this may extend the period of graduate study.

Students are encouraged to apply even if they have not completed all prerequisite coursework. If they are accepted into the program, they will then have a faculty advisor to help with selection of appropriate prerequisite courses. TOEFL examination scores are required for all applicants born outside of the United States, even if they have completed their undergraduate education at a US college/university.

MS+DI Program

Students should apply using the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) national computer matching process via the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Services (DICAS). It is our policy that every student matched to our program will be guaranteed financial aid of at least $10,000 during the two-semester MS.

All applicants to the MS+DI program must complete both a BU Sargent College Graduate School Application and a DICAS Dietetic Internship Application. Students must submit the DICAS recommendation forms only, not the BU Sargent College recommendation forms. DICAS recommendation forms should be completed by individuals who are familiar with the student’s academic ability and/or professional work experience. Applicants must complete the BU personal statement, which is limited to 500 words. Completion of the DICAS personal statement is not required. TOEFL examination scores are required for all applicants born outside of the United States, even if they have completed their undergraduate education at a US college/university. Candidates must comply with all deadlines set by DICAS. The DI application can be found on the Dietetic Educators of Practitioners website. The DI participates in the DICAS computer match through D&D Digital, 304 Main Street, Ames, Iowa 50010; 515-292-0490; dnd@sigler.com.

Prior to the start of the MS+DI program, accepted students must submit a signed ACEND DPD Verification Statement.

DPD/MS+DI Program

Students should complete the BU Sargent College Graduate School Application, which requires submission of three letters of reference, preferably from individuals who are familiar with the student’s academic ability and/or professional work experience. The personal statement must be limited to 500 words. Prerequisite courses include general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, physiology, and microbiology, all with a lab. All courses must be complete, stand-alone courses. In other words, if biology is offered as a two-semester sequence (biology 1 and biology 2), both semesters must be completed. Courses in writing, biochemistry, and statistics are also required. In addition, coursework in anatomy and genetics is required, but this content can be included in another course. For example, anatomy may be part of a physiology course, or genetics may be part of a biology sequence. Minor deficiencies in prerequisite coursework may be completed during graduate studies, but this may extend the period of graduate study.

Students are encouraged to apply even if they have not completed all prerequisite coursework. If they are accepted into the program, they will then have a faculty advisor to help with selection of appropriate prerequisite courses. TOEFL examination scores are required for all applicants born outside of the United States, even if they have completed their undergraduate education at a US college/university.

Application Deadline

Completed applications for the MS+DI must be received by February 15. For the DPD/MS+DI, completed applications must be received by January 16. For the MS-only program, applications must be received by August 1 with applications submitted by January 16, affording the applicant the best opportunity to be considered for financial scholarships. If a complete application is not received by the stated date, it will not be reviewed.

Degree Requirements

Students are eligible to receive a Master of Science degree upon completion of a minimum of 32 credits of coursework at the 700 level and above. At least 25 credits must be taken at Boston University as a degree candidate. Required courses for each program are listed below.

An overall grade point average of B (3.0) or higher must be attained in graduate-level (700 level or above) classes. In graduate courses, no grade below C is acceptable for credit. Additionally, the maximum number of credits with a C or C+ in courses 700 level or above is 8 credits.

SAR HS 811 is graded on a Pass/Fail basis. Pass indicates B– or better work.

A student may complete any of the academic programs on a full- or part-time basis. The DI must be completed on a full-time basis. All programs must be completed within five years of matriculation.

Information Specific to the DPD/MS+DI

The DPD/MS is a five-semester program. In the Curricula section below, courses are classified based on whether they meet DPD requirements, MS requirements, or both. All DPD Professional courses must be completed with a minimum grade of B–, and DPD Science courses must be completed with a minimum grade of C–. Requirements for completing the MS degree are detailed in the Degree Requirements section. After satisfactory completion of the five-semester DPD/MS program, students will receive an ACEND DPD Verification Statement and be awarded an MS degree. They will then be pre-selected into the DI program. If they choose to accept the DI appointment, they cannot participate in the AND National Computer Match. The DI begins in either January or June following successful completion of the DPD/MS. After satisfactory completion of the DI, which includes documentation of the completion of dietetic competencies and the MS+DI program evaluation, students will receive the ACEND DI Verification Statement.

