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Program timeline

Program timeline

The Integrated Graduate Program maintains the following tentative timeline:

  • Oct. 6: Fall Admission Cycle applications due. Selection decisions will be made by Nov. 1.
  • Jan. 15: Spring Admission Cycle applications due. Selection decisions will be made by March 1.
  • June: Program begins
  • June–August: UW-Madison Summer Session
  • August: Orientation Week at UW Health in Madison, Wis. (Monday–Friday)
  • August: Supervised experiential learning (SEL) begins
  • September–December: UW–Madison Fall Session
  • January–May: UW-Madison Spring Session
  • June–August: UW-Madison Summer Session II

Program overview

Integrated graduate program mission and goals

The UW Integrated Graduate Program in Nutrition and Dietetics offers qualified college graduates a supervised experiential learning curriculum that develops entry-level competencies in medical nutrition therapy, public health nutrition and food systems administration within an academic medical center providing tertiary care.

Program mission

To provide a progressive and effective course of study that integrates supervised experiential learning and coursework in dietetics to prepare graduates for practice and develop high-performing RDNs who are lifelong learners and ready to meet the demands required of future dietitians.

Program goals and objectives

Goal 1: Graduates will secure and demonstrate evidence-based knowledge, high-level problem solving and critical thinking skills to prepare them for the future of food and nutrition practice.

  • 80 percent of graduates completing the program will rate their academic preparation as above average (4) or excellent (5) at their exit survey.
  • 80 percent of employers who hire and respond our graduates will rate their academic preparation and professional readiness as above average or exceptional at the 1-year survey to employers following graduation.
  • “Of graduates who seek employment, 80 percent are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.” (2.1.c.1.b)
  • “At least 80 percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.” (2.1.c.1.c.1)

Goal 2: Graduates will pursue their career goals successfully.

  • “Of graduates who seek employment, 80 percent are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.” (2.1.c.1.b)
  • “At least 80 percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.” (2.1.c.1.c.1)
  • “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 percent.” (2.1.c.1.c.2)
  • “At least 80 percent of program graduates complete program/degree requirements within 2 years (150% of the program length).” (2.1.c.1.a).
  • 80% of graduates, responding to a 1-year post program survey, rate their ability to pursue their career goals successfully as strongly agree or agree on a 5-point scale (new).

Program costs

The Integrated Graduate program costs are outlined below. For estimates of variable program-associated expenses.

Program costs

UW-Madison Graduate School Application Fee$75
UW-Madison Document Fee (one-time)$130
Program Fee$1,000
Tuition to UW-Madison$29,900
Books and supplies$300-500
AND Membership (required)$58
Housing (per month)$1,000-1,300
Utilities, phone, etc. (per month)$800
Transportation (per month)$60

Additional information related to program costs

  • Students can receive a free Metro bus pass. Parking is limited on campus and requires application and payment. Some rotations are off-site and will require transportation outside of the Madison Metro service area. These distances are within a 60-minute drive. Costs of transportation will vary by student choice.
  • Students are responsible for the cost of their own food.
  • Tuition costs for the program do not include segregated fees. Therefore, access to University Health Services or health care access to UW Hospitals and Clinics is not provided. Students are encouraged to have healthcare insurance.
  • Miscellaneous: Registration, travel, housing or eating expenses for attendance at professional meetings
  • Students are employees of the Department of Culinary and Clinical Nutrition Services and may apply for special project work for additional income. Work areas may include the milk and formula lab, patient meals, call center or assisting patients with meal selections.
  • Students might be eligible for student loans. Financial aid is available through UW-Madison. To view eligibility requirements and complete your FASFA, visit https://financialaid.wisc.edu/
  • Tuition is charged on a semester basis.

FAQ

Why complete supervised practice at UW Hospitals and Clinics?

