Dietetics

Dietetics is an exciting health care profession with many possible specializations. This growing field allows students to learn how to use food to prevent and treat disease. Registered dietitian nutritionists may work in schools, hospitals, long-term care facilities, community health clinics and settings, corporations, sports organizations, research and development facilities, and more. The Department of Allied Health Sciences offers interested students many possible tracks to pursue their career goals in nutrition and dietetics. Program objectives and outcomes data is available upon request.

Join a field that's growing, where demand for qualified dietitians and nutritionists continues to expand! Dietitians and Nutritionists are key members of the overall healthcare team and help prevent and treat disease in patients of all ages.

Congratulations! For two years in a row (2022 and 2023), 100% of UConn Dietetic Students passed the CDR exam on their 1st attempt!

 

There's a program for you in Allied Health Sciences. Talk to one of advisors to find your fit.


4+1 FastTrack Dietetics B.S./Health Promotion Sciences M.S.

The 4+1 FastTrack Dietetics program is offered by the Department of Allied Health Sciences for UConn students beginning in their junior year and prepares students for entry positions as a dietitian nutritionist after completing all program requirements. You will apply February of your sophomore year as part of a competitive application process. Both 4+1 FastTrack and Graduate Coordinated Programs are limited to a maximum of 21 students each year. Upon successful completion of the program, you will be eligible to sit for the National Registration Examination.

Courses

Once accepted into the program, you will be a Dietetics major for your junior and senior years as an undergraduate and then complete your MS degree as well as your clinical rotation. Over the course of six semesters and a 4-week, 4-credit summer clinical rotation, you will complete both didactic coursework and supervised practice training. Your didactic coursework will include courses covering topics like:

  • Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • Food Composition/Preparation
  • Community Nutrition
  • Food Service Systems
  • Nutrition Practice
  • Counseling & Teaching
  • Research & Writing

Learn more about Dietetics Coordinated Program Courses in the UConn Catalog.

Clinicals

You will also complete 1,200+ hours of required supervised practice training at a variety of partner sites covering areas including:

  • Food Service
  • Clinical Dietetics
  • Community Nutrition
  • Dietetic Research
  • Specialty Rotation of your choice

Learn more about Dietetics Clinicals

Externship

Following your final semester, you will complete a four-week externship (40 hours/week) of intensive supervised practice. This is a culminating experience that prepares you for entry into the profession. This externship is typically completed during the summer session immediately following your senior year. The verification statement will be given after completion of the MS degree and externship and the graduate will be able to sit for the national registration examination.


Graduate Coordinated Program + MS in Health Promotion Sciences

The graduate-level Dietetics Coordinated Program is offered by the Department of Allied Health Sciences and gives you the opportunity to complete supervised practice hours required for licensure/certification as a dietitian while also completing a Master's in Health Promotion Sciences. The program is open to two groups of students:

  1. Graduates of Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD) who have completed the required coursework of their program and receive a DPD Verification statement. These students will complete the necessary supervised practice hours including a six-week externship and the requirements for a MS in Health Promotion Sciences.
  2. Students who have earned a Bachelor's degree and who have completed most Didactic Program in Dietetics requirements. In this case, you will complete any remaining didactic coursework as well as the required supervised practice hours including a six-week externship. To earn the MS degree in Health Promotion Sciences, you will need to meet these requirements as well. Please meet with the Program Director prior to application to discuss your prior coursework and determine if this program is appropriate for your professional and academic goals.

Coordinated Program Master's students typically complete Dietetics-related coursework and supervised practice hours within four semesters and a 6-week 6-credit externship. Upon successful completion of all Dietetics requirements including the six-week externship and the MS degree in Health Promotion Sciences, you will receive your Verification Statement and become eligible to sit for the National Registration Examination.

Graduate Admissions


UConn’s Dietetic Internship

As Dietetics moves to Master’s entry in 2024, UConn’s Dietetic Internship closed in May 2023.  We hope you will consider our 4 + 2 Coordinated Master’s program which provides the hours of supervised practice required by ACEND and a Master’s in Health Promotion Sciences. DPD graduates will apply through DICAS and our program participates in computer matching with D & D Digital.

