M.S. in Dietetics and Nutrition for Pre-RDNs
UAA Future Graduate (FG) Program
Welcome to the UAA Master of Science (M.S.) in Dietetics and Nutrition program. (Note: if you are a RDN interested in obtaining a Dietetics and Nutrition Master's degree, please visit the M.S. in Dietetics and Nutrition for RDNs page.)
The M.S. in Dietetics and Nutrition program provides the education requirements for entry-level practice as a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) for applicants who have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and a DPD verification statement (or the required prerequisite coursework) from a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Brand new in Fall 2021, the M.S. in Dietetics and Nutrition is a graduate Future Education Model (FG) program that integrates the required coursework with supervised experiential learning (SEL) in one accredited program. Graduates of this program are eligible to take the national registration exam for dietitians. The FG program is accredited by ACEND.
Alternatively, the program provides additional study in dietetics and nutrition for Registered Dietitians (RDs)/Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) currently registered through the Commission on Dietetic Registration. This is a didactic only track.
The M.S. in Dietetics and Nutrition is an online program for the required classes. The supervised experiential learning rotations are currently only based in Alaska. Reliable computer and internet access are required. Some online classes have required meeting times. For more information about the technology that is needed to participate in the online program see the Online Class Requirements.
Program Description, Mission, Goals and Objectives
The UAA Future Graduate program prepares students for entry-level nutrition and dietetics practice in current and future practice settings. Students in the program complete both the didactic and the supervised experiential learning requirements, in a cohort model, with a program length of 24 months (fall, spring and summer for two years). Classes are online and students complete supervised experiential learning rotations for 16-20 hours per week, as arranged by the program director, at locations throughout Alaska.
Mission Statement of the UAA FG (updated June 3, 2020): Guide the future of dietetics and nutrition in Alaska through the preparation of competent entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists.
Program Goal 1: Graduates will be competent for entry-level practice as registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs).
- At least 80% of alumni who respond to a survey will indicate they felt at least “competent” for entry-level practice as a RDN in their first dietetics-related position.
- At least 80% of program graduates complete the program/degree requirements within 3 years (150% of the program length). (2.3.b1 Program Completion)
- At least 80% of employers who respond to a survey will rate their satisfaction as satisfied or highly satisfied with the preparation of program graduates. (2.3.b3 Employer Satisfaction)
- At least 90% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion. (2.3.b41 Registration Exam)
- 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%. (2.3.b42 Registration Exam)
Program Goal 2: Graduates will be prepared for dietetics practice in the diverse practice settings in Alaska
- At least 50% of UAA FG graduates who respond to a survey will report they remained in Alaska for a minimum of one year to work as an RDN upon graduation.
- Of graduates who seek employment, 80% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related
fields within 12 months of graduation. (2.3.b2 Graduate Employment)
Program outcomes data are available upon request.
Requirements and Process to Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)
Effective January 1, 2024, the minimum degree requirement for eligibility to take the registration examination for dietitians will change from a bachelor’s degree to a graduate degree. According to the Commission on Dietetic Registration, “Elevating the entry-level RD education to a graduate level is consistent with the knowledge, skills, and research base required in the field of nutrition and dietetics.” For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website.
The UAA Dietetics and Nutrition program has transitioned the graduate degree and graduate certificate in dietetic internship into a Future Education Model program. These accreditation standards integrate didactic coursework with supervised experiential learning in a competency-based curriculum designed to prepare nutrition and dietetics practitioners for future practice. The UAA M.S. in Dietetics and Nutrition includes 1,000 hours of supervised experiential learning hours integrated throughout the two-year (full-time) program.
The current requirements for becoming an entry-level registered dietitian nutritionist include:
- Complete a minimum of a bachelor's degree at a US regionally accredited university of college and course work accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.* One option is the UAA Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics. Students may also complete a bachelor’s degree in any field and complete pre-requisite courses that are required for most graduate-level Future Education Model nutrition programs.
- Complete an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program at a health-care facility, community agency, or a food service corporation or combined with undergraduate or graduate studies. Typically, a practice program will run 6 -12 months in length.
- Pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). For more information regarding the examination, refer to CDR's website.
