Dietetic Internship Masters Degree Program Guide 2020 - Denton

Texas Woman's University
Denton, Texas

Dietetic Internship/Master’s Degree Program
Spring 2020 Matching Period

Introduction 

The Dietetic Internship Program (DI) combines graduate credit and supervised practice experiences leading to a Master of Science degree at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. The DI requires successful completion of a minimum of 1,225 clock hours of supervised practice as part of a program with a concentration in Medical Nutrition Therapy. The program includes planned experiences in medical nutrition therapy, food systems administration, long-term care, pediatrics, WIC, interprofessional education (IPE), and a variety of community practice areas. The program meets the 2017 Accreditation Standards established by the Accreditation Council on Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The DI and graduate coursework consists of a minimum 45 graduate credit hours (thesis option) and 51 graduate credit hours (coursework option). Graduates of the DI receive a Verification Statement of Completion at the successful completion of the program and are then eligible to write the registration exam. Upon completing the DI, interns are within one to two semesters of completing the MS in Nutrition or two to three semesters of completing the MS in Exercise and Sports Nutrition.

Program Mission Statement

The mission of the Dietetic Internship Program is to provide quality graduate education and supervised practice experiences with a concentration in medical nutrition therapy; to prepare graduates for successful careers as Registered Dietitian Nutritionists; and to provide the foundation for volunteerism and leadership in professional and community organizations.

General Program Information

  • Number of intern positions: 16
  • One-Year Pass Rate on RDN Exam (last three years): 100%
  • DI Supervised Practice Program hours: 1,225
  • DI Program Hours per week: 40-45
  • Average number of applications: 45-55
  • Average GPA range of applicants: 3.3-4.0
  • Area of Program Concentration: Medical Nutrition Therapy

Program Format

The TWU/DI program offers some variety within the program to meet the needs of students in a diverse environment. The specialized format aims to optimally prepare the dietetic intern for entry-level practice. Interns typically complete the graduate coursework and the dietetic internship in 16 months, with the supervised practice component of 6.5 months or 27 weeks occurring within that time frame. Research projects and/or additional coursework by students can add one or two semesters to the completion of the master’s degree.

The NFS Department offers two degree options for each master’s program; (1) Thesis option (minimum 30 hrs) requiring a thesis project; and (2) Coursework option (minimum 36 hrs) requiring completion of a capstone seminar. Please refer to the NFS website for specific graduation requirements for each program.

If a qualified student has earned a prior advanced degree in the area of nutrition or a closely related area to departmental degrees, i.e., Food Science, Food Systems Administration, Public Health, etc., then no additional degree is required. The DI Director determines if the prior degree can be approved. However, all students are required to meet the coursework and supervised practice requirements of the dietetic internship. If a qualified student has earned an advanced degree in a non-related area, i.e., communications, psychology, marketing, etc., then they must be enrolled in one of the graduate degree programs offered by the department.

Supervised Practice Sites

The DI has affiliations with more than 60 prestigious supervised practice sites in the Denton/Dallas/Fort Worth area. TWU interns receive one-on-one training with experienced preceptors throughout the program. During the program, interns gain experience and practice skills in facilities such as major regional medical centers, community hospitals, university and public school foodservice facilities and various community/preventive health agencies. Although the DI Director determines most rotation placements, interns are encouraged to select other sites that reflect their career goals and educational needs.

Admission Requirements

Students must meet the following criteria to be considered for the DI/Master’s program. All programs at TWU are open to qualified men and women.

  1. Verification Statement of Completion (VSC) showing completion of Didactic Program in Dietetics/Dietetics Program (DPD/DP) curriculum. The VSC must be earned before the DI begins and the program completion date must be within the past five years. If a VSC is more than five years old, the student will need to retake a current MNT course, Advanced Nutrition course and earn a grade of “C” or higher in each course.
  2. Grade Point Average of 3.25 or better on a 4.0 scale on the last 60 hours of all coursework.
  3. Grade Point Average of 3.0 or better on required science courses and upper level nutrition and foodservice management courses.
  4. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with a preferred minimum score of 145 on the verbal component and 145 on the quantitative component. A minimum 4.0 on the writing score is recommended.
  5. A one to two-page resume providing evidence of work and volunteer experience related to the intended field of study.
  6. Telephone Interview for selected applicants.
  7. Admission to the TWU Graduate School. Note: DI selections are made prior to and separately from The Graduate School Admission process. If a student is appointed into the DI program but is denied admission into The Graduate School, the DI appointment would be forfeited at that time. Please refer to the online TWU Graduate catalog for admission requirements. (www.twu.edu/gradschool).

