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Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics

Program

The Nutrition and Dietetics major provides both the didactic coursework and supervised practice necessary to prepare students to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN). Using knowledge of nutrition science, biology, chemistry, physiology, biochemistry, psychology, and statistics, RDNs address the nutrition needs of individuals or groups, through prevention or management of illness or chronic disease. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to sit for the entry-level exam to become an RDN. (See below for What it Means to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist). RDNs may also be required to obtain a state license depending on the state in which they practice and the requirements of their employer. This program fulfills the requirements of the Accreditation Council on Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) Future Graduate Education Model.

The Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics is an in-person degree program, with all courses taught face-to-face on campus. Students spend the first two quarters in the program in the classroom, taking foundation courses. Beginning in the third quarter, students simultaneously participate in supervised practice (approximately 24 hours per week) to develop and demonstrate competency in dietetics practice. Supervised practice is completed at locations in and around the Philadelphia metropolitan area, or in locations outside of the area with approval from the Program Director; students are not required to find their own supervised practice preceptors. The program requires a total of 63 quarter credits completed in seven consecutive academic quarters. Course requirements and plan of study are available in the catalog.

Students have the option to complete a research thesis. Applicants are encouraged to visit the Nutrition Sciences Department website to review the research programs of the department's faculty. Students who do not complete a research thesis will complete a capstone project during their last term in the program.

The program is offered on a full-time basis; students are admitted only in the Fall term. The academic calendar is available on the Provost's webpage

Our Mission

Drexel University's Department of Nutrition Sciences, Nutrition and Dietetics Program prepares its graduates for practice as competent and compassionate Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. The learning environment is structured to allow students to implement current technology and evidence-based information, to participate in conducting research, and to engage in experiential learning within the local and global community to contribute to improved health outcomes.

What you'll learn

This major begins with a study of nutrition science, the application of the principles of biochemistry, physiology and biology to human nutritional needs. Courses progress to the application of nutrition science to the health of individuals and groups, known as dietetics. The Nutrition and Dietetics curriculum develops competency in all aspects of normal and therapeutic nutrition for individuals and groups.

What makes the Nutrition and Dietetics Program unique?

  • Drexel University has been chosen as a demonstration program for the Future Graduate Model of education developed by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • Beginning in the third quarter, supervised practice in real-life settings is completed simultaneously with didactic (classroom) learning, at a variety of top facilities in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The inclusion of supervised practice during the program eliminates the need to complete a separate dietetic internship.
  • Students spend the last 6 months of the program in a focus area developing the skills to be immediately employed in that area once they pass the RDN exam. Options are flexible, but include: adult clinical nutrition, pediatric clinical nutrition, community-based nutrition education and nutrition and athletic performance.

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A REGISTERED DIETITIAN?

Registered Dietitians are food and nutrition experts employed in a wide variety of settings who find exciting jobs working as:

  1. Clinical dietitians—who provide medical nutritional therapy for patients in hospitals, physician offices, and other locations.
  2. Sports dietitians—who work with competitive and recreational athletes, and for sports teams.
  3. Wellness dietitians—who work in corporate wellness programs.
  4. Community dietitians—who counsel individuals and groups on nutritional practices designed to prevent disease and promote good health.
  5. Management dietitians—who oversee large-scale meal planning and preparation in healthcare facilities, business and industry, and colleges and universities.
  6. Consultant dietitians—who often work under contract with healthcare facilities.
  7. Private practice dietitians—who counsel individuals and groups on good nutrition to improve health.
  8. Education dietitians—who teach nurses, dietetics students, and others about nutrition in higher education.

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitians (RD). ACEND exists to serve the public by establishing and enforcing Eligibility Requirements and Accreditation Standards that ensure the quality and continued improvement of nutrition/dietetics education programs. Programs meeting those standards are accredited by ACEND. ACEND is recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. This affirms that ACEND meets national standards and is a reliable authority on the quality of nutrition/dietetics education programs.

The Drexel University Didactic Program in Nutrition and Future Graduate Model are currently accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.

For further information, please contact: 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, 312.899.0040 ext. 5400 http://www.eatrightPRO.org/ACEND

COMPLIANCE

The College of Nursing and Health Professions has a compliance process that may be required for every student. Some of these steps may take significant time to complete. Please plan accordingly.

