Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Dietetic Internship Program

The Winthrop University (WU) Department of Human Nutrition offers a highly competitive Master of Science/Dietetic Internship (MS/DI) program, accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) for those individuals seeking a career in the rapidly growing and high-demand field of nutrition and dietetics.

 

Program Accreditation

The Winthrop University Master of Science/Dietetic Internship is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The address and phone number of ACEND are:

The Winthrop University MS/DI program provides advanced didactic and applied professional experiences that build on the theoretical knowledge of an undergraduate degree and a didactic program in dietetics. During the first year, interns enroll in 12 semester hours of graduate credit during the fall and spring, followed by 6 semester hours of graduate credit in the summer. During the second year, interns enroll in 12 semester hours of graduate credit during the program, of which six hours will apply to the completion of the MS degree program. Interns completing the Masters of Science/Dietetic Internship Program receive a Verification Statement and are eligible to take the national Registration Examination for Dietitians administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), the credentialing agency for the AND. Upon successfully passing the Registration Examination for Dietitians, the graduate is credentialed as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).

 

Learn More About Our Program

 

Program Mission, Goals, and Objectives

Program Mission:

To prepare competent dietitians for entry into the profession by providing combined academic and applied professional experiences which satisfy the requirements for eligibility to take the national Registration Examination for Dietitians administered through the Commission on Dietetic Registration.

Program Goals and Objectives:

Program Goal #1:  Program graduates will be prepared for entry-level practice positions in the field of nutrition and dietetics or related fields.

Objectives to meet the goal:

  1. At least 80% of students complete program requirements within 3 years (150% of planned program length).
  2. Of graduates who seek employment, at least 80 percent are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
  3. At least 90 percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
  4. 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%.
  5. Over a 5-year period, 80% of employers of program graduates responding to the Employer Survey will rate the overall job performance of alumni at or above a 3.0 overall on a scale of 1-5 (high = 5) 2 years post-graduation.

Program Goal #2: Program graduates will be prepared to provide leadership or service professionally and/or in the community within the field of nutrition and dietetics.

Objectives to meet the goal:

  1. At least 25% of program graduates who respond to the 2-year post-graduate survey will indicate that they are involved in service to the profession through activities such as precepting dietetic interns or DPD students, dietetics or nutrition related community service, or involvement in district/state/national nutrition related organizations.
  2. At least 25% of program graduates who respond to the 2-year post-graduate survey, will rate their overall professional leadership skills at or above a 3.0 on a scale of 1-5 (high=5).

Program Goal #3. Program graduates will apply critical thinking skills to appropriately analyze and disseminate scientific literature in the field of nutrition.

  1. At least 25% of program graduates who respond to the 2-year post graduate survey will rate their overall ability to apply critical thinking skills to appropriately analyze and disseminate scientific literature in the field of nutrition at or above a 3.0 on a scale of 1-5 (high = 5)

Program outcomes data are available upon request. Contact the Dietetic Internship Director, Stephanie Nielsen, at nielsens@winthrop.edu or 803/323-4521 or the Graduate Director, Hope Lima, at limah@winthrop.edu or 803/323-4540.

 

Becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Must Have or Complete:

  1. Bachelor's Degree from an accredited university. PLEASE SEE NOTIFICATION BELOW.*
  2. Receive a verification statement from an ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD).
  3. Match and complete an ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship program or other ACEND-approved supervised practice.  
  4. Pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) credentialing exam.
  5. If applicable, apply for state licensure to practice as a licensed dietitian/nutritionist. 
  6. Maintain ongoing continuing education.

* 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 requirements 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 didactic program at Winthrop University are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program/apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.

For Information on the Available Pathways to Becoming a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, visit Path to becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) via Dietetic Internship (DI) (PDF - 333KB).

 

Licensure as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

The State of South Carolina requires registered dietitian nutritionists to be licensed. For detailed information on becoming licensed to practice in the State of South Carolina as a registered dietitian nutritionist, please access the South Carolina Labor Licensing Regulation website.

