Master of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition

Registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) are trained dietetics and nutrition professionals who have met the strict educational and experiential standards set forth by the Commission on Dietetic Registration and the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. RDNs work in a wide variety of settings, including health care, business and industry, community/public health, education, research, government agencies and private practice. In order to be successful in their field, RDNs need a strong science foundation including courses in food and nutrition sciences, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, anatomy, chemistry, foodservice systems, business, medical nutrition therapy, behavioral social sciences and communication. 

Unique experiences are provided as the program places an emphasis on preparing advanced generalist RDNs for the cultural diversities and practice environments in Alaska.

The Dietetics and Nutrition (DN) didactic courses are delivered primarily online to facilitate access to the MS in Dietetics and Nutrition degree statewide. There will be a minimal (a maximum of one week per semester) face-to-face, Anchorage-based meeting requirement in some courses. Supervised practice (practicum) course (DN A695CDN A695D DN A695EDN A695F) rotation sites are located throughout the state of Alaska. Most supervised practice rotations are located in health care settings.

Expenses beyond tuition generally include, but are not limited to, travel and housing in Anchorage for face-to-face course requirements (up to one week in Anchorage in the fall and spring semesters), travel and housing for supervised practice (practicum) rotations, activity fees, lab fees, student organization membership, immunizations, fingerprinting and criminal background checks, cost of Serv Safe certification and food/supplies for some DN courses.

The mission of the UAA Master of Science (MS) in Dietetics and Nutrition is to guide and advance the practice of dietetics and nutrition in Alaska. 

Two tracks are offered in the MS in Dietetics and Nutrition.

  1. Combined Master’s Degree and Dietetic Internship Track: This track is for students seeking to complete the coursework and supervised practice requirements for entry-level practice as a RDN. The locations for completing the required dietetic internship rotations may include Anchorage, Fairbanks, Kodiak, Kenai, Soldotna, Sitka, Juneau, Bethel, Palmer, Wasilla, Kotzebue, Nome and Barrow. Graduates of the Combined Master's Degree and Dietetic Internship track are eligible to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration national certification examination.
  2. Master’s Degree Track: This track is for students who are already credentialed as a RDN through the Commission on Dietetic Registration and are seeking additional study in dietetics and nutrition.

Admission Requirements

Satisfy the Admission Requirements for Graduate Degrees.

Departmental Admission Requirements

  • There is a competitive application process for admissions to the MS in Dietetics and Nutrition.
  • See the Dietetics and Nutrition Program website for information on the application submission process.
  • The annual deadlines for each program track are:
    • Combined Master's Degree and Dietetic Internship track: November 1
    • Master's Degree track: April 1

For both program tracks:

  1. Letter of application, addressing the following items:
    1. Significant professional or volunteer responsibilities you have held,
    2. Professional goals and reasons for desiring to enroll in this program,
    3. Strengths that will help you succeed in this program and in reaching your professional goals,
    4. Personal interests in research, and dietetics and nutrition,
      1. Research is required for all students in this program, either through a graduate project or thesis.
    5. The top two choices of DN faculty member you would most like to work with for academic advising. See Appendix A for a listing of faculty research and professional interests.
    6. Provide any previous names your application materials may be submitted under.
  2. Current resume or CV, including documentation of the following:
    1. Paid work experience(s)
    2. Volunteer or community service experience(s)
    3. Professional organization membership(s)
  3. Two letters of recommendation that meet the following criteria:
    1. Use the template from the program website.
    2. Are written by individuals who are qualified to address your professional, volunteer or academic experience and abilities.
      1. Non-personal reference (i.e., not a family friend) and non-UAA DN faculty.
    3. Address prior academic, work or volunteer experience, with evidence of ability and willingness to work productively.
  4. A video interview presentation is required. See the DN program website for the requirements for the presentation.
  5. Application to UAA graduate school.
  6. Upon successful admission, prior to starting coursework, an advising meeting with the DN graduate program director (in person or by phone) is required.
  7. Additional requirements for the Master's Degree Track only:
    1. Copy of current RD/RDN credential from the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
  8. Additional requirements for the Combined Master's Degree and Dietetic Internship Track only:
    1. Didactic Program Verification Statement within the past five years. For more information about verification statements see the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website.
    2. Completion of current education requirements, as determined by the DN graduate program director, if no coursework or work experiences in dietetics in the five years prior to program admission. Generally, a current course, completed with a minimum grade of a “C”, in each of the following will be required before admission to the program: medical nutrition therapy, community nutrition and foodservice management. If a medical nutrition therapy course is offered as a two or three part course (i.e. MNT I and MNT II), all parts will be required. Courses completed by distance education from accredited institutions will be accepted.
    3. UAA Dietetic Internship application for admission (found on the DN program website). Applicants will also be asked to rank their preferences for the required internship rotation locations.
    4. Upon successful admission to the DN graduate program, prior to starting coursework, documentation of the following items are required:
      1. All necessary immunizations required to work in hospitals and other health care facilities,
      2. All necessary security background checks to meet state and federal requirements,
      3. Necessary professional and health insurance coverage required to work in hospitals and health care facilities.

