About Clinical Nutrition
The Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition is a clinically focused, all online graduate program that integrates biomedical and nutrition sciences to develop an understanding of medical nutrition therapy. The program is offered in a flexible format that can be accessed by students from diverse backgrounds.
Are you a...
- Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)? Enrolling in our program will help you increase your in-depth knowledge of clinical nutrition, making you eligible for a broader range of jobs, more leadership responsibilities, and higher salaries.
- Graduate with a B.S in Nutrition? Our master’s degree program will help prepare you to successfully apply and enter Dietetic Internship programs.
- Science graduate aiming for a career in a health profession? A master’s degree in nutrition can add luster to your credentials and equip you with integral expertise for future practice in a multitude of fields.
- Practicing health professional? You can can broaden your expertise and have an even greater impact on your patients’ well-being by incorporating nutrition services into your practice.
Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS)
Successful completion of our Clinical Nutrition program fulfills the academic requirements of the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists for Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) credential. Although you may sit for the exam as soon as you finish your coursework, you will need to find appropriate placement and complete 1,000 hours of work in the nutrition field in order to achieve the CNS credential. While the CNS credential will qualify you for licensure in some states, most clinical jobs in hospitals require the RDN credential.
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)
Getting the RDN credential is a three-part process:
- You must first complete a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) that is accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. These programs include courses in food science, food service, and food management, as well as clinical nutrition.
- After finishing the DPD at either the undergraduate or graduate level, you must apply for a one-year Dietetic Internship (DI). The process is very selective, as there are only about half as many DI positions as people coming out of DPD programs.
- Once you have completed your internship, you are then eligible to take the RDN exam.
As our clinical nutrition program is primarily academic and does not include all coursework included in DPD programs, it is not accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. However, some of our students have gone on to earn the RDN credential after completing the additional courses necessary to acquire the DPD, and then successfully applying to a DI program and passing the RDN exam.
Although jobs in hospitals, long-term care, rehabilitation, and assisted living centers usually require the RDN credential, a Master of Science in nutrition may qualify you for jobs in public health, school lunch, community nutrition initiatives, nutrition education, and physicians’ offices.
Requirements may also vary between States--some have licensing, others certification (one step lower than licensing), while still others have no regulation at all.
Before taking your next step, explore your local job market and the availability of jobs and their required qualifications.
Dr. Mindy Haar, Ph.D, RDN, CDN, FAND