Visit the Compliance pages for more information.

Note: Applying to the MS in Nutrition and Dietetics program requires special planning. Students are admitted in the Fall term only. The first consideration before submitting an application is whether all prerequisites have been met. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible so that transcripts can be reviewed and prerequisites determined.

Admission Requirements

Degree:
A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in the United States or an equivalent international institution. Must have a GPA of 3.0 or above.

Transcripts:

  • Official transcripts must be sent directly to Drexel from all the colleges/universities that you have attended.
  • Transcripts must be submitted in a sealed envelope with the college/university seal over the flap to Drexel University, Applications Processing, PO Box 34789, Philadelphia, PA 19101, or submitted through a secure electronic transcript delivery service to enroll@drexel.edu. Please note that transcripts are required regardless of number of credits taken or if the credits were transferred to another school. An admission decision may be delayed if you do not send transcripts from all colleges/universities attended. Transcripts must show course-by-course grades and degree conferrals. If your school does not notate degree conferrals on the official transcripts, you must provide copies of any graduate or degree certificates.
  • If your school issues only one transcript for life, you are required to have a course-by-course evaluation completed by an approved transcript evaluation agency
  • Use our Transcript Lookup Tool to assist you in contacting your previous institutions
Prerequisites:
You must complete the following prerequisite courses with a grade of B or better before starting the program:
  • 1 year English composition and/or literature
  • 1 semester general biology with lab to include cell and genetics
  • 2 semesters general chemistry, including an introduction to organic chemistry,with lab, OR 1 semester general/inorganic chemistry with lab AND 1 semester organic chemistry with lab
  • 1 semester biochemistry
  • 1 semester human physiology or 2 semesters anatomy and physiology
  • 1 semester general psychology
  • 1 semester statistics
  • 1 semester introductory nutrition
  • 1 semester basic food preparation

Prerequisite Questions

What if I have taken some or all of these classes already?

If you have completed this coursework at another college or university that is regionally accredited, the director of the MS in Nutrition and Dietetics will evaluate your transcripts. For courses completed at another university to meet the requirements, the courses must meet the following:

  • Is substantially equivalent to courses offered in the Nutrition Program at Drexel (a course description and/or course syllabus is used to determine this).
  • Completed with a grade of B (3.0) or better.
  • Be less than five years old for science or nutrition courses or 10 years old for other courses (based on the time of the course evaluation), with several exceptions.
    • General chemistry courses may be 10 years old, but biology, human physiology, and biochemistry may only be five years old.
    • In some cases, a practicing healthcare or research professional will be allowed to have certain science courses older than five years.
    • The following courses have no time limits: English, general psychology, statistics and basic food preparation.

You must submit official transcripts prior to enrollment.

Students who completed courses outside the United States are required to have a detailed course-by-course evaluation of their transcripts by a company found at: http://www.eatright.org/students/getstarted/international/agencies.aspx.

What if I have not taken these prerequisites yet?

Students may fulfill the prerequisite courses at another institution or local community college convenient to them. All prerequisites must be completed prior to enrolling the MS in Nutrition and Dietetics. They are available either at the Community College of Philadelphia or your local community college.

References:
Two letters of recommendation

  • Request recommendations with your application or through the Discover Drexel portal after you submit your application.
  • If a recommender prefers to submit an original, hard copy letter, please remind them that it must include an ink signature and be submitted in a sealed envelope.

Personal Statement/ Essay:
Approximately 500 words explaining your reasons for pursuing a degree from Drexel, your short- and long-term career plans and how your background, experience, interest, and/or values—when combined with a Drexel degree—will enable you to pursue these goals successfully.

Interview:
Admissions interview is not required.

CV/Resume:
Required.

International Students: International applicants, as well as immigrants to the United States and U.S. permanent residents whose native language is not English and who have not received a bachelor's degree or higher in the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom, must show proficiency in English speaking as well as listening, writing and reading. American citizens born on U.S. military bases abroad may be waived from the TOEFL requirement after providing documentation of this status. Otherwise, applicants must meet one of the following requirements: 

If you take the TOEFLiBT exam, you must have: a minimum combined score for listening, writing, and reading sections of 79 plus a speaking section score of 26 or higher.

