Applied Nutrition & Metabolism
Overview of biochemistry, metabolism, physiological actions, and interrelationships of macronutrients and micronutrients. Discusses the regulation of the biochemical pathways of nutrients digestion, absorption, excretion, transport, and cellular metabolism. Study of nutritional and toxicological standards for humans and bioavailability of micronutrients. Explores the scientific methods to build foundation of nutrition knowledge and recommendations.
Principles of Nutrition Education
Overview of the fundamental theories and processes of nutrition education for individuals and groups. Includes approaches to needs assessment; program planning and design, population-appropriate interventions, evaluation and assessment.
Medical Nutrition Therapy I
The role of nutrition in various disease states. Physiology of organ systems and an examination of the application of therapeutic intervention in selected pathological states. Prerequisite: undergraduate Medical Nutrition Therapy course.
Action research in the field of nutrition/nutrition education is presented. Students develop and present an action research project utilizing skills and knowledge gained from all graduate courses. Prerequisite: student’s final semester with a maximum of four other credits needed for completion of the degree.
Internship Mission and Goals
The mission of the Immaculata Dietetic Internship, as part of the MS+DI program, is to prepare interns to meet the standards of performance for entry-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionists; to promote a spirit of leadership and participation in service to the profession of dietetics and to the community; to encourage them to engage in lifelong learning; and with an emphasis on Cultural Competence and Diversity in Dietetics Practice, to empower them to assume useful and meaningful roles in a diverse world.
The mission of the DI is compatible with the mission of the university in encouraging lifelong learning and service. It is compatible with that of the Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Science in promoting a spirit of professional leadership.
Program outcomes data are available upon request.
Goals and Objectives
Goal #1: The program graduate will be competent for entry-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist practice.
- Objective 1a: The program’s first attempt pass rate on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80 percent.
- Objective 1b: The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration examination within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80 percent.
- Objective 1c: 93 percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
- Objective 1d: 93 percent of program graduates will obtain a position in the dietetics profession within one year after completion of the internship.
- Objective 1e: 80 percent of program student’s complete internship program and graduate degree requirements within 36 months (150% of the program’s projected length of 24 months).
- Objective 1f: 80 percent of all program graduates’ employers will rank the level of preparation for entry-level practice as satisfactory or above.
Goal #2: The program graduate will promote the spirit of service and continued learning.
- Objective 2a: 20 percent of program graduates will actively participate in a professional organization within one year from program completion.
- Objective 2b: 50 percent of program graduates who do not already possess an advanced degree, will complete Immaculata’s Master’s Degree program within five years after the dietetic internship program completion.
- Objective 2c: 80 percent of program graduates will response “yes” or “yes, but” to feeling better prepared to lived and work in a culturally diverse environment on the annual Post-Dietetic Internship Alumni Survey.
The practice component of the internship is designed to respond to changes in the evolving profession of dietetics, to lead students to become translators of the theories and content of nutrition science to the public and other professionals, and to provide students with the opportunity to develop strong, appropriate entry-level dietetic performance skills through 1,008 hours of supervised practice in clinical dietetics, foodservice management, and community nutrition. The Internship begins in late August and can only be completed full-time.
Following the successful completion of the supervised practice portion of the internship and all graduate courses for the master’s degree, interns will receive verification statements, and their names will be submitted to the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) for eligibility for the RDN registration examination.
The Dietetic Internship is currently granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 800-877-1600, ext. 5400, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.
- Completion or anticipated completion of an ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics
- Application and acceptance or pending acceptance to the College of Graduate Studies
- Completion of the Dietetic Internship application via DICAS and submission of required information to D&D Digital Systems for computer matching.
- Experience (paid or volunteer) in a foodservice or clinical setting
- Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 overall and 3.2 in DPD (on a 4.0 scale)
Suggested Achievements for Application
- 500-plus hours of experience (paid or volunteer) in clinical, foodservice and/or community nutrition setting
- 50+ hours shadowing a clinical or out-patient registered dietitian nutritionist
- Graduate coursework with excellent grades (A or A-)
- Fluency in a foreign language or American sign language
Selection is based on:
- Scholastic achievement
- Work experience
- Leadership ability
- Written communication skills
A selection committee reviews applications and interviews candidates to make the final selections.
Immaculata participates in the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System. Applicants must submit their application via the DICAS portal. Information on GRE scores is not required and is not considered in Immaculata’s intern selection process. Completing the section on Awards, Experience, and Volunteer Activities is not required, but information entered will be used in evaluating applicants.
