Our unique program offers a three-year joint degree (or advanced option), both a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Dietetics & Nutrition and a Master of Dietetic Studies (MDS). The combined degrees offer over 1200 clock hours of supervised experiences equivalent to an internship. Upon successful completion of the three- year professional program, students will receive a verification statement that certifies their eligibility to take the Commission on Dietetics Registration national examination to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN/RD).
Joint Bachelor & Master 3-year option: The B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics offers the initial phase of the professional program, known as the Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD). Didactic and introductory supervised experiences are part of the curriculum and serve as a foundation for the Master of Dietetic Studies (MDS). The coordinated program requires two years of junior and senior undergraduate level coursework, while the third year offers masters level courses. Students admitted into the undergraduate program will transition into the MDS if they maintain a 3.0 grade point average, have completed all support courses, degree core, and Texas core with a grade of “C-” or better and met all program requirements. Note: Students that hold a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field would be required to complete all pre-requisite courses and all equivalent undergraduate courses in dietetics and nutrition to meet core knowledge and competencies mandated by the accreditation. These courses are designed to meet core knowledge, skills and competencies mandated by ACEND. The MDS is a non-thesis degree with an emphasis in Health Promotion and Disease Prevent and Treatment. Students who successfully complete the integrated Coordinated Program in Dietetics receive a verification statement that certifies their eligibility to take the Commission on Dietetics Registration national examination to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD/RDN).
Students admitted into the coordinated program receive academic advising through the Life and Health Sciences Advising Center.
Master of Dietetic Students Advanced Standing Option: Students seeking the Master of Dietetic studies -Advanced Standing option, must hold a Bachelor in Dietetics or nutrition related field and a verification statement from an accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) or an equivalent baccalaureate degree in nutrition and dietetics from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or have proof of equivalent training at a foreign institution. Note: Advanced Standing option admission is reviewed case-by-case and is contingent on accreditation requirements and the number of placements available for the advanced practicum. Students will be expected to complete select undergraduate courses/practicums to meet the program’s requirements.
The mission of the Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD) is to prepare entry-level dietitians with leadership skills who positively impact the nutritional status and health of individuals and the community, particularly those living in South Texas, through a solid academic education, service, and scholarship.
Program Goal 1: Prepare graduates as competent entry-level practitioners with a focus on Health Promotion/ Disease Prevention and Treatment to primarily support South Texas Communities.
1. a. Joint Bachelor & Master’s degree 3-year option: At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within 4.5 years (150% of the program length).
1. b. Master of Dietetic Studies Advanced Standing option: At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within 3 years (150% of the program length).
2. 90% of graduates will take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionist within 12 months of program completion.
3. The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of the first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
4. 75% of preceptors will rate interns’ academic preparation for entry-level employment “above average/expected” (4, on a 5-point scale) through staff relief.
5. 75% of graduates will indicate that the program provided a variety of experiences to a become competent entry-level practitioners.
6. Of graduates who seek employment, 50% percent are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
7. 75% of employers on a survey will rate graduates “above average” on entry-level knowledge and skill sets or “extremely satisfied” as compared to other entry-level practitioners, within the first year of employment.
Program Goal 2: Prepare graduates who demonstrate leadership skills and a commitment to serving the community and profession.
1. 30% of graduates on the alumni survey will serve as a preceptor within 12 months of graduation.
2. 30% of graduates on the alumni survey will indicate participation in community, work-related or professional leadership activities within 12 months of graduation.
Note: Program outcome data is available upon request.
• Admission to the Coordinated Program in Dietetics is competitive.
• Eligible students will be part of a formal interview that is conducted by Program Review Committee Members (by invitation only).
• The program has been approved for a limited number of students by the accrediting organization.
• Students are admitted every fall in their “junior year” as part of a cohort.
• Students (freshman, sophomore and transfer) interested in Nutrition and Dietetics must meet UTSA’s general admission requirements and will be admitted into the “Life and Health Science Studies” until all requirements can be met at UTSA.
To declare a major in Nutrition and Dietetics the following minimum criteria must be met:
• Must complete all support courses and most of the Texas Core requirements with a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and be in good standing with the University.
• Must complete all prerequisite courses with a grade of “C-” or better. Detailed information about the courses, including the Texas common course numbers may be obtained from the Undergraduate Catalog.
• Must complete NDT 2043 Introduction to Nutritional Sciences or BIO 2043 Nutrition or equivalent course with a grade of “B-” or better.
• May not repeat a prerequisite course more than twice to meet the grade criteria.
• Must complete all support courses (prerequisite courses) by the end of the summer semester prior to entering the program in the Fall Semester.
