Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition With Dietetic Internship Program Details

The Combined Master of Science/Dietetic Internship (MS/DI) program provides students with the supervised practice experience needed to meet the Core Competencies for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists established by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Our 21-month program provides a concentration in Clinical Nutrition and includes Clinical rotations, Food Service Management rotations and community hours. The majority of rotations take place at Rush University Medical Center (RUMC), just west of downtown Chicago.

The didactic and research components of the Master’s Degree are completed concurrently with supervised practice and result in conferring of an MS Degree in Clinical Nutrition from Rush University.

How to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)

  • Complete a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) accredited by  the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) - www.eatrightpro.org/acend
  • Complete an ACEND accredited supervised practice program
  • Pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) - www.cdrnet.org
  • Many states have regulatory laws (i.e. licensure) for dietitians and nutritionists; these requirements are often met by similar training to becoming an RDN. Illinois state licensure info can be found at www.idfpr.com.

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 order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR’s Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR’s website: https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree. In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by ACEND.

Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited MS/DI program at Rush University Medical Center are eligible to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.

If you already have a bachelor’s degree that is not in dietetics and are interested in applying to Rush, you need to have your college transcript evaluated by a director of a DPD program accredited by ACEND. They will evaluate your previous work and identify courses that you will need to complete at that school to meet nutrition and dietetics requirements that are needed to receive a verification statement and the ability to apply to the Rush program.

Why Rush University for your training?

  • Rush University Medical Center (Rush) is a top tier academic medical center located in the heart of Chicago. Rush is ranked #2 in the nation for quality in health care by Vizient.  In the recent US News and World Report “2020 America’s Best Hospitals” rankings, Rush is nationally ranked in 11 adult specialties.

  • As an academic medical center, Rush offers a rich environment for learning by working with professionals and students from all areas of medicine. Students learn from supportive staff, as well as patient-care rounds, teaching rounds, grand rounds, and research forums. 

  • Chicago is a dynamic city rich in culture, diversity, food and tourism. Chicago is home to many food corporations (Kraft, National Restaurant Association, McDonald’s) and professional health care organizations (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Medical Association, The Joint Commission).

  • The Rush MS/DI Program uses a Teacher-Practitioner model that integrates classroom education, research and service with patient care as part of the learning process. 

  • The Rush MS/DI Program is unique in that most supervised practice experiences are completed on the Rush campus with Rush dietitians who are specialists in their field.  

  • Rush is committed to improving the health of individuals and the diverse communities it serves and offers many opportunities to contribute to our vibrant community. 

  • Rush University has an active Office for Student Success, Student Life and Engagement which includes Multicultural Affairs, Student Diversity and over thirty student organizations to participate in.

Program Mission, Goals and Objectives

Mission: The Dietetic Internship will prepare competent entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists to be nutrition experts, leaders and advocates through nutritional sciences and interprofessional education, research and promotion of the nutritional well-being of diverse communities.

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

Objectives:                               

  • Program completion: At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within 31.5 months (150% of the program length).
  • Graduate employment: Of graduates who seek employment, 90% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
  • Registration exam completion: 90% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
  • Registration exam pass rate: 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%.
  • Employer satisfaction: At least 80% of graduates will obtain a mean rating for skill level on employer surveys of four or higher on a 5-point scale (5-excellent, 1-unacceptable) for entry level practice.        
  • Graduate satisfaction: At least 80% of graduates will provide a mean rating for skill level of four or higher on a 5-point scale (5-excellent, 1-unacceptable) for entry level practice.

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

Objectives:

  • At least 90% of graduates responding to alumni surveys will be members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and/or other related professional organizations within three years of program completion.    
  • At least 50% of graduates responding to alumni surveys will report holding an appointed or elected position in a dietetics-related professional organization or activity on a committee within three years of program completion.                                  
  • At least 50% of graduates responding to alumni surveys will have contributed to the advancement of the dietetics profession through a professional publication (i.e. journal, professional newsletter, abstract) or presentation at a professional meeting within three years of program completion.  

Program outcome data are available upon request.

Estimated Program Expenses 2020-2021

 
 

First Year Sept.-Aug. 
Fall, Spring and
Summer semesters
(30 credits)

Second Year Sept.-April
Fall and Spring
semesters
(18 credits)

Tuition $38,000 TBD
Insurance Allowance $4,163 ~$2,700

Housing Allowances
Off Campus @ $1,500/mo

(varies with occupancy/location)

$18,000 $12,000
Meetings /Seminars $200 $250 (exam review course)

Books/Supplies
Personal Expenses

(including lab coats, shoes)

$650 $400
ServSafe certification
(if not recently completed)
$15  
Thesis publication costs   $100/optional

Financial Aid

The Office of Financial Aid is available to assist students who qualify for financial aid through the University. Consult the University Catalog, Financial Aid section for more information. www.rushu.rush.edu/rush-experience/student-services/office-student-financial-aid

Academic and Program Calendar

The Academic Calendar can be found at: https://www.rushu.rush.edu/rush-experience/student-services/office-registrar/academic-calendars . The Master of Science/Dietetic Internship program calendar is defined under the College of Health Sciences with some special designations pertaining to Clinical Nutrition.

