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University of Pittsburgh    
2019-2020 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Apr 15, 2024
2019-2020 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Nutrition and Dietetics, MS

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Students who choose to pursue Pitt’s Coordinated Program are ahead of the game! In 2024, all Registered Dietitian/ Nutritionists (RDNs) entering the field will be required to have a master’s level degree to enter the profession. The Coordinated Program will graduate its final class in Spring Term 2020

Beginning in fall 2019, the department will offer an accelerated entry-level graduate program, the Dietitian Nutritionist Program, which will provide both the didactic and the supervised experiential practice competencies to meet eligibility requirements for the National Registration Examination for Registered Dietitians/Nutritionists. Interested students will apply in the Spring Term of each year to begin the MS as juniors or graduate students in Fall Term. For incoming Pitt freshmen, a guaranteed admit will be available to enable students to complete the BS/MS degree in 5-years by following the recommended course schedule.

All applicants are directed to the Dietitian Nutritionist Program beginning in fall 2019.

For more information, please contact:
Deborah A. Hutcheson, DCN, RDN, LDN
Program Director, Coordinated Program
4036 Forbes Tower
Fax: 412-383-6636

The Coordinated Program curriculum is a combination of didactic coursework and supervised practice which includes required competencies and student elective courses affording graduates a strong foundation in medical nutrition therapy and eligibility to sit for the Registration Exam for Dietitians.


The Coordinated Program is a two-year Master of Science program is a is a two-year Master of Science program housed within the Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition.

Program Summary
53 credits (full-time only)
2 years (4 terms)
Program starts fall term only

Preparation for a career in dietetics as an Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RDN) requires the following:

  • Completion of an approved 4-year college degree program (accredited by ACEND) such as our Pitt undergraduate program*
  • Completion of an accredited supervised practice experience (providing a minimum of 1200 hours)**
  • Successful performance on the national Registration Examination for Dietitians

No matter your professional goals in the Dietetics profession, this program offers an entry level advanced degree option to provide a competitive edge for today’s health care environment. Upon successful completion of the Masters program graduates are eligible to take the national registration examination for Dietitians.Graduates passing the registration exam are eligible for licensure in Pennsylvania by the Board of Nursing. For licensing information please visit Instructions for Licensed Dietitian-Nutritionist (LDN) Applicants.

**This program provides the 1200 hours of supervised practice required to become an RDN. The supervised practice sites are randomly assigned and public transportation is not available to all sites. All students should anticipate the necessity of having a car accessible to them for both years of the program. Please review the supervised practice information.

The Coordinated Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL, 60606-6995, 800/877-1600 or 312/899-0040. For more information on becoming an RDN, visit


This graduate curriculum provides students with a Master of Science degree and the accredited supervised practice component. The Coordinated Program offers supervised experiences in a variety of major health care and community settings including the renowned University of Pittsburgh Health Care System (UPMC). Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible for the National Registration Examination for Dietitians.

Graduation Requirements

Graduation from the Coordinated Master in Nutrition and Dietetics requires completion of 53 credits as follows:

  • 26 credit hours of core academic requirements.
  • 20 credit hours of supervised practice. This will provide the minimum of 1200 hours of supervised practice as specified by ACEND.
  • 7 credit hours of research requirements.

Program Mission and Goals

The mission of the Coordinated Program is the development of graduates with the competence and advanced skills to practice effectively as entry-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) to enhance the health and wellbeing of individuals and diverse populations. In addition, the vision is to lead among dietetics programs in advancing knowledge, skills, and evidence-based practice of RDNs.

The program goals are:

  1. Development of graduates with the competence and advanced skills to practice effectively as entry-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN).
  2. To prepare entry-level graduates with advanced knowledge and skills that contribute to the evidence-informed practice of RDNs.

Program outcomes are available upon request.

First Year

Second Year

Total Program Credits: 53

*Courses may vary dependent on transfer courses accepted.

*Each course is offered only once during the academic year, therefore, any departure from completing a course in its planned sequence (for example: failure, for any reason, to satisfactorily complete a required course; an unresolved “G” or “Incomplete” grade) will result in a one year delay in completing the course, the remaining course requirements, and the year of graduation.

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