- Obtain state licensure through an application process (in most states, including Alaska). For more information about state licensure requirements, visit https://www.cdrnet.org/state-licensure.
For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN, visit the ACEND website.
*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. In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
- Distance Education
The UAA DN graduate program is an online program. Many of the classes do have scheduled meetings times which will be published in the course schedule and available at the time of course registration.
Supervised experiential learning (SEL) rotations are scheduled primarily in Anchorage and Fairbanks, with some options throughout the state of Alaska. All students will spend up to three weeks in one rural Alaska location for a rural rotation (e.g., Nome, Kotzebue, Kodiak, Sitka, Juneau, Utqiaġvik and other locations). Travel, room and board expenses are the responsibility of the student. All program locations are subject to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Up to two students in each cohort will live in Fairbanks for the duration of the program and complete their SEL rotations there. They will travel to Anchorage for program orientation, specialty rotations (i.e., nutrition support) and the program wrap-up. They will also complete a SEL rotation in rural Alaska (2-3 weeks).
The UAA FG is accredited for up to 10 students annually. Students will be placed at remote sites for the specialty rotation in semester 3 (summer), based on the site capacity for providing supervised practice rotations, as follows:
- Applicants will be asked to rank the order of their preference of primary supervised practice location (Anchorage or Fairbanks, and rural locations that are evaluated for inclusion in the program) in the personal statement in their application for admission.
- In the event of multiple students requesting the same location, the numeric score
of the admission application evaluation will be used to break the tie.
Additional travel and distance education opportunities may be available. Please inquire with the program director.
The application deadline for the Master of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition (Future Graduate program) is April 15. The maximum class size is 10 for each cohort admitted in the fall semester. Applicants are required to submit an online application to UAA Office of Admissions with all required documents by the posted deadlines. All applicants who meet the admission criteria will be reviewed by the selection committee.
- Admissions Requirements
- Satisfy admission requirements for graduate degrees:
a. Awarded a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution (submission of an official transcript showing conferral of a bachelor’s degree is required prior to starting the program)
b. Minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
- Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Verification Statement or submission of official
transcripts to the UAA Office of Admissions demonstrating completion of all prerequisites
BIOL A108 Principles and Methods in Biology, with lab (6 cr)
BIOL A111 Human Anatomy and Physiology I, with lab (4 cr)
BIOL A112 Human Anatomy and Physiology II, with lab (4 cr)
BIOL A240 Introduction to Microbiology for Health Sciences, with lab (4 cr)
CHEM A105 General Chemistry I, with lab (4 cr)
CHEM A106 General Chemistry II, with lab (4 cr)
CHEM A321 Organic Chemistry (no lab, 3 cr)
CHEM A441 Principles of Biochemistry (no lab, 3 cr)
DN A151 Nutrition through the Lifecycle (3 cr) or PSY A150 Lifespan Development (3 cr)
DN A203 Nutrition for Health Sciences (3 cr)
DN A270 Culinary Nutrition (3 cr)
DN A275 Intro to Culinary Medicine (3 cr)
DN A325 Food and Nutrition in Modern Alaska (3 cr)
DN A350 Foodservice Systems and Quantity Foods (3 cr)
DN A401 Medical Nutrition Therapy I (3 cr) and DN A402 Medical Nutrition Therapy II (3 cr) or NS A216 Pathophysiology (4 cr) + [DN A301 Nutrition Assessment (3 cr) or DN A407 Preventive and Therapeutic Nutrition (3 cr)]
STAT A200 Elementary Statistics (3 cr)
Independent study Medical Terminology course or workbook (ask the program director for recommendations)
Also: ServSafe Food Manager Certificate
- Personal statement, addressing the following items:
- Significant professional or volunteer responsibilities you have held,
- Professional goals and reasons for desiring to enroll in this program,
- Strengths that will help you succeed in this program and in reaching your professional goals,
- Personal interests in research and dietetics and nutrition,
- Research is required for all students in this program, either through a graduate project
or thesis. List the top two choices of DN faculty member you would most like to work
with for academic advising. The DN faculty professional and research interests are
Dr. Carrie King (email@example.com, 907-786-6597): evidence-based practice, research involvement, research capacity building, research self-efficacy, profession of dietetics, dietetics education, practice-based research, culinary medicine, culinary literacy, pediatric nutrition, diabetes
Dr. Amanda Walch (firstname.lastname@example.org, 907-786-1362): diet quality, community-based participatory research (CBPR), public health, traditional foods, food security, nutrition education, nutrition counseling
Dr. Leslie Redmond (email@example.com, 907-786-4490): obesity and chronic disease prevention, multilevel interventions, nutrition and physical activity, food access, food policy, health equity, psychosocial studies, social determinants of health, Indigenous health, public health
- Rank the order of your preference of primary supervised practice location (Anchorage or Fairbanks) and rural rotation locations (Nome, Kotzebue, Kodiak, Sitka, Juneau, Utqiaġvik)
- Provide any previous names your application materials may be submitted under.
