Masters of Science in Nutrition - Professional Dietetics (MS-PD)

Masters of Science in Nutrition - Professional Dietetics (MS-PD)

Combine your internship with a Master’s degree

   See how to apply to MS-PD

Welcome to the accredited Dietetic Internship at Oregon State University.

Oregon State offers both a combined MS/DI (called the MS-PD) and a stand-alone DI (called the OSUDI).

The accredited Masters of Science in Nutrition - Professional Dietetics (MS-PD) program is a combined 22-month, online curriculum, graduate degree with Oregon based dietetic internship rotation sites.

The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).

This program meets the new Commission for Dietetics Registration (CDR) graduate degree requirement that after 2024, eligible candidates must hold a graduate degree to take the national RDN credential exam.

MS-PD cohort 2023

2023 MS-PD cohort

Virtual Open House

Watch the recording of the November 2023 virtual open house.

   Watch recording

For fall 2024, the MS-PD will be admitting up to 12 students who have completed an accredited DPD program in the U.S.

Mission and objectives

The MS-PD mission is to prepare advanced graduate level RDNs poised to meet future practice demands with advanced knowledge and research skills.

The MS-PD program objectives include to produce graduates that can gather and utilize evidence to solve problems and advance practice and to learn research skills to measure outcomes that demonstrates effectiveness and efficiency.

The graduate online degree program utilizes the existing rotations sites of our strong accredited dietetics program, having a 97% 10-year RDN examination pass rate, a 100% program completion rate and an exceptional job placement rate within 6 months of program completion. Some graduates are even hired before they are done.

Curriculum and sequence

The program curriculum is made up of a pre-set group of advanced courses in nutrition, dietetics and health using online delivery during the first 9 program months. After the first year courses, graduates come to Oregon to complete the internship rotations, while taking 1-2 more courses and completing the capstone project data collection and analysis and finalizing the capstone project and paper. Graduates are finished after presenting a defense of the capstone to their graduate committee and faculty in the final Spring term.


The coursework is followed by pre-arranged, 10-month, 1000-1200 hours (40 hr/week) of supervised practice provided in rotation sites situated in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. There is no need to identify rotation sites to participate in this program, as you will spend the last year of the program in Oregon.

The rotations for the MS-PD cross a wide range of practice sites. Each intern will rotate through 6-7 locations for a total of approximately 35 weeks.

Those weeks are usually divided as follows:

  • 10-15 weeks clinical nutrition care, renal dialysis, clinical specialty areas
  • 5-6 weeks of primary care: physicians office or clinic
  • 4 weeks of community:  WIC, Oregon State University Extension offices, OSU Basic Needs Center, Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council.
  • 4 weeks of foodservice:  hospital, long term care, schools
  • 2-4 weeks other area (geriatric, community, sports, disordered eating)
  • 1-2 weeks of staff relief

Capstone research project

While in your internship, you will work on gathering evidence and data to support Capstone Research Project (CRP). The last three program months are devoted to finalizing and presenting a Capstone project paper. The CRP is designed to teach and foster the development of research and evidence seeking skills in identifying best practices, and in justifying and making practice based decisions. Such skills build greater abilities and confidence in problem solving, and determine how best to achieve nutrition care outcomes and efficiencies in food, nutrition and community services.

Some examples of capstone projects:

  • Investigating college student food security
  • Exploring the literature and investigating how to best manage dining room environments, feeding and nutrition care of seniors in long term care
  • Exploring the mechanisms for fostering Nutrition Care Process and MNT recommendations among hospitalized patients
  • Impact of nutritional snack supplements in reducing length of stays and readmission rates among cirrhotic hospitalized patients.
ROI: Return on ingestion

ROI: Return on Ingestion

Does the food you eat have a return on investment?

James Shepherd, a first-year MS-Professional Dietetics student is assessing the impact of a six-week workplace wellness program for his MS-PD capstone project and exploring stakeholders’ motivations for funding onsite health promotion.

Read more

The MS-PD program goals

  • to prepare Master’s degree intern graduates who are competent in the market place as entry-level practitioners pursuing careers in long-term care, senior nutrition care and primary care and community-based practice and organizations.
  • to prepare Master’s degree intern graduates who demonstrate competence in applying research skills in practice and who demonstrate leadership skills.