  • Education at its finest
    The UW Integrated Graduate Program in Nutrition and Dietetics is collaborated with the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Nutritional Sciences, bringing quality practice and advanced knowledge to provide a platform for the best future nutrition practices.
  • Highly trained preceptors
    The majority of clinical preceptors are Masters or PhD prepared! UW Health provides the best in patient- and family-centered systems approach in treatment and education. Majority of learning is one on one. One student to one preceptor provides patient comfort and individualized learning.
  • Academic health care
    UW Health represents the academic health care entities of UW Hospitals and Clinics and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Our health care professionals are at the forefront of research, developing new treatments and training the next generation, and nutrition is no exception.
  • Variety of medical specialties
    U.S. News & World Report magazine has named UW Hospitals and Clinics the top hospital in Wisconsin for 12 consecutive years. In addition to the No. 1 ranking in Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin Hospitals had three medical and surgical specialties ranked among the best in the nation: ear, nose and throat, obstetrics and gynecology and orthopedics. Obstetrics and gynecology was ranked among the top 10 in the nation, tied at No. 9. The magazine also named UW a high-performing hospital in cancer, gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery, geriatrics, neurology and neurosurgery pulmonary and lung surgery and urology.
  • Informatics and continued learning
    With an integrated suite of applications, the electronic medical record helps UW Health faculty and staff provide better, safer and more consistent care and more personalized service to patients. Accessing quality, science-based information is at students’ fingertips. The UW Health Intranet offers immediate access to valuable resources including searches for scientific, peer-reviewed articles, UW-Madison libraries and related instructional sessions, UW Health Academy resources (e.g., addressing quality improvement, leadership, communication) and much more. The Clinical Nutrition Department provides access to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Adult and Pediatric Nutrition Care Manuals.

How can I arrange a visit to UW Hospitals and Clinics?

Visitation is limited to the areas of conference rooms and food systems in order to maintain patient privacy. View posted webinars as they are made available. If you have questions yet unanswered, please email dietintern@uwhealth.org or call (608) 890-5297.

Is there anything I can do to earn extra money during the program?

Yes, you may earn hourly wages by working in the role of a Special Project Assistant on weekends or evenings. You will learn about these options after you match with the program. Work hours may not overlap planned activities or scheduled SEL experiences.

What is the dress code?

You must wear footwear that is comfortable and quiet. During the food systems experiences, wear sneakers and casual clothes that can easily be washed. All other rotations require professional attire.

Will I need transportation?

Yes. Students will receive a bus pass for Madison Metro. However, please note that while Madison Metro public transportation can be used to get and from to most practice sites, transportation is necessary for several rotations. Parking is limited on campus and requires application and payment. Some rotations are off-site and might require transportation outside of the Madison Metro service area. These distances are within a 60-minute drive. Costs of transportation will vary by student choice.

Are there any additional items not previously listed that I might wish to purchase?

Lab coats may be borrowed at no cost.

What if I need an assessment of prior learning?

Prior learning

  • Prior work experience or graduate course work can be assessed or credited toward the program requirements for </=300 hours.
  • All tuition and fees for the program will remain the same regardless of prior learning credit awarded.
  • Eligible prior learning includes, but is not limited to, pertinent work responsibilities, community partnership activities, international medical missions, employer or armed service training, and approved self-study.
  • Students requesting a review of prior work experience need to request an assessment of prior learning by submitting a “Prior Learning Portfolio” at least two months prior to the start of the UW IGPND program.
    • Materials required include:
      • Completed ACEND Learning Objectives & Competencies Matrix.
      • Documentation to support that each competency was met (i.e. job description, performance review, samples of projects, reports, presentations, and professional practice that demonstrates advance knowledge and skill in dietetics, etc.).
      • Letter from immediate supervisor with original signature verifying experience.
      • $50 evaluation fee (checks should be made out to: UW Health Integrated Graduate Program).
      • Send completed portfolio to: UW Integrated Graduate Program Nutrition and Dietetics: 600 Highland Ave., F4/120 Madison, WI 53792-1510.

