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Combined Masters of Science in Nutrition and Foods Plus Dietetic Internship (MS-DI) Program

Format: In person on the Statesboro Campus
Credit Hours: 45
Entry Term: Summer

The Georgia Southern combined MS in Nutrition and Foods Plus Dietetic Internship (MS-DI) is a full-time, 20-month, non-thesis, graduate degree, dietetic internship program. Graduates of an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and (ACEND) Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) are eligible to apply to the Georgia Southern MS-DI Program.

The MS-DI program is headquartered on Georgia Southern University Statesboro Campus, where graduate courses are completed and selected supervised practice experiences. Additional supervised practice sites and rotations are located throughout Central and Southeast Georgia, including Savannah, Atlanta, Macon, Brunswick, Tifton and Valdosta. Supervised practice site assignments are based on preference and preceptor availability.

The program offers a blend of classroom instruction, online learning modules and hands-on training designed to meet ACEND Core Competencies for the registered dietitian (RD).  Students gain experience in clinical dietetics, community nutrition, and food service management. Students are required to take 27 hours of graduate master’s-level courses in their first year. During the second year, students will complete18-credit hours of a minimum of 1,000 supervised practice experience hours to apply their coursework.  The graduate school expenses are eligible for financial aid.

Upon successful completion of the Georgia Southern DI, interns are eligible to obtain a Verification Statement of program completion required to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) registration examination for dietitians.

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Credit Hours: 45 (27 credit hours of course work plus 18 credit hours of practicum providing a minimum of 1000 supervised practice experience hours

Internship Class Size

A maximum of 20 interns are admitted annually to the Georgia Southern DI: 4 interns in the DI Certificate program and 16 in the combined MS-DI program. Up to 10 internship positions are reserved for graduates of the Georgia Southern DPD program.

Curriculum Overview

Course Number, TitleCredit Hours
Fall Term 1st Year
NTFS 7333 Research Methods in Nutrition and Foods
NTFS 7335 Public Health and Community Nutrition 
NTFS 7339 Energy Balance and Weight Management
3
3
3
Spring Term 1st Year
NTFS 7331 Applied Food Science
NTFS 7337 Macronutrient Metabolism
NTFS 7431 Nutrition Education or COHE 7238 Communications for Change
3
3
3
Summer Term 1st Year
NTFS 7334 Applied Medical Nutrition Therapy
NTFS 7338 Micronutrient Metabolism
NTFS 7612 Professional Development
NTFS 7611 Graduate Seminar
NTFS 7613 Dietetic Internship Orientation
3
3
1
1
1
Fall Term 2nd Year
NTFS 7790 Practicum in Nutrition and Dietetics9
Spring Term 2nd Year
NTFS 7790 Practicum in Nutrition and Dietetics 9
Total45

Completion Requirements

Interns have successfully completed the combined Georgia Southern Masters of Science in Nutrition and Foods & Dietetic Internship after completing the 45 graduate credit hours, earning a C or better in all classes and a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better, passing the graduate program comprehensive examination, completing a minimum of 1000 hours of supervised practice experience, earning a minimum grade of B when evaluated by each preceptor at each supervised practice site.  Program graduates will receive paper copies of the Verification Statement of program completion, signed by the program director, after all program requirements are successfully completed. Program graduates will then be eligible to take the registration examination for dietitians.

Licensure for Registered Dietitians

Upon passing the Registration Examination for Dietitians, students will be eligible to practice as a registered dietitian. Registered dietitians practicing in the state of Georgia must be licensed with the State of Georgia; many other states also require licensure or certification.  For more information on Licensure for Registered Dietitians in the State of Georgia, visit https://www.cdrnet.org/licensure.

Professional License Disclosure

The Department of Health Science and Kinesiology anticipates that graduates of the Dietetic Internship program will seek the following certification: Registered Dietitian or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (The two credentials designate the same certification program. Practitioners may choose to use one or the other.) and if required by the state the graduate will be practicing: Licensed Dietitian or Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist

For required disclosures on whether this program satisfies the license requirements of all states and territories for Licensed Dietitian license, click https://www.cdrnet.org/licensure to check the requirements of your state or territory.  

The Department of Health Science and Kinesiology has determined that the required classes and educational activities of this program will qualify a graduate of this program to take the national exam for Registered Dietitian or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

Passing the national examination for Registered Dietitian or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist will qualify a graduate for a license in Georgia. The Department of Health Science and Kinesiology has not determined whether the required classes and educational activities of this program will qualify a graduate of this program for licensure for any state not set forth above. 