• Must submit a program application, transcripts (unofficial), two completed reference forms (program specific) preferably by faculty members, a resume, volunteer summary and a statement indicating personal career goals, knowledge of the profession, commitment, interests, and motivation. Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
• Must have a personal interview with the program review committee members (by invitation) and receive a decision letter indicating acceptance.
Click here for Degree Information Sheet.
For additional program related questions email Dietetics@utsa.edu or the UTSA Academic Advising Life & Health Sciences Advising Center at CenterLHSCAdvising@utsa.edu.
The Dietetic Admissions Committee will review completed applications, using a rubric to score the candidates. Applicants are also ranked according to their grade point average (minimum 3.0), work/volunteer experience, and references. Students are admitted to the program for the fall semester.
The Admissions Committee will then invite qualified candidates to interview for admissions in March. For students who live outside Texas and are unable to travel for an interview will be scheduled for a video or telephone conference. The formal interviews will be rated using a point system and scores will be added to the rubric used for the application packet. Acceptance into the program is based on meeting the admissions criteria, the student’s readiness for the program judged by the interview committee, and the availability of placements due to accreditation. Candidate decision letters will be sent in April.
Student Schedules & Schedule of Supervised Practice
The program is demanding and will require students to manage their time effectively. Undergraduate students in their junior and senior year will attend daily classes and will begin to obtain practicum hours off-site. Graduate students in their final year will take graduate level courses on Monday and will work in off-site facilities Tuesday through Friday (32 hours per week). The length of the internship (graduate year) is two academic semesters: Fall (August through mid-December) and Spring (mid-January through end of May).
Practicum/Internship components mainly consist of community dietetics, clinical dietetics, and food service management; however, interns will also gain experience in child nutrition, diabetes, obesity, pediatric nutrition, cancer therapy, bariatrics and culinary medicine.
The program follows the UTSA Academic Calendar; the University-designated holidays and semester breaks, when scheduling classes and practicums. Program-specific course schedule and practicums will be made available through the UTSA Website. The schedule for the advanced practicum is planned by the Dietetic Director following as close as possible, the academic calendar to fulfill the required contact hours of supervised experiences. Occasionally, a student may be expected at a supervised practice during a weekend, and given time off during the week. At times, it may be necessary to adjust a rotation schedule to accommodate the calendar and operations of the facilities (i.e., school district, WIC or Head Start calendar needs).
Note: A criminal background check is a requirement during the semesters in which a student enrolls in field-based practicums. Students will be required to submit a Criminal Record Check for practicums associated with schools, health care facilities, hospitals, and clinics. It is the responsibility of the student to determine if his or her criminal history background will present a problem before applying for admission to the program. Students with problematic criminal history will not be able to complete most of the field-experiences that are required by the program.
Students admitted into the undergraduate program will transition (not guaranteed) into the MDS if they maintain a 3.0 grade point average, have completed all support courses, degree core, and Texas core with a grade of “C-” or better and met all program requirements. Upon successful completion of the three- year professional program, students will receive a verification statement that certifies their eligibility to take the Commission on Dietetics Registration national examination to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN/RD). Students must successfully fulfill all program requirements to receive a verification statement for eligibility. Eligible students will complete an online application through the graduate school (non-refundable application graduate fee will apply).
2020-2021 Estimated Cost of Attendance
|Full Time Fall/Spring Undergraduate Resident Student||Living at Home w/Parents||Living Off Campus||Living On Campus|
|Tuition & Fees (based on 15 hours per term)||$10,154||$10,154||$10,154|
|Books (based on 15 hours – 5 classes)||$1,000||$1,000||$1,000|
|Housing & Meals (average)||$3,537||$10,071||$11,452|
|Total Estimated Cost of Attendance||$18,473||$26,149||$25,242|
Full Time Undergraduate non-resident student tuition & fees = $25,154. All other charges remain the same.
|Full Time Fall/Spring Graduate Resident Student||Living at Home w/Parents||Living Off Campus||Living On Campus|
|Tuition & Fees (based on 9 hours per term)||$8,436||$8,436||$8,436|
|Books (based on 9 hours – 3 classes)||$1,200||$1,200||$1,200|
|Housing & Meals (average)||$3,537||$10,071||$11,452|
|Total Estimated Cost of Attendance||$16,955||$24,631||$23,724|
Full Time Graduate non-resident student tuition & fees = $25,964. All other charges remain the same.