Application Process:

Applications to the DI/Master’s Program and The Graduate School are two separate processes. Applicants must complete both admission procedures.

  1. Application to TWU-Denton DI/Master’s Program:
    • The program participates in DICAS (Internship Program Online Centralized Application System). DICAS will be available in early December for the spring match. The online application must be submitted by 11:59pm Central Time on February 15, 2020. The fee to use the DICAS is $45 for the first application submitted and $20 for each additional application (portal.dicas.org).
    • When completing the application form, applicants must include the name and contact information (specifically an email address) for each reference. This will trigger an email message requesting completion of a reference form. The form will be completed online. Students submitting more than one application can use the same individuals as references for each
    • Applicants who apply to internships using DICAS will be asked to complete a Personal Statement (1000 word limit). Questions to be addressed in the personal statement include:
      • Why do you want to enter the dietetics profession?
      • Discuss experiences that have helped to prepare you for your career.
      • What are your long and short term goals, and how will our program help you meet them?
      • What are your professional strengths and opportunities for growth in a future professional setting?
    • Official transcripts for ALL colleges and universities attended should be sent to DICAS – Transcript Department, PO Box 9118, Watertown, MA 02472.
    • Applicants must also register online for computer matching through D&D Digital Systems (dnddigital.com) and select Internship Program priority choices by 11:59pm Central Time on February 15, 2020. There is a $55 computer matching fee.
    • Required Supplemental Information for the TWU DI/Master’s Program in Denton, Texas. Upload the following two documents in the DICAS Supplemental section.
      • Describe the following (no more than two pages):
        • Describe a situation you have had in which you did not get along with another person (either in a work or personal situation) and how you handled the event. There is not necessarily a right or wrong answer - just tell us about your experience and what you learned from
        • Tell us something about yourself that we might not know about in a regular classroom situation. It could be travels you have had, your family, unique hobbies or interests,
        • Describe your level of verbal communication skills in various settings (classroom, patients, meeting new people, etc.). Describe your verbal communication strengths and what you are doing now to improve these skills.
      • Copy of your GRE scores.
  2. Application to TWU's Graduate School: Applicants may apply to the TWU Graduate School immediately after acceptance to the TWU DI/Master’s Program in April or at any time if early acceptance is preferred. Application to the TWU Graduate School must include:
    1. Online Graduate School Application (applytexas.org).
    2. A $50 non-refundable application fee, payable to TWU Graduate Admissions.
    3. GRE scores (official).
    4. Official college transcripts from ALL colleges/universities attended. Send transcripts and GRE scores to:
      Texas Woman's University
      Office of Admissions Processing
      PO Box 425649
      Denton, TX 76204-5649

Internship Selection Process

A selection committee, comprised of departmental faculty and program preceptors, reviews all qualified applications. Application materials are evaluated by objective criteria in the areas of GPA, GRE, professional interests and goals, work experience and letters of recommendation. Hospital dietary experience is highly recommended which can be paid or volunteer (no required number of hours). Texas Woman's University will not discriminate against any person because of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, marital status, or handicap.

Estimated Expenses

The expenses listed are approximations. Actual costs may be more or less than these estimates. The estimates for the dietetic internship program and graduate coursework are based on 42 total credit hours for the thesis option and 48 credit hours for the coursework option.

