All Applicants Considered for Merit-Based Scholarships and Graduate Assistantships

Program Overview

The DPD/MS+DI program is uniquely designed for individuals with an undergraduate degree outside of dietetics, who aspire to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). 

This ACEND accredited program combines Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD) courses and a graduate degree emphasizing an understanding of research to inform evidence-based nutrition practice with a full-time DI. 

The DPD/MS portion spans five full time semesters.  In under three years, you will be eligible to take the national RDN credentialling exam after completing: 

  • Foundational coursework required for the DPD verification statement
  • MS Nutrition degree, which includes a practicum in an area of your interest, with courses to deepen your understanding of nutrition science and metabolism, build counseling skills, teach nutrition assessment skills in our state-of-the-art clinical simulation center (add link to sim center page), and train you to evaluate, understand, and implement the results of current research
  • Accredited Dietetic Internship

Research and Practicum

The MS degree program will prepare you to critically evaluate and implement the results of current research, solve problems and communicate effectively. You’ll study with faculty involved in research, education, administration, professional practice, communication and consulting. The MS degree requires a minimum of 32 graduate credits, completed with a minimum cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0 for graduate level courses (700-level or above).

As part of your program, you will complete a research project and a practicum experience in an area of interest to you. The practicum is a 3-credit course. You will spend a minimum of 150 hours during the semester working with an RDN or other health care professional in an area of your interest. This coveted experience allows you to customize your program and provides an ideal opportunity to begin exploring the numerous career possibilities in dietetics and nutrition.  Students have completed the practicum in a wide range of settings, including clinical, research, sports and performance nutrition, community, public health, academic, food service, industry, communications, and private practice. 

Example sites: 

  • Boston Medical Center Outpatient Pediatrics
  • Boston Medical Center Teaching Kitche
  • Mass General Clinical Research Center
  • Walden Behavioral Care
  • Tufts Medical Center Energy Metabolism Lab
  • Home Base Veteran & Family Care
  • Fresh Communications
  • OncoPower Digital Health Tool 
  • Sargent Choice Nutrition Center 
  • Boston University Athlete Fueling Station
  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Verification and Accreditation

After satisfactory completion of the five-semester DPD/MS program, you will receive a DPD Verification Statement and be awarded an MS degree. The Director, Dietetic Internship and the Director, Programs in Nutrition will initiate the process of assessing and reviewing your prior learning in these courses before beginning the Dietetic Internship program. You are then eligible to enter into the Dietetic Internship (DI) portion of the program. If you choose to accept the DI appointment, you cannot participate in the National Computer Match.

The Didactic Program in Dietetics/Master of Science is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL, 60606-6995, 312-899-0400, extension 5400 (http://www.eatrightpro.org/acend).

NOTE: Beginning January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require an advanced degree (minimum of a Master’s degree) as well as a Bachelor’s degree to be eligible to sit for the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). Learn more here: https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree.

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. It is ACEND’s considered opinion that the program is designed to and does meet all state dietetics licensure and certification laws, though some states may interpret their statutes differently. Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited didactic

Dietetic (DI) Internship Program

The ACEND-accredited DI is a critical component of the DPD/MS+DI program. The DI is a full-time, 29-week experience designed to provide you with critical thinking skills and prepare you for the national registration exam and entry-level employment as an RDN. 

Our training sites, throughout Massachusetts, provide excellent opportunities to observe and participate in a wide variety of specialty areas of practice such as community nutrition, medical and surgical care, nutrition support, oncology, nephrology, cardiology, diabetes, out-patient counseling, food service, and food service management and engage with people across the life span from children to aging adults.  Each intern completes a staff relief rotation and an elective rotation in an area of their interest.

The DI is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995; Telephone: 312-899-0040 ext. 5400 (https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend).

Learn more on our DI Program page.

Boston University Measurable Learning Outcomes

Our curriculum is guided by the achievement of specific learning outcomes. At the completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Conduct an effective dietary counseling session.
  • Demonstrate the ability to interpret current research in nutrition and health.
  • Demonstrate the ability to design research studies to answer current and relevant nutrition-related questions.

Want to learn more?

We’d love to keep you informed of upcoming events and news! Keep in contact by filling out the Request Information form or emailing us at sargrad@bu.edu.