Distinguish Yourself as a Nutrition Expert with an RDN
Earning the professional title Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) demonstrates to your community and industry that you are a clinically competent food and nutrition expert, capable of interpreting the science behind nutrition into and applying evidence-based principles to everyday solutions that help in achieving optimal health and wellness.
Successful efforts to improve community health and wellness require the ability to understand and translate scientific – and oftentimes detailed – research to produce the most impactful results. As populations grow more interested in learning how to use nutrition as a powerful tool for better health, relying on proven experts remains critically important. Current and ongoing research supports the vital role that nutrition plays in disease prevention, treatment, and diagnosis.
With your Registered Dietitian Nutritionist credential, you’ll discover multiple career opportunities based on your individual ambitions. Similar to other industries, the earning potential can vary based on region, years of experience, and breadth of role responsibility.
Promising career outcomes are projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and practicing Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. A recent report determined:
- An 11% job growth rate for dietitians by 2028, more than double the national average for all occupations
- A median salary, for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists with 4 years or less experience, above $60,000, with median salaries above $90,000 for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists serving in business, education, and research
- A higher rate of job satisfaction
Successful graduates of the MS Applied Nutrition, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist focus, will receive a verification statement that is required for eligibility to take the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist registration exam, administered by the Commission of Dietetic Registration (CDR).
The Accreditation Council for Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®) is the accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. ACEND®️ serves and protects students and the public by assuring the quality and continued improvement of dietetics education programs.
The University of New England Master of Science in Applied Nutrition, RDN focus has been granted candidate status 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, (312) 899-0040 ext. 5400. https://www.eatrightpro.org/ACEND.
UNE Online is proud to be included in a select group of advanced degree programs that are accredited under the Future Education Model (FEM) FG structure established by ACEND®️. These accreditation standards integrate didactic coursework with Supervised Experiential Learning in a competency-based curriculum designed to prepare nutrition and dietetics practitioners for future practice.
The University of New England Master of Science in Applied Nutrition, RDN Focus is offered 100% online, and provides both the required didactic coursework and oversight of the Supervised Experiential Learning hours, in each student’s local region, that graduates will need to qualify for RDN licensure.
For those interested in contacting ACEND for further information:
Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition & Dietetics (ACEND)
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
1-312-899-0040, ext 5400
Enrolling at UNE Online offers you access to:
A program accredited under the Future Education Model (FEM-FG) that allows students to complete Supervised Experiential Learning (SEL) where they choose
- 1 of only 2 MS RDN programs that provide both coursework AND Supervised Experiential Learning (SEL) 100% online- with no campus visits or relocation required
- UNE Online’s flexible course structure designed to support working professionals
- The only ACEND®️ accredited master’s level RDN program that requires only 3 nutrition-based prerequisites courses.*
* A verification statement from an ACEND accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) can be substituted for the pre-requisite requirements for the admissions application
The UNE MS Applied Nutrition (MSAN) RDN focus is designed to be completed in 2 years full-time (two 3-credit didactic courses paired with two 1-credit lab courses per semester inclusive of summers). The program is a total of 48 credit hours. Upon successful completion of the didactic course work and Supervised Experiential Learning hours, the student will receive a verification statement that allows them to write the exam for the credential of Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).
The College of Graduate and Professional Studies courses are divided over a traditional 16-week semester; each semester has two 8-week terms with A term encompassing the first 8 weeks of the semester and B term encompassing the last 8 weeks. 16-week courses, such as the Capstone and its co-requisite course are offered over the full semester, or AB term. Each 3-credit course and the 1-credit lab that it is paired with are offered in either A or B term.
Supervised Experiential Learning (SEL) is incorporated in every course, and the Supervised Experiential Learning hours each student will participate in total to 1214 hours. The Supervised Experiential Learning hours will be incorporated in both the didactic course work (164 hours) as well as in the lab courses; the majority (1050 hours) of Supervised Experiential Learning will be attained at pre-approved precepted site(s) in each 1 credit lab.
