MS in Nutrition/Dietetics/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 2000, 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 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 credential, or who are interested in graduate-level study in human nutrition, should pursue the MS degree.

Programs for Students without Undergraduate Preparation in Nutrition

Students interested in obtaining an MS degree and credentialing as a Registered Dietitian should apply to the DPD/MS+DI program. In this program, students maintaining satisfactory academic progress in coursework will receive the appropriate Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) 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. Prerequisite courses must be completed at a four-year college or university. In general, credits from online courses and community colleges are not accepted.

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.

MS/DI Program

Students should apply using the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) national computer matching process. It is our policy that every student matched to our program will be guaranteed financial aid of $10,000–$15,000 during the two-semester MS.

All applicants to the MS/DI program must complete a BU Sargent College Graduate School Application, an AND Didactic Program Verification Statement, and an AND Dietetic Internship Application. Students must submit the AND recommendation forms only, not the BU Sargent College recommendation forms. AND recommendation forms should be completed by individuals who are familiar with the student’s academic ability and/or professional work experience. The personal statement must be limited to 500 words. Candidates must comply with all deadlines set by the AND. The DI application can be found on the Dietetic Educators of Practitioners website. The DI participates in the AND computer match through D&D Digital, 304 Main Street, Ames, Iowa 50010; 515-292-0490; dnd@sigler.com.

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 one-semester, stand-alone courses, including a lab, in general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, physiology, and microbiology. 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. 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.

Application Deadline

Completed applications for the MS/DI must be received by February 15. For all other programs, completed applications must be received by February 1. If a complete application is not received by the appropriate 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 classes. In graduate courses, no grade below C is acceptable for credit. No more than 8 credits of C or C+ work will be counted toward the MS degree and the acceptability of such grades in required courses is subject to faculty approval.

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 food and nutrition 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 a DPD verification statement and be awarded an MS degree. They can then apply to, and will 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 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 AND 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 AND.

Curricula

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

Two-Semester MS

Fall

  • SPH BS 704 Introduction to Biostatistics (3 cr)
  • SAR HS 775 Advanced Clinical Nutrition
  • SAR HS 776 Nutritional Epidemiology
  • SAR HS 783 Metabolic Regulation

Spring

  • SAR HS 742 Nutrition for Disease Prevention
  • SAR HS 785 Nutrition Research (2 cr)
  • SAR HS 811 Practicum
  • Graduate elective (7–8 cr)

MS/DI

Fall

  • SPH BS 704 Introduction to Biostatistics (3 cr)
  • SAR HS 775 Advanced Clinical Nutrition
  • SAR HS 776 Nutritional Epidemiology
  • SAR HS 783 Metabolic Regulation
  • SAR HS 789 Clinical Nutrition Counseling (2 cr)

Spring

  • SAR HS 704 Issues in Clinical Nutrition Practice (2 cr)
  • SAR HS 742 Nutrition for Disease Prevention
  • SAR HS 785 Nutrition Research (2 cr)
  • SAR HS 811 Practicum
  • Graduate elective (3–4 cr)

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 DPD.

Courses marked (+) are MS.

Fall I

  • SAR HS 551 Human Nutrition Science*
  • SMG SM 131 Business, Society & Ethics
  • SMG FE 101 Introduction to Finance (2 cr)
  • SPH BS 704 Introduction to Biostatistics (3 cr)+
  • CAS PS 101 General Psychology*

Spring I

  • SAR HS 500 Food Science*
  • SAR HS 510 Management of Food Service Systems*
  • SAR HS 561 Nutrition Throughout the Life Cycle*
  • SAR HS 542 Clinical Exercise Physiology*

Fall II

  • SAR HS 520 Applications of Food Service Management*
  • 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 (2 cr)+*
  • SAR HS 811 Practicum

Fall III

  • SPH PM 702 Introduction to Health Policy and Management (3 cr)*
  • SAR HS 586 Applied Nutrition Care*
  • SAR HS 775 Advanced Clinical Nutrition+
  • SAR HS 783 Metabolic Regulation+
  • SAR SB 721 Social and Behavioral Sciences for Public Health (3 cr)+*

The DI (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.