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 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 DI program at Georgia Southern are eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.  

Mission Statement

The mission of the Georgia Southern University combined Masters of Science in Nutrition and Foods & Dietetic Internship (MS-DI) program is to prepare students for leadership and service in the field of dietetics.  Consistent with the mission of Georgia Southern University, this supervised practice program prepares students to become successful entry-level registered dietitians who embrace the values of integrity, collaboration, commitment to lifelong learning, wellness, and social responsibility.

Program Goals and Objectives

Program Goal 1

To prepare program graduates who will be successful entry-level registered dietitians.

Objectives

  1. At least 80% of program interns complete program/degree requirements within 30 months (150% of program length).
  2. At least 80% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionist within 12 months of program completion.
  3. 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%.
  4. Of graduates who seek employment, 70% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
  5. Eighty percent or more of program graduates will be rated as satisfactory by employers.
  6. Eighty percent or more of program graduates will rate the program as “preparing them well” for entry-level practice.

Program Goal 2

To prepare program graduates who will offer leadership and service in the field of dietetics, while embracing the values of commitment to lifelong learning and social responsibility.

Objectives

  1. Fifty percent or more program graduates will pursue continuing education activities such as workshops, certifications, and degrees within one year of program completion.
  2. Fifty percent or more program graduates will be active in professional organizations and/or community service within one year of program completion.

Request for Program Outcome Data

Georgia Southern Dietetic Internship programs outcome data will be available upon request.

Degree Resources

Core Competencies

Masters Degree in Nutrition and Foods Learning Objectives

Research methodology

Upon completing the Master of Science degree with a major in Nutrition and Foods and the Dietetic Internship Certificate program option, graduates can integrate scientific information and research into practice.

Apply theory to practice to facilitate behavior change

Upon completing the Master of Science degree with a major in Nutrition and Foods and Dietetic Internship Certificate program option, graduates can use effective marketing, counseling, and education skills to facilitate behavior change.

Exhibit understanding of advanced concepts and theory in nutrition and foods

Students will demonstrate mastery-level in NTFS 7612 Professional Development course. The assessment will be a comprehensive examination.