The lab credits allow students to complete the majority of their Supervised Experiential Learning hours, and for Faculty and Preceptor interface to assess student learning outcomes. The student is responsible for completing the required Supervised Experiential Learning, and the preceptor will interface with the lab Faculty to confirm the attainment of competencies
The mission of the UNE Master of Science in Applied Nutrition program is to prepare individuals for leadership roles in the field of nutrition, to advance knowledge and expand skills that promote excellence and innovation in all areas of nutrition practice, and to emphasize evidence-based best practices to support the well-being and health outcomes of individuals, families, and communities through education, research, and scholarship.
The Master of Science in Applied Nutrition Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) focus provides a verification statement upon successful completion of program requirements, which prepares graduates for practice as an RDN after passing the national registration exam.
Graduates of the MS in Applied Nutrition RDN focus will be competent practitioners that are equipped to pass the RDN exam, that are ethical and skilled in-patient care, and that are competitively employable in the field.
Goal #1: Graduates of the Master of Science in Applied Nutrition Program will be competent practitioners that are equipped to pass the RDN exam, that are ethical and skilled in-patient care, and that are competitively employable in the field.
At least 80% of graduates who respond to the “Alumni Survey” will select “strongly agree” or “agree” indicating they were adequately prepared to be an effective RDN practitioner in their first post-graduate professional position.
At least 80% of employers who respond to the “Employer Survey” will select “strongly agree” or “agree” indicating the graduates demonstrated ethical behavior and cultural competency in all areas of nutrition and interprofessional practice in their first post-graduate professional position
Goal #2: Graduates of the Master of Science in Applied Nutrition Program will use evidence-based knowledge to inform best practices in nutrition professions and Medical Nutrition Therapy.
At least 80% of graduates who respond to the “Alumni Survey” will select “strongly agree” or “agree” indicating they were able to communicate evidence-based research in nutrition to a wide variety of audiences in their first post-graduate professional position.
At least 80% of employers who respond to the “Employer Survey” will select “strongly agree” or “agree” indicating the graduates were able to communicate evidence-based research in nutrition to a wide variety of audiences in their first post-graduate professional position.
ACEND®️ Specific Goals:
- Program Completion: At least 80% of program graduates complete program/degree requirements within 3 years (150% of the program length).
- Graduate Employment: Of graduates who seek employment, 80 percent are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
- Employer Satisfaction: At least 80% of employers who respond to the “Employer Survey” will select “strongly agree” or “agree” indicating graduates were adequately prepared to be an effective RDN practitioner in their first post-graduate professional position.
- Registration Exam:
- 80% of program graduates 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%.
Program outcomes data measuring success against these objectives is available upon request. Please contact the MSAN Assistant Program Director/Director of RDN Focus Dr. Angelina Maia.
The University of New England Master of Science in Applied Nutrition, RDN focus has been granted candidate status by the Accreditation Council for Education (ACEND) in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, (312) 899-0040 ext. 5400. https://www.eatrightpro.org/ACEND.
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 FEM graduate program Master of Science in Applied Nutrition at The University of New England are eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN. In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice.
For more information about state licensure requirements, click here.
For more information about educational pathways to become an RDN, click here.
Applications for the MSAN-RDN focus are processed and reviewed upon receipt with rolling admissions. For consideration, applicants are required to have:
- Bachelor’s degree or above from a regionally accredited institution or equivalent.
- See International Admissions for details regarding evaluation of international degrees for grade and degree equivalency.
- Students graduating from a Bachelor’s program soon can apply for conditional acceptance pending receipt of final official transcript.
- Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above. Applicants with a GPA lower than 3.0 will be considered for admission with statement of rationale for GPA and plans for future success.
- Earned B- or better in prerequisite course work >UNE is the only RDN graduate program to require 3 prerequisite courses for admission. Most programs require 9-12 for entry. Hear from Dr. Maia about each course and how you can apply previous coursework for credit.
(comparable courses will be considered for transfer credit pursuant to the transfer credit policy) including:
indicating completion of ACEND Accredited DPD program in the United States (https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend/accredited-programs/didactic-programs-in-dietetics)*
- Previous coursework Coursework completed in undergraduate learning may be applied for credit, whether your earned degree was in Nutrition or otherwise. Find out which credits can be submitted for credit consideration from Dr. Maia.
in Nutrition and/or Biology, and Statistics is highly recommended
- 400 approved hours (equivalent to all SEL hours required for the first year of courses) of the required 1050 hours total Supervised Experiential Learning Sites
- Computer with internet connection, including the hardware and software requirements described on the Technical Requirements Must also possess sufficient computer skills to navigate the internet as all classes are accessed 100% online.