If you are a graduate of the dietetic internship and need a verification statement, please contact Ellen Shanley, Dietetics Director, at ellen.shanley@uconn.edu or the Dept of Allied Health Sciences at alliedhealthsciences@uconn.edu


Common Questions

What is the difference between the 4+1 FastTrack and Graduate Coordinated Programs?

The 4+1 FastTrack Dietetics program allows students to complete both a BS in Dietetics and an MS in Health Promotion Sciences at an accelerated rate.

Students who have already completed an eligible BS in another program and who successfully complete the Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics earn an MS degree in Health Promotion Sciences.

Students from both the 4+1 FastTrack Dietetics program and Graduate Coordinated Dietetics Program are prepared to pass the National Registration Examination and apply for state certification after completing the programs.

How does the 4+1 FastTrack and Graduate Coordinated Program enable me to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist?

Before you can become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, you must sit for and pass the National Registration Examination. To be eligible for the exam, you must complete the following:

  1. Baccalaureate degree from an accredited university
  2. ACEND-accredited didactic dietetics program (DPD)
  3. Minimum 1,200 hours of supervised practice experience

Students in the Master's-level Coordinated Program complete all remaining requirements during their time in the program. Upon successful program completion, you will be eligible to sit for the National Registration Exam and then proceed to certification in your desired state(s). In Connecticut, after you pass the National Registration Examination, you may apply for certification through the State Department of Public Health. You are then certified to practice in the state. Other states may have different processes or requirements to obtain state certification.

Do I need a license to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist?

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about a career in dietetics, and about state licensure, visit CT.gov Dietetic Nutritionist Certification and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Commission on Dietetic Registration.

What are the program fees?

Learn more about tuition, costs related to clinicals, and other program fees on our Dietetics Fees page.

See also UConn student PC requirements.

How do clinical placements work?

As a student in the Dietetics Coordinated program, you will complete 1,200+ hours of supervised practice experience. With the exception of your two-week specialty rotation site, all site placements are made by your program director. Placement at clinical rotation sites dependent upon space availability, so you may not be placed at your first choice. However, all students are guaranteed placement at a site as long as they meet all academic standards, background and drug screening requirements, and health/immunization compliance requirements. See our Clinicals page for more details about clinical placements, required forms, etc.


Goals & Objectives

Goal 1: Provide each graduate with a rigorous education that prepares the graduate as a competent entry-level RDN

Objectives

  • 100% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
  • At least 80% of program students complete program requirements within 150% of program length (4.62 academic years for the 4 + 1 FastTrack Dietetics program and 3.165 academic years for the Graduate Coordinated Program).
  • Of graduates seeking employment, 80% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
  • The program's one-year pass rate on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) is at least 80%.
  • Program evaluations will reflect at least a "satisfactory" rating on a 4-point scale (needs improvement, satisfactory, above average, excellent) immediately after program completion and at 1-1/2 years post-program completion.
  • 80% of graduates' preparation to practice as assessed by employers will be satisfactory or higher.

Goal 2: Provide each graduate with knowledge and skills about food and nutrition to promote health and prevent disease

Objectives

  • Annually, this means that:
    • 100% of graduates will respond that they are satisfactorily prepared for practice to promote health and prevent disease
    • Evaluations 1-1 ½ years after program completion will reflect that 100% of graduates are utilizing skills to promote health and prevent disease

Note: Program outcomes data is available upon request.

Department of Allied Health SciencesCoordinated Program in Dietetics4 + 1 Dietetics Coordinated Program2 YearsACEND Didactic CourseworkApplication3 YearsACEND accredited Didactic Coursework and supervised practice experience + 4-week 4-credit Externship (Includes 1000 plus hours of supervised practice)BS in Dietetics after Year 4MS in Health Promotion SciencesEligible to take the RD Exam Department of Nutritional SciencesDidactic Program in Dietetics4 YearsACEND accredited Didactic CourseworkApplication (DPD concentration)BS in NUSC + optional MS in NUSC (4+1 track available)Complete a Supervised Practice and/or Graduate Degree ProgramEligible to take the RD Exam