The MS-PD graduate outcomes

Program graduates will achieve the following outcomes:

  • successful completion of the internship
  • successful passing of the RDN exam within 1 year of graduation
  • intern employment in dietetics within 3 months of graduation
  • graduates who pursue employment in long-term care/senior or community and primary care nutrition practice.  
  • graduates who receive a mean score of 3.5 on a 5 point score in evaluations by their employers

MS-PD graduate program learning outcomes

Upon completion of the MS-PD degree, students will demonstrate:

  • Knowledge and scholarship
    Identify and conduct original research and scholarship in practice .
  • Communication
    Effectively communicate in practice and their field of study.
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
    Think critically, creatively and solve problems in practice and their field of study.
  • Ethical Conduct
    Practice and conduct research in an ethical and responsible manner.
  • Professional Development
    Demonstrate attributes of professional development consistent with the expectations of a professional RDN.

Program details

The program accepts up to 12 interns per year into this accredited graduate degree program. Each fall a cohort is accepted and they complete their academic coursework followed by the dietetic internship. Our accreditation standards dictate that even as graduate level students, all interns are prepared to be generalists, so rotations cover a wide range of the diversity in dietetics practice. Upon successful completion, graduates are eligible to take the RDN registration exam. Due to the program design, interns are not required to move to Oregon until spring/summer after their first year of coursework in the program.

Each intern participates in rotations in the traditional venues of foodservice, clinical, and community. The program comprises 30+ rotation sites and 55+ preceptors. Interns may have the opportunity to participate in other rotations such as geriatric nutrition, sports nutrition, disordered eating.

MS-PD timetable for completion of degree

Year 1

Starts 3rd week in September, with an online orientation; ends approximately at the end of the second week of June.

  • Complete primary coursework and plan capstone project with major professor.
  • Meet with the full graduate committee and submit a program of study by the end of winter term
  • Develop and propose capstone project proposal by the end of Spring term
  • Begin internship rotations in Summer

Year 2

Runs continuously after year 1 course completion; first rotations will begin following internship orientation during summer of year 2.

  • Complete internship rotations by end of Winter term (NUTR 510)
  • Conduct Capstone Research Project during Fall and Winter terms (NUTR 506)
  • Participate in Seminar (NUTR 507)
  • Finalize analysis and work on paper and presentation for Capstone Research Project
  • Present a defense of the Capstone Research Project to your graduate committee in Spring (NUTR 506)

Minimum requirements for program eligibility

  • Verification statement from ACEND accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD)
  • Bachelors degree
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA; 3.2 in nutrition/dietetics courses

GRE no longer Required

We join many other programs at Oregon State and other peer institutions across the country who have eliminated this structural barrier to promote a more equitable, diverse and inclusive student body.

Application procedures

Following DICAS System and Instructions and submit matching through D & D Digital Computer Matching Service.

  Read carefully as we have some unique requirements that differ from the general instructions in DICAS

Submit a complete Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS) application packet made up of the following items by the deadline posted for DICAS (February 15):

Application Requirements

  • Application completed through the DICAS portal
  • Official Transcript(s), submitted through DICAS
  • Three letters of recommendation (at least two DPD faculty), submitted through DICAS
  • Signed DPD Verification Statement or Declaration of Intent for Completion, submitted through DICAS
  • Personal Statement. Please address the following in 1000 words or less:
    • How is food related to dietetics practice?
    • What is the role of the dietitian in facilitating clients or patients to change their eating behaviors?
    • How is the dietetic internship program specifically suited to you and your professional interests?

Application fee

Program application fee* of $50

  • Payable to: OSUDI
  • Mailed to: Jenny Jackson, Nutrition, School of Public Health and Nutrition, OSU, 204 Milam Hall Corvallis OR 97331.
  • This is in addition to fees paid to DICAS and D&D Digital.
  • *DICAS applications received by DICAS deadline without receipt of application fee by OSU will not be reviewed.
  • Please indicate in your mailed packet whether you are interested in applying to the OSUDI, the MS-PD, or both programs

The DICAS application must be completed by the deadline specified on the DICAS website.

D & D Digital Computer Matching Service

The dietetic internship participates in D&D Digital Computer Matching.

Please provide the following information by registering at D&D Digital

  • Dietetic Internship preference list and release information
  • A separate payment to D&D Digital Systems for $50.00 by their specified deadline.

Submit required materials through D&D Digital.

Other contact information for D&D Digital:

D&D Digital Systems
304 Main St., Suite 301
Ames, IA. 50010-6148
Phone: (515) 292-0490
Fax: (515) 663-9427
E-mail: [email protected]

Failure to submit matching information disqualifies candidates from the internship selection process.

The top candidates are ranked by the dietetic internship selection committee and their names are sent in to the D&D Digital Computer Matching for selection of finalists. Follow instructions on the D&D Digital website regarding your placement results. The process will be conducted so that student’s rights are protected and the non-discrimination policies of the program are maintained.


MS-PD students are eligible for Scholarships through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. They are also eligible to apply for OSU graduate students scholarships during their first year in the program, with potential funds available during the second year.


The Capstone Research Project is in lieu of a thesis.


