An Online Dietetics Master's Degree with Distance Dietetic Internship Option

For Current and Future Registered Dietitians

Whether you are already a Registered Dietitian who would like to add a master's degree, you want a combined master's degree and Dietetic Internship at UNC, or you need to complete your master's degree requirement before or after your internship experience, this program will establish you as an expert Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).

You will gain the most current knowledge in the field and a master's degree, with the flexibility of an online/distance delivery created specifically to help you fit the program around your employment and/or family commitments.

Through your coursework, you will develop critical thinking and leadership skills that will support your future career goals as an RDN. Areas emphasized include nutrient metabolism, nutrition assessment, nutrition counseling methods, nutrition communication, public health nutrition and research methods.

Two versions of the master's degree are available. Both programs are for those who have completed (or are in the process of completing) an ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD).

  • The Dietetics Master of Science (MS) is a standalone master's degree for both active RDs / RDNs and those pursuing a master's without RD / RDN status.
  • The Dietetics Master of Science with Dietetic Internship (MSDI) is for those who want to complete a combined master's degree and Dietetic Internship. This program is part of the DICAS internship matching process.

It is important that you review the Course of Study and Eligibility sections below before applying to either program version, so that you can ensure your personal eligibility for either program.

Career Outcomes

Career opportunities include Registered Dietitian Nutritionist positions in hospitals, clinics, public health departments, government agencies, research settings, industry and schools.

ACEND Accreditation: The Dietetics MS with Dietetic Internship (MSDI) program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND, formerly CADE) with The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This is the highest accreditation in the field for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.

ACEND Announcement

Beginning January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) has changed the degree requirement for dietitian registration eligibility from a Bachelor's degree to a Master's degree (in any field) in addition to the current requirement of a verification statement from an ACEND accredited dietetics program. More information: 

Graduate Degree Registration Eligibility Requirement Frequently Asked Questions

Graduate Degree Registration Eligibility Requirement Student Option Scenarios

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  • Below you will find a summary of the Dietetics MS (without internship), and a summary of the additional requirements for the Dietetics MS with Dietetic Internship (MSDI).
  • To see a typical list of courses by term, visit an example Current Students page for this program.
  • If you are only interested in the internship, please visit our Dietetic Internship (Post-Baccalaureate) information.

Master of Science (No Internship)

Master of Science with Dietetic Internship (MSDI)

The Dietetics MS with Dietetic Internship is a three-year distance education program. You will complete the same two years and 35 credit hours of master's coursework as the degree-only students, plus the following requirements to support the Internship portion.

  • The 1-year Internship portion of the program begins the Summer term immediately following completion of the master's degree coursework.
  • You will complete 20 credit hours of supervised practice in support of your Internship rotation hours.
  • For full program requirement details, see the official program listing in the UNC Graduate Catalog and the department's MSDI program web pages. The graduate degree will be awarded after successful completion of all coursework and rotation hours.

Online Orientation

All students must attend a 3-day online orientation in late June of the Summer they begin the internship portion of the program.

Internship Oversight

  • Students, with the program director’s guidance, will select the facilities where they will complete their practice experience and will play a role in designing their program of study. Although each intern has their own program of study, all of the Required Competencies and Learning Activities must be completed by all interns.
  • For specific questions regarding the Dietetic Internship component of the master's degree, including required internship hours and categories, please visit the department's Dietetic Internship Year page.

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