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College of Health Sciences > Department of Clinical Nutrition > Dietetic Internship and Master's Degree Program for Undergraduates
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The Combined Master of Science (MS)/Dietetic Internship program is offered on a full-time basis only. The program extends over seven quarters including a summer session. The supervised practice experiences must be completed within 24 months. The didactic and research components of the master's degree should be completed in seven quarters; all students must complete coursework within five years of matriculation. Rush University requires continuous enrollment through to completion of degree (see Rush University policies for further information).  Students may be allowed to transfer up to 9 quarter hours of applicable graduate credit from another accredited university. Graduate courses must be completed with a “B” or better and approved by the student’s supervisory committee to be awarded transfer credit.

Since the beginning of the combined program at Rush, our interns have had an approximately 98 percent pass rate the first time they took the Dietetic Registration Examination. In fact, upon graduation a majority of our interns have been appointed to positions that far exceed entry-level responsibilities.

The dietetic internship at Rush University Medical Center has received full accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Academy of Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), 120 S Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606 (800) 877-1600 ext 5000.

Vision, Mission, Goals and Outcomes
Coursework and Rotations for Dietetic Internship
Combined Program Open House
Application Guidelines and Financial Information
Scholarships and Financial Aid

 

The Vision for the students within the combined dietetic internship and master's degree program at Rush University Medical Center is for graduates to be recognized as nutrition experts, leaders and advocates.

The Mission of the combined dietetic internship and master's degree program is to develop clinical nutrition practitioners who are competent to provide medical nutrition therapy to individuals and groups within a variety of settings.

The goals and outcomes for the students within this program are as follows:

Goal 1: The program will prepare graduates to be competent entry-level dietitians.

  • We will strive for a 90% intern retention rate over a five-year period.
  • 95% of students enrolled in the dietetic internship program will be expected to complete all program requirements within 150% of the time, or 31.5 months, planned for completion.
  • Alumni will achieve a 95% first-time pass rate on the registration exam over a five-year period.
  • Within one year of graduation, 90% of alumni will have obtained employment related to their profession.
  • The mean rating for clinical skill level on employer surveys will be 3 or lower, indicating satisfactory skill level, after a one-year period.
  • The mean rating for management skill level on employer surveys will be 3 or lower, indicating satisfactory skill level, after a one-year period.

Goal 2: The program will prepare graduates to advocate for nutrition public policy and demonstrate leadership through their contributions to the dietetic profession.

  • 90% of respondents to alumni surveys will be members of AND and/or other related professional organizations over a five-year period.
  • 50% of respondents to alumni surveys will report holding an appointed or elected position in a dietetic-related professional organization, a peer-reviewed publication or invited presentation to a professional meeting.
  • 50% of respondents to alumni surveys will report advocacy activity over a five-year period.
Program outcome data are available upon request.
 

Interns spend over 1,200 clock hours in supervised practice rotations. Ten weeks are spent in food systems management rotations, 31 weeks in outpatient and inpatient clinical rotations and five weeks in community rotations.

During food systems management rotations, interns work with culinarians, managers and dietitians who lead the foodservice operations. We have three kitchens and offer foodservice to patients, retail customers and members of our private club which offers an upscale dining experience. In addition, we have an on-site bakery lead by a trained pastry chef who produces wonderful and nutritious treats for patients and customers.

Clinical nutrition rotations include the opportunity to apply medical nutrition therapy in the inpatient, outpatient and community settings. The diverse patient population at Rush and the academic environment create a wonderful training opportunity for dietetic students. Rotations include cardiology, oncology, geriatrics, neurology, gastroenterology, renal, pediatrics, intensive care, nutrition support, etc. Students spend their last five weeks in staff relief in one of the patient units. Community rotations include outpatient clinics, home health care, WIC, school foodservice, food depository, RU Caring (student clinic program), etc.

Course descriptions are provided below or view the complete list of coursework required in the Rush University catalog.

NTR 503 Leadership in Dietetics 2 credits Theories of leadership will be examined. Discussion will focus on practices and principles related to developing leadership skills.

