M.S. in Dietetics and Nutrition
Explore the Dietetics and Nutrition master’s degree program at the University of Alaska Anchorage
The M.S. in dietetics and nutrition prepares Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) for advanced practice at the leading edge of the profession. There is a growing need for highly-trained RDNs who can provide complex care and apply their expertise in new settings. Through courses and experiences in a variety of specialized topics, you’ll be ready to engage in a higher level of practice and expand your role in promoting health and well-being.
An advanced program for future and current RDNs
The dietetics and nutrition M.S. program has two tracks:
The full-time Pre-RDN track is designed for students who have a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Dietetics and Nutrition (ACEND), or who have completed all prerequisite courses for the M.S. in dietetics and nutrition. Students complete didactic courses as well as the supervised practice hours that are required to qualify for the RDN certification examination. This track prepares students for entry-level generalist practice as an RDN.
The Current RDN track is designed for practicing RDNs, and can be completed full-time or part-time. It includes didactic courses and the opportunity to pursue further specialized training and credentials. This track trains current RDNs to provide a higher level of care to patients, enter management positions, and apply dietetics expertise in new areas of care.
All courses are offered online. For the Pre-RDN track, clinical rotations are completed in communities throughout Alaska.
Training for an expanding profession
As a masters-level program, the M.S. in dietetics and nutrition prepares students for upcoming changes to dietetics education in the U.S., which starting in 2024, will require completion of a dietetics master’s degree in order to qualify for the RDN certification exam. The program’s courses focus on specialized areas such as management and administration, public health nutrition, research and other areas where the need for highly-qualified RDNs is expanding.
Located in a nationally-recognized dietetics department
The M.S. in dietetics and nutrition program is taught by the same faculty who are part of UAA’s Bachelor of Science in dietetics programs, which is accredited by ACEND. As a new program, the M.S. received ACEND accreditation in December 2020.
Did you know..
The M.S. in dietetics and nutrition program culminates in a research-focused graduate project or thesis, giving you the opportunity to design and conduct your own research based on your professional interests and career goals.
What Can You Do With This Degree?
As a graduate of the pre-RDN track, you’ll be qualified to take the RDN certification exam. After passing the exam, you’ll be able to apply for state licensure, which is a requirement for practicing as a professional RDN.
Graduates of the Current RDN track are prepared for roles in management, private practice or specialized practice on dietitian teams.
RDNs work with clients in a wide range of settings, including:
- Outpatient health clinics
- Food services
- Public health programs
- Research settings
- Organizations focused on food systems and sustainability
By the numbers..
A convenient, close-knit program. All classroom courses are offered online. Many students stay in their home community while completing the program, with some travel to complete supervised experiential learning. Small class sizes and advanced instructional technology make it easy for you to connect with instructors and fellow students.
A focus on dietetics in Alaska. Courses are taught by Alaskan dietitians and focus on the unique health care needs of Alaskan communities and populations. The program has strong relationships with more than 30 supervised practice sites around the state, allowing students in the Pre-RDN track to gain experience in a wide range of Alaskan health care settings.
Develop strong research skills. Students learn to seek out and interpret dietetics research, and to use it to inform and improve their practice. As a graduate, you’ll be equipped to advance research in your workplace, participate in practice-based research, and contribute to the research process as part of interdisciplinary groups of professionals.
All students complete courses in a range of specialty areas, including advanced clinical practice, research and statistics, and management and administration. All students are also required to complete a research-based graduate project or thesis.
Students in the pre-RDN track (39 credits) participate in supervised clinical rotations each semester in addition to taking courses, satisfying the requirement to complete 1000 hours of supervised experiential learning needed to qualify for the RDN certification exam.
Students in the Current RDN track (30 credits) can use elective and independent study credits to define a specialty area of interest (such as diabetes education, pediatrics or renal care) that aligns with professional interests and career goals, and to pursue opportunities for additional specialized credentialing.
- Learn advanced clinical skills in counseling and acute care in Clinical Nutrition Assessment and Intervention.
- Explore the ways in which dietetics can be used to promote public health and learn to make data-informed decisions to guide nutrition program delivery in Public Health Nutrition.
- For current RDNs, work one-on-one with a faculty member to tailor the program around your specialty interests through an Independent Study.