Additional Program Related Expenses
- Food Protection Management Certification ~$150
- Professional Liability Insurance $38
- CPR Certification- $25-$30
- Hepatitis B Immunization – $145
- TB Testing – $35 (annual)
- Flu Shot (annual)- up to $45 off-campus (lower fee through Student Health Services)
- COVID 19 testing (if required by site)
- Criminal Background Check – $45 (annual)
- Student Membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – $58
- Student Membership in the Dietetic Student Association $20
- Face mask (required by all sites) $8-$15
- Face shield (if required by site) $8-$15
- Lab Coat for Clinical Rotations $12/varies* (if required by site)
- Practicum Uniform:
- Polo (program logo) ~$45; Black Slacks ~$20; Black Non-Slip Shoes ~$25 (varies)
- Drug Screening- $30-$40 varies*
- Program Service Fee $75 per semester (effective fall 2019)
- Practicum site parking pass varies*
- Transportation to supervised practice sites (gas) varies*
- Transportation to professional meetings and/or volunteer opportunities (gas) varies*
**Price may vary. Estimated cost for criminal background check, CPR, liability insurance, and possibly drug testing.
¥Estimated cost for criminal background check, liability insurance, and possibly drug testing.
Transportation expenses vary depending on assigned practice locations cost of gas and parking passes. Some rotations will require students to travel longer distances to rural and surrounding counties. Each student should have his or her own car or, at least, access to one. Liability for safety in travel to and from assigned rotation sites will rest on the individual dietetic intern. *Multiple drug screenings may be required depending on placement sites.
Dietetic Internship students may choose to live in University housing or in a variety of off-campus sites. Please contact UTSA Student Housing for more information.
Financial Aid information is available through the UTSA Office of Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services office at (210)458-8000 and 1.800.669.0919. Additional information on types of financial assistance and scholarships can be obtained through this office.
Students are encouraged to apply for scholarships available from UTSA, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) and the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (TAND). UTSA’s federal school code is 010115.
For information on Financial Aid Eligibility and Scholarships access the Student Online Handbook.
Academic Calendar and Scheduling
Click here for information on the UTSA Academic Calendar.
The website offers information on Final Exam Schedules, Academic Calendar, Registration Schedules and other important resources.
Other related links include:
The bachelors’ and master’s degrees are awarded by the Board of Regents following the student’s completion of the prescribed course of study, the recommendation of the faculty, and the certification by the Dean of the College of Education and Human Development and the President of The University of Texas at San Antonio that the candidate has fulfilled all requirements for the degree and certificate.
A student is bound by the requirements of the University Catalog in force at the time of her/his admission; however, a student must complete all requirements within seven (7) years or be subject to degree requirements of subsequent Catalogs. General and specific requirements for degrees may be altered in successive Catalogs. The student who is required to or chooses to fulfill the requirements of a subsequent Catalog must have her/his amended degree plan approved by the appropriate dean.
NOTE: The admission date to UTSA may be different to the admission to the CPD. Students in the program under the BS/MDS option are expected to complete the requirements within 4.5 years, from the time of admission to the program. Those in the MDS option are expected to complete within 3 years).
Degrees are conferred only on official dates publicly announced. The Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics (BS) will be conferred upon those students who have successfully completed all core curriculum and the two years of program requirements. Students who fail to progress to or complete the Masters level phase of the Program, but have a GPA of 2.0/4.0 scale may be eligible to receive the BS degree independent of the MDS degree. No verification statement of completion for the CPD will be given to students who do not complete the MDS requirements. Students must successfully complete the third year didactic and supervised practice component of the program to earn the MDS degree. Students seeking the dual BS/MDS degrees will be awarded both degrees together upon completion of the MDS requirements.
Requirements for students to receive the verification statement. The dietetic student will be expected to demonstrate core knowledge and entry-level competency (see definition below) in nutrition and dietetics by successfully fulfilling the course and experiential requirements defined by the Coordinated Program in Dietetics, in accordance to UTSA, CDR and ACEND policies.
Entry-level competence is defined as: a set of specific knowledge, ability, skills, and values; behaviors expected of a practitioner (during the first 3 years of practice); and the minimum level of performance requiring speed and accuracy consistent with providing optima service or care to patients or clients. (Ref. 2012 ACEND DE Standards, pgs. 75, 78)
Eligibility for the Registration Examination, the student must have:
- met the learning outcomes for the courses (or equivalents) in the curriculum, by earning a grade of “C” or above
- attained the competencies outlined for the supervised practice with average scores of 2 or above
- graduated with a 3.0 GPA
- earned a Master of Dietetics Studies
When Do Eligible Student Receive the Verification Statement?
Upon successful fulfillment of all program requirements described above, the student will receive a verification statement upon completion of the MDS degree. Students will be recommended to CDR to write the registration examination in dietetics. The verification statement will be presented to the student immediately after graduation. Students may request mailing of the statement if not present at graduation. Copies of verification records will be kept on file in the Dietetics Director’s office indefinitely and will be available to former students upon request.