Curriculum

Supervised experiential learning opportunities

Students complete a total of 34 graduate credits. The supervised experiential learning (SEL) within the Integrated Graduate program is offered within graduate courses NS 670 Nutrition and Dietetics Practicum I (3 credits, and NS) and NS 671 Nutrition and Dietetics Practicum II (3 credits). NS 670 is offered during the fall semester and NS 671 is offered during the spring semester. These courses may be offered during the summer term for students that enroll in a part-time option. Upon entry into the program, students are given an opportunity to share their patient population preferences (e.g. pediatrics, oncology, neurology, etc.). Preferences are used to help with the creation of the SEL schedule and will be accommodated based on preceptor availability. Students are not required to locate their own supervised experiential learning sites and/or preceptors; this task is completed by the program for all students. View the full 2024-2025 program curriculum (pdf)

The program maintains comparable experiences for all students but there is greater emphasis in specific domains by concentration. All concentrations are 38 weeks in length and include an orientation week and an independent study week.

Students within the MNT concentration complete the following rotations:

  • Clinical nutrition — Medical nutrition therapy (22-26 weeks; 32 hours per week). All rotations are 1-3 weeks, 32 hours per week.
    • Ambulatory counseling
    • Diabetes care
    • Renal care
    • Ambulatory free choice — Choose from the following: Preventive cardiology, abdominal transplant, surgical weight management, digestive health, nutrition clinics (Eating disorders, weight management), ketogenic therapy
    • Clinical skills
    • MNT chronic
    • MNT acute
    • Surgery
    • Critical care
    • Pediatrics
    • Management
    • Free choice — Choose from the following: Nutrition support team, metabolic/genetic disorders, oncology, neurology, abdominal transplant, burn/trauma, cardiothoracic surgery, gastrointestinal surgery, extended care, clinical research, Milk and Formula Lab, lactation and rehabilitation.
  • Community public health and school nutrition (4-6 weeks; 32 hours per week)
  • Food systems administration (4-6 weeks; 32 hours per week)
  • County WIC program, community health center, local school district, grocery stores, food pantry, aging resources

Students within the Public Health Concentration complete the following rotations:

  • Community public health and school nutrition (8-12 weeks; 32 hours per week)
    • County WIC program, community health center, local school district, grocery stores, food pantry, aging resources
  •  Food systems administration (4-6 weeks; 32 hours per week )
  • Clinical nutrition — Medical nutrition therapy (20-24 weeks; 32 hours per week)
  • MNT chronic
  • MNT acute
  • Surgery
  • Clinical skills
  • Pediatrics
  • Critical care
  • Management
  • Diabetes care
  • Free choice — Choose from the following: Nutrition Support Team, metabolic/genetic disorders, oncology, neurology, abdominal transplant, burn/trauma, cardiothoracic surgery, gastrointestinal surgery, extended care, clinical research, Milk and Formula Lab, lactation and rehabilitation.
  • Ambulatory free choice — Choose from the following: Preventive cardiology, abdominal transplant, surgical weight management, digestive health, nutrition clinics (eating disorders, weight management), ketogenic therapy

Students within the Food Systems concentration complete the following rotations:

  • Clinical nutrition — Medical nutrition therapy (18-22 weeks; 32 hours per week). All rotations are 1-3 weeks, 32 hours per week.
    • Ambulatory counseling
    • Diabetes care
    • Renal care
    • Ambulatory free choice — Choose from the following: Preventive cardiology, abdominal transplant, surgical weight management, digestive health, nutrition clinics (eating disorders, weight management), ketogenic therapy, extended care, clinical research, milk and formula lab, lactation and rehabilitation
    • Clinical skills
    • MNT chronic
    • MNT acute
    • Surgery
    • Critical care
    • Extended care/Geriatric nutrition
    • Pediatrics
    • Management
  • Community public health and school nutrition (4-6 weeks; 32 hours per week)
    • County WIC program, community health center, local school district, grocery stores, food pantry, aging resources
  • Food systems administration (8-12 weeks; 32 hours per week)

Requirements of program completion

  • Completion of all courses within the Integrated Graduate Program in Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Students must remain in good academic standing:
    • Students must maintain a graduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) for all graduate courses (excluding research) to receive a degree.
    • Students receiving an Incomplete (I) grade are allowed the subsequent semester of enrollment to complete the coursework.
  • Completion of all ACEND-accredited rotation competencies at a satisfactory level as aligned with the grading system (NS 670 and NS 671), consistent with the achievement of performance for entry-level dietitians.

