Career Options

Does this M.S. include all requirements for becoming an registered dietitian (RD)?

Our program does not include all requirements for becoming an RD.

In order to become a registered dietitian, one must complete a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), a group of courses that fulfills the skills and knowledge areas laid out by the American Dietetic Association (ADA). Each school that has an accredited DPD develops its own specific list of courses. Once you complete these courses, the DPD director at that particular school gives the student a Verification Statement of completion. This is an ADA document. The student can then apply to a Dietetic Internship program (DI).

Successfully completing a DPD is no guarantee you will be accepted to a DI. The DI takes about one year. Interns are not paid and must pay to be in the program. When you finish, you are eligible take the RD exam.

The ADA website can provide more information about this pathway and provides a list of accredited DPD and DI programs (listed by state). As you may note, NYIT has an accredited  DPD program, but this program is being phased out and no new students are accepted to that program.

Can one work in the field of nutrition without being an RD?

There are a limited number of jobs in nutrition in the community realm and in nursing homes that do not require the RD, but jobs in hospitals and private practice require an RD. Each state has different regulations regarding certification and licensing limiting the scope of what non-RDs can do and whether or not they are eligible for third-party reimbursement. If available at all, jobs that do not require the RD command lower salaries.

Can I start the program even before finishing all the science prerequisites?

Yes, if you already have a bachelors degree, you may apply and be conditionally accepted. You will then be eligible to take some of the graduate courses depending on how much science you've already completed, up to eight credits.

I am an RD. Will getting an M.S. increase my pay?

A recent survey indicated that RDs with an M.S. earn $2.83 more per hour than those without. Many specific positions require you to have a master's degree.

 
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Clinical Nutrition
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