Advising

  1. Call the Dietetics and Nutrition Program at (907) 786-1276 for an appointment with a dietetics and nutrition program advisor to plan a personal program of study. 
  2. All students in the MS Dietetics and Nutrition program are required to participate in a dietetics advising session a minimum of one time per semester. 

Academic Requirements

Students must earn a satisfactory grade (B or P grade) and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all required courses.

Transfer Credits

Up to 9 semester credits from a graduate program or dietetic internship accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics may be transferred to UAA and counted toward degree completion. Quarter credits will be converted to semester credits by multiplying quarter credits by two-thirds.

Graduation Requirements

Program Requirements

Core Courses: 

DN A615Public Health Nutrition3
DN A630Applied Research in Nutrition and Dietetics3
DN A641Clinical Nutrition Assessment and Intervention4
DN A642Advanced Clinical Nutrition4
DN A650The Business of Dietetics3
DN A698Dietetics & Nutrition Graduate Project3-6
or DN A699 Dietetics & Nutrition Graduate Thesis
NSG A633Statistics for Advanced Practice3
Total Credits23-26

Complete one of the following options:

  1. Combined Master’s Degree and Dietetic Internship Track
DN A601Professional Practice in Dietetics and Nutrition2
DN A692ASeminar: Current Issues in Dietetics Clinical and Community Nutrition2
DN A692BSeminar: Current Issues in Dietetics Community Nutrition and Foodservice Administration1
DN A695CPracticum in Clinical Nutrition4
DN A695DPracticum in Community Nutrition2
DN A695EAdvanced Practicum in Community Nutrition2
DN A695FPracticum in Foodservice Administration4
Elective coursework *3
Total Credits20
*

Suggested electives: DN A690 (up to 6 credits can count towards the degree requirements) and other courses approved by academic advisor.

A minimum of 43 credits is required for the Combined Master’s Degree and Dietetic Internship Track.

B. Master's Degree Track

Elective coursework * **4-7
Total Credits4-7
*

Suggested electives:  DN A690 (up to 6 credits can count towards the degree requirements) and other courses approved by academic advisor.

**

The only credits from the UAA Dietetic Internship Graduate Certificate that may be applied as elective coursework are DN A692A (2 credits) and DN A692B (1 credit), as long as they were completed no more than seven (7) years prior to MS program completion.

A minimum of 30 credits is required for the Master's Degree Track.

Upon completion of MS Dietetics and Nutrition the graduate will be able to:

  1. integrate and apply scientific information and research into professional dietetics and nutrition practice. [Professional Practice Skills]
  2. defend beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors that are at the professional dietitian level of practice.  [Professional Practice Skills]
  3. provide clinical and customer services by developing and delivering information, products and services to individuals, groups and populations.  [Client Care Skills; Public/Population Health and Community Nutrition Skills]
  4. utilize strategic application of principles of management and systems in the provision of food and nutrition services to individuals and organizations. [Organizational Leadership/Management Skills; Food and Food Systems Skills]
  5. demonstrate an understanding of Alaska Native culture and Alaska’s unique healthcare delivery system.  [Concentration area: Alaska Native Culture and Alaska’s Unique Healthcare Delivery System]