Master of Science in Nutrition Program
The Master of Science in Human Nutrition Program is concerned with normal and therapeutic nutrition for individuals and groups. The program accommodates students who:
- Have a bachelor's degree and wish to become a registered dietitian (R.D.).
- Are not registered dietitians, but wish to delve more deeply into nutritional science and research.
Students can opt to pursue the Didactic Program in Dietetics (D.P.D.) track or the Nutritional Sciences (NS) track. Both tracks stress the interdisciplinary and scientific nature of nutrition and food and provide students with a base of theoretical knowledge and methodology enabling them to continue professional growth after graduation.
Graduate study in human nutrition is offered on both a full-time and part-time basis with courses in the evening. The DPD-track students will complete the degree as non-thesis students, while the NS-track students have the option of thesis or no thesis.
M.S./D.P.D.: A Step Toward Becoming a Registered Dietitian
If you have a desire to promote optimal wellness and quality of life for people of all ages through better nutrition, and if you have an interest in and capacity for science, the M.S./Didactic Program in Dietetics option may be of interest to you. This degree is one of the steps to becoming an R.D. The M.S./D.P.D. at Drexel is a full- or part-time program with courses offered in the evening. The program is 45 credits with a written comprehensive exam and may be completed in two years with full-time study.
What Is a D.P.D.?
A Didactic Program in Dietetics (D.P.D.) provides the coursework required to become an R.D.. Students who want to become an R.D. must successfully complete coursework approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education of the American Dietetics Association (ADA). Drexel University is one of the first universities in the country to offer the D.P.D. Program on the graduate level, which is particularly attractive to students with a bachelor’s in another field. By completing the M.S. degree, you will also receive a verification statement, which shows successful completion of the D.P.D. A college degree (bachelor's or master's) and your verification statement are your “tickets” to apply to dietetic internships, the next step to become an R.D.
be employed in a wide variety of settings and exciting jobs.
What Is a Dietetic Internship?
After you complete your M.S./D.P.D. program, you must apply for a dietetic internship (also called supervised practice). While the Didactic Program provides mostly classroom training, the dietetic internship provides hands-on training. Dietetic internships provide at least 1,200 hours of supervised practice (unpaid) and are usually completed in eight to 12 months, depending on the availability of a part-time schedule. Entry to a dietetic internship is competitive. You will likely need at least a 3.2 undergraduate GPA and relevant work experience in healthcare to be a viable candidate. After completion of the internship, you are eligible to take the registration examination for dietitians.
What Does It Mean to Be a Registered Dietitian?
R.D.s are food and nutrition experts employed in a wide variety of settings who find exciting jobs working as:
Clinical dietitians—who provide medical nutritional therapy for patients in hospitals, physician offices, and other locations.
Sports dietitians—who work in corporate wellness programs and for sports teams.
Community dietitians—who counsel individuals and groups on nutritional practices designed to prevent disease and promote good health.
Management dietitians—who oversee large-scale meal planning and preparation in healthcare facilities, business and industry, and colleges and universities.
Consultant dietitians—who often work under contract with healthcare facilities.
Private practice dietitians—who counsel individuals and groups on good nutrition to improve health.
Education dietitians—who teach nurses, dietetics students, and others about nutrition in higher education.
The Drexel University Didactic Program in Nutrition is currently granted accreditation status by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.