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ItemResidentNon-ResidentType
Tuition and Fees $16,390 $33,840 Thesis Option (42 hrs)*
Tuition and Fees $18,532 $38,432 Coursework Option (48 hrs)*
Housing Varies Varies N/A 
Books and Supplies $500 $500 Per semester 
Professional Liability Insurance $30 $30 One-time expense 
Academy Student Membership $58 $58 Annual fee 
Lab Coat and Scrubs $90 $90 One-time expense 
Background Check/Drug Screen $100 $100 One-time expense 
ID Badge $20 $20 One-time expense 
NE Region Seminar $60 $60 One-time expense 
TAND Annual Conference $250 $250 Two days required 
Immunization Fees Varies  Varies  N/A 
Physical Exam Fee Varies  Varies  N/A 
RDN Exam Review Course $395 $395 Highly recommended! 
CPR Training, Basic Healthcare Provider $25 $25 N/A 
Parking at Facilities Varies by site Varies by site Some facilities require a parking fee
Transportation Costs Varies  Varies  Daily travel to and from facilities for rotations

*Note: Tuition and fee rates are subject to change and do not include property deposit or assigned course fees. Refer to Bursar’s office website for current tuition and fees. See section on Departmental Scholarships/Financial Aid.

Transportation

Transportation to the facilities is the responsibility of the intern. It is necessary for a student to have an automobile in good working condition and be able to drive daily within a one hour or 75 mile radius in a busy metropolitan area. Geographic considerations are granted whenever possible.

Graduate Housing

It is the intern's responsibility to select and provide his/her own housing. Accommodations are available on campus for graduate students, including single parents and families. For information contact University Housing 940-898-3676 or www.twu.edu/housing/.

Program Coursework for DI/Master’s Program

Fall I

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CourseCredit Hours
NFS 5314 Nutrition and Human Metabolism 4
NFS 5363 Human Nutrition in Disease 3
MS Program Requirements* 6

DI Hours: 28 (20 Prof/Com Hours; 8 School Project)

*For MS program requirements, please refer to the NFS website for additional information.

Spring I

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CourseCredit Hours
NFS 5813 Internship Orientation (course will not apply to degree plan) 3
NFS 5493 MNT in Pediatrics 3
MS Program Requirements* 6

DI Hours: 32 (7 School Project; 10 Media Project; 15 General Units)

*For MS program requirements, please refer to the NFS website for additional information.

 

Summer I

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CourseCredit Hours
NFS 5813 Internship in Nutrition Care 9

DI Hours: 485

Fall II

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CourseCredit Hours
NFS 5813 Internship in Nutrition Care 9

DI Hours: 680

Spring II

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CourseCredit Hours
MS Program Requirements* Varies

Take Registration Exam and become RDN credentialed!

*For MS program requirements, please refer to the NFS website for additional information.

Summer II or Fall III

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CourseCredit Hours
MS Program Requirements* Varies

*For MS program requirements, please refer to the NFS website for additional information.

Please Note!

  •  MS program requirements are scheduled during regular semesters to earn credit towards the completion of a master’s degree. Dietetic interns are not permitted to schedule graduate classes during the summer I internship rotations but are encouraged to take one online course Fall II.
  • Internship Orientation (NFS 5813) will NOT count towards any graduate degree plan because the course is primarily a review course to prepare interns for DI
  • Nine credit hours of NFS 5813 can be credited to a degree plan after the successful completion of the internship program. If an intern is unable to complete the dietetic internship program, no credit (NFS 5813) will be given towards the completion of a master’s

Rotation Schedules

Interns are given the opportunity to choose some rotation assignments; however, the Director makes the final placements. Interns will be placed at one primary site for each of the following rotations: clinical, pediatric, foodservice management, WIC, interprofessional education, and long term care. There are a variety of placement choices in the community areas. Actual placements also depend on the availability of the facility to accept an intern and provide adequate supervised practice experiences. These vary from year to year, and no placement at any particular site is guaranteed.

Supervised Practice (SP) Rotation Schedule

Fall I/Spring I SP Activities

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Rotation SiteTotal Hours
NFS 5813 Prof/Com Org 20
NFS 5813 Media Project 10
NFS 5813 School Project 15
General Units 15

Total Hours: 60

Fall I/Spring I SP Activities

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Rotation SiteNumber WeeksHours/WeekTotal Hours
Clinical 11 45 495
Foodservice Management 6 45 270
Community 4 40 160
Pediatric 2 40 80
Long Term Care 2 40 80
WIC 1 40 40
IPE 1 40 40

Total Hours: 1,165

Total Program: 27 weeks; 1,225 hours

Scholarships and Financial Aid

University and Departmental Scholarships

The Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences awards academic scholarships each year. University awards of $1,000 or more for a full academic year results in tuition waivers for out-of-state students. Scholarship deadlines are set each spring (usually March 1) for the following academic year (fall, spring and summer sessions). The university and department utilize the TWU Pioneer Scholarship System for application, which can be found on the TWU Home Page.

