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University of Pittsburgh    
2021-2022 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
    
 
  May 28, 2024
 
2021-2022 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Nutrition and Dietetics, BS/MS


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Students who choose to pursue Pitt’s Dietitian Nutritionist Program degree are ahead of the game! In 2024, all Registered Dietitian/Nutritionists (RDNs) entering the field will be required to have a masters level degree to enter the profession.  The program is a competency-based educational program that integrates experiential learning with didactic coursework to enable students to demonstrate the higher level of competence that will be needed for future practice as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

Interested students will apply in the Spring Term of each year to begin the program 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.

For more information, please contact:

Deborah A. Hutcheson, DCN, RDN, LDN
Program Director, Dietitian Nutritionist Program
4036 Forbes Tower
412-383-6747
Fax: 412-383-6636
E-mail: dhutches@pitt.edu

About

The Dietitian Nutritionist Program, housed within the Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition, is an accelerated BS/MS graduate degree program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) as a Future Education Model Graduate Degree Program. The competency-based educational program that integrates experiential learning with didactic coursework affording graduates a strong foundation in medical nutrition therapy, public health nutrition and food service. Students may apply for a specialty rotation option that provides an immersive experience in a specialty practice area. 

This accelerated program offers points of entry for:

  • qualified undergraduates
  • post-baccalaureate candidates
  • graduates of Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD)

Undergraduate students will earn both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees. Students who enter the program with a bachelor’s degree will earn a Master of Science. Preparation for a career in dietetics as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) requires the following:

  • completion of an ACEND accredited degree-granting program
  • completion of an ACEND accredited supervised experiential practice meeting all required competencies*
  • 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 master’s 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 supervised experiential practice required to become an RDN. The supervised experiential practice sites are randomly assigned and public transportation is not available to all sites. All students should anticipate the necessity of having access to their own transportation for Year 2 and Year 3 of the program. Please review the experiential practice information.

**The credentialing exam requirements are set by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). 

For more information on becoming an RDN, visit www.eatright.org

Program Requirements


Admission

There are three ways to enter the Dietitian Nutritionist Program. As an undergraduate, a post-baccalaureate, and as a graduate of a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). The application deadline for all entry points is March 15. Application review begins in January. Admission is for the fall term only. Applications can be submitted when course requirements are in progress.

Entry Point for Undergraduate Students to the Accelerated BS-MS Program

Prerequisites must be completed for a letter grade, minimum grade of C- (C for transfer) unless otherwise noted; with the exception of AP/IB credits and/or exemptions awarded by the University of Pittsburgh. Courses listed below are offered at the Pittsburgh Campus, courses taken at the regional Pitt campuses or external institutions must be evaluated as equivalent to satisfy these requirements.

  • General Chemistry 1 with lab, CHEM 0110
  • General Chemistry 2 with lab, CHEM 0120
  • Foundations of Biology 1, BIOSC 0150
  • Foundations of Biology 2, BIOSC 0160
  • Biology Lab, BIOSC 0057 or BIOSC 0058
  • Organic Chemistry, CHEM 0350, or CHEM 0310 and CHEM 0320
  • Biochemistry, BIOSC 1000*
  • Introduction to Microbiology, BIOSC 1850 or HRS 1025
  • College Algebra, MATH 0031 or higher math required. Exemption accepted.
  • Statistics, STAT 0200 or STAT 1000
  • English Composition, ENGCMP 0200 or equivalent
  • English Writing, any “W” or upper-level writing course
  • Communications, any COMMRC course
  • Business, any Business or Economics course
  • Sociology/ Social Science/ Humanities, any
  • Psychology, PSY 0010
  • Introduction to Nutrition, HRS 1006 or NUTR 1006*
  • Introduction to Dietetics, NUTR 1600+
  • Food and Culture, NUTR 1600+

*These courses need to have been completed within the past five years.
+These courses can be taken in the first year of the Dietitian Nutritionist Program.