Information on licensure or certification in states other than South Carolina can be accessed through the Commission on Dietetic Registration: https://www.cdrnet.org/state-licensure

 

Admission and Course Recency Requirements

Students are required to have a baccalaureate degree conferred by a regionally accredited college or university before they enter the Dietetic Internship program. Applying for this program is a two-step process: 

Applicants should apply through the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Services (DICAS). Internship applications are accepted by DICAS between December and February; applicants should see the DICAS Web site (See application checklist) to register and to obtain specific dates for portal openings for the spring match. Winthrop's program does not participate in the fall match. 

The D&D Digital Internship Matching serves as a clearinghouse to help applicants obtain an Internship (supervised practice position) from their rankings to help Dietetic Internships (DI) obtain applicants from their choices.  It eliminates unfair pressures and premature decisions in appointments by internships and acceptance or rejection of appointments by applicants. 

There are two components to applying to a Dietetic Internship (DI) and an applicant must complete both components to participate in DI Matching.

  1. Most internships participate in an online Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS) to receive your application.
  2. Each applicant must also register for Dietetic Internship matching with D&D Digital to create/edit/verify their prioritized list of Dietetic Internships to participate in DI match.

For deadlines related to matching, contact: 
D & D Digital Systems
304 Main St. 
Suite 301 
Ames, IA 50010-6148 
515/292-0490

Winthrop University DPD applicants interested in the early acceptance/pre-select option must contact Stephanie Nielsen, Internship Director, at nielsens@winthrop.edu

Acceptance into the program is highly competitive. Selection criteria are based on:

  1. Strength of the academic record
  2. Relevant work and volunteer experiences in the field of dietetics
  3. A personal statement detailing your preparedness to be an outstanding intern in this program
  4. Three letters of recommendation
  5. Scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  6. Personal interview on campus, by invitation only*

*The selection committee, composed of professionals in the field of dietetics and faculty members, evaluates the applications, interviews the candidates, and ranks them accordingly. The selections are then submitted to a computer matching service contracted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Applicants and the dietetic internship program director are notified of the results in mid-April.

A maximum of 21 interns are selected for the internship each year.

Interns who are accepted by DICAS and matched with Winthrop University will be contacted and instructed to apply for admission to Winthrop's Master of Science/Dietetic Internship program through the Winthrop University Graduate School application process. Please note that this process also applies to those already holding a graduate-level degree. This includes the Graduate School application, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, and official transcript(s) sent directly to Winthrop from the issuing institution(s). Students must complete their application to the Master of Science/Dietetic Internship Program by June 15. MS/DI applicants should seek admission for the fall semester during which they would start the program. To obtain information on courses required for the MS component of the MS/DI program, students should contact Dr. Wanda Koszewski at koszewskiw@winthrop.edu or 803/323-4553.

NOTE: Application to the Winthrop University Graduate School requires separate copies of official transcripts and a separate GRE score report.

Dietetic interns are eligible for financial aid as graduate students of Winthrop University.

For more information please feel free to contact the internship director or graduate director between August 15 and June 15. Questions about the dietetic internship should be directed to Stephanie Nielsen, Dietetic Internship Director, at nielsens@winthrop.edu or 803/323-4521. Questions about the MS program should be directed to Dr. Wanda Koszewski at koszewskiw@winthrop.edu or 803/323-4553.

The mailing address for the WU MS/Dietetic Internship is:
Department of Human Nutrition 
Winthrop University 
302 Dalton Hall  
Rock Hill, SC, 29733
803/323-2101 (Department office)

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to visit ACEND for important information on the previous match rates of accredited internship programs and for a list of suggestions to assist in preparing applications.

A Winthrop University Dietetic Internship application checklist is available here.

 

Recency of Education Course Requirements

Internship applicants must be able to demonstrate successful completion of coursework in dietetics or advanced nutrition, and/or sufficient evidence of clinical practice within three years prior to the starting date of the internship. Students who need to improve their knowledge and/or skills will be advised by the faculty in the Department of Human Nutrition as to which DPD-required courses should be successfully completed in order to meet eligibility requirements.