Core Competencies for the RD

Domain 1. Scientific and Evidence Base of Practice: Integration of scientific information and translation of research into practice.
CRDN 1.1: Select indicators of program quality and/or customer service and measure achievement of objectives.
CRDN 1.2: Evaluate research and apply evidence-based guidelines, systematic reviews and scientific literature in nutrition and dietetic practice.
CRDN 1.3: Justify programs, products, services, and care using appropriate evidence or data.
CRDN 1.4: Conduct projects using appropriate research or quality improvement methods, ethical procedures and data analysis utilizing current and/or new technologies.
CRDN 1.5: Incorporate critical-thinking skills in overall practice.
Domain 2. Professional Practice Expectations: Beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors for
the nutrition and dietetics practitioner level of practice.
CRDN 2.1: Practice in compliance with current federal regulations and state statutes and rules, as applicable, and in accordance with accreditation standards and the Scope of Practice for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Standards of Practice, Standards of Professional Performance, and Code of Ethics for the Profession of Nutrition and Dietetics.
CRDN 2.2: Demonstrate professional writing skills in preparing professional communications.
CRDN 2.3: Demonstrate active participation, teamwork and contributions in group settings.
CRDN 2.4: Function as a member of interprofessional teams.
CRDN 2.5: Work collaboratively with NDTRs and/or support personnel in other disciplines.
CRDN 2.6: Refer clients and patients to other professionals and services when needs are beyond individual scope of practice.
CRDN 2.7: Apply change management strategies to achieve desired outcomes.
CRDN 2.8: Demonstrate negotiation skills.
CRDN 2.9: Actively contribute to nutrition and dietetics professional and community organizations.
CRDN 2.10: Demonstrate professional attributes in all areas of practice.
CRDN 2.11: Show cultural humility in interactions with colleagues, staff, clients, patients and the public.
CRDN 2.12: Implement culturally sensitive strategies to address cultural biases and differences.
CRDN 2.13: Advocate for local, state or national legislative and regulatory issues or policies impacting the nutrition and dietetics profession.
Domain 3. Clinical and Client Services: Development and delivery of information, products and services to individuals, groups, and populations.
CRDN 3.1: Perform Medical Nutrition Therapy by utilizing the Nutrition Care Process including use of standardized nutrition terminology as a part of the clinical workflow elements for individuals, groups and populations of differing ages and health status, in a variety of settings.
CRDN 3.2: Conduct nutrition focused physical exams.
CRDN 3.3: Perform routine health screening assessments including measuring blood pressure, conducting waived point-of-care laboratory testing (such as blood glucose or cholesterol), recommending and/or initiating nutrition-related pharmacotherapy plans (such as modifications to bowel regimens, carbohydrate to insulin ratio, B12 or iron supplementation)
CRDN 3.4: Provide instruction to clients/patients for self-monitoring blood glucose, considering diabetes medication and medical nutrition therapy plan.
CRDN 3.5: Explain the steps involved and observe the placement of nasogastric or nasoenteric feeding tubes; if available, assist in the process of placing nasogastric or nasoenteric feeding tubes.
CRDN 3.6: Conduct a swallow screen and refer to the appropriate health care professional for full swallow evaluation when needed.
CRDN 3.7: Demonstrate effective communication and documentation skills for clinical and client services in a variety of formats and settings, which include telehealth and other information technologies and digital media.
CRDN 3.8: Design, implement and evaluate presentations to a target audience.
CRDN 3.9: Develop nutrition education materials that are culturally and age appropriate and designed for the literacy level of the audience.
CRDN 3.10: Use effective education and counseling skills to facilitate behavior change.
CRDN 3.11: Develop and deliver products, programs or services that promote consumer health, wellness, and lifestyle management.
CRDN 3.12: Deliver respectful, science-based answers to client/patient questions concerning emerging trends.
CRDN 3.13: Coordinate procurement, production, distribution and service of goods and services, demonstrating and promoting responsible use of resources.
CRDN 3.14: Develop and evaluate recipes, formulas and menus for acceptability and affordability that accommodate the cultural diversity and health needs of various populations, groups and individuals.
Domain 4. Practice Management and Use of Resources: Strategic application of principles of management and systems in the provision of services to individuals and organizations.
CRDN 4.1: Participate in management functions of human resources (such as hiring, training and scheduling).
CRDN 4.2: Perform management functions related to safety, security and sanitation that affect employees, clients, patients, facilities, and food.
CRDN 4.3: Conduct clinical and client service quality management activities (such as quality improvement or quality assurance projects).
CRDN 4.4: Apply current information technologies to develop, manage and disseminate nutrition information and data.
CRDN 4.5: Analyze quality, financial or productivity data for use in planning.
CRDN 4.6: Propose and use procedures as appropriate to the practice setting to promote
sustainability, reduce waste and protect the environment.
CRDN 4.7: Conduct feasibility studies for products, programs or services with consideration of
costs and benefits.
CRDN 4.8: Develop a plan to provide or develop a product, program or service that includes a
budget, staffing needs, equipment and supplies.
CRDN 4.9: Engage in the process for coding and billing for nutrition and dietetic services to obtain reimbursement from public or private payers, fee-for-service, and value-based payment systems.
CRDN 4.10: Analyze risk in nutrition and dietetics practice such as risks to achieving set goals and objectives, risk management plan, or risk due to clinical liability or foodborne illness).
Domain 5. Leadership and Career Management: Skills, strengths, knowledge, and experience relevant to leadership potential and professional growth for the nutrition and dietetics practitioner.
CRDN 5.1: Perform self-assessment that includes awareness in terms of learning and leadership.
CRDN 5.2: Identify and articulate one’s skills, strengths, knowledge, and experience relevant to the position desired and career goals.
CRDN 5.3: Prepare a plan for professional development according to Commission on Dietetic Registration guidelines.
CRDN 5.4: Advocate for opportunities in the professional settings (such as asking for additional responsibility, practicing negotiating a salary or wage or asking for a promotion).
CRDN 5.5: Demonstrate the ability to resolve conflict.
CRDN 5.6: Promote team involvement and recognize the skills of each member.
CRDN 5.7: Mentor others.
CRDN 5.8: Identify and articulate the value of precepting.
Program Expenses

A student in the Georgia Southern Combined MS-DI program can expect to incur the following approximate expenses. The Graduate School expenses are eligible for financial aid and loan deferment while enrolled in the program.

Technology requirements for distance learning or remote rotations are minimal. Interns must have a PC/Mac laptop with minimum hardware requirements and internet access. Netbooks and Chromebooks are truly only suitable for basic internet browsing and word processing and are not recommended. Synchronized instruction is delivered through video conferencing, requiring two-way interactive video and audio. The Trajecsys platform used for the NTFS 7790 Practicum course can be purchased through the university bookstore. Newer versions of Adobe Acrobat Reader (free online), Microsoft Office 365 (free through Georgia Southern), and antivirus software (highly recommended) will assist in completing the program.

