MS Coordinated Program in Health Promotion Sciences (4 + 2) - Overview
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:
- 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 Master's degree in Health Promotion Sciences.
- 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 (2.11 academic years).
You'll begin your supervised practice experiences while completing any remaining didactic coursework, increasing the time spent in supervised practice as you progress through the program. This time spent under the supervision of qualified professionals will help you develop the knowledge and skills necessary to excel as a competent entry-level dietetics professional. 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.
It may take longer than the 2.11 academic years to fulfill requirements for the MS degree. Please consult the Health Promotion Sciences program for details about Master's requirements. Upon successful completion of the MS program, you will earn a Master's of Science in Health Promotion Sciences.
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 the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited Masters Coordinated Dietetics program at the University of Connecticut are eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.
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.
Is the Master’s-level Coordinated Program accredited?
Yes! The Coordinated Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
How does the Master’s-level Coordinated Program enable me to become a Registered Dietitian?
Before you can become a Registered Dietitian, you must sit for and pass the National Registration Examination. To be eligible for the exam, you must complete the following:
- Baccalaureate degree from an accredited university
- ACEND-accredited didactic dietetics program (DPD)
- Minimum 1200 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.
If I complete the Master’s-level Coordinated Program, what degree will I earn?
Students who successfully complete the Master's-level Coordinated Program in Dietetics earn a Master's of Science (MS) degree in Health Promotion Sciences.
How do clinical placements work?
As a student in the Dietetics Coordinated program, you will complete 1200+ 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.
What kinds of supervised practice will I complete in this program?
You will also complete 1200+ 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
Following your final semester, you will complete a six-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.
What is a Verification Statement?
A Verification Statement is an official document confirming that you have completed a dietetics program accredited by ACEND. It is signed by your program director to stipulate that the academic and supervised practice requirements necessary to sit for the National Registration Examination have been met. The Verification Statement will be issued after you have successfully completed all program requirements including the 6-week 6-credit summer externship.
What is a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD)?
A Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is an undergraduate plan of study in dietetics that does not provide supervised practice experience. A DPD program is available at UConn in the Department of Nutritional Sciences. After completing a didactic program and earning a Bachelor's degree, you must then apply for a separate Dietetic Internship program in which you will earn the supervised practice hours necessary to take the National Registration Examination.