Welcome to the Department of Nutrition
The Department of Nutrition at MSU Denver provides students with opportunities to grow and learn in the field of nutrition and dietetics. The MSU Denver Department of Nutrition provides over $700,000 in scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students annually, has award-winning faculty, received $5 million in student-focused grants, and is leading diversity initiatives in the field of nutrition and dietetics!
The mission of the Department of Nutrition is to prepare diverse students for successful careers in food, nutrition, and dietetics by providing quality education that is culturally sensitive and instills a desire for lifelong learning.
Students who attain a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Nutrition and Dietetics will be prepared for traditional, non-traditional, and entrepreneurial positions in health care that utilize knowledge of food, nutrition and dietetics. Professionals trained in nutrition have numerous career options due to the growing emphasis on nutrition, health and wellness.
One of the career options for a student majoring in Nutrition and Dietetics is to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). The Nutrition and Dietetics major includes a didactic program in dietetics (DPD) which is a required initial step in the education and training of dietetics professionals. In order to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), a DPD Verification Statement is required.
The Nutrition Science major provides students interested in graduate level nutrition study, food science study or professional health programs (e.g. physician assistant, medical doctor, physical therapy) a suitable pathway that prepares them for these ventures. The Nutrition Science major provides a heavier emphasis on the sciences than the Nutrition and Dietetics major. The Nutrition Science major does not prepare students to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists and instead focuses on better preparing students interested in advanced study post-graduation.
The Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Nutrition Studies is intended for students who are interested in the scientific foundation of nutrition principles. This is a major for those who are not pursuing dietetic registration.
The Nutrition Minor complements a variety of majors including Biology, Health Care Management, Hospitality, Tourism & Events, Human Performance and Sport, and Integrative Health Care. Additionally, this minor provides valuable information that can be applied to a student’s lifelong health and well-being.
The Nutrition Minor will not meet educational requirements for qualification as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). A major in nutrition from an accredited institution, an approved internship, and passing a national exam are all requirements to obtain the RDN credential.
The Department of Nutrition offers a Nutrition and Dietetics 3+2 Program. Both undergraduate and graduate level coursework in nutrition includes the opportunity to conduct and analyze research, enhance critical thinking and effective communication skills, and participate in experiential learning opportunities. In this program, students earn two degrees, a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics and a Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics in a total of five years. The Nutrition and Dietetic 3+2 Program will meet the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) requirements for students wanting to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)* after the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) requirements change in 2024.
Students interested in completing the 3+2 Program will apply to the program once enrolled as an MSU Denver undergraduate student with a major in Nutrition and Dietetics.
*Students who complete the Nutrition and Dietetics 3+2 Program, earn first their bachelor’s and then master’s degree throughout the five year program and are eligible to apply for Dietetic Internships in the last semester of the five year program.
The Prerequisites for a Nutrition Graduate Program (PNUT) is an undergraduate program that allows you to complete prerequisites for the Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics or the Graduate Certificate in Nutrition Science.
Blending experiential learning with high quality education in a flexible hybrid format, this student-focused program will strengthen your research skills, expand your knowledge of advanced nutrition topics, bolster your communication skills, and set you up to be a leader in the field of nutrition and dietetics.
Effective January 1, 2024, the CDR will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a RDN. In addition, students must obtain a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) verification statement. The MSND program does offer a DPD option.
The MSU Denver Dietetic Internship is committed to preparing you for a successful career in the field of nutrition. The program provides a thorough foundation in several domains of nutrition practice working with culturally-diverse populations in a variety of urban settings:
- medical nutrition therapy (MNT) and the nutrition care process (NCP) in a clinical setting
- community health nutrition and food-security
- nutrition education and counseling
- food systems management
The program builds knowledge and skills needed to become a competent nutrition professional, including presentation, communication, and writing skills. The program values diversity and provides opportunities to meet individual needs and interests.
