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Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

UMass Lowell offers the only accredited Master of Public Health (MPH) Coordinated Program in Dietetics in New England, which combines coursework and supervised practice experience to qualify graduates to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN).

After successfully completing the program, you will be eligible to take the national examination to become an RDN.

Career Outcomes

As a student in UMass Lowell's MPH in Dietetics, you’ll prepare for new, unique careers by combining two professional fields – dietetics and public health. Both fields are projected to grow substantially in the next decade. You’ll will be specifically trained to examine the intersection of food access, diet choices and public health.
A person reaches across bins of vegetable to pick up a cucumber.

You will be qualified for any traditional registered dietitian career pathway in clinical nutrition, food service and community nutrition. You can also find employment in health promotion, public health research, public health program development, design and evaluation and policy analysis. 

Recent UMass Lowell graduates have worked at: 

  • Lowell General Hospital
  • Mill City Grows
  • Lowell Community Health Center
  • Aramark
  • Waltham Public Schools
  • UMass Extension Nutrition Education Program

Curriculum

The Master of Public Health in Dietetics program is a 42-credit, post-BS program that has been developed to provide a comprehensive public health education to all graduates.

Core Courses

All MPH students will take five core public health courses plus a two-semester, six-credit MPH practicum (21 credits total):
  • Environmental Health 
  • Epidemiology & Biostatistics
  • Public Health Policy
  • Leadership & Management in Public Health 
  • Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health 
  • MPH Practicum 
  • Integrated Practical Learning
For a complete list of courses and academic requirements, please visit the Academic Catalog.
  • The MPH Coordinated Program in Dietetics (Dietetics option) combines the coursework and supervised practice requirements to become eligible to take the national examination to become a Registered Dietitian after graduation. To review the Student Handbook and learn more about the program, policies and procedures, a comprehensive list of student resources and other relevant information about the Dietetics option, please contact the Program Director, Renee Barrile by email:  Renee_Barrile@uml.edu

    A complete degree pathway for the program can be found in the UMass Lowell Online Academic Catalog.

    The mission of the program is to promote public health nutrition by preparing graduates to practice as entry level Registered Dietitian Nutritionists with knowledge, competence, and the ability to address the needs of diverse communities. 

    Program Goals and Outcome Measures for the MPH Dietetics Option

    Goal #1: To prepare graduates for a successful entry-level position as a Registered Dietitian. Expected outcomes and target measures:

    • The program's one year pass rate on the Registration Examination for Dietitians, administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration, is at least 80%
    • At least 80% of program graduates will take the CDR credentialing exam for RD's within 12 months of program completion.
    • At least 80% of students admitted to the Dietetics program will complete the program within 3 years from beginning the program (150 percent time of the program length).
    • Of graduates who seek employment, 80% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
    • At least 80% of graduates who respond to a graduate exit survey will respond "yes" when asked if the program prepared them for their future career goals.

    Goal #2: To prepare graduates to be life-long learners who seek opportunities for personal and professional growth. Expected outcomes and target measures:

    • At least 75% of graduates who respond to an alumni survey will report being a member of a local or national professional group.
    • At least 90% of graduates who respond to an alumni survey will indicate that they have participated in post-graduation training related to their profession.
    • At least 40% of graduates who respond to an alumni survey will indicate that they are preceptors.

    Goal #3: To prepare graduates who are competent to address the health and nutrition needs of diverse populations. Expected outcomes and target measures:

    • At least 40% of graduates who respond to an alumni survey, and sought employment in dietetics, will be working with diverse populations.
    • At least 80% of employers who respond to an employer survey will rate graduates as acceptable or higher in their ability to work with diverse populations.
    • At least 80% of graduates who respond to a graduate exit survey will indicate that they were well prepared to address the health and nutrition needs of diverse populations.
    • At least 80% of employers who respond to an employer survey will rate graduates as acceptable or higher in their preparedness to practice as entry level RD's.

    To request program outcome data, please contact:
    Program Director Renee Barrile, RD, Ph.D.
    Email: Renee_Barrile@uml.edu
    Telephone: 978-934-4457

  • The Dietetics option is an accredited Coordinated Program in Dietetics, which is a highly regarded degree option that combines the academic and supervised practice experience to qualify graduates to become Registered Dietitians (RD). 

    The 1200 hours of supervised practice are integrated into the curriculum and are designed to prepare students for entry-level positions as RDNs upon successful completion of the registration exam. Students will have rotations in organizations that specialize in community nutrition, public health, food service management, and clinical nutrition. Public Health Nutrition is the concentration of the Dietetics option, and Lowell and the surrounding communities have an abundance of programs that promote nutrition to diverse populations. 

    Major Partners 

    Some examples of our major partners include: Genesis Health Care, Lowell General Hospital, The Lowell Community Health Center, The Lowell Boys and Girls Club, Mill City Grows and The UMass Extension Nutrition Education Program. 

    • Genesis Health Care, one of the largest providers of senior care in the nation, has more than 400 locations across the country, including two sites in Lowell that provide long term care and rehabilitation services. 
    • Lowell General Hospital is an independent, not-for- profit community hospital serving the Greater Lowell area and surrounding communities. 
    • The Lowell Community Health Center has many programs and services including nutrition counseling and education for all ages, WIC, health educator training sessions, immigrant and refugee health services, and in-school health services for teens. 
    • The Lowell Boys and Girls Club offers programs and initiatives to help youth achieve and maintain healthy, active lifestyles. They also offer a meal and snack daily for school aged members. 
    • Mill City Grows improves physical health, economic independence and environmental sustainability in Lowell through increased access to land, locally-grown food, and education. They offer a mobile food market, build-a-garden workshops, community and urban gardening programs, and educational programs.
    • The UMass Extension Nutrition Education Program in Lawrence provides individuals, families, and communities with the knowledge and skills for healthier eating through research-based nutrition education. Their program includes two research-based programs, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program and the SNAP-Ed program. 