The Fall 2020 cohort has been selected and we are no longer taking applications at this time. The application for Fall 2021 cohort will be available December 2020.
Students with a Dietetic/Nutrition Degree and a Verification Statement are encouraged to apply.
The application must be submitted through the online link. Please review the hard copy application to obtain all the necessary documents before starting the application.
Words cannot express our deep appreciation to the many Registered Dietitians/Nutritionist and Health Professionals in the San Antonio and surrounding areas for their continuous support and commitment to mentoring our dietetic students.
Thank you for your willingness to be a preceptor for UTSA Dietetic Interns!
What are interns say about their preceptors:
- “I greatly enjoyed this rotation. Ms. Cervantes changed my view of long term care. She was an excellent preceptor.” – Intern at Morningside Ministries.
- “AMAZING preceptors that give me their time to help me learn and succeed.” – Intern at Methodist Transplant and Specialty Hospital.
- “She encouraged independent work, but was always available for any questions, concerns or issues.” – Intern at Methodist Hospital.
- “Ms. Paras and Ms. Palma are wonderful educators. They provided a rich learning environment and encouraged me to seek out knowledge. The rest of the CHEF team is wonderful as well.” Culinary Health Education for Families (CHEF), The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.
- “This was a great environment for learning food service management. I feel more confident in knowing all that kitchen management involves after this experience.” – Intern at Methodist Stone Oak Hospital.
- “She was a great mentor and always offered a lot of insightful and useful advice.” – Intern at Texas ArgLife Extension Services.
- “It was such a good opportunity to have a NICU and Pedi rotation. All the RD’s were invested in my learning progress.” – Intern at University Hospital.
Training and Professional Development
The Commission on Dietetic Registration offers a free Online Dietetic Preceptor Training Module worth 8 CPEUs.
CDR’s Online Campus offers continuing professional education activities for Registered Dietitians and Dietetic Technicians Registered.
If you are interested in becoming a preceptor, please email Dr. Liset Vasquez @ Liset.LealVasquez@utsa.edu.
DANSA is designed for students in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics and it aims to develop leadership skills through promoting student involvement in pre-professional and leadership activities pertaining to nutrition and dietetics.
CAREERS IN DIETETICS
What are the career opportunities for dietitians?
Dietitians are employed by healthcare facilities such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, and clinics; sports, wellness and fitness centers; food service operations, industry, pharmaceutical and food companies; community programs; government agencies, private practice, and professional health organizations. Their jobs may include offering one-on-one counseling, group education, and assessment of the nutritional needs in an effort to promote health, prevent diseases and treat diseases using medical nutrition therapy. Some dietitians focus on the business aspects of the profession working in food service operations and management at schools, colleges, hospitals, or day-care facilities. Others become entrepreneurs redefining their roles in the media, marketing, consumer affairs, and product development. You will also see nutrition and dietetics professionals teaching in culinary schools, community colleges, universities, and conducting research with food and pharmaceutical companies and other organizations.
What is the Job Outlook and Salary range for dietitians?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for dietitians are expected to grow 16 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is related to the concern and emphasis on disease prevention, the aging of the population, and consumer interest in nutrition. The fastest growth for employment opportunities are anticipated in nursing homes, residential care facilities, and physician clinics, with smaller growth in hospitals due to cost containment and shorter hospital stay.
In a survey conducted by the Academy in 2009, it was reported that half of all RDNs in the US who have been working in the field for five years or less earn $51,100 to $62,200 per year. Salaries and fees vary by region of the country, employment settings, scope of responsibility and supply of RDNs. RDNs in management and business, can earn incomes of $85,000 to $88,000.
Based on the 2015 Compensation & Benefits Survey of the Dietetics Profession, among all RDNs in all positions, the median hourly wage as of April 1, 2015, was $30.62 per hour. If annualized (40 hours/week – 52 weeks/year), this equates to a full-time salary of $63,700 per year. Median total cash compensation for RDNs employed in the position full time for at least one year was $65,000.
For more information on a career in Dietetics, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Looking for a few undergraduate electives?
Looking for a few graduate electives?
Offering master level courses in Nutritional Supplements and Functional Foods.
Dr. Vasquez, PH.D., RDN, LD, CHES
Dietetic Director | Assistant Professor in Practice
Dr. Sarah Ullevig, PH.D., RDN, LD
Breanna Price, MDS, RD, LD
Clinical Dietetic Instructor/Coordinator
Important Note: To become a registered dietitian nutritionist, the educational program and supervised practice/experimental learning (internship) must be an ACEND-accredited program. Graduates must then pass the national registration exam that is set forth by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).