Medical Nutrition Therapy Curriculum

The clinical nutrition experiences are designed to provide the student the opportunity to learn and apply MNT for a wide variety of populations while following the Nutrition Care Process. Students will provide nutrition care to patients across the life span in the inpatient and ambulatory settings.  Experiences include:

  • Screening patients for nutritional risk
  • Assessing nutritional status of patients with increasingly complex medical conditions
  • Applying the nutrition care process in real-life practice
  • Interpreting laboratory data and learning medical terminology
  • Developing knowledge nutritional intervention in disease states and procedures
  • Investigating nutritional implications of drug therapy
  • Developing and implementing enteral and parenteral nutrition care plans
  • Functioning as a member of intraprofessional health care team
  • Serving as a nutrition resource for health care professionals
  • Applying informatics knowledge and documenting in the electronic medical record
  • Counseling and educating patients, clients and other target audiences

Community and Public Health Curriculum

Experiences within the Community and Public Health SELs are designed to develop the students’ competencies in community nutrition assessment and intervention with consideration to public policy and application and compliance to federal guidelines. The student will provide nutrition education to meet the nutritional needs of culturally diverse populations.

Program partnerships include the Women, Infants and Children Program, area school districts, Department of Public Instruction, local food banks/pantries amongst others. Students review legislation, regulatory agencies, gain an understanding of the menu planning and food production and service, and prepare nutrition education activities. Other projects may include training food service staff, creating bulletin boards and contributing to newsletters.

Food Systems Administration Curriculum

Food Systems rotations may occur within the Culinary Services Department at or with community partners, for example, Agrace Hospice Care. Food Systems Administration Food Systems rotations may occur within the Culinary Services Department at UW Health or with community partners, for example, Agrace Hospice Care or University of Wisconsin Dining. Food Systems Administration rotations are naturally experienced in stages to give interns the opportunity to build on their skills and knowledge throughout the rotation. Experiences include exposure to purchasing, quantity foods, safety and sanitation, retail management, marketing, financial responsibility and client and patient services. Learning experiences include creating a business marketing plan, participating in management activities (including human resources), menu development, managing trends in sustainability, use of local or organic foods and waste management.

Applying

Submitting an application

Our program participates in the Dietetic Inclusive Centralized Application Services (DICAS). This requires that your application be submitted through the central application portal. The ACEND website provides additional information on the centralized application process. Please follow the DICAS instructions for submitting your application. Our program is listed as the “University of Wisconsin Integrated Graduate Program in Nutrition and Dietetics.” The deadline for fall applications is Oct. 6. The deadline for spring applications is Jan. 15. Be sure to submit all required DICAS payments.

DICAS application requirements include the following. Please visit the UW IGPND application page in DICAS for more details.

  • Properly completed application form
  • Personal statement
  • Declaration of Intent to Complete or Verification Statement submitted by your DPD Director
  • Official transcript(s) of credit from all universities or colleges showing a cumulative GPA of greater than or equal to 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Reference forms from three professionally qualified persons. This should include two academic references and one from a supervisor of work experience.
  • DICAS application fee
  • GRE scores are not required

Upon review of a completed application via DICAS, our selection committee will notify you of their decision by Nov. 1 for the Fall Admission Cycle and by March 1 for the Spring Admission Cycle.

If you already hold a graduate degree, please contact Makayla Schuchardt (mlschuchardt@wisc.edu) for more information on the application to the Capstone Certificate in Clinical Nutrition.

Second-round selection

If positions remain open after the spring selection round, applications will be accepted via DICAS on a rolling basis. Visit the ACEND website for the specific date.

Selection criteria

Application to the Program requires successful completion of The Academy’s Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) requirements and fulfillment of the application process noted above.

Students are selected based on:

  • Scholastic achievement
  • Conceptual ability
  • Written and oral expression
  • Self-direction
  • Preparation
  • Work experience
  • Professional activities
  • Leadership abilities
  • Professional references

It is ideal that the personal narrative reflects such abilities. In the past, the students selected typically have an overall GPA greater than 3.0 and paid work experience in clinical nutrition and/or food service experience.