    UMass Lowell also has several sites for supervised practice right on campus. These campus connections will give our dietetics students many opportunities to help promote healthy nutrition on campus.

    • Food service rotations will take place at three different dining sites operated by Aramark. 
    • The University also has a Health Services division that offers health and wellness counseling for students. 
    • Additionally, there are two on-campus recreation centers that offer many programs designed to promote health among students, faculty, and staff. 
    • The newly renovated Health Assessment Lab offers numerous opportunities to perform interdisciplinary research and education while integrating the fields represented in the College of Health Sciences including biomedical engineering, clinical laboratory science, ergonomics, exercise physiology, nutrition, nursing and physical therapy. 
  • ACEND accreditation logo

    The UMass Lowell MPH Coordinated Program in Dietetics is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). 

    Accreditation includes self-analysis, preparation of a self-study report, and an on-site evaluation visit by a team of professional peers. Dietetics educators and practitioners, appointed by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) board, participate in the peer review process to determine if a program is achieving its own educational objectives and meeting the accreditation standards. 

    Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master's degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND accredited MPH Coordinated Program in Dietetics at the University of Massachusetts Lowell are eligible to take the CDR credentialing exam to be a RDN.

    Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition & Dietetics
    120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
    Chicago, IL 60606-6995
    Email: ACEND@eatright.org
    Tel: (312) 899-0040 ext 5400/Fax: (312) 899-4817

    https://www.eatrightpro.org/ACEND

  • You must complete the didactic and supervised practice requirements at an accredited program, pass the National Registration exam, and complete the required Continuing Education Units. Successful completion of the Coordinated Program at UMass Lowell fulfills the didactic and supervised practice requirements. 

    Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited Coordinated Program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell are eligible to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN. Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics web page for more information about educational pathways to become a RDN.

    To become licensed in the State of Massachusetts (LDN) and Other States: The majority of states have enacted laws that regulate the practice of dietetics in order to protect the public. State licensure and state certification are entirely separate and distinct from the RD and DTR credentials. The Board of Registration of Dietitians and Nutritionists in the State of Massachusetts oversees the standards and licensing of dietitians and nutritionists in Massachusetts. Information about state licensure can be found online at: Dietitiansnutritionistsboard@mass.gov or by calling 617-727-9940. The Board accepts the CDR (Commission on Dietetic Registration) internship and examination as equivalent to the statutory requirements for professional experience and a Board-administered examination. Once you successfully complete this program and pass the RDN exam, and are registered with CDR, make sure you use the Application for Registered Dietitians that may be downloaded on the Applications and Forms page of the licensing website. While licensure is not required in the State of Massachusetts, many employers in Massachusetts, such as hospitals, require dietitians to be licensed with the Commonwealth. Additionally, many insurers require licensure as a condition for inclusion on panels and for reimbursement. Forty- seven state, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia currently have statutory provisions regulating the dietetics profession or associated titles such as dietitian and nutritionist. Information on state licensure and certification is provided on the CDR website as a service to dietetics professionals and state licensure boards. 

Admissions & Aid

Take the next step and apply. Learn more about admission requirements, tuition and funding options.

Spotlight: Students and Recent Graduates

Sandra Ocampo standing in front of a dresser with books.
Sandra Ocampo '24
Master of Public Health, Dietetics

Sandra Ocampo switched her career from investment management to dietetics.

I felt confident that the MPH dietetics program would offer me a solid path to my future of becoming a registered dietitian.
Read More About Sandra Ocampo 
UMass Lowell student Rabia Haider
Rabia Haider '21
Nutritional Sciences and Master of Public Health

Knowing how cultural differences make an impact on health, Rabia Haider is pursuing a Master of Public Health degree.

There is so much work to be done related to nutrition and health care, especially for historically overlooked populations.
Read More About Rabia Haider 
Kate Killion loaded grocery bags onto sidewalk
Kate Killion '21
Public Health – Dietetics

Kate Killion came to UML because it’s the only university in New England that offers a dietetics degree with a public health perspective.

The UMass Lowell program really emphasizes the public health influences, even on individual health.
Read More About Kate Killion 
Haylee Dussault shows of some fresh herbs and veggies in a small garden
Haylee Dussault '16, '18
Nutritional Science, Public Health

Haylee Dussault was a part of the first class of students in the Master of Public Heath Dietetics program. Shortly after graduation, she passed the registered dietitian exam and landed her dream job.

I’ve been given the opportunity not just to make valuable connections in the dietetics industry, but to also focus on making a real impact on school food service.
Read More About Haylee Dussault 

Request More Information

ACEND-logo800  
The UMass Lowell MPH in Dietetics program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Visit the ACEND website for more information.


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UMass Lowell's Master of Public Health and BS programs are accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. Visit the CEPH website for more information.

International F-1 students

Issuance of F-1 visa documents for these new programs is pending authorization from the federal government, anticipated within the Spring 2024 semester.