NTR 505, 506 Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy I, II 2, 3 credits Technical, conceptual and behavioral aspects of dietary prevention and treatment of disease states are presented. Students apply principles of medical nutrition therapy to various disease states.

NTR 511 Supervised Experience in Foodservice Systems 4 credits Students function as members of the management team in the foodservice units of the medical center. Through increasingly complex learning experiences, students are expected to develop competence as an entry-level practitioner in food service management.

NTR 513, 514, 515, 516, 517 Supervised Experiences in Clinical Nutrition I, II, III, IV, V 2, 4, 4, 5, 3 credits Students will plan, organize, direct and evaluate nutrition care for individuals and groups of varying ages and lifestyles, across the continuum of care. Students will function as members of the health care team with increasingly complex learning experiences and clinical responsibilities.

NTR 518 Supervised Experience in Dietetics Management 2 credits Students function as members of the management team in the foodservice and nutrition department of the medical center. Students will complete a management project.

NTR 521 Regulation of Macronutrient Metabolism in Human Nutrition 4 credits This advanced course in human metabolism integrates biochemical and molecular nutrition, emphasizing regulation of dietary carbohydrates, fat and protein metabolism and their impact on nutritional status and health. Differences in fuel utilization in specific organs under various conditions will be highlighted.

NTR 522 Energy Metabolism and Bioactive Ingredients in Human Nutrition 2 credits This advanced course in human metabolism integrates biochemical and molecular nutrition as it relates to the regulation of energy metabolism. Health impact of dietary supplements and phytochemicals as new bioactive molecules of interest in human health will also be covered.

NTR 523 Advances in Vitamin & Mineral Nutriture in Human Nutrition 2 credits This advanced course in human metabolism looks at key metabolic pathways and physiological factors affecting micronutrient needs at various life stages.

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NTR 531 Application of Behavioral Change and Educational Theories in Nutrition Counseling and Education 4 credits Students will plan, implement and evaluate a nutrition counseling project around specific dietary behavior and behavior change theory and strategies. Students will share results of the experience and project with clinicians.

NTR 534 Nutrition in Critical Care variable credit An advanced-level supervised experience in enteral and parenteral nutrition. Current rationale and techniques for implementing and monitoring nutritional therapy in critically ill patients will be explored. Special attention is given to metabolic complications associated with enteral and parenteral feeding.

NTR 535 Nutrition in Pediatric Critical Care variable credit Supervised practicum based on scientific theory and practical application of nutrition support in critically ill infants/children. Studies include: nutritional requirements of premature infants; nutrition delivery in neonatal intensive care unit; enteral and parenteral nutrition therapies for pediatric patients with a variety of diseases and organ dysfunctions.

NTR 541 Integrating Nutrition in Disease Prevention and Treatment I 4 credits Pathophysiology of disease and the interrelated role of nutrition in prevention, etiology and treatment of disease are emphasized in this series. Critical review of the nutrition literature in prevention and treatment of acute and chronic disease.

NTR 542 Integrating Nutrition in Disease Prevention and Treatment II 4 credits Pathophysiology of disease and the interrelated role of nutrition in etiology and treatment of disease are emphasized in this series. Critical review of the nutrition literature in prevention and treatment of acute and chronic disease.

NTR 545 Nutrition Assessment Course 2 credits Nutrition assessment is the interpretation of information from dietary, laboratory, anthropometrics and clinical study. In this course the student will learn various nutrition assessment techniques and the appropriate use of these tools in determining the nutrition status of a population and/or individual client.

NTR 555: Population Studies in Nutrition Epidemiology 2 credits Cross-sectional studies, longitudinal studies, and clinical trials that focus on nutritional outcomes, and dietary patterns in relation to health outcomes of population groups. A major emphasis is placed on the findings garnered from major national surveys or trials, some discussion on how findings have influenced nutrition policy, research and future prevention strategies.