Admission requirements

All must meet the following core requirements before they formally begin the program:

  • Official college transcripts with posted degree and completion of all DPD coursework
  • Final verification statement from an ACEND-accredited DPD college
  • Completion of a formal online employment application to UW Hospitals and Clinics
  • Completion of a physical exam at Employee Health Services with proof of titers (blood tests) showing immunity
    • Hepatitis B: 3 dosage series with appropriate dates or Hepatitis B declination
    • Influenza: Injection or intranasal influenza within flu season
    • MMR: Two dosages with appropriate dates of MMR given at least 28 days apart after first birthday or positive titers for Measles, Mumps, and Rubella
    • Varicella: Two dosages of Varicella given at least 28 days apart or Varicella titer with positive status
    • Tdap: Recommended within the last 10 years
    • TB skin test
    • COVID-19: Required to be up to date on all doses in the primary series and one booster dose
  • Background check, additional background checks may be required by various rotation sites
  • Drug screening may be required by various rotation sites
  • Fingerprinting may be required by various rotation sites
  • Health insurance is strongly encouraged. Tuition costs for the program do not include segregated fees. Therefore, access to University Health Services or health care access to UW Hospitals and Clinics is not provided. Students are responsible for locating access to affordable health care based on their current insurance plan.

International applicants

Applicants must be either citizens of the United States or able to maintain work authorization throughout the program. UW Hospitals and Clinics does not offer visa sponsorship to candidates for the UW IGPND.

Integrated Graduate Program in Nutrition and Dietetics

Please join us for our Open House on July 17, 2024, from noon–1 p.m. CDT


Thank you for your interest in the UW Integrated Graduate Program in Nutrition and Dietetics. The program is established within the academic health care entities of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, including the UW Medical Foundation, UW Hospitals and Clinics and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. UW Health is also home to American Family Children’s Hospital and the UW Health | Carbone Cancer Center. The program is offered as a partnership within the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of Nutritional Sciences.


Contact information
Culinary and Clinical Nutrition Services
(608) 890-5297
dietintern@uwhealth.org

Handbook
Integrated Graduate Program in Nutrition and Dietetics Handbook (pdf)


About the Integrated Graduate Program in Nutrition and Dietetics

You are ready to take the first step to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). To learn more about the path to become an RDN, visit The Academy’s Reference, Five Steps to Become an RDN.

UW Health has an incredible opportunity for you to explore this Integrated Program. It provides graduate students with an invaluable educational experience of actively learning, gaining competency and providing remarkable healthcare in a patient- and family-centered environment at one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers.

The program is integrated into the Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition at UW-Madison and provides 10 months of supervised experiential learning experiences under the supervision of passionate and knowledgeable preceptors who are leaders nationwide. The program allocates 32 hours each week to supervised practice experiences in the clinical, public health and food systems administration domains. All students have the option of concentrating their learning in the areas of clinical nutrition (MNT), public health or food system administration.

Program outcomes

UW Health has fostered student excellence in dietetic practice since 1953. The program has proven outcomes of success and are available upon request.  

As a student, you will acquire the skills necessary to pursue a variety of career opportunities in the nutrition profession. This is a comprehensive program in which dietetic students actively learn and become competent in best-practice, patient- and family-focused nutrition care at a tertiary hospital providing all levels of medical care. The strength of this program lies in the high quality of knowledgeable preceptors providing supervised practice, usually within a one- on-one rotation experience. The overall learning experience is enhanced with graduate learning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Nutritional Sciences Department.

Accreditation

The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). ACEND is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the United States Department of Education (USDE). ACEND can be contacted by:

Email: acend@eatright.org
Phone: 1-800-877-1600, ext. 5400
Mail: 120 South Riverside Plaza
Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606-6995

Upon successful completion, graduates receive a Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition and a Verification Statement and are then eligible to take the registration exam administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

While state interpretations of statutes may vary, it is ACEND’s considered opinion that the program meets the educational requirements for dietetics licensure and certification in all states. However, completing an ACEND-accredited academic program alone does not qualify an individual for licensure or certification as a dietitian in any state. Individuals should review their state’s licensing statutes and regulations to understand the specific requirements, including supervised practice and examinations, needed to obtain a dietetics license. More information about state licensure and certification can be found at this link: State Licensure.