Supervised practice and graduate work occur concurrently throughout the program. Supervised practice begins fall semester with Food Service Management. 

Clinical Nutrition rotations start the first spring semester and continue during the second fall and second spring semesters. Community nutrition supervised practice will take place during the summer semester.  Clinical rotations are scheduled Monday through Friday.

Clinical Nutrition Plan of Study

Graduation Requirements

Students must successfully pass and complete all of the required supervised practice rotations and DI coursework. This must be accomplished within the required 150% of time planned for the completion of the DI. Verification Statements will be granted at the end of the program when required hours, rotation competencies/requirements and DI coursework are successfully completed.

Career Options

Job opportunities for alumni are numerous and diverse because of increasing public awareness about the strong relationship between nutrition and health. Employment of dietitians and nutritionists is expected to increase 21 percent through 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Accreditation Summary

The M.S. in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetic Internship program is fully accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics - Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics: 120 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606. Phone: (800) 877-1600, ext. 5400.

 

Program Graduate Testimonies

“The faculty and preceptors are amazing!” 

“I really enjoyed how the internship and classes were completed simultaneously.  Additionally, I liked how the majority of our experience was done at Rush’s main campus.  This ensured qualified, experienced, and consistent preceptors.”

“The program provided me with the resources and opportunities to excel in the academic setting as well as clinically.  There are a lot of opportunities available within this program that makes it unique.”

“I would definitely recommend this program to any potential student.  Being at Rush pushed me out of my comfort zone, but provided substantial opportunities and immense growth.  The ability to gain exposure in so many disciplines and learning from experienced dietitians is invaluable.”

Licensure Information

Institutions are required to make public whether a program is designed to meet educational requirements for a specific professional license or certification that is required for employment in an occupation or is advertised as meeting such requirements. Institutions are required to make public, for each state, whether the completion of that program would be sufficient to meet licensure requirements in a state for that occupation, did not meet requirements or has not made a determination.  These requirements apply to all programs offered via all modalities (distance education and not).

Students should review the specific academic requirements for the program in which they are enrolling, including those related to practicum/internship as well as pre-qualifications for licensure such as the need for a criminal background check. We highly recommend that students contact the applicable licensure board(s) in their state of residence or in the state where they intend to obtain a license before beginning an academic program that results in licensure and prior to beginning any internship/practicum. Many licensure boards have additional requirements beyond successful degree completion to obtain a license. Please be advised that state laws, regulations, and policies may change at any time. Changes in requirements can impact the program’s ability to meet educational requirements for licensure. Enrolled and prospective students are strongly encouraged to check with the licensing board(s) in their state of residence or in the state in which they intend to obtain a license for the most recent information and requirements. The College will periodically review the state requirements. The College of Health Sciences disclosure does not provide any guarantee that any particular state licensure or certification entity will approve or deny a student’s application.

Licensure Information by State:
  Link, by State Does this program meet the requirements?

Alabama

CNDI licensing

YES

Alaska

CNDI licensing

YES

Arizona

N/A state does not license this specific profession

N/A

Arkansas

CNDI licensing

YES

California

N/A state does not license this specific profession

N/A

Colorado

CNDI licensing

YES

Connecticut

CNDI licensing

YES

Delaware

CNDI licensing

YES

Florida

CNDI licensing

YES

Georgia

CNDI licensing

YES

Hawaii

CNDI licensing

YES

Idaho

CNDI licensing

YES

Illinois

CNDI licensing

YES

Indiana

CNDI licensing

YES

Iowa

CNDI licensing

YES

Kansas

CNDI licensing

YES

Kentucky

CNDI licensing

YES

Louisiana

CNDI licensing

YES

Maine

CNDI licensing

YES

Maryland

CNDI licensing

YES

Massachusetts

CNDI licensing

YES

Michigan

N/A state does not license this specific profession

N/A

Minnesota

CNDI licensing

YES

Mississippi

CNDI licensing

YES

Missouri

CNDI licensing

YES

Montana

CNDI licensing

YES

Nebraska

CNDI licensing

YES

Nevada

CNDI licensing

YES

New Hampshire

CNDI licensing

YES

New Jersey

In review by the state.

TBD

New Mexico

CNDI licensing

YES

New York

CNDI licensing

YES

North Carolina

CNDI licensing

YES

North Dakota

CNDI licensing

YES

Ohio

CNDI licensing

YES

Oklahoma

CNDI licensing

YES

Oregon

CNDI licensing

YES

Pennsylvania

CNDI licensing

YES

Rhode Island

CNDI licensing

YES

South Carolina

CNDI licensing

YES

South Dakota

CNDI licensing

YES

Tennessee

CNDI licensing

YES

Texas

CNDI licensing

YES

Utah

CNDI licensing

YES

Vermont

CNDI licensing

YES

Virginia

CNDI licensing

YES

Washington

CNDI licensing

YES

West Virginia

CNDI licensing

YES

Wisconsin

CNDI licensing

YES

Wyoming

CNDI licensing

YES