- Current resume or CV, including documentation of the following:
Paid work experience(s)
Volunteer or community service experience(s)
Professional organization membership(s)
- Two letters of recommendation that meet the following criteria:
- Letters must address prior academic, work or volunteer experience, with evidence of ability and willingness to work productively.
- Individuals who are qualified to address your professional, volunteer or academic experience and abilities.
- Written by a non-personal reference (i.e., not a family friend) and non-UAA DN faculty.
- When you complete your application using the online process through the UAA Office of Admissions, you will enter the contact information for your references. References will receive an email with a link and form to complete.
- A video interview presentation is required. Provide the URL to your video presentation
in the letter of application (indicate if there is any type of password required for
access). It is highly recommended that you have someone verify that your video is
accessible from a user/computer other than yourself.
Video Interview Instructions: As part of the application process you are required to provide a video recorded interview presentation addressing specific questions. This provides the DN faculty an opportunity to learn more about you. The presentation must meet the following requirements:
- Must be accessible via the internet. You may limit viewers, but access must be given to the DN faculty. An unlisted link on You Tube is one easy option for providing web access to the video while still limiting access. The link will only be provided to the Selection Committee members.
- The presentation must not exceed 7 minutes in length.
- Professional video quality is not expected; the type of quality obtainable from a mobile device is sufficient. You will want to make sure the audio is clearly heard and understood.
- The video must contain your own image and voice.
- The video must address each of the questions below.
Items to address in your video interview:
- Briefly introduce yourself to the committee.
- What made you choose to major in Dietetics?
- What strengths or skills will you bring to the graduate program and the profession?
- What is an area in which you feel you need further growth or development?
- How do you feel your volunteer and/or work experience will help you be successful in the graduate program?
- What motivates you to put forth your best effort?
- Tell us about a significant accomplishment you’ve had and what made it meaningful.
- Is there anything else you would like to ask us or share with us?
- Satisfy admission requirements for graduate degrees:
Additional admission requirements (after program acceptance)
Upon acceptance into the UAA Future Graduate Program, students will be required to complete/obtain the following before the fall semester start date (check with the program director for the most current list or requirements):
- Complete financial aid requirements (if needed)
- Submit an official transcript(s) indicating a conferred baccalaureate degree and all prerequisite coursework (if not already submitted with application)
- Required: Proof of current immunizations or titers including TB (2-step, current 30 days prior to start of any rotation at Providence facilities - see Program Director for clarification), Hep B series, t-DAP (within the past 10 years), MMR (2 shot series or titer), Varicella (2 shot series or titer), and flu shot (available seasonally after September 1st)
- Recommended: Hep A series for rural Alaska travel
- Proof of health insurance (for the duration of the program)
- ServSafe Food Manager Certificate (must be current for the duration of the program)
- Current CPR card (must be current for the duration of the program)
- State of Alaska background check (including fingerprinting)
- Drug testing (10-panel drug test)
- Completion of UAA Title IX training
- Additional requirements may be added due to the COVID-19 situation
Graduation and Program Completion Requirements
The student will be eligible for graduation with a Master of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition and receipt of a Verification Statement in order to apply for the national dietitian registration exam upon successful completion of the following:
- all university requirements (i.e., a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0);
- all required coursework;
- all supervised experiential learning rotations and hours with satisfactory evaluations from preceptors and the UAA DN graduate program director (a minimum score of 5 for each ACEND competency);
- all graduate project or thesis requirements and revisions; and
- apply for graduation.