Type of ExpenseApplication Costs
Georgia Southern College of Graduate School application fee$50
DICAS application fee$50
D&D Matching Service registration fee$65
Background Check$45
GRE Test$205
 Total$415
 Program Fees & Tuition Costs
Summer Graduate School tuition & feesNot applicable
Fall Graduate School tuition & fees*
Year One
$3,260
($10,715 out-of-state tuition)
9 credits Fall term
Spring Graduate School tuition & fees*
Year One
$3,260
($10,715 out-of-state tuition)
9 credits Spring term
Summer Graduate School tuition & fees*$3,060
($10,512 out-of-state tuition)
9 credit Summer term
Fall Graduate School tuition & fees*
Year Two
$3,260
($10,712 out-of-state tuition)
9 credits Spring term
Spring Graduate School tuition & fees*
Year Two
$3,260
($10,712 out-of-state tuition)
9 credits Spring term
*based on 2023 posted fees
Total $16,100
($53,360 out-of-state tuition)
 Living Expenses & Miscellaneous Costs
Technology requirement (laptop with access to the internet)
*Internet access fees can vary
$200
Textbooks & class supplies$2,000
Professional liability insurance$16 year two only
Health insurance$2,076 year two only
Vaccinations and TB test$164
Criminal background check & drug testing
*Practice sites may require additional background check, drug testing and physical exam.
$82
CPR certification$50
ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification$36
Nutrition organization membership$60 year two only
Auto insurance$2,400 ($200/month)
car needed in year two
Auto gasoline and maintenance$4,800 ($400/month)
car needed in year two
Housing
*additional housing cost possible if placed at a remote supervised practice site
$10,000 ($500/month)
Meals$6,000 ($10/day)
Other living expenses$10,000
 Total$37,884

Total Internship Costs

$55,399 ($91,659 out-of-state)

Clinical hospital rotation sites are located in Statesboro, Savannah, Brunswick, Douglas, Tifton, Macon, Warner Robins and Valdosta.

Program of Study and Schedule

Program of Study

Course Number, TitleCredit Hours
Fall Term 1st Year
NTFS 7333 Research Methods in Nutrition and Foods
NTFS 7335 Public Health and Community Nutrition 
NTFS 7339 Energy Balance and Weight Management
3
3
3
Spring Term 1st Year
NTFS 7331 Applied Food Science
NTFS 7337 Macronutrient Metabolism
NTFS 7431 Nutrition Education or COHE 7238 Communications for Change
3
3
3
Summer Term 1st Year
NTFS 7334 Applied Medical Nutrition Therapy
NTFS 7338 Micronutrient Metabolism
NTFS 7612 Professional Development
NTFS 7611 Graduate Seminar
NTFS 7613 Dietetic Internship Orientation
3
3
1
1
1
Fall Term 2nd Year
NTFS 7790 Practicum in Nutrition and Dietetics9
Spring Term 2nd Year
NTFS 7790 Practicum in Nutrition and Dietetics 9
Total45

The program does not offer credit for prior learning to substitute for supervised practice. Previous graduate coursework maybe be accepted at the discretion of the program director. Before starting the program, students must submit a request for graduate transfer credits with the supporting accredited higher education institutional catalog description and course syllabus.

Program Schedule and Hours

Dates (2023-2025)Internship ExperienceSupervised Practice Hours
August 14, 2023 – December 15, 2023Fall Semester Classesnone
January 8, 2024-May 3, 2024Spring Semester Classesnone
May 13, 2024-July 19, 2024Summer Semester Classes
Comprehensive Exam
DI Orientation
none
August 14, 2024-December 15, 2024DI Practicum
Mid-Internship Evaluation
600 hours
January 13, 2025-May 9, 2025DI Practicum
Final Internship Evaluation
600 hours

Note: The DI Program Schedule does not always follow the academic calendar.

Accreditation

The Georgia Southern DI is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition & Dietetics (ACEND) (https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend) of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (AND).

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
Phone: 312/899-0040, ext. 5400
Fax: 312/899-4817

Questions? Contact Us

Karen Spears, Ph.D., RD
Clinical Instructor and Dietetic Internship Programs Director
Ph.D., University of Washington
Office: Statesboro Campus-Hanner Building – Room 2301-B
Phone: 912-478-2123
E-mail: kspears@georgiasouthern.edu

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Last updated: 12/5/2023