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

Combine your internship with a Master’s degree

 Virtual Open House

The Oregon State University Dietetic Internship programs held a virtual open house in November.

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The accredited Masters of Science in Nutrition - Professional Dietetics (MSN-PD) program is a combined 22-month, on-line 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) eligibility that after 2024, eligible candidates must hold a graduate degree to take the national RDN credential exam.

The Nutrition Graduate Program (NGP) at OSU has a long history of food and nutrition graduate programs. Academic Analytics has ranked the OSU-Nutrition Graduate Program 9th out of 60 nutrition sciences programs in the United States. This ranking is based on the faculty productivity index and includes information on peer-reviewed research publications, book publications, citations per faculty, research grants and awards.

Oregon State is also a leading university with a long history of on-line degree delivery through our Ecampus program, ranked 3rd in the nation for on-line programming.


Mission and objectives

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

The MSN-PD program objectives include to produce graduates that can gather and utilize evidence and research to measure outcomes, solve problems and create greater efficiency and effectiveness in practice. The program utilizes the strong accredited dietetics internship OSU currently offers, which has a 97% 10-year RDN examination pass rate, a 100% program completion rate and a 78% job placement rate among our successful graduates. Some graduates are even hired before they are done.


Curriculum and sequence

The program curriculum is made up of a set of advanced nutrition, dietetics and health courses using on-line coursework that is completed largely while off-campus during the first 9 program months. After coming to complete the internship rotations, you will finish seminar courses as well as collect or analyze the capstone project data and finalize the capstone paper and present it to your graduate committee and faculty.



The coursework is followed by pre-arranged, 10-month, 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. During the rotations, one site will be specifically utilized as the site for which you will conduct a Capstone Research Project.

The rotations for the MSN-PD cross a wide range of practice sites. Each intern will rotate through 6-7 locations for a total of approximately 40 weeks.

Those weeks are usually divided as follows:

  • 10-15 weeks clinical nutrition care, renal dialysis, clinical specialty areas
  • 6-8 weeks of primary care: physicians office or clinic
  • 4 weeks of community:  WIC, Land-grant Extension offices, Food Commodity groups,
  • 4 weeks of foodservice:  hospital, long term care, schools
  • 4-8 weeks of concentration area (geriatrics or community)
  • 2 weeks of intern choice/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 preparing to write and present a Capstone projects are designed to teach and foster the development of skills in using research and evidence in identifying best practices, and to provide a basis for 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 food, nutrition care and community services.

Some examples of capstone projects:

  • Determining outcomes and exploring how cooking classes impact healthy eating
  • Exploring the literature and conduct observations and investigations to best manage food intake and nutrition care of Alzheimer patients.
  • Communicating and providing continuity of nutrition care between health care sites upon patient discharge
  • Impact of RDN order writing privileges on parenteral nutrition utilization, type, duration, complications, and costs.


The ACEND program goals for the MSN-PD

  • 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 that demonstrate leadership skills.


The ACEND 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


MSN-PD graduate program learning outcomes

Upon completion of the MSN- 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 12 interns per year into this accredited program. Each fall a cohort of 12 is accepted and they work through both the curriculum and internship rotations synchronously. Accreditation dictates that even as graduates, all interns are prepared to be generalists, so rotations cover a wide range of the diverse dietetics program. 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 Summer after their first year of coursework in the program.

The MSN-PD program has 2 concentration areas; one in senior nutrition care and another community/primary care nutrition practice. Each intern also participates in rotations in the traditional venues of foodservice, clinical, and community. The program comprises 30+ rotation sites and 55+ preceptors.


MSN-PD time table for completion of degree

Year 1

  • Complete primary coursework and plan capstone project with site project preceptor and major professor; participate in first Seminar (NUTR 507)
  • Meet with the full graduate committee and submit a program of study and by the end of winter term
  • Develop and propose capstone project plan by the end of Spring term
  • Begin internship rotations in Summer

Year 2

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


Eligibility for program acceptance

  • Verification from ACEND accredited dietetics undergraduate program (DPD)
  • Meet pre-requisites for science based nutrition and dietetics curriculum (chemistry, organic chemistry, anatomy and physiology, nutrition/dietetics courses consistent with DPD Verification)
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA; 3.2 in nutrition/dietetics courses
  • GRE scores achieving 50% in one area (quantitative/writing/qualitative)


Application procedures

(Following DICAS System and Instructions)


  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 (typically around February 15):


Different from DICAS

1) In our requirement for the DICAS Personal Statement please address only the following in 1000 words or less (do not answer the standard DICAS questions):

  • How is food related to dietetics practice?
  • What is the role of the dietitian in facilitating clients or patients to change their eating behavior?
  • How is the dietetic internship program specifically suited to you and your professional interests?

2) When you mail your fee to OSU, include a hard copy collection of 3 different examples of what you consider to be your best dietetics-related class assignments/projects/papers.

  • Try to include a variety of examples such as presentations, research papers, menu/recipe/food-related projects, a case study, etc.
  • Please include these examples with your mailed application fee (see below).

3) Application and Transcript Evaluation Fee* of $50

  • Payable to: OSUDI
  • Mailed to: Mary Cluskey, Nutrition, School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, OSU, 200 Milam Hall Corvallis OR 97331.
  • This is separate from fees paid to DICAS and D&D Digital.
  • *DICAS applications received by DICAS deadline without receipt of Transcript Evaluation fee by OSU will not be reviewed.
  • Please indicate in your mailed packet whether you are interested in applying to the OSUDI, the MS/DI, or both programs


As instructed on DICAS

4) The Dietetic Internship Application - completed through the DICAS portal

5) Official Transcript(s) sealed in official envelope – submitted through DICAS

6) Three letters of recommendation (at least two DPD faculty) – submitted through DICAS

7) Signed Verification Statement for DPD or Declaration of Intent for Completion – submitted through DICAS


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

The dietetic internship participates in the D&D Digital Computer Matching. Please provide D&D Digital the following information by registering at

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

Submit D&D Digital required materials trough

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


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 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.



We are still developing a MSN-PD specific FAQ. In the meantime, refer to relevant information on the Dietetic Internship FAQ.


Program curriculum/schedule

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

Scroll table left  right on mobile devices

  OSUDI Program
MS/DI 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
June (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)
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 MSN-PD (grad degree DI)

Costs to student OSUDI Program
(internship only)
MS/DI Program
(combined internship/graduate degree)
DI application and transcript evaluation fee $50 $50
Graduate program application None $135 (SOPHAS application)
$75 (OSU Graduate Admission Fee)
Tuition & Fees
(payable at start of each term, fall/winter/spring/summer)
$9000 for 2020-2021 class

Estimated at $560/credit hour for 49-50 credits. Varies by electives; approximately ~ $28,000 to $30,000 for 2020 applicants. Refer to Ecampus Tuition and Fees.

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

Admission fee $30 $75
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/DI students can choose to live outside of Oregon for first two terms 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 student loans, but they are eligible for loan deferment of their existing student loans Yes, students will be eligible for student loans and AND/OSU scholarships.

  Are you interested in just a dietetics internship without a degree?