 

Program Completion Requirements

The Winthrop University MS/DI supervised practice component provides a minimum of 1000 hours of experience in order to meet entry-level practice competencies. The program emphasis is on Nutrition Therapy in both inpatient and outpatient nutrition care practice. WU dietetic interns work under the supervision of outstanding practitioners from diverse academic and professional backgrounds, many of whom have active leadership roles within the region and profession. This internship is ideal for individuals who are capable of functioning independently and who demonstrate self-directed learning and leadership qualities. The program combines theoretical and practical experiences that enable future dietetic professionals to expand their knowledge in areas of dietetics such as medical nutrition therapy, public/community health nutrition, corporate wellness programs, sports nutrition, and food and nutrition management.

Courses required in the program include the following:

Year 1

Fall Semester

  • Applied Statistics for the Sciences (MATH 546)
  • Macronutrient Metabolism (NUTR 619)
  • Public Health and Global Nutrition (NUTR 611)

Spring Semester

  • Research Methods (NUTR 607)
  • Vitamin and Mineral Metabolism (NUTR 624)
  • Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy (NUTR 617)

Summer Semester

  • Seminar in Food and Nutrition (NUTR 600)
  • Nutrition Communication (NUTR 608)
  • Professional Practice in Dietetics (NUTR 632)

Year 2

*Matriculation into supervised practice component in year 2 is dependent on satisfactory performance in the MS coursework as evidenced by a GPA of 3.7 or higher.

Fall Semester

  • NUTR 528 (3). Dietetic Internship Supervised Practice Experience I
  • NUTR 529 (3). Dietetic Internship Supervised Practice Experience II

Spring Semester

  • NUTR 530 (3). Dietetic Internship Supervised Practice Experience III
  • NUTR 531 (3). Dietetic Internship Supervised Practice Experience IV

Upon successful completion of the program's learning experiences, the Jean Inman RDN Exam review course, and ACEND competencies, interns receive a verification statement. Interns must also apply to complete (PDF - 81KB) the Graduate School requirements for graduation. Upon validation by CDR, they are eligible to take the national registration examination for dietitians (RDN exam). Upon satisfactory completion of the internship, six graduate hours may be applied to an M.S. degree in Human Nutrition at Winthrop University. Successful completion of the internship meets the requirements for the Dietetic Internship Certificate Program.

 

Additional Expectations

Although the COVID-19 vaccination is not a condition for enrollment at Winthrop University, many of our dietetic internship supervised practice sites and facilities now require the vaccine in order to complete a supervised practice rotation with them. We are abiding by the facility requirements for not only the COVID-19 vaccine, but also all immunizations required. We do have sites that will not accept medical waivers. Rotation scheduling is not adjusted based on vaccine status.

Interns are responsible for arranging their own housing accommodations. Rotation assignments are not all based near campus; each individual intern is assigned to a specific geographical location in South Carolina or in the southern region of North Carolina. Interns may or may not be paired with another intern. Since interns rotate at various facilities within their specific geographical area in the Carolinas, they are required to attend seminars on campus and participate in selected program activities. Access to reliable transportation is necessary. Interns must commit to a 32-34-week time frame including orientation, supervised practice (rotations), written assignments, scheduled seminars, professional activities, and Jean Inman's RDN exam review course. Interns must be aware that rotations are tightly scheduled, and time does not permit week-long vacations other than what is scheduled. Interns should not hold jobs during the program as they are assigned for a minimum of 32-40 hours per week including weekends and shifts in various rotations. The internship requires full attention and dedication in order to meet program expectations. Any absence from the program must be made up. Interns who do not meet competency requirements at any point throughout the program will follow procedure for meeting with the preceptor and DI faculty to develop a plan of action, which may include the following options: alternate site placement, additional coursework, extended rotation experience to evaluate competency progression, additional services as deemed appropriate to the individual case, counseling for alternate career paths, and possible dismissal from the program. Program completion is expected to occur within 3 years from start of the MS/DI program (program length = 2 years; 150% = 3 years).

