Degree considerations for students in Nutrition Science and Dietetics

The Nutrition Science and Dietetics Program offers two bachelor of science (B.S.) degrees. In the Nutrition Science BS, students study the biological and physical sciences, and prepare to work for major food or pharmaceutical companies, or to pursue post-graduate work in medicine, dentistry, education, or health care. In the Nutrition BS (Dietetics), students prepare to work in a variety of health and health promotion fields, many as registered dietitians.

Nutrition/dietetics is the science of applying food and nutrition to health. Upon completion of your degree, and after you receive DPD verification, you will be qualified to apply to a supervised dietetic internship program after which you can take the national examination to become a registered dietitian. Our most recent match rate for dietetic internships was 85 percent, compared to 56 percent nationally. Our 5-year average match rate is 81 percent. The “first time” pass rate for our graduates on the registration examination for dietitians was 93 percent for the past five years. This program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.

In addition, we offer a Nutrition Science MA, a Nutrition Science MS and a Dietetic Internship CAS. At the graduate level, students study the theory and application of nutrition science and prepare for research, teaching, or practice in clinical, community, corporate, government, or educational settings.

Students pursuing programs in other areas of study may also choose a minor in either nutrition or nutrition science.

Our state-of-the-art learning laboratories, counseling rooms, and kitchens provide Nutrition students with a cutting edge education that allow for unlimited opportunities for direct practice.

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Nutrition, BS

The Department of Public Health, Food Studies and Nutrition’s Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs in nutrition/dietetics has a deeply rooted foundation in Syracuse University history. Courses in foods and nutrition have been offered continuously at Syracuse University since 1917. At the undergraduate level, students in nutrition/dietetics prepare to work in a variety of health and health promotion fields, many as registered dietitians.

Employment of dietitians continues to grow with the increased emphasis on disease prevention through improved dietary habits. Public interest in nutrition, a growing and aging population, the childhood and adult obesity epidemics and increased emphasis on health education and healthy lifestyles continue to spur demand for dietitians.

Specific program requirements for the dietetics program can be found in the Didactic Program in Dietetics Manual.

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Nutrition Science, BS

The 124 credit B.S. degree program in nutrition science emphasizes the biological and physical sciences. In addition to food science, nutrition in health, medical nutrition therapy, and advanced nutrition, studies include work in general and organic chemistry, biology, physiology, and biochemistry.

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Nutrition Science, MA

The master’s degree represents professional qualification for many practitioners in dietetics and community nutrition and has become the terminal degree for many students. Because of the varying backgrounds and professional interests of students, the master’s degree program is flexible. Students selecting nutrition as a major field of study must have minimum proficiency in chemistry and physiology. A recent course in nutrition must be presented upon entrance. If you have a bachelor’s degree outside nutrition and would like to become a registered dietitian, make an appointment with the director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), Nancy Rindfuss, MA, RD, to obtain an evaluation of your DPD status. The evaluation might dictate classes you have to complete prior to starting the program. The M.A. degree requires the completion of a minimum of 36 credits.

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Graduate Student Handbook

Nutrition Science, MS

The increased number of higher education programs in nutrition and dietetics has also increased interest in doctoral programs that prepare practitioners for faculty positions. The master’s degree may thus serve as a preparatory step toward more advanced study. Because of the varying backgrounds and professional interests of students, the master’s degree program is flexible. The M.S. degree requires the completion of a minimum of 30 credits and a thesis.

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Graduate Student Handbook

Nutrition Science, PhD

Currently, The Nutrition Science P.H.D. Program Is Not Accepting New Students. The Ph.D. program provides an opportunity for systematic study of various aspects of human nutrition and methods for evaluation and dissemination of nutrition information. Individual programs are planned to include supporting courses in other fields that provide the basis for understanding the complex physiological, environmental, psychosocial, economic, and cultural factors that influence human nutritional needs as well as the means and methods of studying them.