Additional Requirements

  • Minimum cumulative and prerequisite GPA of 3.0 (based on 4.0)
  • Personal interview with nutrition faculty
  • 61-63 credits are required to begin the program

Application Requirements

  • Complete the application for admission. SHRS is moving to a new application platform. Please visit the SHRS website to access information about applying;
  • Self-evaluation essay, discussing strengths, skills, and experiences that will contribute to success in the program and your professional goals as a registered dietitian;
  • Resume demonstrating evidence of adequate exposure to the field of dietetics and an appreciation of the breadth, depth, and scope of practice. This can be accomplished through either volunteer or paid work experience in a nutrition and dietetics related settings; there is no minimum number of hours required;
  • Three letters of recommendation: one from a registered dietitian, one from a supervisor in volunteer or work experience and one form a college professor. These letters should address the applicant’s academic, professional and personal attributes and potential for meaningful graduate study. At least one letter should speak to your leadership experience and commitment to service;
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended. Pitt students do not have to provide transcripts they have already submitted to Pitt.

SHRS is updating our General Education requirements. Students entering the University of Pittsburgh in Fall 2021 as first-year students, and students currently enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh and external transfer students entering the upper-level programs offered at SHRS in Fall 2023, must complete the new general education requirements before graduating. Our General Education Requirements are included in our upper-level program prerequisites and curriculum requirements; therefore, changes will be reflected in prerequisites and curriculum requirements.

Entry Point for Post Baccalaureate Students to the MS Program

Prerequisites must be completed for a letter grade, minimum grade of C. Coursework will be evaluated at time of application for equivalency to Pitt courses.

  • General Chemistry 1 with lab
  • General Chemistry 2 with lab
  • Foundations of Biology 1
  • Genetics or Foundations of Biology 2
  • Biology Lab
  • Organic Chemistry 1
  • Organic Chemistry 2
  • Biochemistry*
  • Introduction to Microbiology
  • College Algebra or higher math
  • Statistics
  • English Composition
  • English Writing
  • Communications
  • Business
  • Sociology/ Social Science/ Humanities
  • Psychology
  • Introduction to Nutrition*
  • Introduction to Dietetics+
  • Food and Culture+

*These courses need to have been completed within the past five years.
+These courses can be taken in the first year of the Dietitian Nutritionist Program.

Additional Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • Minimum cumulative and prerequisite GPA of 3.0 (based on 4.0)
  • Personal interview with nutrition faculty

Application Requirements

  • Complete the GradCAS application;
  • Self-evaluation essay, discussing strengths, skills, and experiences that will contribute to success in the program and your professional goals as a registered dietitian;
  • Resume demonstrating evidence of adequate exposure to the field of dietetics and an appreciation of the breadth, depth, and scope of practice. This can be accomplished through either volunteer or paid work experience in a nutrition and dietetics related settings; there is no minimum number of hours required;
  • Three letters of recommendation: one from a registered dietitian, one from a supervisor in volunteer or work experience and one form a college professor. These letters should address the applicant’s academic, professional and personal attributes and potential for meaningful graduate study. At least one letter should speak to your leadership experience and commitment to service;
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended.
  • Additional requirements for international applicants
    • Academic Credential Evaluation from World Education Services (WES), Inc. or Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. A course by course evaluation with GPA conversion is required for baccalaureate degree or higher completed at an institution outside of the United States.
    • English Language Proficiency scores. Minimum scores accepted:
      • TOEFL: 100. Submit electronically to institution code 2927.
      • IELTS: 7.0. Scores should be made available electronically to “University of Pittsburgh Health and Rehabilitation Sciences”.
      • Duolingo: 120. Scores should be made available electronically to “University of Pittsburgh - Health and Rehabilitation Sciences”.

Entry Point for DPD Graduates to the MS Program

Prerequisites must be completed for a letter grade, minimum grade of C. Coursework will be evaluated at time of application for equivalency to Pitt courses.

  • Foundations of Biology 1 with Lab, 4 credits
  • Genetics or Foundations of Biology 2, 3 credits
  • Human Physiology, 4 credits
  • Introduction to Microbiology, 3 credits
  • General Chemistry 1 with Lab, 4 credits
  • General Chemistry 2 with Lab, 4 credits
  • †Organic Chemistry 1, 3 credits
  • †Organic Chemistry 2, 3 credits
  • *Biochemistry, 3 credits
  • Communications, 3 credits
  • Business or Economics, 3 credits
  • Humanities or Social Science, 3 credits
  • Introduction to Psychology, 3 credits
  • English Composition/Writing, 6 credits 
  • Algebra, 2-4 credits
  • *Introduction to Nutrition, 3 credits
  • Introduction to the Profession of Dietetics, 1 credit
  • Food and Culture, 3 credits
  • Nutrition Assessment, 3 credits
  • Nutrition Education, 3 credits
  • Nutrient Metabolism, 3-6 credits
  • Food Applications with Lab, 4 credits
  • Food Service Management, 3 credits
  • Life Cycle Nutrition, 3 credits
  • Nutrition Therapy, 3 credits