The MS-PD includes ~28-30 graduate level quarter hour credits of coursework that would be transferable into a graduate program. Internship and Capstone credits would not be transferable to most universities or PhD programs.


The MS-PD has a strong, excellent dietetics internship component. Utilizing rotations from sites that are not contracted with OSU challenges our ability to maintain our excellent program. Out of state educational agreements are also restricted by US Dept of Education, and would require that OSU make payments to state departments outside of OSU.


As a graduate degree program and internship combined, you are eligible for NDSL loans and loan deferments. This link discusses student loan programming.

The program sponsor is OSU on the Corvallis campus. However, most rotations are not in Corvallis and may involve a commute regardless of where you might choose to live. During applicant interviews, information about living location and rotations, and commuting is discussed. Flexibility is an advantage.

All interns will have some commuting; interns can expect to commute for about 50% of the year. We try to minimize commuting by suggesting living locations to the incoming intern class. Interns in past years have also stayed with each other on occasion to decrease commuting.

OSU placement for graduates is solid. In previous years many interns have jobs within 2 weeks of graduation and some had jobs before they finished the internship! We have graduates working all over in community, clinical and in foodservice.

OSU places interns in a minimum of 6-7 rotations sites and graduates describe the variety of rotations a program plus. The exposure allows interns to find real opportunities to explore their professional interest and direction.

We are proud of our 96.7% first-time RD pass rate for the past 9 years.

Program schedule

Program comparison between OSUDI (no degree DI) and MS-PD (grad degree DI)

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  OSUDI Program
MS-PD Program
(combined internship/graduate degree)
Program Calendar 9.5 months long
September to June
22 months long
September Year 1 to June Year 2
Rotation Schedule September through June
40 hours per week
Summer (end of year 1) to March (year 2)
40 hours per week
Holidays/Vacations 2 weeks vacation over winter break, Thanksgiving and Friday after Thanksgiving, Memorial Day Follows OSU Academic Calendar during first year; during rotations (year 2), 2 weeks vacation over winter break, Thanksgiving and Friday after Thanksgiving
Didactic Hours Orientation, professional meetings (such as Oregon Academy Educational Conference), and monthly didactic classes Intern orientation, professional meetings (such as Oregon Academy Educational Conference), and monthly didactic classes
Rotation sites 6-8 rotation sites plus staff relief and choice rotations 6-8 rotation sites plus staff relief and choice rotations
Graduate coursework None See details below
Capstone project None See details below

Student costs

Program cost comparisons between OSUDI (no degree DI) and MS-PD (grad degree DI)

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Costs to student OSUDI Program
(internship only)
MS/DI Program
(combined internship/graduate degree)
DI application and transcript evaluation fee $50 $50
OSU Graduate School Application Fee $35 $75
Tuition & Fees
(payable at start of each term, fall/winter/spring/summer)

Estimated at $560/credit hour for 49-50 credits. Varies by electives; approximately ~ $28,000 to $30,000 for applicants. Refer to Ecampus Tuition and Fees.

Same tuition cost for in and out of state students with Ecampus coursework.

Matriculation fee None $350
National criminal background check $60 $60
10-panel urine drug screen $50 $50
Medical exam, immunizations, titers, and TB testing if not current Up to $200 Up to $200
Transportation costs estimate $400-$800 $400-$800
Liability coverage $32 $32
Health insurance purchased through OSU (If do not have personal health insurance) $1900 $1900
Monthly apartment rental estimate, depends on location; other living expenses variable $600-$900 $600-$900
MS-PD students can choose to live outside of Oregon for 1st year of program
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics dues $50 $100 (2 years)
Oregon Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics meeting $150 (estimate) $300 (2 years)
Estimated texts and supplies $250 $500
Financial aid available?

All students are encouraged to apply for scholarships from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
No; interns will not qualify for federal student loans, but they are eligible for loan deferment of their existing student loans Yes, students will be eligible for student loans and "Academy" and OSU scholarships.

Program costs

Distance education costs & requirements

The OSU MS-PD is a hybrid program, with all coursework available online via OSU Ecampus and internship rotations in Oregon. The first year of the program is 100% online while the second year requires students to reside in Oregon for the dietetic internship component.

Please see the technology checklist for requirements pertaining to distance education. Information Services supports students with ONID accounts, learning technologies including Canvas, software packages, equipment checkout, printing, technical support, and computing labs.

Master's degree minimum requirement

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.

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 Master of Science in Nutrition-Professional Dietetics at Oregon State University are eligible to sit for the credentialing exam for Registered Dietitians.

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements click here.

See more information about educational pathways to become a RDN see information for here.

Are you interested in a dietetics internship without a degree?