Students wishing to become Registered Dietitians (RDs) should apply to the Master of Public Health (MPH) Dietetics option, which will be referred to as the Dietetics option. The students following the Dietetics option receive a Verification Statement upon graduation, which is needed to take the RD exam. The Dietetics option requires unique standards and admissions policies as outlined below.
Applying to the Dietetics Option
All application documents should be submitted directly to UMass Lowell Graduate Admissions or mail a hard copy to:
Office of Graduate Admissions
Cumnock Hall, Suite 110
One University Avenue
Lowell, MA 01854-5130
The Program Director and the admissions committee will review all completed applications combined with interviews to finalize admissions decisions. Currently, there is a rolling admissions process, which means applications are accepted on an ongoing basis up to one month before the Fall term begins in early September. Students in other MPH options who are interested in switching to the Dietetics option should contact Dietetics Program Director Renee Barrile to discuss transfer eligibility.
Application to the Dietetics Option
Admission into the Dietetics option is competitive. Due to programmatic constraints, meeting all admission criteria does not guarantee placement into this option. Students who wish to pursue the Dietetics option should meet the following minimum criteria to be considered for admission:
- Baccalaureate degree from a 4 year college or University or international equivalent, with an overall GPA of at least 3.0.
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within past 5 years.
- The GRE requirement may be waived with a prior graduate degree.
- Individuals who graduated from UMass Lowell in the past 5 years with a GPA of 3.5 or higher may be able to waive the GRE upon approval of the Program Director.
- The GRE requirement may also be waived for Medical or Dental Aptitude scores.
- Three letters of recommendation, one (1), of which must be submitted by a nutrition professional.
- A minimum of 35 hours of documented personal experience (volunteer or paid) in a nutrition, dietetics, or health setting.
- A personal statement describing why the student wishes to enter the Dietetics option and what their future career goals are (800-1200 typed words).
- Computer literacy in word, excel, powerpoint, etc., is expected.
Pre-Requisite Course Requirements for Application to the Dietetics Option
- Students applying for the Dietetics option must earn grades of B- or better in the following college level pre requisite courses before beginning graduate level courses and supervised practice: Human Nutrition, Microbiology, Food Science, Medical Nutrition Therapy I and II, Nutrition and Metabolism, Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, Statistics, Biology or Anatomy and Physiology, and Psychology or Sociology or Anthropology.
- Pre-Requisite courses can be fulfilled at UMass Lowell or from other schools. Students may be asked to provide documentation of equivalent course content proposed to meet admission criteria for the pre-requisite courses.
- Students may be asked to provide documentation of equivalent course content being proposed to meet admission criteria.
- No more than two (2) pre-requisite courses may be missing at the time of application.
- Courses which are "in-Progress" at the time of the application deadline are considered missing.
- All pre-requisite courses must be completed before orientation in late August.
- Admitted students who fail to complete all prerequisites will NOT be allowed to enter the program. There will be no exceptions to this rule.
- Prerequisite courses can not be completed once you have begun the program.
- Additionally, it will be assumed that you have already mastered the material in the prerequisite courses.
- If it is not feasible for you to complete all prerequisites by the end of August, then you should wait and apply during the next admissions cycle.
Additional Application Documents
Please include the pre-requisite course checklist with your updated resume in the "resume" section of the application.
Application to the Dietetics Option for International Students
- Application to the Dietetics option for International applicants International applicants must submit English competency test score TOEFL or IELTS.
- Test of English as a Foreign Language: http://www.ets.org/toefl. Minimum score 79.
- International English Language Testing System. Minimum score 6.5.
- Official transcripts must be evaluated by the Center for Educational Documentation.
- The faculty supports the position to recruit and retain students who by reasons of ethnic, cultural, or socioeconomic background are more likely to serve areas of critical need.
Assessment of Prior Learning
- There are NO exemptions for supervised practice hours or courses which include supervised practice, such as the MPH Practicum.
- No assessment for prior learning will be considered for core nutrition/dietetics graduate courses in the Dietetics option degree pathway.
- Core nutrition/dietetics courses include: Public Health Nutrition, Programs and Principles in Public Health Nutrition, Food and Nutrition Management, Nutrition Assessment, Nutrition Epidemiology, and Advanced Clinical Nutrition.
- Students may be asked to provide documentation of equivalent course content proposed to meet admission criteria for the prerequisite courses.
For questions about the Dietetics option, please contact the Program Director:
Renee Barrile, RD Ph.D.