MS/DI Clinical Nutrition
The University of Memphis MS Nutrition/Dietetic Internship and Residency Program is an intensive curriculum lasting only 16 months. You are expected to complete all requirements in the 16-month period. The program begins in mid-Aug. 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 a minimum of 42 credit hours. The didactic curriculum focuses on preparing you for clinical rotations. You will take 9-12 hours of coursework each of the first two semesters (fall and spring), and may have an optional 20-hour-per-week graduate assistantship (GA), 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 you conduct research as a component of your involvement at that site. If not conducting a thesis/project, you will be expected to complete three credit hours of clinical nutrition research 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, you are in rotations 40 hours per week and meet for classes approximately four hours per week. After completion of the 28 weeks of rotations, you will have accumulated approximately 1200 hours of supervised practice. You will have been prepared at entry level and will receive a Verification Statement. You are then eligible to sit for the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian/nutritionist (RDN). If applicable, you will defend your 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. You will be given instructions about licensure prior to graduation. If you are unable to complete the program in 16 months, you will be allowed to continue for eight additional months in order to allow for completion.
The Credentialing Process to Becoming a Registered Dietitian
1. Completion of a minimum of a bachelor's degree at a U.S. regionally-accredited university or college and DPD coursework 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 five years to maintain registration.
*Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited [program type] program at [Institution name] are eligible to [apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program/apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN].
The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) is the accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitian nutritionists or nutrition and dietetics technicians, registered.
ACEND® can be contacted by:
Phone: 800/877-1600, ext. 5400
Mail: 120 South Riverside Plaza
Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995
ACEND® serves and protects students and the public by assuring the quality and continued improvement of nutrition and dietetics education programs. ACEND® is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Title IV gatekeeper. This recognition affirms that ACEND® meets national standards and is a reliable authority on the quality of nutrition and dietetics education programs. ACEND® is also a member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors and abides by its code of good practice. It is ACEND’s considered opinion that the program is designed to and does meet all Tennessee state dietetics licensure and certification laws.