MS Degree & DI Combined Program


The Master's Degree/Dietetic Internship and Residency:

  • 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 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 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 (RD). If applicable, you will 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 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.

MS/DI Courses

Completed Classwork
Typical Four-Year Sequence

Note: In cases of students who already have completed a dietetic internship, course substitutions for Clinical Practice Courses can be made to enable practitioners to pursue advanced specialty interests.

Curriculum Course Sequence:

Semester One - Fall

  • NUTR 7412 Cellular Nutrition I
  • NUTR 7205 Nutrition in Acute and Chronic Illness I
  • HMSE 7010 Research Methods

Semester Two - 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 Three - Summer

  • NUTR 7405 Pharmacology for Nutrition Professionals *offered the summer prior to semester one
  • NUTR 7481 Clinical Internship in Nutrition

Semester Four - Fall

  • NUTR 7481 Clinical Internship in Nutrition
  • NUTR 7482 Residency
  • HMSE 7996 Thesis OR HPRO 7950 Masters Project OR NUTR 7902 Unique Strategy in Clinical Nutrition Research *offered in semester three as well

Note: EDPR 7541 can be taken any semester, even summer prior to semester one. Registered Dietitians 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 RD. 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 3 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.

MS & DI Combined Program Objectives

Mission Statement

Consistent with the missions of our university, college and and unit, the mission of the Dietetic Internship and Residency program is to prepare graduates to be able to work as entry-level dietitians by providing excellent education, research and practice experiences.

Program Goals and Outcome Measures

Goal 1

To provide an educational experience that gives graduates both the practical and didactic knowledge and skill to practice as an entry-level RD.

Outcome Measures

  • At least 85% of our students will successfully complete the program within 16 months. 95% of our students will complete the program within 24 months.
  • Of the graduates who intend to work as an RD, at least 75% will successfully complete the RD exam within six months of graduation and 100% will successfully complete the RD exam within one year of graduation.

Goal 2

To provide a course of study that gives graduates the skills and knowledge to incorporate scientific information into their future practice.

Outcome Measures

  • At least 90% of the first post-graduate employers of our graduates will report at least a 4 (out of a possible 5) when asked about the ability of our graduates to incorporate scientific knowledge and evidence into their practice.
  • When surveyed at one-year post-graduation, at least 85% of the DI graduates will report at least a 3 (out of a possible 4) on their program preparation to incorporate scientific knowledge and evidence into their practice.

Goal 3

To develop within our graduates, the skills and motivation to pursue lifelong professional learning.

Outcome Measures

  • When surveyed at one-year post-graduation, at least 85% of the DI graduates will report active RD status and active AND membership.
  • When surveyed at one-year post-graduation, at least 50% of the DI graduates will report membership in at least one DPG.

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