Information Specific to the DI

The DI is a 6-credit, 29-week, full-time course requiring payment of tuition. In addition, interns must pay a nonrefundable $1,000 fee to their internship site during the first two weeks of the DI. Please note, a car may be necessary to get to the DI site as some sites are as much as 40 miles from Boston. After successful completion of the DI, the student will receive the appropriate ACEND DI Verification Statement. At this time, the student will have met the core competencies for the supervised practice component of entry-level dietitian education programs as mandated by the ACEND.

Curricula

All courses are 4 credits unless otherwise indicated. The DI begins following completion of all courses in the appropriate programs.

Two-Semester MS (All courses listed are required for the degree program.)

Fall

  • SPH BS 704 Introduction to Biostatistics (3 cr)
  • SAR HS 775 Topics in Clinical Nutrition
  • SAR HS 776 Nutritional Epidemiology
  • SAR HS 783 Metabolic Regulation
  • SAR HS 705 Foundations of Interprofessional Practice 1 (0 cr)

Spring

  • SAR HS 742 Nutrition for Disease Prevention
  • SAR HS 785 Nutrition Research (3 cr)
  • Graduate elective (10+ cr)
  • SAR HS 705 Foundations of Interprofessional Practice 2 (0 cr)

MS/DI (All courses listed are required for the degree program.)

Fall

  • SPH BS 704 Introduction to Biostatistics (3 cr)
  • SAR HS 775 Topics in Clinical Nutrition
  • SAR HS 776 Nutritional Epidemiology*
  • SAR HS 783 Metabolic Regulation
  • SAR HS 789 Clinical Nutrition Counseling (2 cr)*
  • SAR HS 705 Foundations of Interprofessional Practice 1 (0 cr)*

Spring

  • SAR HS 704 Issues in Clinical Nutrition Practice (2 cr)*
  • SAR HS 742 Nutrition for Disease Prevention
  • SAR HS 785 Nutrition Research (3 cr)*
  • SAR HS 811 Practicum (3 cr)*
  • SAR HS 705 Foundations of Interprofessional Practice 2 (0 cr)*
  • Graduate elective (3+ cr)*

*required for the DI

The DI (HS 703) begins in June or January following completion of academic coursework. It is a 6-credit, 29-week, full-time class requiring payment of tuition. In addition, a $1,000 fee must be paid to the internship site.

DPD/MS+DI

Courses marked (*) are required to complete the DPD.

Courses marked (+) are required to complete the MS.

Courses marked (‡) are required to complete the DI.

Fall I

  • SAR HS 551 Human Nutrition Science*
  • QST SM 101 Introduction to Business*
  • SPH BS 704 Introduction to Biostatistics (3 cr)+
  • CAS PS 101 General Psychology*

Spring I

  • SAR HS 500 Food Science*
  • SAR HS 510 Managing Food and Nutrition Services*
  • SAR HS 561 Nutrition Throughout the Life Cycle*
  • SAR HS 542 Exercise Physiology

Fall II

  • SAR HS 566 Community Nutrition*
  • SAR HS 584 Medical Nutrition Therapy I*
  • SAR HS 776 Nutritional Epidemiology+*
  • SAR HS 789 Clinical Nutrition Counseling (2 cr)+*

Spring II

  • SAR HS 585 Medical Nutrition Therapy II*
  • SAR HS 704 Issues in Clinical Nutrition Practice (2 cr)‡
  • SAR HS 742 Nutrition for Disease Prevention+
  • SAR HS 785 Nutrition Research (3 cr)+*
  • SAR HS 811 Practicum (3 cr)‡

Fall III

  • SAR HS 586 Applied Nutrition Care*
  • SAR HS 775 Topics in Clinical Nutrition+
  • SAR HS 783 Metabolic Regulation+
  • Graduate-level elective (3+ cr)
  • SAR HS 705 Foundations of Interprofessional Practice 1 (0 cr)*‡

The DI (SAR HS 703) begins in January or June following completion of academic coursework. It is a 6-credit, 29-week, full-time class requiring payment of tuition. In addition, a $1,000 fee must be paid to the internship site.