DICAS and Computer Matching
All applicants to Immaculata University’s M.S.+DI combined program must submit their application via DICAS. The fee is $50 for the first application + $25 for each additional application. The application must be completed by February 15. The resume and personal statement of candidates who are accepted will be provided to their clinical and foodservice preceptors.
All applicants to Immaculata University’s M.S.+DI combined program must also participate in computer matching. A $55 fee is charged by D&D Digital Systems for this service. Applicants can register online with D&D Digital to prioritize their dietetic internship preferences. The deadline is 11:59 PM CST on February 15.
College of Graduate Studies Admission
Graduate school admission will be determined through DICAS application materials for M.S.+DI program candidates except pre-selected students. Candidates applying through DICAS do NOT need to submit an Immaculata College of Graduate Studies application separately.
NED 659 Preparation for Internship (3 credits, pass/fail grading)
Requires acceptance into the Dietetic Internship Program. Provides an orientation to the internship process and requirements, and overview of topics and skills that will be applied to the internship experience. (Fall semester)
NED 662-664 Internship Experience in Nutrition I, II, III (3 credits each, pass/fail grading)
Includes a seminar class and placement as a full-time dietetic intern in a hospital/community setting (total of 1,008 hours, fall and spring semesters.)
ROTATION DESCRIPTIONS Clinical (65 days)
During the clinical rotation, interns progress from screening and assessing patients to providing medical nutrition therapy to patients with complex medical conditions. Interns function as members of the interdisciplinary healthcare team. The rotation culminates in staff relief when the intern performs as an entry-level dietitian. Major projects include completion of two case studies. The clinical rotation is completed in acute care hospitals or medical centers and includes at least two days of outpatient and four days of clinical pediatrics.
Foodservice (35 days)
The foodservice rotation provides experience in all aspects of foodservice operations and management. The interns participate in all foodservice sub-systems including procurement, production, distribution, service, and sanitation. Interns function as members of the management team through their involvement in employee training programs, human resource functions, quality control and customer satisfaction. Major projects include the development and implementation of a product, program or service plan and the completion of a QI project.
Community (26 days)
The community rotation provides exposure to the role of the dietitian in providing nutrition education, medical nutrition therapy, and management in non-acute care settings. The community rotation includes three six-day rotations based on the intern’s area of community nutrition interest and based on location and placement availability. Common placements include long-term care, retail, community medicine, food insecurity, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) clinics and school districts. The final eight days are at a setting (with the approval of the internship director) of the intern’s choice.
Interns are usually assigned to one facility for both the clinical and food service rotations. However, occasionally an intern may complete these rotations at different facilities. The following hospitals have been used as supervised practice facilities within the past few years. The sites may change yearly.
Clinical and Foodservice Facilities
- Chester County Hospital
- Cooper Hospital University Medical Center
- Crozer-Chester Medical Center
- Lancaster General Hospital
- Lower Bucks Hospital
- Mercy Philadelphia Hospital
- Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center
- Pennsylvania Hospital
- Phoenixville Hospital
- The Reading Hospital and Medical Center
- Riddle Memorial Hospital
- Temple University Health System
- Veterans Administration Medical Center
- School districts
- Long-term care facilities
- Retail stores
- Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Clinics
- Intern’s choice
The dietetic interns are divided into six tracks, depending on previous clinical work experience and scheduling constraints practice accepting facilities have.
- Tracks A and B: Track A begins in the foodservice rotation and B begins in the clinical rotation. Both tracks complete the community rotation in the spring.
- Tracks C and D: Both tracks start in the community rotation in the fall and then transition to foodservice (Track C) and clinical (Track D), finishing in clinical (Track C) and foodservice (Track D).
- Tracks G and H: These interns will start the internship in either foodservice (G) or clinical (H), complete the community and then finish the internship in either foodservice (H) or clinical (G).
All tracks complete eight days of a rotation of their choosing after completing the community, foodservice, and clinical rotations.
The internship fee for the fall, spring and full summer semesters is $260 per semester.
Tuition is $710 per credit. Check with the College of Graduate Studies for tuition and fee updates.
- Background checks are required for all interns. Cost is approximately $50 to $80.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics student membership is $58.
- The cost for personal medical insurance will vary.
- Costs for housing may vary from $400 to $1000 per month.
- Costs for transportation, parking, meals, physical examinations, lab coats, etc. will vary according to facility.
Financial Aid and Scholarship
Students in the program are eligible for federal student aid. Please refer to Graduate Financial Aid for detailed information. You may also apply in the spring semester for the Judith Debnam Breen Scholarship of $1200 per year. The selected student must maintain a 3.5 or higher GPA.
Please contact the program director for scholarship criteria and how to apply.
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: https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree. 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 M.S.+DI program at Immaculata University are eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.
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