M.S. Nutrition (Concentration Clinical)
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Each year, on the 2nd Monday of June, we host an Open House for the Clinical Nutrition program. The following schedule is for 2017: Open House June 12, 2017, from 1-3 p.m., in the Fieldhouse, room 170. Individual appointments may be made with Dr. Williams-Hooker in the summer. Appointments are not available during the fall and spring semesters except under extenuating circumstances. Please contact Dr. Ruth Williams-Hooker for more information.
The University of Memphis MS Nutrition / Dietetic Internship and Residency Program is an intensive curriculum lasting only 16 months. Students are expected to complete all requirements in the 16 month period but in extenuating circumstances (e.g., severe illness), may be allowed up to 24 months for completion. The program begins in mid-August of the first year and continues with classes and/or supervised practice through the end of the fall semester of the second year. The program is 39 credit hours. The didactic curriculum focuses on preparing students for clinical rotations. Students take 12 hours of coursework each of the first two semesters (fall and spring), and may have an optional 20-hour per week Graduate Assistantship (GA), (2 credit hours) in a clinical research, healthcare, or management site.
The supervised practice (internship/rotations) aspect of the program focuses primarily on adult clinical nutrition with pediatric rotations, community rotations, and management rotations occurring in a variety of healthcare sites throughout the Memphis area. Thesis/project work begins during the first fall semester and is optional for completion of the program. However, some sites will require that a student conduct research as a component of their involvement at that site. If not conducting a thesis/project, students will be expected to complete 3 credit hours of elective coursework. Rotations start in late May/early June after completing the initial fall and spring semesters and take place over the summer and second fall semester. During this time, students are in rotations 40 hours per week and meet for classes approximately 4 hours per week. After completion of the 28 weeks of rotations, the students will have accumulated approximately 1200 hours of supervised practice including a culminating residency experience. They will have been prepared beyond entry level and will receive a verification statement. Students are then eligible to finish the credentialing process to become a Registered Dietitian (RD). If applicable, students will defend their thesis/project during the second fall semester; or if not completing a thesis/project, will complete a comprehensive exit exam.
The state of Tennessee requires that RDs be licensed, as do most other states. Students will be given instructions about licensure prior to graduation. If a student is unable to complete the program in 16 months, they will be allowed to continue for 8 additional months in order to allow for completion.
To view the University's Academic Calendar, please visit the Registrar's webpage; for a timeline of our program click here.
Although the actual schedule for rotation dates and facilities change every year, we have several facilities offering the same rotation (e.g. we have 6 renal sites, 2 nutrition support sites). For a typical schedule for supervised practice please click here.
The Credentialing Process to Becoming a Registered Dietitian
1. Completion of a minimum of a bachelor's degree at a US regionally accredited university or college and DPD course work approved the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).
2. Completion of an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program at a healthcare facility, community agency, or a foodservice corporation, or combined with undergraduate or graduate students. The University of Memphis Clinical Nutrition Master's Program /Dietetic Internship is an ACEND accredited supervised practice program.
3. Pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
4. Complete 75 hours continuing professional educational requirements every 5 years to maintain registration.
Information about current tuition rates is available on The University of Memphis graduate school website. There may be an activity fee for certain courses and there is also a fee for selected online courses. Presently, there is only one online course taken during the didactic portion of the program.
Internship fees are set at approximately $1,672 per semester for the first 3 semesters (fall, spring, summer) a student is at The University of Memphis (total cost $5015). This fee cannot be waived. The internship fee is due at the beginning of each semester for the first three semesters and covers the costs involved in administering the internship, as well as ancillary costs associated with completing the academic program (e.g., conference travel, registration, preceptor support). Internship fees will not be refunded and tuition will be refunded based on University of Memphis policy.
Graduate Assistantship (GA)
While we attempt to fund all Clinical Nutrition students with a GA and historically have been successful in doing so, a GA is not guaranteed for all students. Students should consult with Dr. Ruth Williams-Hooker for more information. If a GA is provided, it will require that a student work approximately 20 hours each week of the semester (except for university breaks) and it will pay a monthly stipend for the first academic year of study (fall and spring semesters only: payments typically made September-April). The stipend amount varies depending on GA location but generally ranges from $6500 to $8000 for the academic year (approximately $10-12 per hour). The GA does not include any tuition or fee payment but does waive the out-of-state tuition/fee cost, if applicable. Therefore, students will be required to pay the in-state tuition/fee rate during the time in which they are funded through a GA. In nearly all cases, the GA is limited to only the first year of the program (fall and spring). However, students will continue to receive the in-state tuition/fee rate during the summer term between years one and two. During the final semester (fall semester of year two), students will no longer receive a GA and will be expected to pay the out-of-state tuition/fee rate, assuming they do not qualify for the in-state rate based on residency. In rare cases, a GA may be available during the second year. Students will have an option to rank their interest in the various GA sites and may be required to interview for selected sites. Students should inquire with Dr. Ruth Williams-Hooker for more information regarding GAs.