*These courses need to have been completed within the past five years.
†CHEM 0350 (3 cr.) offered each Spring Term will satisfy the Organic Chemistry requirement. Students who do not take CHEM 0350 must take OCHEM 1 & 2 (6 cr.).
+Genetics is preferred; however, a Biology 2 course with a strong genetics component will fulfill the requirements.

Additional Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • Minimum cumulative and prerequisite GPA of 3.0 (based on 4.0)
  • Personal interview with nutrition faculty

Application Requirements

  • Complete the GradCAS application;
  • Submit a self-evaluation essay, discussing strengths, skills and experiences that will contribute to success in the program and your professional goals as a registered dietitian;
  • Submit resume demonstrating evidence of adequate exposure to the field of dietetics and an appreciation of the breadth, depth and scope of practice. This can be accomplished through either volunteer or paid work experience in a nutrition and dietetics related settings; there is no minimum number of hours required;
  • Submit three letters of recommendation: one from a registered dietitian, one from a supervisor in volunteer or work experience and one form a college professor. These letters should address the applicant’s academic, professional and personal attributes and potential for meaningful graduate study. At least one letter should speak to your leadership experience and commitment to service;
  • Submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended;
  • Additional requirements for international applicants
    • Academic Credential Evaluation from World Education Services (WES), Inc. or Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. A course by course evaluation with GPA conversion is required for baccalaureate degree or higher completed at an institution outside of the United States.
    • English Language Proficiency scores. Minimum scores accepted:
      • Duolingo: 120. Scores should be made available electronically to “University of Pittsburgh - Health and Rehabilitation Sciences”.
      • IELTS: 7.0. Scores should be made available electronically to “University of Pittsburgh Health and Rehabilitation Sciences”.
      • TOEFL: 100. Submit electronically to institution code 2927.

Essential Standards

This information is provided to inform applicants of the non-academic technical performance and expectation standards required to complete the program successfully. Applicants should review the essential program standards to ensure that they are able to meet and maintain the standards program. The University fosters a culture of inclusiveness and is committed to providing an accessible environment for its faculty, staff and students. Please note, the Dietitian Nutritionist Program is committed to non-discrimination, including on the basis of disability. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply and reasonable accomodations will be provided as appropriate. The following link provides detailed information on Essential Program Standards.

Please note that this program requires students to complete portions of their education (e.g., supervised experiential practice experiences) at facilities external to the University to meet requirements for graduation. Many of these external facilities require screening measures such as, but not limited to, criminal background check, child abuse clearance, health appraisal, fingerprint-based background check and/or drug test prior to placement at the facility. The results of these requirements may limit and potentially eliminate placement options for the student which can, in turn, result in an inability to meet graduation requirements. Additionally, a conviction of a misdemeanor, felony, or felonious or illegal act abuse may prevent the student from becoming credentialed and/or licensed to practice in the field.

The University of Pittsburgh, as an educational institution and as an employer, values equality of opportunity, human dignity, and racial/ethnic and cultural diversity. Accordingly, the University prohibits and will not engage in discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or a veteran of the Vietnam era. Further, the University will continue to take affirmative steps to support and advance these values consistent with the University’s mission. For information on University equal opportunity and affirmative action programs and complaint/grievance procedures, contact the Office of Affirmative Action, 901 William Pitt Union, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, 412-648-7860412-648-7860.

The Dietitian Nutritionist Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (A.N.D.),  (ACEND@eatright.org), phone (1-800-877-1600 or 1-800-877-1600 x5400), or mail (120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995).

Program Mission, Goals and Objectives

The mission of the Dietitian Nutritionist 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.

Curriculum


Students entering as a junior will complete 156 credits and students entering with a baccalaureate degree that is not from a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) will complete 93-95 credits during this three-year program. Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) graduates will complete Year 2 & Year 3 of the program fulfilling a 60-credit course of study.

First Year


Second Year


Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) graduates will enter the Dietitian Nutritionist Program here.

Third Year


Spring Term


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