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Dietetic Internship Program, CAS

The Dietetic Internship Program provides students with the opportunity to gain the necessary competency for careers as entry-level dietitians. The program builds upon the foundation, knowledge, and skills students have acquired from accredited didactic programs in dietetics. The carefully structured program includes a minimum 1200 hours of supervised practice experience in the application of the nutrition care process and model to community based food and nutrition settings and health care nutrition based settings. The concentration area is in program monitoring and outcomes management. Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the registration examination for dietitians offered through the Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR). Successful completion of the RD exam is usually a prerequisite for state licensure or certification.

The dietetic internship at Syracuse University is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics ( ACEND) , a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Post -Secondary Education and the U.S. Department of Education. (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics / 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000/ Chicago, IL 60606-6995/ 1.800.877.1600.)

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit Syracuse University Dietetic Internship Gainful Employment Disclosure page.

Applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an institution offering an accredited didactic program in dietetics and have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in undergraduate coursework and 3.0 in DPD coursework.

Applicants are selected through D&D Digital Systems (visit their website or call 515.292.0490)), a computerized matching service that serves as a clearinghouse to match internship applicants and programs. The process requires applicants to go online and register with D&D Digital before their deadline by completing an online profile and payment. Applicants rank/ prioritize the list of internships after they register. Deadline for ranking is February 15, 2018.

In addition to the D& D process, applicants to Syracuse University’s Dietetic Internship will use the online centralized internship application found on the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS) website.

DICAS is an online applicant portal, for use by students who are applying to Dietetic Internship programs that participate in the DICAS Match. The DICAS Online is a service of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The DICAS online offers applicants a convenient, state-of-the-art, web-based application service that will allow them to apply to any number of participating dietetic internship programs by completing a single online application. The DICAS Online was specifically designed by DICAS to simplify and streamline the application process while providing considerable flexibility, electronic submission of applications, ongoing communication with applicants, and excellent customer support.

If you need accommodations or assistance regarding the accessibility of the DICAS Online, please contact customer support at 617-612-2855.

The deadline for the application to both DICAS and Syracuse University is February 15, 2018.

A $35 non-refundable application fee for Syracuse University students or a $40 non-refundable application fee for non-Syracuse University applicants is required by February 15, 2018.

Checks should be made payable to Syracuse University and mailed to:
Donna Sparkes
Syracuse University
Department of Nutrition Science and Dietetics
550L White Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244-3240

A current estimated Cost of Attendance can be obtained from Syracuse University Financial Aid Office. For extra program specific estimated costs see the information below.

Cost of Attendance Table

Item Cost
Program application fee (non-refundable) $40/$35 for matriculated Syracuse students
D&D Computer Matching $55
Syracuse University Tuition $1,500 per credit hour ($19,500 for 13 credits)
Course fee $4,000
Student Professional Liability Insurance $38
Books $300 (estimate)
Medical Health Clearance $250 (estimate)
Health Insurance $1,672 (if purchased through Syracuse University)
Other Expenses & Student Membership $64
Housing $9,500
Meals $3,600 (estimate)
Transportation $1,390 (estimate, varies by field site location and parking fees)
Educational Loan Fee $860
Personal Expenses $1,914
Total $43,088
Optional Expenses:
Optional Membership, CNY Dietetic Association $5
Upon Program Completion:
Active ADA membership dues $70
Processing fee for dietetic registration exam $200
CDR Maintenance Fee $60
Total $330
Grand Total $43,423

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Interns qualify for financial aid through the graduate school in the form of loans. General financial aid information can be found at the Syracuse University Office of Financial Aid.

William W. Allen Nutrition Scholarship

William W. Allen Nutrition Scholarships are designed to raise awareness of hunger in America by supporting dietetic interns as they learn about the ways in which dietitians can contribute to community nutrition programs that address widespread food insecurity. Scholarship awards are applied toward the internship program fee. Interested students should submit a one-page letter of application stating their interest in community nutrition and any relevant experience after matching with the program.