* If pre-requisite course work or the Verification Statement are older than 5 years, it is strongly recommended that the applicants consider taking the 3 pre-requisite courses.
For comprehensive information about the program policies, please see the UNE MS Applied Nutrition, RDN focus Applicant Handbook.
Questions? Connect with an enrollment counselor.
while receiving an education from industry-leading faculty with a focus on evidence-based approaches to the field.
It is required that students have a computer with internet connection, including the hardware and software requirements described in our Technical Requirements. And, must also possess sufficient computer skills to navigate the internet as all classes are accessed 100% online.
For a full view of the student standards, responsibilities, and rights, please see the MS Applied Nutrition, RDN focus student handbook here.
University of New England Academic Calendar:
- Graduate Academic Calendar
- APN 601: Trends and Issues in Nutrition (3 credits)
- APN 602: Trends and Issues in Nutrition Lab (1 credit)
- APN 605: Nutrition Across the Lifespan (3 credits)
- APN 606: Nutrition Across the Lifespan Lab (1 credit)
- APN 610: Research Methods (3 credits)
- APN 611: Research Methods Lab (1 credit)
- APN 615: Nutrition and Metabolism (3 credits)
- APN 616: Nutrition and Metabolism Lab (1 credit)
- APN 620: Nutrition Education and Health Behavior Change (3 credits)
- APN 621: Nutrition Education and Health Behavior Change Lab (1 credit)
- APN 735: Nutrition, Leadership, Community Nutrition and Wellness (3 credits)
- APN 736: Nutrition Leadership, Community Nutrition and Wellness Lab (1 credit)
- APN 730: Medical Nutrition Therapy (3 credits)
- APN 731: Medical Nutrition Therapy Lab (1 credit)
- APN 760: Micronutrients: Nutrition and Functional Applications (3 credits)
- APN 761: Micronutrients: Nutrition and Functional Applications Lab (1 credit)
- APN 780: Food and Nutrition Operations Management ( 3 credits)
- APN 781: Food and Nutrition Operations Management Lab (1 credit)
- APN 785: Nutrition Assessment and Application in a Clinical Setting (3 credits)
- APN 786: Nutrition Assessment and Application in a Clinical Setting Lab (1 credit)
The following courses are offered over 16 weeks, or AB term:
- APN 775: Advanced Nutrition Research co-requisite (3 credits)
- APN 755: Applied Nutrition Capstone (3 credits)
- APN 776: Advanced Nutrition Research Lab co-requisite Lab (1 credit)
- APN 756: Applied Nutrition Capstone Lab (1 credit)
Graduate and Program Completion Requirements
Upon successful completion of the following criteria, the student will receive a Verification Statement and become eligible to take the Registration Examination:
- Complete the required coursework at a grade point average of 3.0 or higher within 3 years of matriculation (150%)
- Complete all competency-based assessments and 1214 hours of SEL at the required target levels
- Self-evaluation of performance and experience after each Supervised Experiential Learning (SEL).
- Submission of ePortfolio.
- Final program evaluation upon completion of supervised practice and didactic requirements
Program Cost to Student:
- Application Fee (non-refundable): $40
- General Services Fee (per semester, non-refundable for matriculated students): $55
- Tuition (per credit hour): $730
- Technology Fee (per semester): $85
- Registration Fee (non-matriculated students per semester): $30
- 2019-2020 Applied Nutrition program costs: graduate tuition and fee rates are subject to change.
- Students are expected to pay for textbooks and materials at the beginning of the semester.
- Books, supplies and other items available at the UNE Bookstore or through other online channels.
- For official financial information and policies please visit Student Financial Services.
Other Potential Costs associated with the MSAN, RDN focus:
Costs for travel will depend on the geographical region of the student as well as where they need to travel for their Supervised Experiential Learning sites; this will be different for each student. The student is responsible for any costs incurred for travel for the program as well as their own liability and safety during travel to and from assigned supervised practice sites, field trips, meetings, and to and from all sites. This site may be useful in calculating estimated gas costs: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/trip/.