The MSU Denver Dietetic Internship is a 8.5 month program which starts in mid-August and runs through early May. The program provides more than the required minimum of 1000 hours of supervised practice experiences (rotations) at different organizations throughout the Denver-metropolitan area. Students enrolled in the Dietetic Internship program have the option of completing the Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics (MSND) at MSU Denver, but are not required to enroll in the MSND program.
The Lactation Consultant Training Certificate Program is housed in the Department of Nutrition and allows students to meet the eligibility requirements to complete the International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) Exam and, once students pass the exam, work as a credentialed IBCLC.
Curriculum in the Graduate Certificate in Nutrition Science focuses on providing advanced nutrition education tailored to current RDN’s, healthcare professionals, and individuals looking to grow personally or professionally through graduate level study.
News and Culture from MSU Denver's Department of Nutrition
Kendall Discenza, MS, is a Spring 2023 graduate of the Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics program. Throughout her time at MSU Denver, she was heavily involved in the Auraria Campus Student Dietetic Association and the Eating Disorder Awareness Group. Kendall also worked as a dietary technician throughout the program where she applied skills learned within the classroom. Kendall successfully matched to a dietetic internship for the 2023-2024 year as a Sodexo Dietetic Intern, Chicago Region.
MS Nutrition and Dietetics Alumni Update-Kendall Discenza Testimonial, MS, DPD '23
Paola Babb is the Community Engagement and Child Nutrition Manager at Hunger Free Colorado, where she supports communities to increase access and participation in Child Nutrition Programs. Hunger Free Colorado, a statewide nonprofit organization founded in 2009, connects families and individuals to food resources and fuels change in systems, policies and social views, so no Coloradan goes hungry. Paola was a DREAMer and has experience convening the voices of those most impacted and with lived experience. She worked for WIC for several years, and most recently managed the Food Pantry at Growing Home a non-profit in Westminster.
BS in Nutrition and Dietetics Alumni Update - Paola Babb '15
In my journey to become a nutrition professional, the MSU Denver Nutrition Department played a vital role in my success today as a Nutritional Health Coach. In my time as an undergraduate student at MSU Denver, the Nutrition Department provided me with the tools I need to effectively help clients reach their health and wellness goals. Earning my Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics provided me with a well-rounded education in nutrition. The classes I successfully completed from community nutrition to my senior seminar class prepared me for teaching nutrition classes and how to evaluate and effectively contribute to the health of my community. Medical nutrition therapy and nutrition counseling prepared me with the skills to recommend dietary and lifestyle change and perform motivational interviewing and explore behavior change in my coaching sessions. One of the most rewarding and exciting parts about what I get to do as a health coach is working with clients one on one to improve their health and get them excited about making lasting and meaningful changes to their diet and lifestyle. The world of nutrition is dynamic, and I enjoy furthering my nutrition education through earning continuing education credits each year. Supporting community partners, such as businesses and health care providers, to collectively improve the health of people in the community is another exciting facet to my role as a Nutritional Health Coach. My success as a nutrition professional all began at MSU Denver.
BS in Nutrition and Dietetics Alumni Update - Candace White '17
Jonathan Padia is a Professional Research Associate with the University of Colorado. He found this career option during a two-week rotation in his Dietetic Internship. Jonathan's advice for someone who is thinking about becoming an RDN is to network as much as possible! The local organizations of Denver Dietetic Association (DDA) and Colorado Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (CAND) are a great place to start. These organization offer conferences and networking opportunities for students.
BS in Nutrition and Dietetics Alumni Update - Jonathan Padia MS, RDN '13
“Earning a nutrition minor with my psychology major provided me a well-rounded and holistic approach to mental and physical health. Nutrition is such an important feature of health and wellness that any degree can benefit from it.”
Minor in nutrition, 2014
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Your tax-deductible donation will be used to help the Department of Nutrition to continue to provide a quality and competitive nutrition education to students of MSU Denver.
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Department of Nutrition
8:00am – 5:00pm
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Department of Nutrition
Campus Box 33N
P.O. Box 173362
Denver, CO 80217-3362