Jun 24, 2019  
2017-2018 University Catalog 
2017-2018 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Clinical Nutrition/Dietetic Internship, MS

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Combined Master’s Degree/Dietetic Internship

The combined MS/Dietetic Internship program is a 20-month program that integrates didactic and supervised experience. Students have the option of selecting a thesis or non-thesis track.  Upon completion of the program, the student earns a MS degree with a major in Clinical Nutrition, completes an accredited dietetic internship and is eligible to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians.

The dietetic internship is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, the credentialing agency of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Contact information:

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
TEL: 1-800-877-1600 x4727


Clinical Nutrition/Dietetic Internship Technical Standards

Rush University is committed to diversity and to attracting and educating students who will make the population of health care professionals representative of the national population.

Our core values - ICARE - Innovation, Collaboration, Accountability, Respect and Excellence translate into our work with all students, including those with disabilities. Rush actively collaborates with students to develop innovative ways to ensure accessibility and creates a respectful accountable culture through our confidential and specialized disability support. Rush is committed to excellence in accessibility; we encourage students with disabilities to disclose and seek accommodations.

The following technical functions are required of all students enrolled in the Clinical Nutrition/Dietetic Internship program:

Acquire Information

  • Acquire information from demonstrations and experiences in courses such as lecture, group, and physical demonstrations.
  • Acquire information from written documents and computer systems (e.g., literature searches & data retrieval).
  • Identify information presented in accessible images from paper, slides, videos with audio description, and transparencies.
  • Identify information presented in images from paper, slides, videos, and transparencies.
  • Recognize and assess patient changes in mood, activity, cognition, verbal, and non-verbal communication.

Use and Interpret

  • Use and interpret information from assessment techniques/maneuvers. Use and interpret information related to physiologic phenomena generated from diagnostic tools.


  • Possess psychomotor skills necessary to provide or assist in holistic Clinical Nutrition/Dietetic care and perform or assist with procedures and treatments.
  • Practice in a safe manner and appropriately provide Clinical Nutrition/Dietetic care and assessment in emergencies and life support procedures and perform universal precautions against contamination.


  • Communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and families.
  • Communicate effectively with faculty, preceptors, and all members of the healthcare team during practicum and other learning experiences.
  • Accurately elicit information including a medical history and other information to adequately and effectively evaluate a population’s, client’s or patient’s condition.

Intellectual Ability

  • Measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize data related to diagnosis and treatment of patients and populations.
  • Exercise proper judgment and complete responsibilities in a timely and accurate manner according to the Clinical Nutrition/Dietetic role.
  • Synthesize information, problem solve, and think critically to judge the most appropriate theory, assessment, or treatment strategy.


  • Maintain mature, sensitive, effective relationships with clients/patients, families, students, faculty, staff, preceptors and other professionals under all circumstances.
  • Exercise skills of diplomacy to advocate for patients in need.
  • Possess emotional stability to function under stress and adapt to rapidly changing environments inherent to the classroom and practice settings.


  • Demonstrate concern for others.
  • Integrity, accountability, interest, and motivation are necessary personal qualities.
  • Demonstrate intent and desire to follow the Rush University and Clinical Nutrition/Dietetic Code of Ethics.

The technical standards delineated above must be met with or without accommodation. Students who, after review of the technical standards, determine that they require reasonable accommodation to fully engage in the program, should contact the Office of Student Disability Services to confidentially discuss their accommodations needs. Given the clinical nature of our programs time may be needed to implement the accommodations. Accommodations are never retroactive; therefore, timely requests are essential and encouraged. To learn more about accommodations at Rush University please contact:

Marie Ferro-Lusk, MBA, MSW, LSW
Manager, Office of Student Disability Services
Rush University
600 S. Paulina St. AAC 440
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 942-5237

Clinical Nutrition: Admission Requirements

Applicants for the Combined Master of Science (MS)/Dietetic Internship

All applicants for the Combined MS/Dietetic Internship must have earned a baccalaureate degree and have a verification statement tht represents completion of  requirements of an accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) listed by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics at www.eatright.org/ACEND.

Application requirements, fees and the application process are specified on the Department of Clinical Nutrition website at www.rushu.rush.edu/cndi.

Contact Diane Sowa, MBA, RD Dietetic Internship Director at Diane_C_Sowa@rush.edu or 312-942-5212 for questions.

Students  verbally accept the appointment and the Rush Dietetic Internship Director will email the student  an acceptance letter form that students are required to complete and return.

Once students are accepted into the Dietetic Internship, they are then required to complete the application for Rush University at http://ruapplying.learn.rush.edu. A program acceptance confirmation fee of $250 is required at this time. This fee is nonrefundable and will be applied to tuition for the first term. There are two tracks in the Combined MS/Dietetic Internship degree. There is a thesis and non-thesis track. The students will decide during the first semester which track they will pursue. Schedules will vary based on the track selected.

Drug Testing

Rush University Medical Center requires that all prospective employees (including dietetic interns) undergo drug testing as a contingency for employment or enrollment.

Criminal Background Check

All dietetic interns will undergo a criminal background check, the purpose of which is to comply with legislation regarding employment in the health care field to assure patient safety.