Housing costs will vary dependent upon where the student lives.
Drug testing and criminal background checks:
Students must comply with all the regulations established by the sites, including drug testing and criminal background checks. It is the responsibility of the student to cover any costs for site requirements. If required, it is the responsibility of the student to take care of all requirements as soon as possible so not to impact their scheduled Supervised Experiential Learning. Drug testing generally costs $30-$60. Criminal background checks generally cost $7-$15.
Insurance requirements, including those for professional liability:
All students who are participating in Supervised Experiential Learning hours are covered by a University of New England Comprehensive General Liability and Professional Liability Policy through a signed Clinical Affiliation Agreement. The description of Comprehensive General Liability and Professional Liability coverage is found in the Affiliation Agreement. Additional professional insurance is available through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Verification of student identity:
All methods of verifying student identity in distance learning must protect the privacy of student information. If any fees associated with the verification of student identity will be charged to students, they must be notified of these charges in writing at the time of registration or enrollment.
Students must comply with all the regulations established by the sites, including uniforms and dress code. If a lab coat is required by the rotation, a clean and pressed white lab coat should be worn over professional attire. Students are responsible for purchasing, laundering and ironing lab coats. Lab coats generally cost ~$20.
Name Tag: $10
The estimated cost for textbooks for the program is ~$1000.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Student Membership: $60
More than 90% of our students receive some form of financial aid. Please visit our financial aid page for more information.
Students in the MS Applied Nutrition, RDN focus are required to arrange and secure their clinical sites and preceptors The RDN Focus Director works alongside applicants to help navigate the search and scheduling process for securing preceptors. UNE also provides materials needed to arrange site agreements. Dr. Maia explains more about her role in helping students through this. WATCH VIDEO NOW
Students will be required to arrange 400 hours of SEL SEL sites expose students to three critical areas of clinical nutrition- food service, community, and clinical – to ensure well rounded, comprehensive learning. Learn where to start when researching first-year SEL hours and hear more from Dr. Maia. WATCH VIDEO NOW
For information about locating the remainder of the Supervised Experiential Learning hours after matriculation, see the MSAN RDN focus Handbook.
The MS Applied Nutrition, RDN focus utilizes online technologies and Blackboard learning management system to deliver coursework and content to students 100% online. Students are also provided a dedicated Student Support Specialist to ensure a premium educational experience and further connection to the UNE Online community.
UNE Online is also proud to be one of only two institutions in the nation to offer the MS Applied Nutrition, RDN focus program that combines coursework and Supervised Experiential Learning (SEL) to be completed where the student is located, UNE remains among the first RDN graduate programs to provide students access to earning their credential at sites most convenient for them. With no relocation required, allowing students the opportunity to complete this requirement at a site most convenient for them. On-campus visits are not required to complete any portion of your program. Dr. Maia shares more on this convenience.WATCH VIDEO NOW
Licensure laws will vary by state and we invite our students to explore the current state regulations using our interactive map, based on where you plan to practice. With many of the highest earning job fields like, health-care and medical settings, requiring professionals be credentials as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).
Other professional work environments include, but are in no way limited to:
- Sports nutrition and corporate wellness programs: educating clients about the connection between food, fitness, and health.
- Private practice: possibly working under contract with healthcare or food distributors, or independent business, food service, nursing homes, or athletes.
- Community & Public Health: serving as mentor, teacher, and advisor to the public to help improve quality of life through healthy eating habits.
- Medical Nutrition Therapy & Long-term care: providing an evidence-based medical approach to treat chronic conditions through tailored nutrition plan. As well as recommending behavioral and lifestyle changes to positively affect long-term eating health habits.
- Research: collaborating with food and pharmaceutical companies, universities, hospitals directing or conducting research to address critical nutrition recommendations.
- University and medical centers: clinical nutritionists and dietitians working one-on-one with patients & families and alongside physicians addressing particular medical issues like, hypertension, diabetes, or obesity. This setting may also include developing specific action plans when treatments impact a patient’s diet.
as well as achievement of a passing score on the national registration examination.