  1. To prepare interns for success as entry level registered dietitian
    1. Program completion rate: Over a 5 year period: greater than 90 percent of interns will have completed the program within 51 weeks
    2. RD exam pass rate: Over a 5 year period at least 80 percent of interns pass the RD exam on the first attempt
    3. RD exam pass rate: Over a 5 year period, least 90 percent of the interns will be registered within one year
    4. Biannually through surveys: Greater than 75 percent of the employers surveyed will respond that program graduates are prepared as entry level dietitians
  2. To support interns, supervised practice sites, and preceptors in the application of the Nutrition Care Process and Model
    1. Intern Exit survey: 80 percent of the interns in an exit survey rate their ability to apply the NCP in their professional practice as confident
    2. Preceptor support: Over a 5 year period, 75 percent of preceptors will attend training sponsored by the dietetic internship in collaboration with the Central New York Dietetic Association (CNYDA) on topics applied to the nutrition care process and model
    3. Site support/ preceptor support: Over a 5 year period, 75 percent of sites and preceptors will rate working with the internship as a positive experience
  3. To support employers, agencies, health facilities in the CNY area fill or create RD positions
    1. Employment: Over a 5 year period, within 12 months of program completion, at least 80 percent of those seeking employment will have secured employment
    2. Job placement in CNY: Over a 5 year period, at least 70 percent of interns desiring employment in the CNY area will secure employment. (CNY is defined as approximately 1.5 hr. radius of Syracuse.)
  4. To prepare entry-level dietitians to value life-long learning and self-assessment in order to manage their personal and professional development
    1. Through alumni survey, 75 % of alumni will state that they have attended a national, state or local CPEU event
    2. Through alumni survey, 50 % of alumni will have applied for certification or licensure in the state in which they reside
  5. To provide practice based experiences in collaborative/ participatory program planning to monitor and evaluate goals through outcomes measurement
    1. Annually through exit surveys, 80 percent of interns state that they feel competent to develop or participate in program monitoring and perform outcomes measures
    2. Annually, 70 percent of the affiliating sites agree that the intern enabled the program to collaboratively apply or review program goals with individuals and groups and monitor and evaluate outcomes

Outcome data is available upon request by contacting the interim program director: Kay Bruening

Acute Care

  • Auburn Community Hospital
  • Cortland Regional Medical Center
  • Crouse Hospital
  • FF Thompson Health (Canandaigua)
  • Oswego Health System
  • St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center
  • Upstate University Hospital
  • Upstate University Hospital at Community General
  • Syracuse Veteran’s Medical Center

Extended Care Rotation

  • Loretto Corporation
  • Developmental Services Organization of CNY
  • Elderwood Senior Care Birchwood Health Care Center
  • Hill Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
  • James Square Health and Rehabilitation Center
  • Jewish Home of Central New York
  • St. Camillus Health and Rehabilitation
  • Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing

Community Nutrition Rotation

  • Crouse Bariatric Center
  • Food Bank of Central New York
  • Head Start / P.E.A.C.E. Inc.
  • Hutchings Psychiatric Center
  • Kelly’s Choice
  • Onondaga County Department of Adult and Long Term Care Services
  • Onondaga County Department of Health Bureau of Health Promotion Disease Prevention
  • Tioga County Opportunities WIC and Senior Feeding (Tioga)
  • St. Joseph’s Maternal Child Health Center
  • Wegmans Food Market (Rochester)
  • Women, Infants and Children (WIC) in Onondaga County

Food Management Rotation

  • Baldwinsville Central School District
  • Fayetteville-Manlius School District
  • Gates Chili Central Schools (Rochester)
  • Meals-on-Wheels of Syracuse
  • North Syracuse Central School District
  • Skaneateles Central School District
  • Syracuse University Food Services

Outpatient/Specialty Rotations

  • Bariatric Surgery Center
  • Central New York Dialysis Center
  • Hematology Oncology Associates of CNY
  • St. Joseph’s Home Care
  • St. Joseph’s Regional Dialysis
  • Syracuse University Health Center
  • University Dialysis

Learn more about this program
Dietetic Internship Program Intern Handbook

Nutrition Minor

Students pursuing programs in other areas of study may choose a minor in nutrition. The minor program requires the completion of 18 credits. To be admitted to the program, students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0, complete NSD 225, and Meet with the minor coordinator to complete the declaration of minor form.

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Nutrition Science Minor

Students pursuing programs in other areas of study may choose a minor in nutrition science. The minor program requires the completion of 19 credits. To be admitted to the program, students must meet with the minor coordinator and file a declaration of minor form with their home college.

Learn more about this minor

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