Additional information regarding scholarships and deadlines may be obtained from the Financial Aid Office, Texas Woman’s University, P.O. Box 425408, Denton, TX 76204-3408 or online at TWU Financial Aid.

Note: Scholarship application deadlines and awards occur before internship appointments are made; therefore, it is in the student’s best interest to apply early in the spring semester. All awards are contingent upon the student enrolling at TWU.

Texas Academy Foundation and Academy Foundation Scholarships

Scholarships from these Foundations are available for qualified students who apply before the spring deadline. Students must be Academy members in order to be eligible. If a student has attended an ACEND program or plans to attend a program or graduate school in nutrition or a closely related area, they are eligible for these awards. Additional information can be obtained from the following websites:

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are available to selected full-time students who have been accepted into the departmental programs for up to 20 hours per week. Financial support includes a monthly stipend and an out-of-state tuition waiver for half-time employment (20hrs/week). Research assistantships may be available from individual faculty members in the department. Inquiries should be made to the Chair of the department at 940/898-2636. Departmental assistantships are granted prior to each semester and are dependent on student enrollment and departmental needs. Interested graduate students should complete the Graduate Assistantship Form located on the NFS or Graduate School websites and submit to the NFS Department Chair for consideration.

Financial Aid

TWU maintains a Financial Aid Office that provides financial assistance to qualified students. Aid may be awarded in the form of work study, grants, loans, assistantships, scholarships or some combination of these. Please refer to the online graduate catalog for more details and deadlines for application or the TWU Financial Aid website.

Academic Common Market

Many Southern states participate in the Academic Common Market, an interstate agreement for sharing uncommon programs. Residents of these states who are accepted for admission into selected out-of-state programs can enroll on an in-state tuition basis. The two requirements are:

  1. Acceptance in a program to which your state has made arrangements to send its students. 
  2. Proof that you are a legal resident of that state. Write directly to the institution for admissions information. After acceptance to TWU, write to your previous state coordinator for certification of residency. 

Information about participating states and available programs can be found at the Southern Regional Education Board.

Accreditation Status and the Credentialing Process

Students completing the academic requirements from a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) are eligible to apply to a DI. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to write the registration examination to become a Registered Dietitian. The TWU-Denton Dietetic Internship/Master’s Degree Program is currently granted accreditation status by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 800/877-1600 x5400.

Program Goals and Outcome Measures

(Outcomes in bold reflect measures established by ACEND).

  1. Prepare competently trained program graduates for successful careers as entry-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.
    • At least 80% of program interns will complete the Dietetic Internship program within 24 months (150% of the program length).
    • Of graduates who seek employment, 80% will be employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
    • Eighty percent of program graduates will take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
    • The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
    • At two years post program graduation, at least 80% of employers will give program graduates a rating of “Good” to “Excellent” in entry-level knowledge and skills as compared to other RDNs at the same level of experience.
    • At two years post-program graduation, at least 80% of graduates will rate themselves as “Prepared” or “Well Prepared” in MNT knowledge and skills for their first entry-level position.
  2. Prepare graduates for service and leadership in professional and community organizations.
    • At least 70% of program graduates will indicate membership in professional and/or community organizations within two years of program completion.
    • At least 20% of graduates will hold leadership positions in professional and/or community organizations within two years of program completion.

Program outcomes data is available upon request.

This information is valid until February 15, 2020.
Last updated September 10, 2019.

Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences
Old Main Building, Room 307
PO Box 425888
Denton, TX 76204-5888

Martha L. Rew, MS, RDN, LD
Email:
mrew@twu.edu
940-898-2657

Website: www.twu.edu/nutrition-food-sciences

Page last updated 11:53 AM, May 26, 2020