 

Sample Intern Schedule and Geographic Location

During year 1, the program follows the university online calendar for 7C courses for fall, spring, and summer semesters. In year two, the program follows the university calendar beginning with an orientation during the first week of fall semester (typically the third week in August) and concludes at the end of the spring semester (typically during the first week of May). Year 2 is approximately 32-34 weeks. A sample schedule for year two is provided:

DI Orientation Week

August 21-23

Food and Nutrition Management Rotation (includes weekend experiences)

August 28-October 13

Outpatient/Education/Wellness/Consultation/Long Term Care

October 16 – December 8 (Thanksgiving Break November 22-25)

Winter Break

December 9 – January 7 (MS Graduation will be in December following the University graduation calendar)

Inpatient Clinical Rotation (includes weekend experiences)

January 8 – April 19

Final Week Activities on Campus

April 22-26

Interns attend selected on-campus or virtual seminar days typically scheduled on designated Fridays in October, November, January, and February. Meetings with the DI director are also planned throughout each semester. Interns also participate in special activities such as health fairs, community events, professional meetings such as district meetings and the SC Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting as well as SC Policy Day. These selected activities constitute a fourth rotation, Professional Development, where interns develop leadership and professional skills to support entry into the profession.

 

Geographic Location Assignment

During the interview process, applicants are asked to identify any practice specialty areas of interest. Many factors are considered when deciding on the interns’ geographic placement and schedules including background and prior experiences including expectations and preferences by lead preceptors regarding intern sites. The Internship Director carefully considers individual student competence, background knowledge and likelihood of success when assigning interns to facilities. Interns are not guaranteed assignment to any one particular geographic region or practice site.

Over 60 internship affiliates, private practices, corporations, medical centers, long-term care facilities, public health departments and school food and nutrition services provide experiences for the program. The combination of rotations varies annually and with each intern depending on the availability and suitability of the facilities and preceptors. The Nutrition Therapy Inpatient/Acute Care (NTI) rotation serves as the home base around which the other rotations are planned. Outpatient/community and food management rotations are planned within a 70 mile radius of the “home” base. Geographic regions include: Rock Hill, Lancaster, and Chester, SC: Columbia/Lexington/Sumter, SC; Greenville and Spartanburg, SC, Aiken, SC, Florence, SC, and Myrtle Beach, SC area and surrounding counties; and the Charlotte, NC region including Union, Mecklenburg and Gaston Counties.

 

Program Expenses

During year 2, interns are not based on campus; they are assigned to complete the rotations within a geographical location in South Carolina or North Carolina. Interns need personal access to transportation in order to travel to various rotations. All of the rotations will be completed within driving distance of their "home base" unless special arrangements are made to obtain a specific type of experience. Interns are responsible for arranging their own transportation and lodging.

 

2023-2024 Tuition and Fees For Graduate Programs

Year

Credit Hours

Tuition Rate*

*per credit hour

1

25

$833

2

12

Resident: $653

Non-resident: $1258

*Most updated tuition and fee information maintained by the University can be found here.

Estimated MS/DI Program Costs 2023-2024

Current tuition and associated costs can be found here. All fees are subject to change by semester and are updated when available annually.

 

Online Course Structure

For a fully-online course your maybe taking activities and resources can be found through our course website on Blackboard. At designated times throughout the semester, you may will participate in a blend of self-paced and group-paced activities using Blackboard tools such as discussion forums, assignments, announcements, e-mail, journaling, and wikis. All of the learning activities will be completed in your own time so long as they are completed by the dates and times shown in the course schedule.

 

Technology Requirements

 

Blackboard & Technical Assistance

If you are having problems accessing your Winthrop e-mail, accessing Blackboard, or accessing Wingspan, Contact the Winthrop Service Desk:

If you are having problems, submitting an assignment, accessing your course, something in the course seems broken (i.e. video, hyperlink, interactive), Contact Technical Support:

  • E-mail: winthrop@support.edu.help 
  • Phone: 833/345-1799
  • Hours: Technical Support is available 24/7, 365 days a year for student course support. If they are unable to resolve a problem immediately, they will escalate to others that can assist.

Campus Resources for Online Learners 

Students who are enrolled in online courses are entitled to the campus resources made available to on-campus students. These resources included admissions counseling, library, student services, and recreational facilities. Questions regarding access to these resources should be directed to the assigned academic advisor.