Required Testing for all Applicants

Applicants for the MS/Dietetic Internship degree will need to submit results of the following:

  • Graduate Record Examination 
  • International applicants - graduates who obtained their education outside the United States and its territories must have their academic degree(s) validated as equivalent to the baccalaureate or master’s degree conferred by a regionally accredited college or university in the United States. These applicants also must submit results of TOEFL examination (see College of Health Sciences TOEFL requirements).

Clinical Nutrition: Graduation Requirements

Once admitted to the MS/DI degree in Clinical Nutrition program, students embark on a journey which entails the accumulation of 67 semester hours for graduation. This includes a minimum of 1200 hours of Supervised Experience. In order to graduate and have the degree conferred students must:

  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater.
  • Successfully complete all didactic coursework.
  • Successfully complete all 1200 hours of Supervised Experience.
  • Successfully complete all requirements of the thesis/non-thesis research experience.
  • Pass the Rush University Interprofessional course.
  • Complete a minimum of 16 contact hours of approved professional or community service.

Dietetic Internship:  In order to be eligible to take the registration exam administered by the Commision on Dietetic Registration, students must fulfill all requirements of the Dietetic Internship to receive a verification statement. Students must complete all Dietetic Internship program requirements within 30 months from the time they began the Dietetic Internship.

MS degree:  Students must complete all program requirements within 5 years from matriculation. Any student who expects to go beyond the timeframe, must request an exception to the policy in writing to the Clinical Nutrition Academic Progress and Promotions committee.



Clinical Nutrition: Research Activities

Students have the option of selecting the thesis or non-thesis track.  Faculty members of the Department of Clinical Nutrition are involved in basic and applied clinical nutrition and management research. Faculty and students present at professional meetings and publish in peer reviewed journals. A list of faculty and student research presentations and publications can be found at the Clinical Nutrition website at www.rushu.rush.edu/nutrition.

Clinical Nutrition: Service Activities

Students are required to complete 16 hours of community or professional service during the program. Students meet this requirement in a variety of ways including assisting at health fairs; volunteering at the local food pantry; and assisting at local, state and national professional association meetings.

Clinical Nutrition: Academic Policies

The Combined Master of Science (MS)/Dietetic Internship program is offered on a full-time basis only. The program extends over five semesters including the summer term. The supervised practice experiences must be completed within 30 months. The didactic and research components of the master’s degree should be completed in five semesters; all students must complete coursework within five years of matriculation. Rush University requires continuous enrollment through to completion of degree (see Rush University policies for further information). Students may be allowed to transfer up to 12 semester hours  hours of applicable graduate credit from another accredited university for the MS degree portion. Graduate courses must be completed with a B or better and approved by the student’s supervisory committee to be awarded transfer credit.

If a student is not finished in five years, a request for extension must be made to the Clinical Nutrition Academic Progress and Promotions Committee. If an extension is granted, conditions of the extension may include additional coursework to assure relevancy and currency of knowledge/competence at the master’s level.

Academic Progression

Students in the Combined MS/Dietetic Internship program are required to earn grades of B or better in NTR 655 and a grade of P (pass) (equivalent to a grade of B or better) in NTR 650 NTR 651, NTR 652, NTR 653, NTR 654.  Grades of C or better are required in all other courses. Failure to earn minimum required grades may result in dismissal from the Combined MS/Dietetic Internship program and will result in a performance review by the Clinical Nutrition Academic Progress and Promotions committee. The faculty reserves the right to request the withdrawal of any student whose conduct or performance demonstrates lack of fitness for continuance in the graduate program.

Automatic probation for any student results when a student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) falls below 3.0 or when a student receives a grade of “D” or “F” in any course. The Clinical Nutrition Academic Progress and Promotions committee notifies any student placed on probation, states the reason(s) for probation and indicates the conditions that must be satisfied for removal of probation. A student who earns a grade of “D” or “F” in a course, other than those listed above, must repeat the course and earn at least a “C.” A student who earns a grade of “D” or “F” in more than one required course will be dismissed. Full-time students on probation must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater by the end of the next two consecutive terms. Part-time students on probation must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater after completing the next three courses (approximately  6 semester hours). Improvement in the GPA must be shown each quarter of probation.

College of Health Sciences/Rush University Academic Policies

Academic policies specific to the College of Health Sciences and Rush University are located in those sections of the catalog.

Clinical Nutrition: Curriculum Master of Science Degree/Dietetic Internship Program (non-thesis) Curriculum

Year 1

Year 2

Hours Required for MS Degree: 67

Clinical Nutrition: Curriculum Master of Science Degree/Dietetic Internship Program (thesis) Curriculum

Year 1

Year 2

Hours Required for MS Degree: 67

Minimum required credits for degree

Minimum required credits for degree:  total of 67 semester credits; 36 semester hours in courses; 31 semester hours in supervised experience; NTR 650, 651, 652, 653, 654, 655

Required research core classes:  14 credits; CHS 601, CHS 610, NTR 691, NTR 692, NTR 698 6 credits

Required nutrition core classes:  15 credits; NTR 621, NTR 611, NTR 612, NTR 641, NSG 524

Selected elective credits:  7 credits

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