Nutrition & Dietetic Practice/RDN Program

College

  • Center City Campus
  • College of Health Professions

Degree Earned

  • Master of Science

Program Options

Nutrition & Dietetic Practice/RDN

Program Type

  • On Campus

Program Length

22 months

Students With a Nutrition/Dietetics Background

Procedures for Evaluating Prior Learning to Determine Advanced Standing

The MS in Nutrition & Dietetic Practice/RDN program is designed for individuals seeking careers as credentialed nutrition experts. An educational background in nutrition and dietetics is not required. However, students who have an academic background in nutrition and dietetics may opt to request credit for demonstrated prior learning, earning them advanced standing in the program. The purpose of this option is to minimize repetition of learning activities for knowledge and skills already attained in foundational coursework, while ensuring students are well prepared to begin more advanced didactic and SEL courses. Through this method, DPD graduates can complete the MS/RDN program on a shortened timeline, potentially decreasing their required coursework by up to 15 credits and one full semester. The foundational courses that students may not be required to complete at TJU if they are able to demonstrate relevant prior learning include: Nutritional Biochemistry & Physiology; Integrative Nutrition Across the Life Cycle; Food Science & Safety; Culinary Nutrition, Functional Foods & Diet Planning; and Global & Public Health Nutrition.

The student will contact the Program Director with interest in a prior learning evaluation prior to applying to the program, and be provided with a prior learning portfolio template, to be completed by the student and submitted with the application materials to Thomas Jefferson University.

The prior learning portfolio will document completion of required foundational knowledge through DPD coursework. The prior learning portfolio submission should include all of the following:

For students who’ve completed an ACEND-accredited didactic program in dietetics (DPD) and earned a verification statement:

  • Completed Prior Learning Portfolio Course Alignment Document (the Program Director will provide the student with this document).
  • Verification Statement (or Declaration of Intent to Complete form) from ACEND-accredited DPD.

For students with a Nutrition degree (or in some cases extensive nutrition/dietetics coursework) from a non-ACEND-accredited program/who are ineligible to earn a verification statement:

  • Completed Prior Learning Portfolio Competency Alignment Document (the Program Director will provide the student with this document).
  • Supporting documentation to demonstrate that listed competencies were achieved. Examples can include completed course projects or assessments (with grade and feedback when possible) or student summary and reflection of completed course activities that demonstrate competencies.
  • Course syllabi documenting relevant assignments and activities that align with the required FG competencies.
  • The Program Director will review the portfolio to determine whether the student meets the eligibility requirements for advanced standing. If offered a position in the program, the student will receive a decision regarding advanced standing status with the acceptance letter.

Jefferson MS/RDN Course to Be Bypassed

Example Course Names With Potentially Similar Content

Integrative Nutrition Across the Life Cycle

Lifecycle Nutrition

Nutrition & Wellness

Nutritional Biochemistry & Physiology

Advanced Nutrition

Nutrient Metabolism

Food Science & Safety

Food Science I & II

Food Safety & Service

Culinary Nutrition, Functional Foods & Diet Planning

Food Production

Food for Health

Global & Public Health Nutrition

Community Nutrition


The Program Director reserves the right to require completion of one or more of the bypassed foundational courses as part of a remediation plan, if needed, for any student enrolled in the program.
 

Transferring Credits

Bypassing Courses vs. Transfer of Credits

Students who bypass foundational prerequisite courses as a result of our Prior Learning Process are not receiving Jefferson academic credits for prior learning or transferring credit from other institutions.

Students accepted into the Jefferson MS/RDN program may only transfer graduate credits from other institutions in cases where the graduate courses are deemed equivalent in scope and content to Jefferson MS/RDN courses. In those cases, students must receive approval from the Program Director to transfer those credits based on a review of transcripts, syllabi, and an evaluation of prior learning (as described above). The maximum number of allowable transfer credits is nine (9). Credits to be transferred must be completed prior to matriculation into the MS/RDN program.

Procedures for Evaluating Prior Professional Experience

Prior professional experience evaluation is an avenue by which a student may document demonstration of competencies through experience in a paid position with responsibilities that fulfill program competencies typically demonstrated through SEL rotation projects. Examples of potentially applicable positions include dietary manager, dietetic technician, WIC aide, or certified professional chef. To be eligible, students must have worked in the position either:

  • Full time for at least one year, or
  • 20 or more hours per week for at least two years

Students will identify the SEL courses for which they believe they are eligible for prior professional experience evaluation as well as the semester during which they are scheduled to complete those courses.

Students will contact the Program Director with interest in a prior professional experience evaluation, and be provided with a prior professional experience portfolio template, to be completed by the student and submitted to the Program Coordinator at least six (6) weeks prior to the start of the semester they are scheduled to complete the relevant SEL course.

The prior professional experience portfolio should thoroughly describe and document knowledge and skills gained through paid professional experience, and should specifically demonstrate completion of ACEND Future Model Graduate Program (FG) Competencies. The prior professional experience portfolio submission should include all of the following:

  • Completed Prior Learning Portfolio Competency Alignment Document (the Program Coordinator will provide the student with this document).
  • Supporting documentation to demonstrate that listed competencies were achieved.
  • Examples include completed projects (such as lesson plans, budget reports, copies of developed employee scheduling, menus) and performance evaluations.
  • A letter from the student’s immediate supervisor(s) corroborating work experience and assessing level of competence.
  • In situations where students require documentation from a former employer/supervisor, it is the student’s responsibility to maintain communication with the professional(s) appropriate for corroborating the work experience.

The Program Coordinator will review the portfolio to determine which SEL rotation projects, if any, will be waived due to prior professional experience, or how to modify existing projects to enhance learning beyond the student’s previous related paid position experiences. If the Program Coordinator determines that rotation projects will be waived, students will use the hours in the SEL experience to complete richer, more sophisticated projects/opportunities for competency completion. It is likely in the event of more extensive prior professional experience that the amount of time required of the student to complete the relevant rotations may additionally be modestly decreased. Students do not earn credits for prior professional experience, nor will any SEL courses be waived. Tuition and fees are not adjusted. Rather, appropriate prior professional experience will reduce the number of competencies that students must demonstrate to earn credit for relevant SEL courses.