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NTR 558 Dietetic Public Policy Initiatives and Advocacy 1 credit This course introduces students to the public policy initiatives supported by the American Dietetic Association, reviews the policy formulation process and provides opportunities to advocate for food & nutrition initiatives with elected governing officials. Students will monitor and actively advocate for public policy impacting food and nutrition.

NTR 560 Food and Nutrition Services Management 3 credits The course will focus on advanced practices and principles related to management of food and nutrition services in health care operations.

NTR 566 Seminar 1 credit This course is designed to allow students to research the literature related to a specific topic, present a summary and critical analysis of the literature supporting/refuting this topic, respond to questions and lead a discussion among peers and faculty.

NTR 598 Thesis variable credit Clinical Nutrition thesis research.

NTR 900 Independent Study variable credit Independent work on a selected topic. Students will complete a literature search and written paper on a topic related to nutrition or food systems management. Arrangements made with advisor prior to registration. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

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CHS 501 Introduction to Biostatistics for the Health Scientist 3 credits This course will focus on concepts and procedures for descriptive and inferential statistics for continuous and discrete data and data analysis using parametric and nonparametric statistical procedures. Computerized statistical programs, such as SPSS, will be used.

CHS 502 Research Methods 3 credits The course will focus on selection of a research problem and identification of designs and methodologies available to address the research problem. In addition, the course is designed to facilitate student interpretation and critical analysis of research literature.

CHS 510 Health Care in America 2 credits Health Care in America is designed for students who are entering a health profession. Faculty leaders from across the Medical Center present topics that address contemporary issues in America's health care system. Examples include the organization and delivery system, the economics and financing of health care, the nation's health care workforce, long-term care, technology and health care, biomedical ethics, health policy and the public's health, and future directions of America's health care system. Following presentations, the class breaks into interdisciplinary groups led by faculty to explore those and other class-developed questions about health care in America.

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Applicants, interested students and their family or significant others are invited to join us for our annual open house on Friday, January 3, 2014, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Room 542 Brainard, Professional Building, 1725 W. Harrison St. There is no fee for the open house and lunch will be provided.

Interested students are also invited to attend a Virtual Open House conducted by Chris Hartney, internship coordinator, and Diane Sowa, internship director, online for a 15-minute program overview followed by a live Q/A chat session on Wednesday 11/13 at 12 noon CST To register for the actual or the virtual open house, contact:

Chris Hartney, MS, RD, LDN
christine_a_hartney@rush.edu
(312) 942-5926

For the actual, in-person open house, please indicate the following: the DPD program attending, year of graduation, number of people attending and any special dietary considerations in your email.

For the virtual open house, please state in your email subject line interested in virtual open house being held on and include the open house date you are interested in. She will reply with the Web link and additional information.

For program information, contact:

Diane Sowa, MBA, RD, LDN
Dietetic Internship Director
Rush University Medical Center
Department of Food and Nutrition Services
1700 West Van Buren, TOB 425
Chicago, IL 60612-3833
diane_c_sowa@rush.edu
Phone: (312) 942-5212
Fax: (312) 942-5203

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Applicants for the combined MS/dietetic internship must complete the online centralized internship application, DICAS, which may be accessed at https://portal.dicas.org, or via email at DICASinfo@DICAS.org.

  • DICAS dates and fees will be announced soon for the Spring 2014 Match. 
 
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from persons who can address your ability to do graduate work. When completing the online application form, applicants must include the name and contact information (specifically an email address) for each reference. This will trigger an email message requesting completion of an online reference form. Students submitting more than one application will need to use the same individuals as references for each application.
 
  • Applicants who apply to internships using DICAS will be asked to complete a personal statement. Please address the following questions in the personal statement (1,000 word limit):
    • Why do you want to enter the dietetics profession?
    • Discuss experiences that have helped to prepare you for your career.
    • What are your short-term and long-term goals?
    • What are your strengths and weaknesses or areas needing improvement?
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be sent to:

DICAS- Transcript Dept
P.O. Box 9118
Watertown, MA 02471 

All applicants must also:

1. Register online for computer matching at www.dnddigital.com and select dietetic internship priority choices; available dates and fees will be announced soon.