Beginning in 2024, a minimum of a master’s degree will be an eligibility requirement in order to take the CDR dietetic registration exam. The MSAN/RDN Focus program is in candidacy for accreditation, meaning this program has not been previously accredited by ACEND®️ but has completed the processes to achieve accreditation under the ACEND®️ Accreditation Standards for the Future Education Model (FEM) Graduate Program (FG). All FG programs are offered at the graduate level and provide the required nutrition and dietetics coursework as well as integrated Supervised Experiential Learning to meet ACEND®️ ‘s competency requirements.
A verification statement is issued to individuals who successfully complete the program in order to be eligible to take the CDR Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credentialing examination.
Pathways to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist can be found here.
Please familiarize yourself regarding state certification/licensure by visiting the Commission on Dietetic Registration site.
For additional guidance and clarity, UNE invites you to watch the Registered Dietitian focus area Virtual Open House. And meet the RDN Director to hear your Top Questions, Answered.
How long is the UNE MS in Applied Nutrition, RDN focus program?
The UNE MS Applied Nutrition (MSAN) RDN focus is designed to be completed in 2 years full-time (two 3-credit didactic courses paired with two 1-credit lab courses per semester inclusive of summers). The program is a total of 48 credit hours.
Is the UNE MS in Applied Nutrition, RDN focus program ACEND® accredited?
The University of New England Master of Science in Applied Nutrition, RDN focus has been granted candidate status by the Accreditation Council for Education (ACEND) in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, (312) 899-0040 ext. 5400. https://www.eatrightpro.org/ACEND
Is the RDN focus track offered 100% Online?
Yes! All parts of the RDN focus track are provided 100% online with most portions offered in an asynchronous format with the option to complete on a schedule and pace that works for the student.
Coursework and Supervised Experiential Learning (SEL) portions of the RDN focus are available to complete 100% online. Students in the RDN focus are also offered the opportunity to complete the Supervised Experiential Learning (SEL) segment at a program-approved site of their choosing.
Will successfully completing the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) focus track earn me RD/RDN exam eligibility?
Yes, each graduate of the MS Applied Nutrition, RDN focus track will be considered a graduate of an ACEND®️ accredited program. Successful completion of the program establishes eligibility to take the registration exam for dietitians, administered by the Commission of Dietetics Registration (CDR), to earn to an RDN credential.
I earned my B.S. degree in a field other than nutrition. Can I still apply & enroll?
The program accepts applicants on a rolling basis throughout the year and welcomes those who did not complete their B.S. degree in a nutrition field to apply. Applications are reviewed comprehensively by our admissions committee with the understanding that successful nutrition professionals come from varied backgrounds with well-rounded experience. All with the commitment to the profession of dietetics and nutrition.
All applicants who have met the minimum admission requirements will be considered for acceptance. We encourage interested applicants to apply early, allowing our admissions committee sufficient time to process the application and review additional materials.
Are applicants with a GPA lower than 3.0 able to apply?
Yes, our admissions committee at UNE reviews each part of an application, alongside the supplemental materials applicants include, before determining admission decisions. For applicants who have met all other admission criteria with an earned GPA lower than 3.0, we evaluate recently completed coursework, work experiences, and overall fit to determine an applicant’s success.
Where can I search for available preceptor sites as part of my Supervised Experiential Learning (SEL)?
Before enrolling into the RDN focus, students must secure 400 hours (equivalent to all SEL hours required for the first year of courses) of the required 1050 hours total Supervised Experiential Learning Sites approved by the MSAN Assistant Program Director/Director of RDN Focus via the submitted “Approval Form for First Year SEL Hours.”
We provide guided support through this phase of the application process. And encourage applicants to work with the MSAN Assistant Program Director, Director RDN focus to research and obtain preceptor sites. As well as refer to our directory map for those interested in completing Supervised Experiential Learning (SEL) close to home.
Resources for Locating Potential Preceptors
UNE is proud to offer a fully online MS in Applied Nutrition, with an ACEND®️ accredited RDN focus area that allows students to choose preceptors and sites most convenient for their learning and success.
By selecting a state from our map below, you’re able to view potential preceptor sites to complete your Supervised Experiential Learning (SEL) hour requirements of the RDN focus area.
If you have any questions about the Applied Nutrition programs, focus areas, coursework, or program requirements, please speak to one of our enrollment counselors at the email or phone number below.