MS Degree & DI Combined Program


The Master's Degree/Dietetic Internship

  • encompasses a minimum of 42 hours of study over 16 months in clinical and cellular nutrition, behavioral sciences, management, research, and culminates with a residency and defense of a thesis, project or clinical culminating experience such as a comprehensive exam or case study.
  • provides a clinical nutrition-centered program for those having a BS in Dietetics or a BS in another discipline and completion of a DPD.
  • has a mission and program goals and outcome measures used to demonstrate the program's effectiveness.

The University of Memphis MS Nutrition/Dietetic Internship and Residency Program is an intensive curriculum lasting only 16 months. 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 42 credit hours. The didactic curriculum focuses on preparing you for clinical rotations. You will take 12 hours of coursework each of the first two semesters (fall and spring), and may have an optional 20-hour-per-week paid intern assistantship, 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 including a culminating residency experience. You will have been prepared beyond entry level and will receive a Verification Statement. You are then eligible to finish the credentialing process to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). You will be required to defend your thesis/project during the second fall semester; or if not completing a thesis/project, will complete a a comprehensive advanced practice case study.

The State of Tennessee requires that RDNs 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.

MS/DI Courses

The current academic calendar for the MS/DI runs one week prior to the beginning of the fall semester and follows the University of Memphis academic calendar for all other semesters.

The intern will receive time off in May, pending the university academic calendar and planned supervised experiential learning rotations. Traditionally, the internship break is from May 5 until May 27 with internship orientation beginning on May 28 on campus.


Curriculum Course Sequence

Semester 1 - Fall

  • NUTR 7412 Cellular Nutrition I
  • NUTR 7205 Nutrition in Acute and Chronic Illness I
  • HMSE 7010 Research Methods
  • EDPR 7541 Statistical Methods (Can be taken the summer prior to semester 1.)

Semester 2 - Spring

  • NUTR 7422 Cellular Nutrition II
  • NUTR 7305 Nutrition in Acute and Chronic Illness II
  • HPRO 7780 Seminar in Counseling
  • NUTR 6010 Management in Food Systems

Semester 3 - Summer

  • NUTR 7405 Pharmacology for Nutrition Professionals (Offered the summer prior to semester 1.)
  • NUTR 7481 Clinical Internship in Nutrition

Semester 4 - Fall

  • NUTR 7481 Clinical Internship in Nutrition
  • HMSE 7996 Thesis OR
    • HPRO 7950 Masters Project OR
    • NUTR 7902 Unique Strategy in Clinical Nutrition Research (Offered in semester 3 as well.)

RDNs who wish to complete the master's portion of the program will be given 12 credit hours for their internship, if the hours have been practicing as an RDN. You should contact Tracy Bruen regarding admission.

Program Costs

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 three semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer) you are at the UofM (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. Internship fees cover local district memberships, liability insurance, certain supplies, training and resources for rotations, lab coat, drug testing and background checks. Internship fees will not be refunded and tuition will be refunded based on UofM policy.

Additional information regarding costs that may be required by the intern as well as costs of the program that are covered for the intern may be found in the internship handbook.



MS & DI Combined Program Objectives

Mission Statement

Consistent with the missions of our university, college and and unit, the mission of MS Clinical Nutrition and Dietetic Internship program is to prepare graduates to be able to work as entry-level dietitians through the provision of excellent education, experiential learning,  research and clinical practice experiences.

Goal 1: To prepare graduates for a professional roles as competent entry level registered dietitian nutritionists.

  1. Graduate Employment: “Of graduates who seek employment, at least 100% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.”
  2. Graduate Performance on Registration Exam:
    • “At least 100% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.”
    • “The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.”
  3. Employer Satisfaction:
    • 80 % of employers will rate program graduates at  three (out of five) or better considering the graduates preparedness  for entry level practice upon hire as compared to other registered dietitians nutritionists of similar experience.
  4. Graduate Satisfaction:
    • Of graduates surveyed one year post employment, at least 80% will report at least a three (out of four) on the program’s preparation to incorporated evidenced based practice into entry level practice.

Goal 2:  To mentor, encourage and motivate interns to excel and concurrently complete the MS in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetic internship.

    • Program Completion Objective : “At least 80% of interns complete program requirements within 24 months (150% of planned program length).”

Goal 3: To prepare graduates to demonstrate a commitment to the community through professional involvement, leadership, and volunteerism in a variety of personal or professional settings.

    • The interns will become members of the national, state, and local dietetic association and will attend either in person or virtually, a local district dietetic association meeting and a national dietetic association meeting while in the program.

Data demonstrating our program outcomes are available on request from the program director.