2. Only applicants who are accepted into the program will be required to complete the Rush University online application. Please do not complete this application until you have been asked to do so. There will be a $250 acceptance fee which will go toward tuition.

3. Demonstrate completion of a college course in basic statistics documented on an official transcript.

4. Submit official Graduate Record Examination scores taken within the last five years. Indicate the following on the GRE application materials:

  • Field as number 0214 (Nutrition)
  • College as number 3263 (Rush University)

The following are highly recommended, but not required for admission:

  • A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • GRE scores above the 50th percentile
  • Work experience in clinical nutrition, food service or a food-related industry

If you are an international student, please contact the Office of International Services  for further requirements and assistance.

For program information, please contact:

Diane Sowa, MBA, RD, LDN
Dietetic Internship Director
Rush University Medical Center
Department of Food and Nutrition Services
1700 West Van Buren, TOB 425
Chicago, IL 60612-3833
diane_c_sowa@rush.edu
Phone: (312) 942-5212
Fax: (312) 942-5203

To schedule a tour, contact:

Sally Lipson, MS, RD, LDN
Dietetic Internship Coordinator
sally_lipson@rush.edu
Phone: (312) 942-2060

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Stipend and meal credits

During the 21-month program, Rush DI/MS students receive an annual stipend of $7,250 which is paid every two weeks (approximately $275). In addition, students receive $100/month in department credit for meals on campus during the program.

Scholarships available from the Rush Department of Food and Nutrition and Department of Clinical Nutrition are as follows:

The E. Virginia Pinney Award

Endowed in 1986, this award honors Miss E. Virginia Pinney, who directed the Department of Food and Nutrition Services for 40 years. Her numerous accomplishments included initiating the dietetic education program and creating the outstanding culinary reputation enjoyed by Rush today. The Pinney award varies in amount; last year $500 was awarded. It is given during the June graduation ceremony to a graduating student based on faculty assessment of his/her leadership potential in the profession.

The Theda L. Ashley Memorial Award

This award honors Mrs. Theda L. Ashley, a 35-year member of the department leadership team, directed foodservice operations across campus and worked closely with Miss Pinney to establish the outstanding culinary reputation of our department. This award was first given in 1993 and varies in amount; last year $500 was awarded. It is given during the June graduation ceremony to a first-year intern based on faculty assessment of achievement in food systems management.

The Barry Award and Scholarship

This award honors Miss Diana Barry, a 37-year member of the department leadership team, managed all facets of department operations. This award was first given in 2007 and varies in amount. Last year, $1000 was given at the completion of the second fall quarter to a student based on faculty assessment of clinical leadership and potential.

The Ellis Jones Scholarship

All entering students who have completed a FAFSA are eligible for this award which recognizes academically-outstanding incoming students. The award amount varies and is given at the beginning of the first year. Last year $5,600 was given.

The Frye Foundation Scholarship

All entering students are eligible for this award, which recognizes outstanding, incoming minority students. The award amount varies and is given at the beginning of the first year. In the past, up to $2,000 has been awarded.

The Rush University Golf Outing Award

All Rush University students are eligible to receive this award based on faculty assessment of performance and professional potential. This award varies in amount and is given at various times each year. Last year, $2,000 was given.

Additional scholarships are available from the Office of Student Financial Aid at Rush University. Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid at (312) 942-6256 for details.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Rush DI/MS students are typically successful in obtaining scholarships through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and state/local affiliates. Contact the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and your state/local affiliate for further information.

Estimated Costs

For the most current and accurate cost, consult the Rush University Office of Student Financial Aid: University Costs Estimated costs for the internship including tuition, books, equipment, allowance for insurance and living expenses are subject to change.

Students are expected to attend various professional workshops and meetings throughout the 21-month program. The estimated cost for these events is approximately $400 for the first year and $500 to $1,000 for the second year, if the student elects to attend the American Dietetic Association's Food and Nutrition Conference and Exposition.

The program is designed so that a car is not necessary.

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