Tuition and Fee Rates:
Please visit the Tuition and Fee Rates page on Drexel Central. Please visit the Financial Aid Options page to learn about options to help finance your degree program.

Additional Estimated Costs Over Tuition

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Student Membership: $58.00
  • Lab coat: $45.00
  • Jean Inman Review Course: $275.00
  • Medical examination and immunizations: varies
  • Child abuse history clearance: $10.00

Application Deadlines:

  • U.S. Students:
    • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; applicants are encouraged to apply by June 1 and may be accepted contingent upon completing outstanding prerequisite courses. No applications will be accepted after September 1.
  • International Students: June 13

For more information on Admissions, please visit: https://drexel.edu/grad/programs/cnhp/nutrition-and-dietetics/

Curriculum

Accreditation

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitians (RD). ACEND exists to serve the public by establishing and enforcing Eligibility Requirements and Accreditation Standards that ensure the quality and continued improvement of nutrition/dietetics education programs. Programs meeting those standards are accredited by ACEND. ACEND is recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. This affirms that ACEND meets national standards and is a reliable authority on the quality of nutrition/dietetics education programs.

The Drexel University Didactic Program in Nutrition, Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway, and Future Graduate Model are currently accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. 

For further information, please contact:

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, 312.899.0040 ext. 5400 
http://www.eatrightPRO.org/ACEND

Outcomes

Drexel's MS in Nutrition and Dietetics builds on the history and success of Drexel's MS in Human Nutrition. Drexel's MS in Human Nutrition alumni have an exceptionally high pass rate on the entry-level exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. Over the past five years (2014-2018), 95% (94/99) of MS in Human Nutrition alumni passed the exam on their first attempt.

Program Goals:

Program Goal #1: To prepare graduates to become competent entry-level dietitians.

  • Objective #1: At least 80% of students will complete the program within 150% of the expected time frame for the program of 21 months.
  • Objective #2: At least 80% of graduates will be employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
  • Objective #3: Employers of graduates will rate ten aspects of the employee's preparation for entry-level practice an average of "4" or better, on a scale of 1=poor to 5=excellent.
  • Objective #4: At least 90% of graduates are expected to take the Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR) credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
  • Objective #5: At least 80% of graduates over a five-year period will pass the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within one year following first attempt.
  • Objective #6: Graduates of the program will rate ten aspects of their didactic and learning experiences an average of "4" or better, on a scale of 1=poor to 5 =excellent.

Program Goal #2: To increase diversity in the profession by facilitating the success of students from underrepresented groups.

  • Objective #1: At least 20% of graduates will be from underrepresented groups.

Additional program outcomes are available upon request by contacting the program director, Beth Leonberg, MS, RDN at bll26@drexel.edu.

WHAT IS A FUTURE EDUCATION MODEL GRADUATE PROGRAM?

The Future Education Model Graduate Program standards combine both the knowledge and supervised practice necessary to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in a competency-based education program at the graduate level. Graduates of the program are eligible to register to take the entry-level exam without completing a separate dietetic internship.

More information on the Future Education Model Graduate Program is available on the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics website at: https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend/accredited-programs/future-education-model-graduate-program

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A REGISTERED DIETITIAN?

Registered Dietitians are food and nutrition experts employed in a wide variety of settings who find exciting jobs working as:

  1. Clinical dietitians—who provide medical nutritional therapy for patients in hospitals, physician offices, and other locations.
  2. Sports dietitians— who work with competitive and recreational athletes, and for sports teams.
  3. Wellness dietetians—who work in corporate wellness programs.
  4. Community dietitians—who counsel individuals and groups on nutritional practices designed to prevent disease and promote good health.
  5. Management dietitians—who oversee large-scale meal planning and preparation in healthcare facilities, business and industry, and colleges and universities.
  6. Consultant dietitians—who often work under contract with healthcare facilities.
  7. Private practice dietitians—who counsel individuals and groups on good nutrition to improve health.
  8. Education dietitians—who teach nurses, dietetics students, and others about nutrition in higher education.