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Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Dietetics

Where Experiential Learning and Advanced Education Meet

Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Option

One of the career options for students pursuing the Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Dietetics (MS in HND) is to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). The MS in HND program provides the option to receive a DPD verification statement. The DPD track within the MS in HND is approved by the Accreditation Council on Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) and satisfies the first step towards becoming an RDN. Please review the MS in HND Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Option Handout below for more details about the MS in HND + DPD track.

Students who are accepted into the MS in HND + DPD program are not automatically enrolled in or accepted into the Dietetic Internship program at MSU Denver or outside Dietetic Internships. Dietetic Internships require a separate application process and are competitive in nature. For more information about the application process and your eligibility for the Dietetic Internship, schedule an appointment with an advisor by calling 303-615-0990 or emailing

Students are encouraged to review the "Becoming an RDN FAQs" below as well as the graduate programs FAQs page for more information about commonly asked questions. Additionally, it is recommended that students meet with an advisor to discuss the pathway to become an RDN.

Becoming an RDN FAQs

The following information addresses commonly or frequently asked questions about becoming an RDN. Students interested in becoming an RDN are strongly encouraged to meet with an advisor to further discuss the pathway towards becoming an RDN. To schedule an advising appointment, please call us at 303-615-0990 or email us at

The steps to become an RDN are:

  1. Receive a verification statement from an ACEND-accredited program (DPD programs are one way to receive a verification statement)
  2. Apply for and complete an ACEND-accredited supervised practice dietetic internship or Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway program
  3. Pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Please visit the Academy website for more information.

Students enrolled in the MS in HND program are not required to pursue becoming an RDN. Career opportunities for non-RDN nutrition professionals do exist. However, students are encouraged to meet with an advisor to discuss the option of becoming an RDN and how the RDN vs non-RDN pathway could impact their future career. To schedule an advising session, please email or call 303-615-0990.

Students with a prior Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) verification statement can apply for Dietetic Internships prior to starting or finishing the MS in HND program. Students without a prior DPD verification statement who are pursuing the MS in HND program with the DPD option, can apply to dietetic internships during the last semester of their studies.

For further questions, please email us at

Most Dietetic Internship programs cost money to complete. Students are paying for an experiential learning opportunity while enrolled in a Dietetic Internship program. Costs for Dietetic Internships approximately range from $5,000-$50,000, depending on location, completion of a master's degree along with the internship, etc. Dietetic Internships tied to graduate credit are eligible for financial aid to cover expenses.

Further, it should be noted that most Dietetic Internships are full-time programs which require the student to complete rotations in the field on a full-time, 40 hour a week, basis. Students are not paid for this time.

Dietetic Internships are therefore, unpaid experiences that have a cost. The Department of Nutrition can help you determine strategies for overcoming cost barriers associated with the Dietetic Internship. To schedule an appointment with an advisor to speak more about this, call 303-615-0990 or email

Full-time Dietetic Internships typically range from 6-12 months. Part-time Dietetic Internships typically range from 1-2 years in length.

The Department of Nutrition offers many resources for students as they prepare for applying to Dietetic Internships including:

  • Individual advising sessions with faculty and staff to review internship application materials (application, resume, personal statement, etc.)
  • Workshops to discuss the application process
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